A year after going 4-8, TCU will wake up tomorrow as a Top 5 team. The sixth-ranked Horned Frogs used an exquisite day from quarterback Trevone Boykin to wrest control of the Big 12 away from No. 7 Kansas State (at least in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee, we’ll get to that in a minute) with a 41-20 win in Fort Worth.
TCU led 14-0 early, 17-7 at the half and 41-14 midway through the fourth against a team that took Auburn to the brink and beat everyone else on its schedule. Part of that is due to Gary Patterson‘s outstanding defense, which limited the Wildcats to 34 rushing yards on 19 carries and kept Jake Waters and the passing attack out of sync for most of the evening.
All the accolades that don’t belong to the TCU defense, though, belong to Boykin. He looked every bit like a Heisman finalist in completing 23-of-34 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown while rushing 17 times for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Aaron Green filled in admirably for the injured B.J. Catalon with 18 carries for 171 yards and a 65-yard touchdown that broke it open, moving the TCU lead to 31-14 just 51 seconds after Kansas State had pulled within 10 midway through the third quarter.
TCU looked every bit like the best team in the Big 12, alongside Baylor, which is good because the Frogs are a good bet to finish 11-1 with K-State now behind them. TCU will visit Kansas next week, visit Austin for a date with Texas on Thanksgiving, and then close with Iowa State, a 34-14 loser to Kansas today, in Fort Worth on Dec. 6.
The problem for TCU is that Baylor keeps winning. The Bears, of course, own the tiebreaker over TCU, but the Frogs are presently six spots ahead of Baylor in the College Football Playoff rankings. How will the committee treat each squad if they both finish 11-1? That’s a worry for another day, but one thing is sure: TCU fans had better become Kansas State fans, because the Wildcats visit Waco on Dec. 6.