2014 TCU Horned Frogs Odds to Win the Big 12 with Picks & Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 8/15/2014
The 2013 season was a major disappointment for the TCU Horned Frogs. This is a program that has been highly successful in recent years. The move to the Big 12 Conference in 2012 was a huge step up for TCU. Many wondered how this program would do in a much tougher conference. They were 7-6 in 2012, and it seemed they might transition in a decent way, but with last year's 4-8 record, which included only two wins in the Big 12, there are certainly questions about the team heading into 2014.
Gary Patterson has proven himself to be an elite coach, and I have to think that he and the rest of the coaching staff have had a busy offseason of letting this team hear it about last year's disappointment. TCU had a very legitimate chance to win seven of their eight games last year, but they couldn't finish in crunch time. The team had three heartbreakers in the last four games of the season with losses to West Virginia, Kansas State, and Baylor. TCU returns 16 starters and appears to be in great shape for a bounce-back season.
2014 TCU Offense
The team in general was a big disappointment in 2013, and the TCU offense was the biggest reason for that. TCU averaged just 119 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin weren't good at the quarterback spot, and that allowed opposing defenses to load the box and dare TCU to beat them through the air. In addition, the offensive line at TCU was the weakest it has been in many years last season.
Matt Joeckel transferred in from Texas A&M, and I expect him to be an upgrade at the quarterback spot. TCU's depth at the running back spot is very impressive. There are four guys who will see significant playing time in the backfield. I do expect a rise in production from this group. The only question mark for the running game is whether the offensive line can be better than they were a year ago. The offensive front is the primary reason the offense got bogged down so often last year. If this TCU offense is going to improve in any significant way, the line must be better.
TCU returns plenty of experience at the wide receiver spot, but none of these guys have shown to be big playmakers in the past. They'll need to create some more separation and get some more big gainers this season.
2014 TCU Defense
TCU's defense starts with a really strong defensive line anchoring the way up front. It would be even better if Devonte Fields were in the fold, but it appears he'll be away from the team again this year. Senior Chucky Hunter is a tremendous run stuffer at the defensive tackle spot. Even in a down year last year, TCU only gave up 3.3 yards per carry to the opposition. This is probably the deepest position on the team.
TCU plays a unique defense, so they only have two linebackers on the field at once. They actually have three guys who are worthy of starting and only two spots, so it's a nice problem to have. All three of these guys are seniors with tons of experience on the field.
The secondary is a mixed bag. TCU plays three safeties, and they are set with some solid talent there. Chris Hackett is a star in the making at one spot, and Sam Carter and Kenny Iloka are quality players as well. The biggest question mark on this defense is at the two cornerback spots. Kevin White isn't a star, but he'll do alright at one corner spot. The other starting cornerback spot will be manned by someone who is very inexperienced, and the lack of depth at this position is concerning.
TCU's defense should put up better numbers than they did a year ago. The Horned Frogs are likely to finish near the top of the Big 12 in total defense.
2014 TCU Odds to Win Big 12
The oddsmakers have TCU listed as the sixth favorite at 14/1 to win the Big 12. TCU is listed at 150/1 to win the FBS Championship this season. TCU's win total sits at 7.5 at many books , but it has risen to eight at some books.
2014 TCU Horned Frogs Picks & Predictions
Patterson is going to have this team ready to play after an ugly season like they had in 2013. TCU has a chip on their shoulder, and they have a ton of veteran players who are extremely talented. The schedule isn't terribly difficult, and they aren't going to lose all of their close games as they did a year ago. The Horned Frogs are primed for a big improvement in 2014.
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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