TCU had an unbelievable season in 2010-11, posting a 13-0 record and a Rose Bowl victory over the Big Ten’s Wisconsin Badgers.
blemish was out of their control, as the Horned Frogs were not able to convince
voters and computer rankings that they belonged in the BCS National
Entering the 2011 season, bodog.com has TCU listed as a 28-1
futures play to win the BCS National Championship. Can the Horned Frogs have
another undefeated season AND break the BCS monopoly?
TCU will be breaking in a new quarterback this season
following the graduation of Andy Dalton. Sophomore Casey Pachall is expected to
take the reins of the offense. Pachall had a year under Dalton and should provide the Horned Frogs
with a dual-threat option that is perfect for the offense. The key to his
success may be the offense line (more on those issues later).
The TCU Horned Frogs are stacked at running back with the
returns of Ed Wesley (1,078 yards, 11 td), Matthew Tucker (709 yards, 7 td),
and Waymon James (509 yards, 5 td). Assuming Pachall is as effective with his
legs as expected, this should be an explosive rushing attack.
Josh Boyce (646 yards, 6 td) is the top returning receiver
for TCU, which must replace 18 touchdowns from a trio of departed wide receivers.
Antoine Hicks (175 yards, 2 td) is considered the top candidate to complement Boyce
on the other side of the field. Four-star recruits LaDarius Brown and Brandon
Carter may also be called upon to contribute early.
The offensive line is a major point of concern for the
Horned Frogs this spring. Kyle Dooley returns at left guard and Blaize Foltz
will start at right guard. Foltz missed much of 2010 with a knee injury, so his
health is a question mark. Senior Zach Roth is expected to take a starting position,
but Gary Patterson will move him around based on the needs of the team.
Patterson is, according to reports, displeased with the other candidates for
tackle. Junior James Fry should take over at center.
TCU’s defensive line will look very different this season,
with only sophomore Stansly Moponga returning from last year’s unit. Defensive
coordinator Dick Bumpas must find replacements from returning players, as there
don’t seem to be any answers in the 2011 recruiting class. This unit could
struggle a bit, especially early in the season.
Both linebackers in the Horned Frogs’ 4-2-5 return for the
2011 campaign. Tank Carder and Tanner Brock will be called up to support the
young defensive line against the run while they also harass opposing
quarterbacks. Deryck Gildon could see early playing time as a true freshman for
The secondary will be anchored by returning corner Greg
McCoy and safety Tekerrein Cuba,
both seniors. Spring and Fall practice will determine the other three starters,
though upperclassmen Jurrell Thompson and Johnny Fobbs seem to be favorites for
two of the spots. It is important to remember that three of the five secondary
positions will be manned by new starters in 2011.
TCU’s last season in the Mountain West Conference will be
highlighted by a visit to the Smurf Turf of Boise State
on November 12. I believe that this game will eliminate any shot at a BCS bowl
for the Horned Frogs.
Other dangerous games on the schedule include a trip to Colorado Springs against the Air Force Falcons and a visit
to Jerry’s Palace in Arlington
to play BYU. The game against Air Force could be particularly dicey since it
takes place in the second week of the season. The offensive line, defensive
line, and secondary may still be in the process of gelling at that point.ugh
Patterson has done a tremendous job at TCU, and 28-1
is an attractive price for such a successful program. There are, however, more
unknowns than usual surrounding the Horned Frogs in 2011. If you take this
wager, you’re betting on a perfect season for them AND no two BCS schools
having undefeated records. TCU will have a good season, but not a great season.
10-2 sounds like a reasonable record in 2011. Save your futures money for a