Technically, Midseason was last week. But given that TCU's now played six games, it seems more appropriate this week. Plus, unlike last year, there are actually happy awards to give out, and with the Tech game "looming" this week, I thought I'd do a little reverse script and keep the energy positive.
Even the most ardent TCU fan couldn't have predicted, at least soberly, that TCU would be in playoff contention just a year after a dismal 4-8 season. Not only is this offense, on all levels, improved--they're one of the most efficient in the country. The season's only half over, and there's still a lot to be accomplished, but it's been a pretty damn fun ride thus far.
Offensive MVP: Josh Doctson
Doctson was one of the few bright spots on TCU’s offense last year. Once LaDarius Brown and Brandon Carter left the team, Doctson was the favorite to step up. He did. In addition to being Boykin’s go-to, Doctson has been the Big 12’s human highlight reel only rivaled by West Virginia’s Kevin White and Oklahoma State’s Tyreek Trill™.
Defensive MVP: Paul Dawson
Sam Carter is the spiritual leader of the defense, if not the team. The Horned Frogs always have a heap of defensive talent to choose from, but at this point in the season I don’t think there’s much debate as to who the defensive MVP has been.
MVP MVP: Trevone Boykin
So much can be said, but it really be summed up to "wow". Boykin, who's fourth overall in total offense in college football, has emerged as one of its most efficient quarterbacks. Up there with calling Daniel Craig as the "next James Bond" after seeing Layer Cake (I also called Tom Hardy in that movie as well), believing in Boykin is one of my proudest predictions. Many scoffed at Boykin’s social media presence, and his determination to be the team’s quarterback, and possible Heisman candidate. Fast forward to a Boykin who lost 15 pounds in the off-season, sprinkle in a little Sonny Cumbie, and you have the Big 12’s Most Improved Player--if not MVP.
Four-Headed Monster Award: B.J. Catalon, Aaron Green, Kyle Hicks, and Trevorris Johnson
Just in time for Halloween, B.J. Catalon, Aaron Green, Kyle Hicks, and Trevorris Johnson have each added their unique ingredient to TCU’s running back casserole. Eh, maybe that’s more of a Thanksgiving analogy. But you get what I mean. The depth at running back, again, is deep. TCU will likely have all of them in their arsenal next year too, plus Lake Travis’ Shaun Nixon--who nearly named a cat with us (damn Moncrief and their anti-pet regime)--which will be extra scary.
#TrueDetectiveSeason2 Award: Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie.
Y’all saw this coming. But the hire of these two has been the most exciting/best move TCU’s made in a long time. Arguably since they pried Chris Del Conte from the hands of the West Coast. Even the most optimistic TCU fan couldn’t have predicted this big of a turnaround, this quickly. The heighten confidence in the players is noticed, and unlocked the potential and given hybrid players like Deante’ Gray, and Trevone Boykin, permanent, well-fitting homes.
Pleased to Meet Me (tie): Kolby Listenbee and Deante’ Gray
If there ever was a good omen since TCU joined the Big 12, Deante’ Gray returning a punt for a touchdown against Grambling State was it. It was the Frogs’ first touch of the ball in 2012, and there first as an overdue member to the Big 12. Gray, like Jordan Moore and Boykin, has played multiple positions. Gray’s cut his teeth so many places, his newfound niche is well earned. But even better than just finding a permanent spot, he's one of the most dangerous assets in the conference.
Kolby Listenbee has always been a bit of a wild card. One of the few positives I took away from watching the Michigan State game was Listenbee's promise. Last year was a semi-disappointment, but not completely unlike Boykin, he just needed the right system to shine.
Highlight of the Year: Air Doctson
This one will probably stand up.
This is a close second.
Play of the Year: Dawson’s Pick-6
Most Improved: Offensive line
When you have all the storylines like TCU’s had this year, these guys haven’t gotten near the credit they deserve. Boykin’s 180 has been well documented, but the offensive line has also undergone a thrilling metamorphosis. Hats off, guys.
The Captain: Sam Carter
While he may be overshadowed right now, Carter's still having a damn good season. And like we said above, he's the spiritual of this team.
Undervalued: Chris Hackett
Hack nearly had three picks in the Oklahoma State game. He's also third on the team in total tackles. He plays a lot like Jason Verrett did last year in the sense that he's a part of pretty much every play.
Song of the Year: "We Dem Boyz"
C’Mon Man: 4th Quarter in the Baylor game
I think (and hope) I’ll feel a little relieved once the first Playoff Committee poll comes out. TCU won’t be in their Top-4 immediately, but they’ll be on the outside looking in--because impressing humans is somehow easier than impressing computers. So in a lot of ways, I’m sort of glad the Baylor game happened--You get this loss later in the season, and the playoff is completely out of the question. It showed a couple of things; TCU’s a resilient team, it fixed what we we needed to work on defensively, namely preventing the big-play deep balls, and last but not least, clock management and using our arsenal of running backs appropriately.
All of this was shown brilliantly in the Oklahoma State game, and was a very promising indication of what’s to come as TCU still has two pretty big roadblocks between them and a Big 12 title.