These three storylines are pretty clear, and one's Frog fans will have their eyes on for the duration of the season.
Sammy Douglas is the only linebacker on the roster with any defensive snaps at the collegiate level, but only saw a handful of plays on defense last year. True freshmen Mike Freeze and Alec Dunham will be asked to contribute immediately, as will redshirt freshman Ty Summers. If they don’t step up, it may be too much for the defense to overcome.
That's good news.
The past two times TCU went into the season as the conference preseason No. 1. TCU went unbeaten in conference play.
Positive vibes are surrounding Boykin wherever he goes, whatever he does.
Boykin’s pro-animal stance likely will get lots of notice this season, if only because it’s sure to be mentioned in profiles of the Heisman hopeful. And there’s no denying that he’ll be among the favorites after his junior season in 2014, when the former three-star recruit who chose TCU over UTEP threw for 3,901 yards, 33 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 707 yards and eight touchdowns as the Horned Frogs barely missed out on the inaugural college football playoff. This year, TCU has something to prove, and Boykin will be there leading the way.
The Big 12 would be following in the SEC's footsteps with the move.
While no other major conferences have plans yet to enact rules on transfers, the momentum is clearly swinging in that direction. The sexual assault conviction last week of former Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu, a Boise State transfer, has galvanized the issue even more around the topics of sexual and domestic violence on campus. Baylor has begun an internal investigation of the incident.
He'll need to step up this season, so it's good that he's been looking ahead for a while.
He did the math 12 months ago — Sam Carter was a senior; Chris Hackett was a junior who might declare for the NFL early.
That left Kindred with an idea of where his career was pointing: By 2015, he might be the most experienced player in the Horned Frogs’ secondary.
Porter hasn't practiced since the 49ers game.
Porter has made an impression since signing Aug. 16. He caught three passes for 30 yards against the 49ers in his first preseason game, though he has sat out since.
“I feel like I’ve done pretty good, but I’ve got to get back healthy and keep showing them what I can do,” he said.
Public perception doesn't line up with how well Dalton has played for the Bengals.
In those four seasons, Dalton has the 11th-most touchdown passes, 12th-most passing yards, 19th-best completion percentage and 20th-best passer rating among the 43 quarterbacks that have thrown at least 500 passes, while he's also accrued the 13th-highest Approximate Value (Pro-Football-Reference's one-number statistic that attempts to boil down every individual player season to one number) of the players in that same group. He's also led the Bengals to a 40-23-1 record and taken them to the playoffs every season.