TCU Horned Frogs

CBS Sports: TCU Likely to ‘Take a Step Back’ in 2023

TCU football entered the 2022 season with a new coaching staff and a 6.5-game win total before ripping off 13 wins en route to an appearance in the national championship game.

Despite dropping the Big 12 Championship against Kansas State, the Horned Frogs went through their regular season slate unscathed and ended the year 6-1 in one-score contests.

So, in 2023, some regression is inevitable, right? According to CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli, that looks to be the case.

 

“Am I going out on a limb by saying that the team with a preseason win total of 6.5 last season but ended up going 13-2 and reaching the national title game is bound to take a step back this year,” Fornelli asks. “It’d be damn near impossible for the Horned Frogs not to have a worse season in 2023. Still, the drop might be more significant than many realize. Their win total from sportsbooks entering the season is only 7.5.”

He then goes on to explain why TCU’s decline in 2023 might be steeper than most realize.

“TCU lost a ton of production from last year’s team,” Fornelli explains. “ESPN.com’s Bill Connelly has a returning production metric he publishes yearly, and TCU ranks 118th nationally. The Frogs also lost offensive coordinator Garrett Riley to Clemson, though the fact Sonny Dykes is still in Fort Worth and the hire of Kendall Briles leads me to believe this team will still score points.

 

“But as good as the Frogs were last year, we can’t overlook some of the luck. Other than Troy, no team in the country had as many one-score victories as TCU’s six, and the Frogs went 6-1 in those games. Nine of their 13 wins came by 10 points or fewer. Their only wins by at least three scores came against Tarleton State, Oklahoma, and Iowa State. Tarleton State was the only one of those three to finish last season with a winning record.”

TCU’s 2023 schedule also doesn’t do them any favors. The Horned Frogs are set to face Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Baylor this year, all of which are in the top five for predicted Big 12 win totals in 2023.

With Max Duggan and several other contributors gone, plus a new offensive coordinator in town, it will look like a totally different TCU squad this season. Whether that’s a bad thing has yet to be determined, but the signs all point to a hiccup for the Horned Frogs in 2023.

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