It is too late for TCU to make a playoff case. But deep in SEC country, on the last day of the year, the Horned Frogs have a chance to say something else.
No team has undergone a greater offensive transformation than TCU under co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie. With the switch to the Spread, the Horned Frogs are averaging 21.7 points and nearly 200 yards total offense more than in 2013. In eight of its 12 games, TCU has jumped to a 14-0 lead. But Ole Miss’ Land Shark defense leads the nation in points allowed (13.8 ppg) and has given up just 18 touchdowns this season. Only Auburn (35) and Arkansas (30) have scored more than 20 on the Rebels.
Gary Patterson can deny it, therefore, and profess, as the TCU coach did again Tuesday, that his Horned Frogs parade behind only their own flag. He has been saying that since the days when the Frogs were trying to break down doors while members of the Mountain West.
He might regret college football’s lax rules regarding pace of play, because in the Wild West of uptempo offenses, his is not the fastest. That title more closely belongs to his opponent in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Wednesday.
At this moment, having witnessed the neutering of both Texas and Oklahoma on Monday, a reality check is in order for the one conference, and one region, that was left out of college football’s new big party. The right and left coasts are laughing at us in Middle Earth, amused that our alleged football superiority has been exposed as a myth.
Cumbie, who guided the development of quarterback Trevone Boykin, and co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham helped the Horned Frogs offense rate among the top three in the nation in just one year on the job.
“When you go through the spring against Gary, he’s not going to give you an inch,” said co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who Patterson himself brought in, along with Sonny Cumbie, to install a new uptempo offense.
Matt Joeckel took a double hit when he lost the competition for the quarterback job and then had his season end because of a knee injury. But he had a positive impact, quarterbacks coach Sonny Cumbie said.