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Fast 40 countdown: TCU Horned Frogs

September 1, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

TCU Horned Frogs

Last season: 13-0, 2nd in the MRI

The good: TCU has played in two straight BCS bowls and should have been in the National Title game after the 2009 season (although its results might not have been any better than Texas').

Despite losing much of the defense to graduation, the Horned Frogs should still be tough to move the ball against. Almost every major contributor this season saw gobs of game action during TCU's run for the roses.

The Mountain West should be a very winnable league again, despite the addition of Boise State. Air Force and San Diego State should still be difficult outs, but TCU's defense should be better than either of the two offenses.

The bad: The Horned Frogs looked for all the world like they would finish at the top of the MRI last season, but a close game against Wisconsin, combined with Boise's thrashing of Utah flipped the two in the final numbers.

TCU has also been decimated by graduation with losses including quarterback Andy Dalton. The offensive line is almost entirely new and there is little chance of duplicating last year's effort of allowing just nine sacks (0 in the bowl game against Wisconsin which was truly a feat).

While the running game should survive intact, it will have a much harder time breaking through with the new men up front.

The Horned Frogs open with two games on the road, at Baylor and at Air Force, and could be 0-2 before gimme wins against Louisiana-Monroe and Portland State. The two openers also don't give the team much time to work on things in game situations, as it is unlikely TCU will be able to pull away early.

TCU also had its game against Boise State switched to Idaho after it announced it was leaving for the Big East, which should be a bittersweet goodbye gift from the conference.

Best name: Tekerrein Cuba

Trending: Down - The losses on offense leave TCU wondering if it can score enough to win ball games. The defense should still be able to keep the bar low, but there are so many new faces on the other side of the ball, it could take time to get things perfect. The Horned Frogs were near the top in the country in all of the crucial MRI stats last season, and it will be difficult to repeat that feat this year. Look for TCU to run near the bottom of the Top 25, although a finish at 9-3 could have them hanging on in the teens by the end of the year.

   

Posted September 1, 2011 12:21 PM

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