Well, here it comes. The national press, the lofty rankings, the articles talking only about Oklahoma... it’s all part of winning a game on the road against a top ten team. But that’s outside the TCU offices, not within.
“For us, right now, any time you can gain one more in the left column instead of the right column, the better off you are,” he said. “We feel very lucky that we sit where we are. Played two really tough ballgames on the road. I think you’ll find out that SMU, and I’ve said this before, is really, really good on offense and skill positions. I think you’re going to see them win a lot of ballgames.”
Choo choo choo here comes the hype train. Ugh.
Of course the Horned Frogs’ big test will be in Norman. If the game were played this weekend, the Sooners would be favored by 11 points, according to our modeling. In the most favorable simulations, we see TCU arriving at that game undefeated, squeezing the line down to 8.5. But that is unlikely, and Oklahoma will be a major hurdle regardless.
We expect TCU to be favored against every other opponent, with tests on the road at Kansas State (66-percent chance of winning) and Iowa State (79 percent), and at home against Texas (74 percent). We project them to finish the regular season 10-2, with a 29-percent chance of getting to 11-1 and a nine-percent chance of going undefeated.
The Horned Frogs are the clear No. 2 in the Big 12 now, with a 23-percent chance to win the conference. While that’s far below Oklahoma (60 percent), it’s also far above Oklahoma State (seven percent) and the rest of the conference.
Me too, Bryson, me too. But, I didn’t sacrifice my senior season of baseball to get to TCU early in the name of trying to get PT for Jim Schlossnagle. Lucky for Frog fans, that’s exactly what the two sport star is doing.
The experience of seeing the atmosphere and visiting with future coaches also made him realize he couldn’t wait to officially be part of the football and baseball program. On Wednesday, Jackson made it official by announcing that he plans to graduate early and enroll at TCU in time for the spring semester.
Jackson says it was from that experience he knew what he wanted to do.
“The decision to graduate early came from when I attended the SMU game,” he said. “I knew it was home and I wanted to get involved as soon as possible.”
Jackson will indeed be involved. As a standout in baseball as well, Jackson will play both at TCU. With him arriving in the spring, it will give him the opportunity to participate in baseball and spring football camp.
“(I’m) trying to adapt to the feeling as soon as possible,” Jackson said of playing both sports.
Speaking of baseball... the Frogs have a couple top prospects there, too.
TCU first baseman Luken Baker is the top-rated college player from Texas, ranking No. 12. He’s the second-highest ranked infield prospect in the nation. He was previously drafted the Houston Astros in 2015. He’ll be a junior when the Horned Frogs’ season starts in February. The MLB draft is scheduled to start on June 4.
“It feels normal,” Baker said of his swing, which has accounted for 19 home runs and 103 RBIs in two seasons since arriving as a heralded two-way prospect in 2016. “At first, it was stiff. Felt a little weird. Hadn’t used it in a while. After the first day or two, it felt back to normal. It’s sort of like riding a bike. If you don’t ride it for a couple of years, it sort of feels weird when you start. But you always remember how to do it.”
The swing looks the same to teammates.
“Same old Luken,” outfielder Connor Wanhanen said. “You know what you’re going to get with him. Incredible attitude, really cares about each individual person. And you know what he’s going to do to a baseball when he’s in the box.”