Don't Get Burned, TCU Is Really Hot

Pete MisthaufenAnalyst INovember 5, 2009

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 16:  TCU Horned Frogs cheerleaders wear pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness month during play against the BYU Cougars at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 16, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Among the top eight teams in the BCS standings, it appears as though more than a few have been sliding through the season with some less than stellar performances in recent weeks.

After all, Florida has struggled with Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi State; Alabama with Tennessee; Texas with Oklahoma, and Iowa with practically everyone.

Looking at it, a case could be made that Oregon and TCU are the two hottest teams in college football.

After starting the season on life support, Oregon roared back to dominate USC last Saturday.  The Ducks have raced up the BCS standings and now stand at No. 8, poised to jump over Boise State and with an outside chance at the BCS title game.

Meanwhile, TCU, undefeated, has been rolling, outscoring its last three opponents by an average score of 41-4 and on the way to a BCS bid, with only next week's matchup with Utah standing in the way.

But which team is hotter, and which team has succeeded against better competition?


The Case for Oregon

Oregon began this season seemingly incapable of performing to preseason expectations.

The Oregon offense appears to be dominating now, having put up 613 yards on USC. 

The Ducks looked completely inept and only managed 152 yards against Boise State, the only game where the Broncos held a team under 200 yards.

At home against Purdue and Utah, Oregon looked like an average team at best, winning two very ugly games that could have very easily turned out as losses.

Since then, Oregon has been on fire, and was held under 400 total yards only once, against UCLA.

Oregon currently ranks No. 8 in rushing offense, No. 9 in scoring offense, No. 4 in pass efficiency defense, No. 20 in total defense, No. 19 in scoring defense, and No. 3 in kickoff returns.

However, Oregon has not faced a lot of good defenses or offenses in its Pac-10 wins.  Not a single team (Cal, Washington, UCLA, Washington State, or USC) ranks in the top 20 in defense or offense.

Boise State and Utah are the only top 20 defenses Oregon has faced, and Boise State is the only top 20 offense Oregon has faced.

So, the Ducks are dominating, but is it not that surprising, given the level of competition.

Sure, USC allowed a lot of yards, but this was the first game where USC had faced a top 20 rushing offense.  Maybe it was not so surprising that USC could not contain the Ducks' ground attack.


The Case For TCU

TCU is undefeated, with four solid road wins over teams going bowling this season.

As to the numbers, it is no question at all.  TCU wins with success in all three aspects of football.

TCU is No. 7 in rushing offense, No. 12 in total offense, No. 11 in scoring offense, No. 4 in pass efficiency, No. 8 in rushing defense, No. 9 in pass efficiency defense, No.1 in total defense, No. 3 in scoring defense, No. 4 in kickoff returns, and No. 12 in punt returns.

TCU has done this while facing the two top 20 passing offenses, two top 20 defenses,  a top five rushing offense, three top 20 scoring defenses, and two top five pass defenses.

Even though TCU has faced several tough defenses, the Frogs have never had fewer than 380 yards in a game. 

With one of the most balanced offenses in college football, the Frogs average over 200 yards per game both on the ground and in the air.

TCU looks to continue its dominance through its final four regular season games, only one of which is against a team with a losing record. 

TCU's last three opponents came into their games averaging a combined 31 points per game. Together, they scored a total of 13 points against TCU in the three games.

The Frogs are No. 1 in the nation in net yards (offensive yards minus defensive yards allowed) at 211.75 net yards per game.  Florida is the only other team with over 200 net yards per game.

TCU is clearly one of the best teams in college football, with both a dominating defense and a powerful offense, as well as very dangerous return game.

The Frogs can play with anyone in the country and will show their strength in a BCS game this year.  Look for another outsider beating down a traditional power this year in a major bowl game.



So, Oregon, you are pretty hot, but TCU is way hotter.  By the way, the TCU coeds are hotter too.