TCU Football is BACK. That’s right, the Horned Frogs are taking the field this weekend, opening up their 2019 campaign against the mighty (?) Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Before the season plays out for real, we got the staff together to make some (terrible) predictions about what may or may not happen this fall.
They’re all GUARANTEED to go right.
Let’s dive in! (and be sure to leave yours in the comments!)
The number of games Alex Delton starts?
Melissa: I am all but certain that Alex Delton will be the first TCU QB to take a snap in 2019. I am confident that he starts week three, also. But by game three, when the Frogs host SMU, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a change.
Anthony: Just one.
Chris: Three. Similar to Clemson last year, I think Coach P will let experience take us through non-conference while getting Duggan game reps, before moving him to QB1 for Kansas to open Big 12 play.
Grant: Ideally, I’d say three, for reasons Chris has already explained. But I’ll go out on a limb and say six. Delton starts the non-conference games, Kansas, and Iowa State, then gets a couple of ceremonial starting snaps against Kansas State before Duggan takes over and starts the next week against Texas. (I’d assume Duggan gets about ⅓-½ of the snaps in those games anyway.)
Parker: I’ve said before - if you were writing the Disney movie about Max Duggan’s time at TCU, he comes into the second half of the Purdue game and never looks back. That said, I think the Frogs will ride with Delton through the non-conference play. Delton starts through Kansas, because Gary wants to hide film on Duggan to surprise Iowa State.
Jamie: Four - I think he starts through the Kansas game, and Duggan gets the nod heading into Iowa State.
Number of games Max Duggan starts?
Melissa: Ten (/ducks)
Anthony: Twelve. This might be an Andy Dalton 2007 situation - all us simpletons thought Marcus Jackson was obviously going to be the starter, but instead it was the redheaded kid sitting front row of class for Understanding Religion: The Bible. The coaches know if Duggan is That Dude, and if he is, let’s get the future started now.
Chris: Twelve. Why not play fifteen this season?
Grant: Seven, counting the bowl game.
Parker: The sooner the switch happens for TCU, the better. I’ll say 8.
Jamie: All of the ones that Delton doesn’t start. (editor’s note: Jamie sucks)
Number of games neither of the previous two players start?
Melissa: Zero. No chance we do the four QB dance again this year, right?
Anthony: Zero. Maybe Delton is fighting for the spot because he’s the only other healthy and eligible option. If Duggan has to miss a game and Rogers or Collins are healthy, maybe they get the nod over Delton at that point
Chris: Hopefully zero. The experienced O-Line and strong running game should limit the hits these guys take, but both are dual-threat guys that might get knocked around scrambling.
Grant: Zero. Please.
Parker: Oh Lord, Mike Collins is gonna get healthy and we’re going to play musical chairs, aren’t we?
Jamie: If this is the case, something has gone terribly wrong. So hopefully zero.
Which player will lead TCU in rushing?
Melissa: Sewo Olonilua is primed for a big year, but Darius Anderson looks ready to eat, too. Give me DA finally staying healthy and breaking the thousand yard mark.
Chris: I’ll take Anderson racking up more yards overall, but I’d look to Sewo for TDs and converting for first downs.
Grant: Darius Anderson is going to benefit from some more aggressive play-calling and an offensive line that can create holes for him. I’ll take Darius.
Parker: DA perpetually has some nagging injury, so it’s hard for my brain to project him as the leading rusher, but I’ll follow my heart: The Jet leads the Frogs in style.
Jamie: Give me Darius Anderson. Rumor is he’s in better shape than he’s ever been, faster than he’s ever been, and that suggests that he’s going to have a monster season. Sure, he’ll split time with Sewo, and both will probably cede a bit of time to a true freshman, but if DA reaches his full potential look out.
Who will be the Frogs’ second-leading receiver?
Melissa: Taye Barber and Derius Davis have gotten a lot of attention in fall camp, but I think Mikel Barkley is going to benefit from having Jalen Reagor lined up on the field with him.
Anthony: I’m really rooting for a star turn from Tevailance Hunt, but not overthinking this. Give me Barber
Chris: I have to go with Barber - he will be a nice slot option similar to what Turpin had been and should see opportunities when defenses overcommit to Reagor.
Grant: I really should’ve written my answers before Chris did, because I mostly agree with him on everything. Still, give me Barber -- he was second on the team in receptions last year, and his touchdown numbers should go up, as I wrote in the offseason.
Parker: Given the mystery around the downfield offense and the quarterback uncertainty, I’m actually tempted to take Derius Davis here, just because he will be the third option/bailout on a lot of plays as TCU faces some growing pains on offense.
