If any team has a gripe with the College Football Playoff rankings, it's the TCU Horned Frogs, who were left out of the postseason mix and dropped from the Top 4 even though they won their final game of the season in convincing fashion. In retrospect, switching out TCU for the eventual national champion Ohio State Buckeyes turned out to be the correct decision, but in the moment, dropping the co-Big 12 champions from No. 3 to No. 5 seemed controversial in many football circles.
Back in 2012, TCU made the move from the Mountain West Conference to the Big 12 to avoid situations like the one that transpired in 2014, where a mid-major school is overshadowed and sacrificed for a program from a power conference. The Horned Frogs wanted the respect that comes with playing for a big conference, but unfortunately they did not receive it last season. Let's take a closer look at TCUs 2016 national title odds with predictions and analysis. All odds come from Bovada.
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TCU Horned Frogs Odds to Win 2016 College Football National Championship
TCU is in the unenviable position of playing in the fifth-best conference in college football when only four teams are invited to participate in the playoffs. The SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC are all held in higher esteem than the Big 12, and if any one of those conferences produces a two-loss or better team, they are almost a shoe-in for a Top 4 spot in the playoff rankings. The question on TCU's mind probably has to revolve around what exactly the squad needs to do in order to earn a playoff berth. Last season a 11-1 record with a 26-point margin of victory wasn't enough.
The oddsmakers consider the Horned Frogs a slight favorite over the other Big 12 players in Baylor and Oklahoma as the team is set up to produce another outstanding year and at least be in the running for the playoff spot if it doesn't have enough clout to actually get one. The Horned Frogs are returning quite a few players from last season, which includes a trio of senior wide receivers and starting quarterback Trevone Boykin.
TCU Horned Frogs 2015 Schedule
Sept 3: @ Minnesota Golden Gophers
Sept 12: Stephen F. Austin Jacks
Sept 19: SMU Mustangs
Sept 26: @ Texas Tech Red Raiders
Oct 3: Texas Longhorns
Oct 10: @ Kansas State Wildcats
Oct 17: @ Iowa State Cyclones
Oct 29: West Virginia Mountaineers
Nov 7: @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
Nov 14: Kansas Jayhawks
Nov 21: @ Oklahoma Sooners
Nov 27: Baylor Bears
TCU has a schedule set up for a playoff run with big, yet manageable matchups against SMU, Texas and Iowa State early in the season and two difficult games against Oklahoma and Baylor to close out the year. Scheduling a huge conference showdown during the final game of the season is a sure-fire way to bring some attention to the team, particularly if it can get a win and finish off the schedule with a single loss.
TCU Horned Frogs 2016 National Title Odds and Trends
Title Odds: +1000
2014 ATS Record: 11-2; 8-0 home
2014 Totals Record: 8-5; 4-4 home
TCU is receiving solid odds at +1000. The only problem for bettors is that TCU might not make the playoffs even if the squad wins the Big 12 and produces another 11-1 record. Teams like the Horned Frogs traditionally do not win the national title. Expect TCU to continue to be overlooked and overshadowed by the power schools of the world.
TCU Horned Frogs 2016 College Football National Championship Picks and Predictions
The Horned Frogs' biggest problem is making the playoffs to being with, and they might need to produce an undefeated season just to get an invitation. A one-loss SEC team and a one- or two-loss Ohio State team will almost certainly get into the playoffs, and a one-loss Pac 12 and ACC squad will always be more attractive than a one-loss Big 12 champion-that is just the reality TCU has to deal with. Expect TCU to be very good this season and cover a few spreads, but do not expect them to make a playoff run.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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