We started dreaming of playoffs and national championships when the Frogs roared to a 7-0 start, but at 7-1, several goals are still intact - starting with a Big 12 Title Game berth.
But a Big 12 title — even an appearance in the Big 12 title game — would be no small thing for a TCU team coming off a 6-7 year, and it’s very much in play. Saturday is the mulligan coach Gary Patterson talked about, leaving the Frogs still with a share of first place.
In fact, it’s a four-team, four-game sprint to the finish, and the first two to the tape get to go to Arlington.
“We’ve got goals that we’re climbing to get,” cornerback Jeff Gladney said.
The team motto, “Eyes Up, Keep Climbing,” fits more than ever.
“We’re just looking up, never looking down,” Gladney said. “Everything we need to get is up.”
For weeks, TCU football fans had been reminded of 2014. Now they are again. The 2014 Horned Frogs suffered one loss, rebounded to win out and earned consideration for the College Football Playoff. Can the 2017 Frogs do the same? Sure. But three years ago, an 11-1 regular season and Big 12 co-championship proved to be no sure ticket to the CFP. And it won't be this year, either, even if TCU were to take out Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Baylor and whoever in the Big 12 title game. But it's the only road that gives them a chance at the final four after Saturday's 14-7 loss at Iowa State.
Oh good, everyone is back on Ohio State, the only team in America allowed to recover from a loss to a ranked opponent.
Ohio State moved up three places after rallying to beat then-No. 2 Penn State 39-38 , Wisconsin climbed one spot to No. 4 and Notre Dame rounded out the top 5 by moving up four places.
Penn State dropped to No. 7 behind Clemson, followed by Oklahoma, Miami and TCU, which dropped six spots after its 14-7 loss to the Cyclones.
Do you agree with the top three?
1. Iowa State (6-2, 4-1): If you picked this before the season, good luck getting anyone to believe you. But after holding on for a 14-7 victory against TCU, the Cyclones have all the momentum in this conference, and they are the only team with two marquee wins. Can ISU’s hot streak last and put the Cyclones in the Big 12 title game? At this point, it’s no longer easy to pick against them.
2. Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1): The OU defense responded after a rough start, and the Sooners ended up playing one of their most complete games in a 49-27 victory against Texas Tech. Oklahoma State and TCU still await, so we’ll learn if the Sooners are actually capable of cracking the College Football Playoff.
3. TCU (7-1, 4-1): Kenny Hill finally hit a big bump in the road, and that meant a loss at Iowa State. Next week, Texas won’t be a pushover, and the Horned Frogs still have a showdown against OU in Norman ahead.
GP didn’t see angry post-game, but instead more disappointed. His team got beat by a team that was better in most every aspect of the game.
"First off, you have to give Coach Campbell and Iowa State a lot of credit. They stopped us from scoring a touchdown and really did what they needed to do. They got a couple scores early. On the road, our formula has been not turning the ball over and beating people at their own game and we didn't do that today. You've got to give a lot of credit to Iowa State."