Justin Rogers is expected to sign on December 22nd, and will be the first ever five star to do so for TCU when it happens.
The rating signals confidence by the recruiting service that Rogers will recover completely from a leg injury suffered in August during a game. It caused him to miss the rest of the season, but TCU remained firm with its scholarship offer. Rogers attended the Frogs' game against Texas four weeks ago.
Nationally, 247 ranks Rogers as the 26th-best player, the second-best dual quarterback and the second-best player in Louisiana.
The list of Power Five coaches that have been at their school for ten years or more is not very long, and only GP, Gundy, and Snyder have done so for the Big 12.
In four years since Brown’s retirement, Texas hired and fired Charlie Strong and hired Tom Herman. Post-Art Briles, Baylor employed Jim Grobe for one year before turning to Matt Rhule. Texas Tech used Chris Thomsen as head coach for a bowl game after Tommy Tuberville abruptly left for Cincinnati in 2012, then switched gears to hire Kliff Kingsbury. Kansas parted ways with Charlie Weis in 2014, gave Clint Bowen eight games, then turned to David Beatty. Two years ago, Iowa State dismissed Paul Rhoads and brought in Matt Campbell. In June, Oklahoma promoted assistant Lincoln Riley to replace the retired Bob Stoops.
Only K-State with Snyder, Oklahoma State with Mike Gundy and West Virginia with Dana Holgorsen have kept the same head coach all six seasons with TCU in the league.
You can’t blame Sammy for having other things on his mind.
“I didn’t, honestly,” he said with a forgive-me smile. “I really didn’t. Because I wasn’t focusing on that. I was just focusing on the next team coming up.”
Makes sense — the career-long backup was called on to start in Lubbock because of an injury to leading tackler Travin Howard and wound up with a team-high eight tackles in the Frogs’ 27-3 victory. He started again last week in his last home game and had four tackles in a 45-22 victory against Baylor, which clinched TCU’s spot in Saturday’s Big 12 championship game opposite Oklahoma.
The tensions will be running high.
• Mat Boesen is a difference-maker. TCU’s defensive end was ejected early in the previous meeting against OU, but he set a program record with 5.5 sacks last week against Baylor.
• TCU is missing a running back. Darius Anderson was injured against OU in November and hasn’t played since.
• Tensions will be running high. Gary Patterson already has had a few choice words for OU this week, and five of the past six matchups between these teams have been decided by seven points or fewer. It doesn’t hurt that this one is for a conference title.
Nothing matters unless it does.
But a TCU (10-2) triumph would likely shut the Big 12 out of football’s final four.
“They have more to lose than we do,” Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said of OU.
He’s right. The entire conference does.
A motivation for reviving the championship game, beyond the $3 million in TV contract revenue it’s worth to each school, was to give the Big 12 the opportunity to play its way into the CFP. The decision was a reaction to the inaugural CFP in 2014, when TCU went into this same weekend ranked third and defeated Iowa State 55-3 in a regular-season finale.
That outcome wasn’t good enough for the committee, at least compared to the victory by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game over Wisconsin. The Buckeyes jumped from fifth to fourth and TCU dropped to sixth.
One reason, committee chairman Jeff Long said, was that the Big 12 did not play a championship game, thereby denying itself a “13th” data point” for the committee to consider.
That 13th data point rang in the Big 12’s ears. The conference liked its membership count and rightfully bragged that it was the only one of the power leagues that determined a true champion, based on opponents played — not avoided.