College football is entering the final weekend of the regular season, and there are no shortage of compelling games to alter the landscape of the playoffs. When rivalry week rolls around, there are times when it’s necessary to throw out the records, and let history play itself out. Fortunately, every region around the country has games that have the chance to be etched into our memory forever. A national champion won’t be born this weekend, but it’s certain that some dreams will die in the face of adversity. Will TCU be one of those teams?
When it comes to the top 9 teams in the country, no game is bigger than any other. Therefore, Alabama is in the same boat as TCU, Baylor and Ohio State. Although Florida State is the only major conference team without a loss, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to survive a loss to Florida this weekend.
No.5 TCU Horned Frogs (9-1) vs. Texas Longhorns (6-5)
TCU is on the cusp of breaking into the inaugural College Football Playoff, but they’ve never been in this position as a member of the Big 12. The Horned Frogs are on the road against a prideful Texas team that seems to be getting better with each passing day. With so much at stake, TCU is fully prepared to play one of their best games of the season. Trevone Boykin has been magnificent all year, and he’ll take center stage against the Longhorns on Thursday night.
It took a while for Texas to get their footing during the 2014 season, but they’ve rebounded nicely in the second half of the season. The Longhorns clinched a winning conference record with three straight dominant victories, and they are looking to shock the world on Thursday.
For Texas, a win in this position clearly puts the Longhorns in upper echelon of the Big 12. Nobody in their right mind could have seen Texas with six conference wins, but here they are with a chance for a perfect November. All three of Texas’ losses have come from the top three teams in the conference. They’ve combined to score 33 points in those games.
Earlier in the year, offense was a problem for Texas but they have hit a nice stride during their three game winning streak. Still, it’s the defense that has to set the tone against TCU. Throughout the year, the Horned Frogs have walloped opponents with mesmerizing offensive plays. TCU has even dropped 82 points in a game this season. Therefore, Texas can’t just rely on the offense in a game of this magnitude.
Whether it’s Aaron Greene or B.J. Catalon as the main ball carrier, TCU has been virtually unstoppable at times. However, Boykin is also a threat to run the ball from the quarterback position, and he makes the Horned Frogs’ offense downright scary. All three players have combined for 23 rushing touchdowns, and the defense never knows which star is ready to break out.
TCU has a bevy of receivers that are encouraged to utilized their big play potential. Josh Doctson is the leading receiver with 43 catches and seven touchdowns, but he is not alone. He’s one of three teammates to average over 16 yards per catch, so TCU can strike from anywhere on the field.
Has the pressure gotten to the Horned Frogs? After trouncing Kansas State, TCU almost had a huge letdown against Kansas, but escaped with a victory. It was either a blip on the radar, or a sign of things to come in the near future.
The only loss on the TCU resume is the fourth quarter debacle at Baylor. After being up 21 points, the Horned Frogs let the insurmountable lead become surmountable and give up 24 straight points in regulation. Otherwise, TCU would easily be in the top four.
Regardless of how this game turns out, the Big 12 will be up for grabs. However, a loss by TCU is likely to keep the from winning the conference, and gaining a spot in the college football final four.