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Preseason College Football Top 25: #17 TCU | The Sports Report Girl

Preseason College Football Top 25: #17 TCU

Why They’re Here: Even though they had some big losses on the defensive side of the ball, this is a team that has shown it can reload with the best of them. The offense returns nine starters, including quarterback Andy Dalton who could become a star this year. But even with an almost guaranteed great offense, the Horned Frogs will have their hands full.

The Good: The high-flying Horned Frogs offense will be back and probably better than ever. First team all-conference QB Andy Dalton will again be at the helm and we’ve all seen what he’s capable of. Coming off his AP Coach of the Year win, Gary Patterson seems more determined than ever to get TCU to the next level. The Frogs will also have last year’s loss to Boise State, a game in which they got physically manhandled, to motivate them all offseason.

The Bad: LB Daryl Washington was the heart and soul of not just the TCU defense, but the entire team. Andy Dalton showed he withers under pressure in last year’s Fiesta Bowl and with no Jerry Hughes around either, the Frogs are in desperate need of some leadership. I honestly don’t think there will be another TCU team as good as the team last year – that team was great on offense, defense and special teams. They’ll still be good on offense, but defense and special teams, where the Frogs were able to turn the tables in close games and separate themselves from competition last year, are big question marks.

The Last Word: Has any conference ever come out of nowhere to be legit as quickly as the Mountain West? With Utah, BYU, Air Force and TCU, the Mountain West has really put the rest of the college football world on notice. The MWC has been so impressive the past five seasons that the BCS is considering bringing them into the fold. That’s no small task considering the money-grubbing, conscience-free venture capitalists who run the system. If TCU can find a leader and a stud to replace Washington, they can be very good again. If not…

Final Record: 11-2

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