March 2, 2024

Horned Frogs snubbed by Committee in initial Playoff rankings

TCU Horned Frogs Football

TCU Coach Sonny Dykes talks with officials during a timeout in the fourth quarter against Colorado Friday September 2, 2022 at Folsom Field. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

The Playoff Committee released their first ranking of the season Tuesday night, which made TCU fans livid.

After all, the undefeated TCU landed at No. 7, a spot behind one-loss Alabama. Not to mention the Horned Frogs are the lowest-ranked unscathed team. Now there’s plenty of controversy in the air over Sonny Dykes’ team lack of recognition.

And that’s a head-scratcher, considering the Horned Frogs have one of the best resumes of the undefeated squads this season. First off, TCU has a Heisman hopeful in quarterback Max Duggan. He leads the Big 12 and is fourth in the FBS in passing efficiency. Duggan has thrown for 2,221 yards, 22 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Secondly, the Horned Frogs have a prolific offense this fall and been putting up video game numbers on the gridiron. TCU is fourth in the country in total offense, averaging a jaw-dropping, 518.6 yards per game. And that shouldn’t come as a shocker because Dykes’ has one of the game’s brightest offensive minds.

The Horned Frogs are also averaging 44.2 points per game, which ranks third in the nation. As far as strength of schedule, Dykes’ boys have been impressive in that department too. TCU beat Oklahoma when it was ranked 18th in the country, Kansas when it was 19th, Oklahoma State when it was eighth, and Kansas State when it was 17th.

The Wildcats are No. 13 in both the AP Poll and Playoff rankings in week 10. So TCU’s double-digit victory over Kansas State should carry more weight in the Committee’s eyes.

Naysayers have argued that the Big 12 is down this season, and that the league plays no defense. Some look at that as a knock on TCU. And the Horned Frogs are 89th in the FBS in total defense. TCU’s defense is allowing 27.2 points per game, which ranks 74th in the country.

So it’s no mystery why five of TCU’s past six games has been offensive shootouts, including the overtime win over Oklahoma State. What’s going to hurt the Horned Frogs down the stretch is having only one ranked opponent for their remaining four games at the moment. Texas is ranked 24th in the Playoff rankings and it could move up or fall from its’ position depending on whether it beats Kansas State this Saturday.

The Horned Frogs are going to need the teams they beat to keep winning. Having three victories over teams that are currently in the Playoff rankings should hold more weight. However, it seems the Committee has valued brand and history over what has transpired in College football this fall.

There’s still a lot of football left to be played though. The bullseye on the Horned Frogs’ jerseys is large as the Grand Canyon now, and Dykes should expect every opponents’ best effort. Regardless, Dykes has made a huge impact on the Big 12 in 2022, and it’s only his first year on the job. Which clearly shows he’s a Coach of the Year candidate.

TCU fans believe the best is yet to come, and the disrespect in the rankings should definitely add more motivation for the players to continue their dominance on the field. With Alabama against LSU, and Tennessee against Georgia this weekend, the top-five will shake up. And TCU (8-0) has a great chance of moving up, just as long as it takes care of business against Texas Tech at home.