We have seen the Frogs and Aggies in bowl predictions before, but it hasn’t happened recently. Maybe this is the year?
Dec. 27 vs. Texas A&M (Win, 34-27): The Big 12 wins this bowl game for the fourth straight year, but TCU falls just short of a double-digit win season.
The oft-asked question will be answered today.
“There’ll be a couple quarterbacks, I can tell you this much, (who) will play in the first quarter,” Patterson said. “We’ll go from there.”
The two top candidates are Alex Delton, the transfer from Kansas State, and Max Duggan, the freshman from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Delton, a part-time starter with the Wildcats, has a single year of eligibility remaining. Duggan is the popular prospect who was a four-star recruit ranked as the fifth-best dual-threat quarterback in the country, according to the 247Sports composite ratings.
Injuries have whittled down the rest of the starting contenders, a group that had been as large as six to start August camp. Michael Collins, who started parts of last season, suffered an ankle injury earlier this month. Redshirt freshman Justin Rogers still is dealing with the lingering effects of a severe knee injury from high school. Matthew Baldwin, a former Lake Travis star, is an Ohio State transfer who isn’t eligible to play this season. Matthew Downing, a former walk-on at Georgia, also is on the roster.
Dykes is smart to follow the Frogs’ plan.
“When you look down the road and look at the transformation TCU has gone through and how they did it was building great relationships within the Fort Worth community and branding themselves as Fort Worth’s football program,” Dykes said. “We’re a private school and we don’t have a huge student body, so we’ve got to capture people.”
Much like the scene in Fort Worth -- where TCU football ads can be spotted hanging from street light poles, on the sides of city buses, and in plenty of other places -- SMU has taken considerable efforts to up its own branding game in Dallas and the surrounding suburbs this summer. No effort has been more noticeable than the Mustangs’ “Born and Raised” campaign, which featured the installment of billboards throughout the metroplex highlighting players and coaches with roots to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.