The numbers are in and TCU is expected to finish the season in fifth place. The Big-12 preseason poll is a first-look opportunity to gauge the expected performance of teams in the league. The preseason poll is put together by select members of the media that cover college football.
Many teams may be disappointed or even discouraged seeing themselves expected to finish fifth, but not the Horned Frogs. As FrogsOWar.com points out, the last time TCU was slated for a fifth-place finish, they went to the conference championship game. That was 2017, a season in which the Frogs went 11-3 overall and never lost a home game all season.
That year, TCU lost to Oklahoma in the Championship game before defeating Stanford at the Alamo Bowl. Replicating the success from 2017 will be a challenge, as Oklahoma is the number 1 team in the preseason poll for the fifth consecutive year.
Whether Head Coach Gary Patterson can guide his team to success this season is one of the biggest questions. Writing for Texas, Cami Griffin thinks it’s possible.
“A sleeper team to watch this season is TCU. Gary Patterson has had Texas’ number as of late, and they’re certainly talented enough to shake up the conference on any given week,” she wrote for the Longhorns Wire. For TCU, knowing that powerhouse opponents aren’t underestimating the team’s talent is a sign of the fight the Horned Frogs will have on hand all season.
Texas came in third in the poll. They’ll be taking the field under the direction of new Head Coach Steve Sarkasian. To reach the Championship again, TCU will have to come out as one of the top two teams in a league loaded with talent.
TCU will have an opportunity to put Oklahoma down on October 16th. A win will be a significant boost to getting into the Championship game along with a major boost to player morale and expectations for next year.
The Horned Frogs will wrap their season against Iowa, the overwhelming pick for second in the preseason poll. Iowa was a bully in the conference last season going 8-1 in the conference on their way to the Dr. Pepper Big-12 Championship. Iowa dealt losses to Oklahoma, Texas, and TCU last season. Their two losses were against Louisiana and sixth-ranked Oklahoma State.
It’s no surprise to see the winner of the 2020 Big-12 championship ranked number one. For Oklahoma, 2021 will be all about meeting expectations and continuing to perform at the level they have for the last several years.
Texas and Oklahoma State round out the top five teams. West Virginia, Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas Tech came in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th respectively. Almost as unsurprising as seeing Oklahoma in number one, Kansas is tenth after laying a goose egg in the wins column last season.
TCU Football will kick off on September 4th at Anon Glenn Stadium in Ft. Worth against Duquesne. They will play a home game against Texas on October 2nd before hitting the road to take on Texas Tech and Oklahoma in back-to-back weeks.