As we get closer to kicking off the 2019 college football season, teams from around the country, but more specifically in the Big 12, are dreaming as to how they can either meet expectations (Texas, Oklahoma), exceed them (Baylor, Iowa State) or absolutely shock the world (Kansas State, Texas Tech). But July is the time for every program and every fan to dream of hoisting that conference championship on the first Saturday in early December.
So let’s look at the Big 12 conference and expand on how every team can have that magical season. Let’s get to the TCU Horned Frogs
How can TCU win the Big 12?
First off, if history is any indication, TCU should be back in the conference championship mix. Why? Because when Gary Patterson struggles in the Big 12, by his standards, he bounces back. Since the Horned Frogs joined the conference, their 4-8 season in 2013 was followed by 12-1, in 2016 they went 6-7, which was followed by 11-2. So after a 7-6 season last year, TCU fans should expect double-digit wins, right?!
In Fort Worth, a lot of it starts with the health. The Horned Frogs were decimated last season by injuries. If this team can stay healthy, Patterson and his staff have done a great job bringing Big 12 talent into the program with consistent recruiting classes in the Top 25.
For starters, TCU must get more production out of the quarterback position. Could it be former K-State QB Alex Delton? Justin Rogers? Max Duggan? The Horned Frogs reached the Big 12 title game with Kenny Hill, which no disrespect to Hill, but if any of these three hit or reach their potential, the quarterback position will not hold back the Horned Frogs. They also have the most explosive playmaker in the conference at wide receiver in Jalen Reagor and running back is loaded with Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua.
Defensively, Ross Blacklock returns from injury and could be one of the most explosive pass rushers in the Big 12 alongside Corey Bethley. Throw in solid linebacker and secondary play led by Garrett Wallow and Jeff Gladney, respectively, and Patterson can keep this TCU defense as one of the best in the conference.
As for the schedule, TCU starts off with a softball game against Kansas, which is followed by a road trip to Iowa State. The Horned Frogs need to pull off a revenge victory to make up for their stunning loss two years ago in Ames. The good news is that TCU has a pretty balanced schedule, without a stretch that is noticeably more difficult than another. They get Texas in Forth Worth and don’t have to make a road trip to Morgantown, which makes life easier for any Big 12 team. Three road games in a four-week stretch is November will likely tell the story at Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma. If TCU can only drop one of those games and take care of the rest, plus protect their home turf, the Horned Frogs can be the team not many saw coming in 2019.
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