College Confidential: Horned Frogs’ bowl chances, Texas’ opener week’s biggest topics

Posted Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Star-Telegram writers Jimmy Burch and Carlos Mendez sound off on the week’s biggest issues in a weekly video at star-telegram.com.

During the off-season, TCU overhauled its offense but lost an impact defender in DE Devonte Fields. Have the Horned Frogs improved enough to make it back to a bowl game this season?

Jimmy: Yes, they have. But there is little room for error. In the Big 12, a 6-6 record will carry you to the postseason. TCU can hit that mark but probably can’t climb much higher.

Carlos: For sure. They weren’t far away last year, and it’s not that hard to make a bowl. I think a winning record in the conference will be a bigger statement than a bowl.

Texas has a new coach. Baylor has a new stadium. Texas A&M has a new quarterback. Of those off-season tweaks, which will have the biggest impact on that team’s performance in 2014?

Jimmy: The quarterback switch at A&M will mean the most in terms of record. The Aggies averaged 10 wins per year with Johnny Manziel at quarterback and they’ll be hard-pressed to get past seven or eight this season, with the schedule they face. Texas (8-5) and Baylor (11-2) should have comparable records to last season when this year ends.

Carlos: The quarterback always means the most. I think Kenny Hill’s going to be really good. The kid is savvy and talented. At Texas, Charlie Strong will be a difference-maker, too, but not much in record this year. And Baylor? Doesn’t matter what they’re playing in.

North Texas opens with a chance to make a national statement in a game at Texas. What will the Mean Green have to say in Austin as three-touchdown underdogs?

Jimmy: I think they’ll give Texas a huge scare. UNT is well-coached, scrappy and coming off a 9-4 season. I expect this to be anyone’s game in the third quarter, with the winner decided by how well the Longhorns respond to their first taste of adversity under new coach Charlie Strong. I expect Texas to hang on, but fans should realize a comparable matchup unfolded in Mike Sherman’s 2008 debut as the Texas A&M coach (Arkansas State 18, A&M 14).

Carlos: Is this supposed to be close? I must be underestimating the Mean Green. My bad. Even with the thinner roster in Austin now, Texas is still better player-for-player across the board. But a sweat-it-out win would sure chip off some complacency.

Florida State, the defending national champion, opens Saturday at AT&T Stadium against Oklahoma State. The top-ranked Seminoles also hope to end their season in Arlington as participants in the first title game of the College Football Playoff era on Jan. 12, 2015. Will FSU or someone else hoist the new CFP championship trophy in JerryWorld?

Jimmy: I believe the Seminoles make it back to Arlington for the title game in January and I expect them to have a classic shootout with Oregon when they return. I’m not sure who wins that one, but it’s hard to say any team is better-equipped for a title run than Florida State.

Carlos: Well, we’re not psychics. But if we were, we would tell our customers FSU sure looks good to us. And we would advise keeping the quarterback out of trouble.

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Francisco 10/21 8:07 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game One.
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
Houston 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Miami TV: TNT, CSN-HOU
Indiana 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota 
Utah 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City 
Portland 10/21 9:00 PM ET
Denver 
Phoenix 10/21 10:00 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: TWC SN, D
LA Clippers 10/21 10:30 PM ET
Golden State TV: TNT
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Jose 10/21 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: TVA Sports, CSN-CA, NESN
NY Rangers 10/21 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: MSG, MSG+
Toronto 10/21 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: TSN4, MSG+2
Detroit 10/21 7:30 PM ET
Montreal TV: FSN-DET, RDS
Arizona 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-TN
Carolina 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Winnipeg TV: FSN-CAR, TSN3
Philadelphia 10/21 8:30 PM ET
Chicago TV: NBCSN, CSN-PHI, CSN-CH
Vancouver 10/21 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: SN-PAC, FSN-SW
Florida 10/21 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: FSN-FL, Altitude
Tampa Bay 10/21 9:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: SUN, SN-W
Full Scoreboard