The one thing that is for sure is that a win over the Texas Longhorns is a must to keep any title dreams alive.
Texas Longhorns vs. TCU Horned Frogs
Date and Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Opening College Football Odds: TCU -8
Texas vs. TCU TV Coverage: ESPN
Everyone who had Iowa State leading the Big XII at the end of October, raise your right hand.
No? No one? That's what we thought.
All of the top online sportsbooks sort of warned us that TCU was in some trouble in Ames on Saturday. The Horned Frogs were set at just -7.5 a few weeks after Oklahoma was -31 against this same Iowa State side in Norman.
However, a team that had scored at least one offensive touchdown in 313 consecutive games was held without a single point via the offense in a 14-7 loss to the Cyclones. The only score of the game was a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that started the second half. Aside from that, Kenny Hill and the offense were of zero note whatsoever and put the same number of points on the board.
Let's not forget that Tom Herman's Texas team is still right in the mix as well for a spot in the first reincarnation of the Big XII Championship Game. The Longhorns control their own destiny over the course of these last few games of the season to play in the title game and further upset the apple cart in this conference.
Sure, the Longhorns are just 4-4, and they could just as easily miss out on a bowl game as they could play for the Big XII title. That said, the team had its chances against all three of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and USC, and it finally put together a full 60 minutes on both sides of the ball in a 38-7 win over Baylor last week.
It'll be interesting to see who the Longhorns trot out under center on Saturday. Freshman Sam Ehlinger is in concussion protocol and wasn't cleared to play last week against Baylor.
That said, after a couple straight losses with Ehlinger under center, Shane Buechele came back into the fold and played incredibly well against Baylor, throwing for 256 yards and rushing for 42 more, scoring a touchdown with both his arm and his legs.
The Longhorns' play at quarterback has been all over the place early in the season. Now that Buechele is coming off of a game in which he went 27-for-34, it's going to be incredibly hard to put him back on the bench even if Ehlinger is ready to give it a go.
Texas vs. TCU Free Picks
Gary Patterson warned this TCU team all week long that it was going to be in for a war against Iowa State, and that's exactly what it got. We never really felt like the Horned Frogs were the best the Big XII had to offer this season, and that loss was proof of just that.
Now comes another Texas team that knows about playing gritty, tight, defensive games. The Longhorns are playing incredibly well on the defensive side of the ball and are forcing a ton of turnovers. Hill and the TCU offense had better be ready for this challenge. If not, Buechele could end up being a difference-maker for a second consecutive game. This could be another upset in the cards to take TCU from a top-four contender to a team barely hanging onto a spot in the Top 25.
College Football ATS Pick: Texas +8 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Texas 30, TCU 20