Late in the season last year we introduced the Rooting Guide and it's graphic Australian connotations to great success, so why wait for Week 10 to roll around when we can get rooting already? There's a whole lot of football going on outside of TCU, and it's always more enjoyable if you can get rooting for one team or another- so here are the ground rules, with explanations throughout!
1.)If a team is ranked above TCU, they need to lose.
This is the simplest one- we want TCU to make the CFP, and we'd prefer that they do it with the highest seed possible to ensure they have the easiest path to the championship. As a result, any team that is ranked above TCU is the enemy, and should be rooted against with vigor!
2.) If a team is undefeated or Alabama, they need to lose.
This will change if TCU picks up a loss at some point, but in order to ensure that the Frogs, in the championship gameless Big 12, have the best possible argument for inclusion in the playoff we need to make sure we're clear in the loss column. So if a team is undefeated (or is Alabama, as we all know the Crimson tide get extra benefit of the doubt) we'll be rooting against them as well. The exception, of course, is...
3.)If TCU is playing a team later in the season, or has already beaten them, they need to win.
This is another simple one- we want the teams TCU plays to do well, so that TCU looks better by defeating them. Of course, there is an exception to this rule's exception...
4.) Baylor should lose every game
Screw those guys.
There will be more rules as the season unfolds and we have a more direct idea of who the Frogs are competing with for a playoff spot, but these simple three are enough to go on so far. Let's take a look at this week's games!
Rule 1 game
The Nittany Lions are a curious upset pick this week, having already lost to Temple and put together a few other lackluster wins (including a 20-14 nailbiter against Army), but it speaks to the Buckeyes' lackluster performance as #1 in the nation that Penn State is actually a decent bet in this one. Hopefully TCU's game will be in hand by the time this game kicks off, so you can idly flip over and enjoy a good root
Rule 2 games
Frankly, getting a read on any Pac 12 game is a bit of a suckers bet, as Stanford's shellacking of UCLA last night showed in spades. As a result, you may as well root against our old Mountain West buddies in this one as the nightcap at the end of a good day of rooting.
Don't waste too much energy on this one, as even though the Eagles may well have the best defense in college football, their offense is a very special kind of inept. Think 2013 TCU, but even more so. If at any point BC has the lead you can root hard, but it's a very hard possibility to imagine. You're better off focusing your energies...
Two undefeated teams would generally mean that you could go either way in your root, but there's a bit of additional incentive to pick a team in this one. LSU RB Leonard Fournette is currently considered the Heisman frontrunner over our own Trevone Boykin, but as we all know, the better a team's record the more the Heisman trust tends to favor them. As a result, we not only want Fournette to have a dud of a game, but for Florida to decimate the Tigers and put Boykin back on top of the national conversation. Go Gators!
The Wolverines are coming on strong in the polls, but if MSU comes out with a win in this one then they'll leap back ahead as they were the last few weeks. Time to put a pin in the green balloon, and this week Sparty is prime for an upset and some comeuppance against big brother. Go Blue, FoW supports you!
#10 Alabama Crimson Tide @ #9 Texas A&M Aggies, CBS
This one is a bit of a pick 'em when it comes to rooting. Yes, the Aggies are undefeated and are much more of a threat to our recruiting efforts, but Alabama won't be out of the playoff discussion until they're at least two losses clear of every other P5 team. I'm partial to the Aggies in this one, because they're the one team I'd most love to beat in the playoff, but pick freely and root to your heart's content!
#17 Iowa Hawkeyes @ #20 Northwestern, ESPN2
Holy crap, how is Northwestern ranked after last week? Iowa is undefeated somehow, so we want them to lose. Of all the undefeated teams that could pass TCU, though, I don't think Iowa is one of them, so don't pay too much attention.
Rule 3 Games
Nebraska has been a comedy of errors so far this season, and so we're hoping for that to continue as they hit the road to take on the Gophers for the Bits of Broken Chair trophy. We have a moderate rooting interest in this one, so Ski U Mah, everyone!
Rule 4 Game
Baylor finally plays an opponent in the top 100 of defense, so the potential is there for a catastrophic meltdown- root hard, as Baylor is terrible and them being ranked above us is fairly sickening.
This is your thread to watch and discuss all football games that TCU isn't a part of, so strap yourselves in and get rooting, everyone!