In his 16 seasons as the coach of the TCU Horned Frogs, Gary Patterson has experienced just three losing seasons. One of those was last year when the Frogs lost their bowl game to finish at 6-7. None of those losing campaigns came in back-to-back years, so it isn’t out of the question to think TCU can turn things around in 2017. They aren’t considered a contender entering the season and that’s just how Patterson likes it. He has an experienced group with a number of players who were on the teams that went 23-3 over the previous two campaigns.
2016 Record: 6-7 SU, 3-10 ATS, 6-7 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 7.5
National Championship Odds: +10000
Odds To Win Big 12: +1200
After winning 23 games combined over the previous two seasons and being ranked among the top three in the AP poll at various points during each of those, the Frogs took a dip last year. They started off well enough with four wins in their first six games, but inconsistency on offense led to five losses in their last seven games.
In losses to West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Kansas State, the Frogs produced a total of 22 points. That’s a number we’ve seen them get in a quarter in the past. Kenny Hill put up decent numbers, throwing for 3,208 yards and 17 touchdowns, but he countered that with 13 picks and completed 61 percent of his throws. The offense also suffered with injuries to big play receiver KaVontae Turpin, who missed half the year. TCU just didn’t get the production from the quarterback position they had in previous years with Trevone Boykin.
TCU did reach bowl eligibility for the 17th time in the last 19 seasons, but it wasn’t quite what the Frogs were expecting. They lost to Oklahoma by six, beat a bad Kansas team by one point and blasted Baylor by 40. They lost in overtime to Texas Tech and were easily handled by Texas, all signs of just how inconsistent the Horned Frogs were.
The productivity on offense slipped dramatically in 2016 and the Horned Frogs made a number of changes with their coaching staff to address the problem. Sonny Cumbie was elevated to offensive coordinator after Doug Meacham left for Kansas, and Sonny Dykes, who directed the Air Raid attack during his head coaching days, was hired as an offensive consultant. If they can get Hill to make better decisions, the offense should be one of the best in the Big 12. If not, another six-win season could be the ceiling.
Hill passed for over 430 yards in three of the first five games last season, flashing some of the skill that makes him such an intriguing player. However, he didn’t throw for more than 244 yards in any of the final eight games and had more interceptions than touchdowns in that time. He doesn’t have to be great, just more consistent at sustaining drives and converting in the red zone and the Frogs should see their points increase. The receivers are solid and with Turpin expected back, they could be fantastic. Kyle Hicks compiled over 1,000 yards on the ground last season and should take some pressure off Hill.
It’s a lot to ask this team to win 10 games. There is enough on the field to compete with the big boys in the Big 12, but getting past Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State is going to be difficult. After last season’s disaster, getting nine wins and a bowl victory would be considered a win. And it’s doable.
Week 1: TCU vs. Jackson State, Saturday, September 2
Week 2: TCU at Arkansas, Saturday, September 9
Week 3: TCU vs. SMU, Saturday, September 16
Week 4: TCU at Oklahoma State, Saturday, September 23
Week 5: OFF
Week 6: TCU vs. West Virginia, Saturday, October 7
Week 7: TCU at Kansas State, Saturday, October 14
Week 8: TCU vs. Kansas, Saturday, October 21
Week 9: TCU at Iowa State, Saturday, October 28
Week 10: TCU vs. Texas, Saturday, November 4
Week 11: TCU at Oklahoma, Saturday, November 11
Week 12: TCU at Texas Tech, Saturday, November 18
Week 13: TCU vs. Baylor, Friday, November 24
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
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|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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