September 17

Erickson: TCU deserving of BCS title opportunity

first_imgAfter sitting in a small car for four hours Sunday, all I was concerned about besides getting a long nap sometime soon were the new BCS rankings.It didn’t matter that the Vikings totally lucked out and somehow won their game or that my shockingly unpredictable fantasy team was kicking some major butt (thank you Philip Rivers!)Waiting for the Packer game to start, I watched some ESPN analysts make their own projections of this week’s new rankings before they finally unveiled the new ones. I was completely surprised when one of the analysts moved TCU into the No. 1 spot.With LSU taking out Alabama, I wasn’t surprised to see them move into the top five, and although TCU stayed at No. 3, I couldn’t help but wonder if TCU really has the makings of a No. 1 team.So as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep to Clay Matthews dominating the Cowboys offense, I couldn’t help but think about TCU. It seems like the college football world was expecting it to be Boise State’s year – I was indeed a part of that movement – but could it in fact be TCU’s break out year and not what everyone originally thought?Right now TCU is 10-0 and they finish out their season against San Diego State and at New Mexico, both of which look like sure wins. TCU lost its only game last year against Boise State at the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl, and even then the Horned Frogs only lost by a touchdown.So far this season the Horned Frogs have beaten two ranked opponents – opening the season against then No. 24 Oregon State and last week against No. 5 Utah. While they may have struggled more in the win over Oregon State, winning 30-21, TCU dominated Utah, allowing them only one touchdown the entire game. In fact, the TCU defense completely shut down Utah’s offense the entire game. Despite its one touchdown, Utah entered TCU territory only one other time in the game, just barely crossing the 50-yard line.If the then-No. 4 team can play that well against the No. 5 team, clearly there’s more talent and strength there than anyone originally thought.In my preseason top five I did have TCU at No. 5, so I definitely thought they would have a great season. But did I expect them to be the team breaking into the BCS National Championship scene? No way. I totally thought it would be Boise State’s year, but that doesn’t make TCU’s situation any less awesome.Is TCU worthy of the No. 1 spot?Like Boise State, TCU is a team we would have to see in a big game – bigger than Utah and Oregon State – to be certain it isn’t overrated.One thing’s for sure, TCU has an incredible defense. The Horned Frogs have only allowed their opponents on average 8.5 points per game and don’t rely on turnovers to help them win games. In fact, the Horned Frogs don’t have a lot of recovered turnovers this season, instead they use their defense like it’s supposed to be used: To shut down any offensive opportunities.Their defense is clearly one of the best in the nation this year, and their offense isn’t too shabby either.With senior quarterback Andy Dalton running the show, TCU is a tough team to stop. Dalton has thrown for 2,242 yards so far this season and 19 touchdowns. While Dalton is not exactly on anyone’s Heisman watch, he is a strong quarterback who knows how to get his team into the endzone.I think if TCU went up against Oregon or Auburn this weekend it would definitely be an exciting game. It would be interesting to see the TCU defense try to stop Oregon’s LaMichael James or against Cam Newton’s offense. I honestly think they could be pretty successful.I may have been a little confused about the idea of the Horned Frogs being good enough for No. 1 spot, but it makes a lot of sense.It’s a strong team that has dominated all their opponents all season long. TCU is a lot like Boise State, but this year it looks just a little bit stronger led by its all-world defense.But with the BCS ranking system standing in its way, the Horned Frogs probably won’t ever get the honor of being No. 1. Despite a huge win over then No. 5 Utah and a strong win over then No. 24 Oregon State I don’t think those games – especially Utah – will be enough to convince the BCS computers that TCU deserves a higher ranking. The BCS problem strikes again.I am increasingly becoming annoyed with this system, but what’s new? TCU could be the best team in all of college football but we will never find out because they don’t play tough teams week in and week out.Maybe someday TCU and Boise State will get the respect or rankings they deserve and I will celebrate that day when it comes. But for right now I will just have to be satisfied with the idea that I’m a better judge than several computer programs. Or at least I think so.last_img read more