College Confidential

TCU drops in AP poll, no longer highest-ranked team in Texas

TCU surrendered its status as the state’s top-ranked college football team Tuesday, dropping two spots to No. 15 in the updated Associated Press poll.

The Horned Frogs, who struggled defensively in last week’s 59-41 victory over South Dakota State, fell behind two other teams from the Lone Star State that took down former top-10 opponents in their season openers: No. 6 Houston, which climbed nine spots after a 33-23 upset of Oklahoma, and No. 11 Texas, which was unranked before Sunday’s 50-47 triumph over Notre Dame in double overtime.

TCU coach Gary Patterson and his players downplayed the significance of the drop during Tuesday’s news conference.

Asked what he thought of his team’s poll position, Patterson said: “I don’t. The only one that’s ever mattered to me is the final one.”

TCU (1-0) was one of five teams from the Lone Star State to crack the AP poll after season-opening victories. No. 20 Texas A&M and No. 23 Baylor completed the group.

Although defensive end James McFarland called it “a statement game” for a TCU defense seeking improvement after surrendering 41 points and 461 yards to an FCS opponent, he said poll position is irrelevant at this point in the season.

“It’s too early. To be honest with you, we haven’t really cared about rankings around here,” said McFarland, who could not pinpoint the Frogs’ location in last week’s preseason poll. “It’s not where you start. It’s where you finish. That’s all we’re worried about. We’ve always got a chip on our shoulders. We’re always out to prove something any time we play anybody. We just want to win.”

Receiver Desmon White was aware that the Frogs were No. 13 in the preseason poll, the highest perch of any Texas school. But he was unmoved by Tuesday’s turn of events.

“We’re not concerned about the rankings. Not at all,” White said. “We know what we’re about and what we’re capable of.”

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch