The TCU Horned Frogs are in a spot nobody expected them to be in at the beginning of the season. Currently sitting with a 12-0 record, they are ranked third in the nation by the Associated Press and also third in the all-important college football playoff rankings.
They can punch their ticket for a spot in the four-team playoff with a victory over the Kansas State Wildcats in the Big 12 championship game, scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 2 PM Eastern time at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
In the college football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, Kansas State is the favorite.
Kansas State Wildcats -1.5
TCU Horned Frogs +1.5
Over 60.5 points -110
Under 60.5 points -110
TCU has lived a bit of a charmed life through these dozen games, having some very tight battles with the likes of SMU, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Baylor. That latter game required a particular amount of luck, as they pulled it out on a last-second field goal.
However, the Frogs made a big statement with a 62–14 victory over Iowa State last time out.
These teams met before, on October 22. Kansas State got out of a 28–10 lead, but TCU scored the next 28 points and had a balanced offense, with 180 passing yards and 218 on the ground. They covered it as a 3.5-point favorite. And they were doing much of that this season, running up a 9-2-1 mark against the points.
Quarterback Max Duggan, a fourth-year senior who had to earn the job, has emerged as a Heisman candidate under first-year head coach Sonny Dykes. He’s completed 66.6% of his passes with 29 touchdowns and has been intercepted only three times. TCU has a monster running back in Kendra Miller, who has run for 1260 yards and 16 touchdowns. And wide receiver Clinton Johnson has averaged 15.6 yards per catch.
Kansas State comes into this game with an 8–3 record, and they are ranked 13th by the Associated Press poll. Their losses have come at the hands of Tulane and Texas, along with the defeat mentioned above to TCU. The best win of the season was probably a 31–3 triumph over Baylor. Adrian Martinez, the Nebraska transfer, had previously been the quarterback. Still, he got injured, and will Howard has stepped in and compiled an outstanding ratio of 13 touchdowns to only two interceptions. But Martinez was a major contributor on the ground, and that’s something that K-State misses.
Admittedly they do make up for that elsewhere, as DeuceVaughn, who was an All-American last season, has 1295 yards, along with 40 receptions.
This will be a challenge for Howard, as TCU has held opponents to just 53.7% completions.
You can’t say enough about the job that Sonny Dykes has done. He has brought his Air. Raid offense to Louisiana Tech, California, and SMU previously, leading all of those scools to bowl games. His opposite number, Chris Klieman, won four national titles at the FCS level at North Dakota State.
TCU knows how to negotiate the close games, and getting points as an undefeated team essentially playing at home (the school is in Fort Worth) is a kind of a bonus for us. So we are the underdog.
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