The Horned Frogs, second in the coaches poll, are third in Sports Illustrated’s list, behind Ohio State and Auburn. Notre Dame is fourth.
The other regional covers feature players and mascots from Ohio State, Notre Dame and Mississippi State.
At least two other TCU quarterbacks have appeared on the magazine’s cover. Andy Dalton shared the cover with Auburn’s Cam Newton and Oregon’s LaMichael James in the Nov. 15, 2010 edition. Sonny Gibbs was the cover story on Oct. 15, 1962.
Also, TCU running back Jim Swink was featured on the Dec. 26, 1955 cover.
Co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie said they had chances to leave TCU for other jobs but stayed because of head coach Gary Patterson and the work environment.
“Our boss is probably the best head coach in the country,” Meacham said. “The facilities are off the charts. The athletic director, Chris Del Conte, is progressive. And Fort Worth? I love it here. My wife loves it here, my kids love it here — in our business, you find all those combinations, it means a lot.”
Meacham, 50, is an Arlington native.
Cumbie, 33, an Abilene native, said the potential to keep winning kept him in Fort Worth.
“Winning is fun,” he said. “And being part of a program in the Big 12, TCU, where the people have been phenomenal — great to my family — everyone, whether it’s alumni or the people who work at TCU.”
Meacham and Cumbie were hired last year to install the “Air Raid” offense. Neither has been a head coach.
“I don’t think I want to consume my mind with it right now,” Meacham said of a head coaching possibility. “If it happens, it happens. I think anyone would say, yeah, they’d like to run their own ship and put their own stamp on something. But for me, right now, it’s definitely not my focus at all.”
Cumbie said there is too much to pass up on right now at TCU.
“My quality of life here is very high,” he said. “I can go and recruit eight schools in spring and be home at night and see my family. That is very unheard of in this business. So it wasn’t that hard. You’re young in your career, you want to learn as much as you can. Being around Coach Patterson, Coach Meacham, Coach Anderson — it’s a good situation.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407
SI’s Top 25
1. Ohio State
4. Notre Dame
7. Mich. St.
9. Florida St.
13. Ole Miss
16. Boise St.
17. Arizona St.
19. Georgia Tech
25. Miss. St.