4. TCU Horned Frogs
2018 Preseason Ranking
AP 16, Coaches 16
Final Record: 7-6
This happens every once in a while at TCU.
The 2013 couldn’t do anything right in a 4-8 season, and the following season – after a few offensive tweaks – the Horned Frogs went 12-1 and came within the wrong side of a theoretical debate of going to the College Football Playoff.
Just when there seemed to be staying power after an 11-2 2015 campaign … thud. 6-7 with the offense collapsing. Just when all seemed lost, 11-3 in 2017 with a trip to the Big 12 title game and an Alamo Bowl win over Stanford.
2018 was supposed to keep it all going, and then the offense went bye-bye after the third game of the season.
The Horned Frogs scored 17 points or fewer in seven of the last ten games, but they came up with a gut-check run of three wins in the final four to get to the Cheez-It Bowl. They endured Cal in a 10-7 win, but still, this wasn’t the TCU team that was ranked in the preseason top 16.
The defense should still be terrific, even with the loss of six starters – the replacements are going to fill in fast. The offense is going to be fine with most of the key skill guys back, four starters returning up front, and the transfer of Kansas State’s Alex Delton to battle for the quarterback gig with freshman Max Duggan and redshirt Justin Rogers.
There’s no Ohio State on the schedule this time around, but there is a trip to Purdue. Texas and West Virginia have to come to Fort Worth. Outside of the date at Oklahoma, the rest of the schedule is more than manageable.