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FOW Trial Post: 3 Keys to a Big XII Regular Season Title for TCU

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It's still possible for the Frogs to win a Big 12 title. Here are three keys to getting it done.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Manager's note: This week, we will be publishing trial posts from our FOW finalists. With over 60 applicants, thanks to those who sent an email. This piece is by HToadSwayze; enjoy!

This TCU Baseball team is better than last year’s team. I stand by that, even though when you look at April 2015 compared to April 2014 it’s hard to see it. Yes, we lost more than one game in April this year, but this year’s team is still better. Both teams were built on solid pitching and defense and at times they have both seemed like they couldn’t get a run if they had Forrest Gump batting in the 3-hole.

TCU’s 2015 Baseball team has a higher batting average (.290 vs .278), a lower ERA (2.15 vs 2.22), and a better record as of this point in the year (31-8 vs 27-13) than the 2014 team. It’s not THAT different, but it is better. The question, though, is can the 2015 team accomplish what the 2014 team could not: win the Big XII regular season title and win the CWS? I won’t worry about the latter yet. For now we still need to win our conference and secure home field advantage for the road to Omaha. So, can the Frogs win the Big XII regular season title? That depends on a lot of factors, three in particular:

7 is the Magic Number
Last year the team that won the Big XII regular season title had 6 conference losses. This year, the team who wins it will most likely have 7. OSU and OU are currently tied for 1st place with 5 losses. Tech already has 6 losses and TCU has 5. These are the teams that, at this point, should be considered legitimate contenders. Having 7 losses right now means that you are pretty much out of the race unless you go on a crazy 2014 TCU-esque run. The opponents that each team has left on their schedule and the order in which they play these opponents matters. It’s complicated, but what it boils down to is that it is unlikely anyone will escape with fewer than 7 losses. Essentially, what this means is that if we lose more than 2 of our next 12 Big XII games we’re going to need a lot of help to take home the regular season trophy.

School

Big 12

Overall

Pct.

Oklahoma State

10-5

27 - 13

0.675

Oklahoma

10-5

27 - 16

0.628

Texas Tech

9-6

26 - 15

0.634

TCU

7-5

31 - 8

0.795

Texas

8-7

22 - 19

0.537

West Virginia

5-7

23 - 15

0.605

Kansas State

5-10

18 - 21

0.462

Baylor

5-10

16 - 24

0.4

Kansas

4-8

17 - 24

0.415

Boomer Sooner
The bottom line is that OSU most likely needs to lose 8 conference games because they currently hold the tiebreaker over TCU. They are playing Tech this weekend in Lubbock which is a tough atmosphere, so it is likely that they take a loss, maybe two, this weekend. Two would be nice, but my money is on the Bedlam series being the biggest key to TCU getting the edge over OSU. Bedlam is being played at all neutral sites, but if OU were to take the series (given that OSU loses one to Tech) that would give OSU their all-important 8th loss. Not only that, but TCU gets to play OU on the last weekend of the regular season and we have already beaten them once. OU winning the Bedlam series would mean that if TCU takes the series against OU on the final weekend, without losing more than 8 Big XII games in the process, the worst we can do is finish in a three way tie for first place. Again, this is assuming that Tech takes one from OSU and neither team finishes with less than 8 Big XII losses total.

Sweep Away the Bad and Just Win Baby
No, I’m not talking about the K-State series or the 3rd inning of Game 3 vs OSU (3 errors in one inning that allowed 6 runs all with two outs). Holy moly, that was bad. What I am talking about is sweeping the bad teams left on TCU’s schedule: Kansas and West Virginia. In addition to sweeping the bad teams, TCU needs to win each series it plays against the good teams left on their schedule: Texas and Oklahoma. Going 2-1, 3-0, 3-0 and 2-1 against UT, WVU, KU and OU respectively would give TCU a Big 12 record of 17-7. Providing that OU wins the series against OSU (while losing another game somewhere along the way) and OSU takes a loss in Lubbock, this would give TCU the outright Big XII regular season title. I look at this as the most likely scenario which leads to TCU getting at least a share of the Big XII regular season title.

TCU has the toughest road left in my opinion because even though three of their four remaining series are against struggling teams, TCU has 4 Big XII series left and the other 3 contenders only have 3 Big XII series left. The good news is that this team has shown they have a lot of heart and, unlike last year, the offense can come alive at any point in the line-up if TCU’s pitching hits any bumps in the road going forward. Time to put on your rally caps. Go Frogs.