In a sea of black, and with more speed than you'd find in Keith Richards' nightstand, one purple team reigned supreme Saturday night in Fort Worth. TCU not only beat Kansas State, they made it look like the varsity playing the freshmen team. Kansas State has been as sound as anyone in the country, but they were dominated in every aspect by the Frogs.
TCU was supposed to come in Saturday and grind out a tough win against a Kansas State team that lost to Auburn by only 6. The team was hoping for a win, the fans were hoping for that plus looking better than Auburn did, and what everyone ended up getting was a team that's looked as good as anyone in the country, and has a resume second to only to Mississippi State.
New York Bound
It’s going to be pretty hard to keep Trevone Boykin out of New York now. Deuce Boogie was an absolute wizard Saturday night. His night, and possibly season, will be defined by the touchdown run and flip into the endzone--and rightfully so. However, it was Boykin’s touchdown pass to David Porter that really caught my eye. Of all the things Boykin does, he’s the best at creating nothing into something. As the Oklahoma defenders pointed out after their loss (against TCU) last month, you never know what Boykin’s going to do and that’s what makes him so great.
This isn’t just the Big 12’s best quarterback, this is one of the most important playmakers in the country.
TCU outgained the Wildcats by 300 yards on the ground.
TCU's now beaten every team in the Big 12
I've alluded to this all year, I just didn't want to jinx it. But with the win over Kansas State, the Frogs have now beaten everyone in the conference since joining in 2012. But that's none of my business.
No Catalon. No Gray. No problem.
TCU is even more dangerous with them, but the Horned Frogs proved just how deep they are at running back and receiver on Saturday. Aaron Green’s cuts and runs into the open field should’ve, and likely dropped your jaw. Also, as he was needed, David Porter stepped up big Saturday as well. With speed demon Deante’ Gray out, and Doctson still not 100%, Porter picked up the slack.
Again, I liked what I saw from the physical backs; Kyle Hicks and Trevorris Johnson. We’ve talked a lot about TJ, but Hicks is going to be a huge asset as well--he simply refuses to be tackled. Although this is a little hyperbolic, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him taken down by anything other than a ref’s whistle to stop the play.
The Horned Frog Hangover
This is something TCU did more in 2012 than in 2013, but one of the finer points in TCU’s resume is how teams play the week after they play the Frogs. A fellow Horned Frog pointed this out on Twitter, but this is how it’s gone for their opponents the week after their game against TCU; West Virginia loss to Texas, Baylor loss to West Virginia, Oklahoma State loss to West Virginia, and Oklahoma nearly losing to Texas in Dallas.
Keep rooting for Minnesota
Just your friendly weekly reminder.
The CFP voters likes TCU, but they’re still going to need help
The 2014 CFP is a guinea pig, a guinea pig that has made an 8-team playoff seem like the more optimal route. TCU has the benefit of being liked by the playoff committee, but it’s going to be a lot easier if Baylor blows a game over the next month. Not completely unlike 2010, the Frogs will need a little magic from Baylor’s opponents to get where they want.
Bill Hancock: "Any time there are co-champions and there is no championship game, the committee will consider them both champions."— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 9, 2014
TCU may jump into the Top 4 this week, but nothing would be worse than maintaining a Top 4 spot until the last weekend, and then getting jumped by the Bears at the last minute. Assuming they beat Kansas State, this could very well happen. Even though the CFP committee doesn’t have a short memory, Baylor playing Kansas State the last weekend, and TCU playing Iowa State, could be a knockout punch for the Frogs. I’m not going to have hard opinions on people who think Baylor deserves a spot over TCU. As an alumni of the school, I have the right to have a hard opinion on the subject, not the person. The Frogs blowing a lead late to 1-loss Baylor is a better loss than Baylor being dominated in Morgantown. The other side of the coin is a fair argument as well. Bill Bowlsby agrees with the latter in the wrong way. The season still has one more long month ahead, but Bowlsby already championing Baylor as the Big 12’s best is a little gross. Whether it’s just him settling down fiery Baylor fans, or if he truly believes the Bears would undeniably be Champions, he should maybe just tone it down a bit.
This is a little reminiscent of the Big 12 cira 2008.
Texas had the head-to-head win and the better loss (a loss to Texas Tech that still makes their fans shutter). Despite that, Oklahoma still made the National Championship. The CFP obviously didn’t exist back then, and even though Texas’ resume is a mix and match of Baylor and TCU’s for 2014 (head-to-head win and the better loss), had it existed, they probably would’ve still picked Oklahoma. Why? The Sooners’ non-conference schedule included wins against a Brian Kelly Cincinnati team that went 11-3 and finished 17th, and against a TCU team that finished 7th. Sure, the Sooners beat a Washington team that didn’t win a single game that year, but Texas playing UTEP, Rice, and a bad Arkansas team was the dealbreaker. That could very well happen to Baylor this year.
Despite their strong win against TCU, the danger of choosing Baylor is that their weak non-conference would be negated. As the 4-team system will be implemented for the foreseeable future, putting the Bears in would discredit the emphasis on scheduling non-conference, Power 5 (plus Notre Dame) opponents. The system is designed for the Power 5 teams to play big Non-Conference games early in the season, and it’s hard to see the CFP committee not voting with the best interests of college football. It’s a little off-course, but Marshall is one of the 3 undefeated teams, but they’re not even ranked in the Top 25 by the committee because their schedule is so weak. They’re taking schedule pretty seriously, and above everything else, this is where TCU’s going to have the advantage.
That Being Said, don’t sleep on Texas
The Longhorns may have cashed their chips this past Saturday, and will likely get past a struggling Oklahoma State team, but they’re going to come into Thanksgiving looking for a fight. The Thanksgiving game two years ago was the least attended game that season, and will likely be this year as well. That doesn’t matter for Charlie Strong’s improving bunch. The good news for TCU is that Tyrone Swoopes, while improving significantly, still has trouble throwing it over 15 yards. Also, the Horns’ offense is defined by its running game, something that hasn’t been a problem at all for the TCU defense. All this considered, Turkey Day is a big trap day.
That Being Said, TCU is for real. For real.
One bad quarter and youthful cornerbacks are the only thing keeping TCU from being the Number 2, if not Number 1 team in the country. Kansas State is as sound as it gets, and TCU ran all over them. As we talked about above, they mainly did this with speed, and aside from a few big passes to Lockett, the Frogs played a perfect football game. It’s clear now that this isn’t a team who came up with some big wins against Oklahoma and West Virginia. Nor are they a team that destroyed a crippled Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. This is a team that can go blow to blow with anyone in the country. Hell, they may even be the best team in the country.