Earn the chip, Jeff.
2. Potential Breakout Player: Jeff Gladney
There are probably better options for TCU in terms of an on-field breakout. For instance, I’d fully expect Ochaun Mathis and Brandon Bowen to emerge as impact contributors at defensive end. South Carolina transfer Shameik Blackshear will be in the rotation as well. Still, I’d be remiss not to point out Gladney from a national perspective.
Gladney, a second-team All-Big 12 corner, is one of the most underrated defensive backs in the nation. A burner with legit sub-4.4 40-yard dash speed, Gladney’s also long at 6-foot, 183 pounds. He’s got great ball skills with four career interceptions, and he led TCU last season with 12 pass breakups. Gladney also held opposing passers to the lowest passer rating in the Big 12, per PFF College. If Gladney can turn a few more of his defended passes into picks, he’ll be in the mix for a Thorpe Award.
The NET might be a bad thing for the Frogs.
“We, as a committee, have decided the RPI is kind of yesterday’s news. Now we have this new feature called the NET. That’s what we’re plugged into.”
The NET will be viewed well by some within the Big 12, and not by others.
The “bubble” teams in the Big 12 NET rankings are, as of Tuesday afternoon: Texas (35), Baylor (36), Oklahoma (39) and TCU (43). The RPI rankings, as of Tuesday: Texas (48), Baylor (54), Oklahoma (31) and TCU (40).
Clearly, Texas and Baylor are benefiting from the new system. Those two schools are almost locks with that high of NET rankings, whereas they’d be “bubble” teams if the RPI system is used.
Kansas, meanwhile, finds itself No. 2 in the RPI and No. 18 in NET. That’s the difference between being a one-seed or, let’s say, a four-seed in the tournament.
Those rankings will have a big-time impact on seeding and berths and, thus, a big-time impact on the tournament.