Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Mountain West 2010-TCU Horned Frogs
2009 Record: 12-1 (8-0)
Head Coach: Gary Patterson (10th season, 85-28)
Offensive Coordinator: Jarrett Anderson (2nd season) and Justin Fuente (2nd season)
Defensive Coordinator: Dick Bumpas (7th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Fiesta Bowl, lost to Boise State 17-10
Offense: You can't say too many good things about QB Andy Dalton, as he is the perfect QB to win behind. He manages to put up incredible numbers while never looking flashy or over the top. He just wins. He'll own every passing record at TCU by mid-season barring injury. Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker return as a two headed monster at RB, and they combined to rush for over 1300 yards last season. Jeremy Kerley is one of the best WRs in the country, and Antoine Hicks just knows how to score. Evan Frosch returns at TE, and Jimmy Young rounds out the receiving corps. 4 Starters come back on the line, and C Jake Kirkpatrick and LT Marcus Cannon are potential AA candidates.
Defense: TCU was the best defensive team in the country last season. They do lose outstanding D Jerry Hughes, but there is incredible depth coming back on D. 3 starters return on the line, with DE Ross Frost being the replacement for Hughes. Tank Carder is a monster at LB, and Tanner Brock seems to be his new mate in the 4-2-5 set. There may be an issue at CB, as both corners will be new starters in 2010. WS Alex Ibiloye and FS Tejay Johnson are the lone returnees in the secondary.
Special Teams: Ross Evans may be the best PK in the conference, as he was a 1st team all MWC selection in 2009. Anson Kelton was solid at nailing balls down inside the 20, but his overall range is below average.
Wins: 9/4 Oregon State (@ Arlington), 9/11 Tennessee Tech, 9/18 Baylor, 9/24 @ SMU, 10/2 @ Colorado State, 10/9 Wyoming, 10/16 BYU, 10/23 Air Force, 10/30 @ UNLV, 11/13 San Diego State, 11/27 @ New Mexico
Toss Up Games: 11/6 @ Utah
This schedule is completely manageable. Utah will be fired up at home and looking to avenge a 55-28 loss last season. They will also be trying to win the Mountain West before bailing to the new PAC 12.
Outlook: It is very possible that TCU could return once again to the BCS. Patterson is one of the best coaches in the country, and he avoided several temptations to bail after last season, which means that the future is blindingly bright. I don't see the opening game against Oregon State being as big a challenge or game as most people do. The only game anyone should be concerned about is the Utah trip.