No more sneaking up on anyone now
Baylor deserved to be the Big 12 representative in the playoff if the conference got a team in, but it was TCU’s utter dominance of Ole Miss in the Chick-fil-A Bowl showed just how strong the team and campaign really were. Now the offense actually knows what it’s doing, and the defense under Gary Patterson has earned the benefit of the doubt – despite several big losses, it’s going to be good enough to be among the Big 12’s best. Schools almost never come up with the same magical seasons two years in a row – unless it’s an absolute monster like an Ohio State or Alabama – but under Patterson, TCU has more than proven itself. Last year the Horned Frogs were totally off the radar and came from out of nowhere. This time around, it’s Big 12 title or bust, but this spring is more about tweaking than overhauling.
No one is worried about … the offense. Trevone Boykin’s injured wrist actually could be a positive – the quarterback depth needs to be developed. The receiving corps is phenomenal, and the running backs are deep and talented working behind a line that returns four starters. The offensive coordinator combination of Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham was wildly successful last season, and now everyone knows what they’re doing.
Extra attention must be given to … the linebacking corps. TCU has no problem coming up with sensational linebackers, but it’s going to take a little bit of time to find the next Paul Dawson. It’ll be an open audition for the two starting spots – three depending on the alignment and scheme – and coming up with the right combination isn’t going to be easy. It’s not a major concern, but Dawson really was that good.