Kay and I shivered a little but cheered a lot for the No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday with our friends John and Lisa Reed, who like Kay are TCU grads (I’ve known John since elementary school in Houston, but we’d had no contact since sixth grade until I found him three years ago). We all expected the Frogs to beat visiting Iowa State, but not in an absolute rout.
But the Frogs, who usually start slow before turning on the afterburners in the second half, built a 24-0 lead in the first quarter and were never challenged in crushing the Cyclones 62-14 to wrap up a perfect regular season. In going 12-0 so far, they’ve solidified their place among the top four teams still in the running to play for the national championship starting Dec. 31 in the Fiesta and Peach Bowls.
If they didn’t impress the College Football Playoff Committee members enough for them to keep the Frogs in the top four AND move them to No. 3 after No. 2 Ohio State’s loss to third-ranked Michigan, it would be an absolute travesty. The Frogs did move up to No. 3 in the updated Associated Press poll released Sunday; the new CFP poll comes out Tuesday.
TCU piled up 62 points against the Big 12’s stingiest defense, a unit that had allowed an average of just 16.5 points in its first 11 games. If that’s not badass enough for the CFP, there’s something seriously wrong with the system.
The Frogs played well in all phases of the game, although they had some defensive breakdowns that allowed the Cyclones to sustain drives. But who can complain about a defense that forces three turnovers, including two pick-sixes?
As for the TCU offense, it was the usual mix of efficiency and explosiveness with senior quarterback Max Duggan leading the way. He threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns, even with his main weapon, receiver Quentin Johnston, held out to make sure his nagging ankle injury is healed enough for this week’s Big 12 title game. Running back Kendre Miller, hurt in the second half of the Frogs’ last-second win over Baylor, returned to gain 72 yards and score twice.
Against Kansas State in Saturday’s Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium in our city of Arlington, the Frogs will have their hands full. TCU came from 17 points down to beat the Wildcats at home earlier this season, one of three games Kay and I have attended. But when it comes to these showdowns, regular-season success doesn’t mean much.
It’s going to be a great game and we’ll be pulling with all the spirit we can muster (while watching on TV) in hopes that the Frogs win to make the playoff field. I’m so excited to see my dear wife’s alma mater reach such heights, with hopefully more to achieve.
After we arrived home from Saturday’s TCU win, we watched the last two-plus quarters of my Texas A&M Aggies somewhat salvaging an awful season by upsetting No. 5 LSU, 38-23! Whoop!