Originally Published: Aug 21, 2010 10:17 AM CDT
My boss at Oklahoma Sports is a big TCU fan. So I may be putting my job on the line by ranking the Frogs this low. But I just think its going to be hard to duplicate the magic of a year ago in Fort Worth.
With TCU you have to start on the defensive side of the ball. Gary Pattersons team has led the nation in total defense an amazing four times in the last 10 years. But backfield-wrecking defensive end Jerry Hughes is now in the NFL. And the Horned Frogs must replace leadership, experience and talent in the defensive backfield. Dont get me wrong. Theyll be good on defense. But not as good as a year ago.
Offensively, Andy Dalton is back for his 17th season at quarterback at TCU. It seems like hes been around forever. Dalton is the winningest active QB in the nation. Hes as steady as they come. And the Mountaing West Player of the Year will have a deep group of running backs and receivers to play with. Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley were studs as freshmen out of the backfield. And Antoine Hicks is a legitimate deep threat on the outside. TCU also has two likely pros on the offensive line in left tackle Marcus Cannon and Rimington finalist Jack Kirkpatrick.
The Horned Frogs open against Oregon State in JerryWorld. That will be a great test. If they can contain the Rogers boys and win in Arlington, TCU may be on their way to another special season. As I see it, there are four losable games on their schedule. Oregon State, Baylor, BYU and at Utah. I think they drop two of four...I say Baylor and at Utah.