TCU was a four touchdown favorite. They won by four points. Was Kansas trying to get (overdue) revenge from the most unlikely of basketball upsets nearly two years ago? I, like I'm sure most TCU fans, thought Saturday was going to be a nice little afternoon to watch a game and relax for three and a half hours. Maybe we'd catch the Mississippi State and Alabama game--nope. What we got instead was watching the Frogs play Kansas, yes 3-7 Kansas, down to the wire.
However, on a day that saw Ladainian Tomlinson's record fall, it could've been a lot worse for TCU. A lot worse.
Chalk dust torture: It just got tougher for the Big 12
Saturday was mixed with Kansas getting every break imaginable, the Frogs not being able to tackle, and Baylor fans sitting at home with a smile enjoying their bye week. But with Alabama's 5-point win against Mississippi State, and Florida State making the comeback, the Big 12's nightmare of not putting a team in the playoff just got a little more real.
TCU and Baylor could both end up playing in New Year's Day Bowls, finishing 12-1, and a bunch a people asking "what if". For the record, I think Baylor and TCU are both better than Ohio State. But as I said in the preseason, it's going to be hard for the Big 12 to put a 1-loss team not named Oklahoma or Texas in the playoff sans a conference championship game.
Still, Gary was right. And that shouldn't surprise you.
In regards to playoffs, Gary said two brilliant things in the post game press conference. One, it wouldn't have made much of a difference if TCU had blown out the Jayhawks. Two, he said a lot of teams would've lost that game. Both are true. It's also true that while the Minnesota game holds a lot of weight at the moment, TCU currently has the edge over Baylor with their win over Kansas State. As a result, TCU's playoff hopes will come down to how Baylor plays the Wildcats--because as I reminded everyone yesterday, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech aren't going to stop the Bears.
A win is still a win
To their credit, Kansas--especially their redzone defense--did great and almost pulled off (one of) the biggest upsets in Big 12 history. Nevertheless, TCU, despite playing sloppy, outsmarted, outmuscled, and outran, simply outplayed the Jayhawks. Kansas, in addition to possessing the familiarity of the bitter cold in their backyard, had every break and every chance to win that game. Miracle plays, such as the great tip, seemed like they were divinely handed to the Jayhawks. And yet, TCU found a way to win.
Aaron Green is absolutely superb
With Catalon's absence the past two weeks, Green has done more than his share filling the starting role. Looking like LeSean McCoy, Green, who finished with 128 yards on 19 carries and two scores, nearly broke two or three long touchdown runs. His jawdropping cuts and breakaways once again that dominated Kansas State, once again played a integral role in getting TCU the win in Lawrence.
Cameron Echols-Luper had one of the plays of the year
You know that feeling you get when you just know something big's about to happen? That's how I felt in the third quarter when CEL returned a deep punt for a touchdown to give the Frogs the lead, a lead which they held the rest of the game.
Third and long, Slanina validated TCU's depth.
The depth at receiver was once again on display Saturday afternoon. While the killshots to Kolby Listenbee weren't connecting, and Boykin's other favorite target, Josh Doctson stayed relatively quiet himself--Ty Slanina dazzled. The sophomore from East Bernard demonstrated why he was one of the most coveted athletes in Texas coming out of high school in 2013.
Yes, Boykin's still a Heisman candidate
Speaking of that third and long--that's why Boykin's still going to be a Heisman finalist. Should the Frogs beat Texas and Iowa State, there's not much keeping him out of New York, and all that will matter is that TCU won this game. Despite TCU's sloppy game overall, Boykin's numbers were still good: 26/36 (72.2%) for 330 yards and a touchdown. At this point, it's Gordon and Mariotta's to lose, but just being there will give Trevone all the momentum in the world for 2015.
TCU's cover streak ends
They had to not cover the spread once, right? Let's not do it again though.
Don't chant "overrated" if you've just lost
I find it weird I have to lecture this point. But you do you, Lawrence.
RIP to LT's record
That kid @Melvingordon25 bad!! Congrats on breaking the NCAA single game rushing record. #respect— LaDainian Tomlinson (@LT_21) November 15, 2014
Just months after being inducted into the college Hall of Fame, LT saw his record broken on a day in which his alma matter was nearly upset. Luckily there was no salt in the wound for Tomlinson who sent out a classy tweet just minutes after Melvin Gordon broke his record against Nebraska.
Was the Trevorris Johnson question answered?
I still ride or die for TJ. He'll be a tremendous asset the next few years. But are his lack of carries, especially in the red zone, attributed to fumbles in practice? Granted, this is a small sample size--but maybe there is some truth to this? I'm really just typing this to see what y'all think.
Hackett once again comes up huge
4 straight games with an interception.
Going full Mark Cohen, this is TCU's score against opponentsIt wasn't pretty, but TCU survives the bitter cold and gets out of Lawrence with the win. In this edition of Overreaction Sunday; why the Big 12 just made its playoff aspirations tougher, the sad death of LT's record, the brilliant depth on offense, and why Gary is *still* never leaving Fort Worth. on the road, out of Texas, and in the cold in 2014. The Frogs just can't seem to tackle in the cold. Thankfully the game in Austin shouldn't have that bitter cold, nor will it be out of Texas.
Dear Kansas: Keep Clint Bowen, keep it defensive
Dear Kansas, you're not getting a Harbaugh. Stick with this guy. He went to Kansas, and brings an energy to the football that team wasn't even seen in Mangino's best years.
If I could only think of a great defensive minded coach who brought a team out of obscurity and built them into something something special...
Dear TCU: Gary Patterson isn't leaving TCU
Gary Patterson may indeed visit Gainesville and the Swamp--to see hometown hero, Tom Petty play a reunion show there. Aside from the countless reasons that Gary would never leave Ft. Worth, Florida won't take a defensive mind after the Muschamp years. They're going to take Rich Rod or Todd Graham. Out of respect, he'll hear what Florida has to say. But that's it.
Amon G. Carter will someday share its namesake with GMFP. I can get behind Carter-Patterson Stadium.