As TCU’s second season in the Big 12 draws closer, hopes and outside respect continue to accelerate.
It’s as if the Horned Frogs are no longer newbies to the league and have as legitimate a shot to claim the conference title as any team.
Much of that comes from early predictions that have given the Frogs much more than just a shot at the title, but, according to some corners of the college football media maelstrom, an actual edge in the league.
The league media last week picked TCU to finish third, just behind Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The Frogs earned nine first-place votes, more than Oklahoma (8) but behind OSU’s leading 15. Texas was given eight first-place votes and trailed TCU by only 10 total points in the balloting.
The bottom line from these preseason prognostications? The top half of the league should be clogged with contenders, leaving TCU little room for soap operas of dysfunction that beset the team in 2012.
The Big 12 Media Days begin Monday at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. TCU meets the media Monday, along with Kansas, Kansas State, OSU and Texas Tech. Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia go Tuesday.
With more than half the conference teams claiming a legitimate title chance, including last year’s champion K-State, which was predicted to finish sixth by the media with only one first-place vote, plenty of hopes remain high before the first drop of sweat falls in August camp.
So here are five storylines TCU coach Gary Patterson and his four players (Sam Carter, Waymon James, Jason Verrett and Jon Koontz) will likely be forced to address Monday:
“I would think we would have have to be a little bit better because none of those guys had played any ballgames and now they’ve played 13,” Patterson said.
Eric Tausch returns at center, but the two guard spots will remain battles this August for depth-chart leaders Joey Hunt and Michael Thompson. Transfer Lloyd Tunstill could have an immediate impact, and Eason Fromayan enrolled early and impressed during spring practice.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760