Two games down. Ten (maybe even thirteen) to go.
Through two weeks of the 2018 season, the Horned Frogs remain perfect, and that gives us an AP top-15 showdown in Arlington this Saturday as No. 15 TCU takes on No. 4 Ohio State at AT&T Stadium. It’s enough for College GameDay to head back to Fort Worth (this is technically still a neutral-site game) for the second time in less than 12 months.
So of course, there’s nothing to complain about in the latest poll given the upward trajectory for TCU — one that included a season-best five top-10 votes for the Frogs. Right?
Well, surprise surprise, there were still a few — let’s just say interesting — ballots submitted on Sunday morning pertaining to TCU. Thanks to our friends over at CollegePollTracker.com, we’re back in action with another breakdown of how the experts voted in the weekly AP Top 25 poll. So let’s dive straight into some of the most intriguing (and puzzling) ballots as Week 3 looms.
Highest Vote: No. 8 (Jim Alexander, The Press-Enterprise; Sam McKewon, Omaha World-Herald)
The Horned Frogs have two new best friends in Jim Alexander and Sam McKewon, who both voted TCU as a top 10 team for the second straight week after placing the Frogs at No. 9 a week ago. Let’s not overlook The Athletic’s Matt Brown either, as he’s the only voter who has placed TCU in the top 10 every week thus far.
Of course, the real competition begins for the Frogs Saturday night in Arlington. So is TCU is truly a top 10 team? The matchup vs. the Buckeyes should be a fairly strong indicator of whether or not this team is capable of contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff this December. Win the game, and there will be far more than just five voters putting TCU in the top 10. Any other result, and the voting habits won’t be so favorable for the Frogs next Sunday.
Most Popular Vote: No. 14 (12 voters)
A week ago, No. 17 was the most common placement for the Frogs (10) across all ballots. Even with the sluggish start on the road vs. SMU Friday night, it clearly didn’t prevent the vast majority of voters from having more respect for TCU at the weekend than the start. An additional nine voters had the Frogs at No. 13 on their ballots, which is tied with No. 15 — TCU’s actual ranking — as the second most popular placement for Gary Patterson & Co. this week. Safe to say, even a loss shouldn’t knock the Frogs completely out of the Top 25 when factoring Ohio State’s No. 4 ranking and the amount of voters that are slowly but surely gaining confidence in TCU.
Lowest vote: Unranked (Steve Virgen, Albuquerque Journal)
Here we go again.
The good news for TCU fans: Lexington Herald Leader columnist John Clay finally has the Frogs on his ballot at No. 21 after omitting the team each of the first two weeks. Alas, TCU has still yet to be a consensus top-25 vote in any single week this season after Steve Virgen of the Albuquerque Journal left the Frogs off his ballot on Sunday.
Virgen’s track record is interesting one — having bumped the Frogs up from No. 21 in the preseason to No. 14 on his ballot last Sunday after TCU steamrolled Southern at Amon G. Carter Stadium. But evidently, the miscues amid sloppy conditions in University Park on Friday where enough for him to lose all confidence in the Frogs as they set their sights on Jerry World.
Fair enough, but perhaps the most eye-opening element of all? Maryland checked in at No. 13 (not a typo) on Virgen’s latest ballot after placing them at No. 18 last weekend.
Yes — a five spot jump for the mighty Terrapins after struggling to put away Bowling Green for the first three quarters yesterday. Unless you’re of the mindset that Texas is really THAT good, it’s near-impossible to justify putting Maryland above not just TCU, but also West Virginia, Michigan, Washington and Oklahoma State, among others.
Other Notable Voting Habits:
- Oklahoma State has entered the AP Top 25 at No. 24 after rolling past South Alabama in a 55-13 win.
- Florida State received just a single vote after narrowly avoiding what would have been a catastrophic home upset at the hands of Samford.
- For a second straight week, Oklahoma checked in as a consensus Top 10 team (No vote lower than No. 9).