Jamie: Taye Barber. He’s going to have a big year, as he fully embraces the role of No. 2 receiver across from Reagor. Wouldn’t be shocked if he actually leads the team in receptions, but is second in yards and TD’s behind Jalen.
Which player will lead the TCU defense in tackles?
Melissa: Innis Gaines. Thump is about to have a HUGE year.
Anthony: Garret Wallow. I mean, c’mon
Chris: I love Innis, but I don’t think he’ll rack up tackling numbers. Wallow in a landslide, but LVZ is a sleeper.
Grant: Garrett Wallow is essentially Ty Summers with dance moves, so I’ll lean his way. He was third on the team last year in tackles with 72; if I’m reading the chart right, no other returning player had more than 41.
Parker: Blackshear would be a fun pick, but in the 4-2-5, the OL funnels to LB/Safety. I’ll take Gaines, because with essentially two new LBs, he will be focused on filling the box and covering as the LBs learn.
Jamie: Give me Wallow or give me death.
Melissa: The easy answer here is Ochaun Mathis, who many expect to be the next great pass rusher in Gary Patterson’s defense. But I think Mathis’ coronation is still a year away, and that we will have a surprise sack-master in 2019: Garret Wallow. Ty Summers finished fourth on the team a season ago, and Wallow is even more of a menace. And with an experienced secondary, GP might feel more free to send him. Corey Bethley could also have a big year with Ross Blacklock back and eliciting double teams with regularity.
Anthony: I love this D-Line - lose a 1st and 2nd Round draft pick off the unit and it may be even better in 2019. Think Shameik Blackshear will follow in the transfer footsteps of Banogu and Boesen and be a menace off the edge.
Chris: I’ll take a surprise pick here and say Parker Workman will lead the team. He’s a juco transfer with flow, aka the next Boesen.
Grant: There are lots of contenders for this, but I’ll follow the same principle I used with the tackle leader and pick the returning player with the most sacks from last year and say Corey Bethley, who had 5 sacks in 2018.
Parker: The DL is stacked. It’s so good! I think Mathis will build on a huge last season, but I’m inclined to pick whoever lines up next to Ross Blacklock the most. He’s going to command so much attention (both DTs are), that you’ll have to give him a look in pass protection, which will free up that DL.
Jamie: Get to know Shamiek Blackshear. Opposing QBs will.
The Frogs will win __ games in 2019?
Chris: FIFTEEN! I’ll actually go with eleven: ten + a bowl victory.
Grant: I’ll say nine, with one good win and one loss that we’re all going to absolutely hate.
Parker: 8. I know, I know, Debbie Downer.
Jamie: Eleven (ten regular season, plus a bowl.
They will finish in __ place in the Big 12 and ranked __ overall.
Melissa: TCU could slot anywhere between 3rd and 6th in the conference and I wouldn’t be surprised. I think they end up just behind Oklahoma and Iowa State in the conference rankings and finish ranked in the top 20 overall.
Anthony: 2nd in XII; 13th Overall
Chris: Tied for 2nd with Texas in Big XII (Frogs with tiebreaker). 12th Overall.
Grant: Third, 24.
Parker: Third, NR (but receiving votes in the 26-30 range)
Jamie: Second in the Big 12, ranked 7th after winning the Sugar Bowl.
Which bowl game will TCU Football play in?
Melissa: I think the Frogs have a shot to make it to an NY6 Bowl, but I think the most likely scenario is a return to the Alamo. Which, judging by past experiences, would be an awesome place to spend late December.
Anthony: Camping World Bowl, Orlando, FL. Frogs get to Arlington but lose; the winner doesn’t make the Playoff and falls to the Sugar; 3rd place team doesn’t get an at-large NY6 bid and the Alamo picks them up. Hey, we’ve had fun at Disney for bowl games before.
Chris: I have TCU standing at 10-3 after the Big XII Championship Game, which will likely knock them out of NY6 contention in rankings with the 3 losses. However, by virtue of the Big XII tie-in with the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma in the CFP, the Frogs head to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
Grant: I think it’s another Alamo Bowl year, with OU and Texas taking the top two spots in the conference and NY6 bids (again). That means the Frogs will most likely get the second place team in the Pac-12, and we might see a little Mountain West rematch against Utah, which would be awesome.
Parker: 8-4 takes you to the Texas Bowl, where you’ll face a scrappy Mississippi State or, idk, an annoying but overrated Kentucky?
Jamie: POUR SOME SUGAR ON MEEEEEE.
Be sure to leave your answers in the comments and LET’S GO FROGS!