BCS Championship: Would Forgotten TCU Have A Shot Against Oregon Or Auburn?
Pure entertainment will be on display when Auburn and Oregon meet in Glendale for the BCS Championship. The dream pairing has the potential to match the epic thriller of Texas and USC in January, 2006.
Lost in the shuffle is the undefeated Horned Frogs of the Mountain West conference. The nation was only one December defeat from seeing TCU battle Oregon or Auburn for the title.
Any other undefeated team would be crying of disrespect after being delegated to the Rose Bowl.
While Wisconsin and TCU should be intriguing, one would think the Horned Frogs could hang against the Ducks and Tigers as well.
Sending the Horned Frogs to Glendale certainly wouldn't satisfy rabid football fans searching to be entertained. Television ratings would decline, and BCS conferences would ponder how a Mountain West team found their way to the top.
The body of work put together by coach Gary Patterson is nothing short of amazing. His football program is 35-3 over the past three seasons and are making their second straight BCS bowl appearance.
The strength of schedule argument can always be made. Other then narrow wins over San Diego State and Oregon State, the Horned Frogs have defeated every opponent by at least two touchdowns.
One could also argue they are the most balanced, complete team in the nation. The offense scores an impressive 43.3 points per game, scoring over 40 points eight times in 2010.
Led by Ed Wesley's 1,065 yards, the Horned Frogs averaged 261.2 yards per game on the ground.
Possibly the most underrated quarterback in the country, senior Andy Dalton threw for 26 touchdowns, 2,638 passing yards and posted an impressive 167.0 rating.
Include the trio of receivers Josh Boyce, Jeremy Kerley and Jimmy Young and the TCU offensive weapons are intimidating.
Anchored by Jake Kirkpatrick, the offensive line has the potential to protect Dalton from Nick Fairley, Brandon Bair or Kenny Rowe.
The defense of Auburn is battle tested yet often questioned. The Oregon defense is opportunistic, makes great adjustments and experienced.
While both the Tigers and Ducks defensive units boast talent and athleticism not seen by the Horned Frogs, it would be a safe bet TCU would score more than a few times.
On the other side of the ball, the Horned Frogs are statistically the best defense in the country. They rank first in the nation allowing only 11.4 points per contest.
The defense held both Utah and BYU under seven points in 2010. They shutout both Wyoming and Colorado State and held a total of eight opponents to 10 points or less during the season.
Who Would TCU Defeat
Both the Duck and Tiger offenses are explosive machines the Horned Frogs have not seen all year. Much like the battle between Oregon and Auburn, it would come down to which defense can slow down their opponent.
Could the Horned Frogs execute a game plan to control the talent of Cam Newton and LaMichael James?
Both the Ducks and Tigers would look to stop Wayne Daniels, Tanner Brock, Tank Carder and Colin Jones.
Jones recorded 10.5 tackles for loss and two sacks on the season. Brock led the defense with 86 tackles, five tackles for loss, and two sacks. Daniels posted an impressive 6.5 sacks, and 10 tackles for loss.
Throw in the leadership provided by Carder and the front seven is a handful.
Jason Teague and Tejay Johnson lead a secondary that would most likely spend a lot of time on islands.
I am with the rest of the nation, the 2011 BCS Championship is a dream matchup. I also think that TCU would have a great shot at upsetting the Ducks or Tigers for a national title.
Two predictions for entertainment.
Auburn 35, TCU 38. (Overtime)
Oregon 41, TCU 35
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