After TCU’s impressive and hard fought victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl, the Horned Frogs will finish the season undefeated.
Their undefeated season makes them the eighth team in the BCS era to finish the season undefeated and not win a national championship.
They became the first non-AQ school to ever appear in the Rose Bowl, and more importantly, win the Rose Bowl.
Now that TCU has shown the ability to beat a power conference team on the big stage, here are some reasons to believe that they could take down the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers.
Speed is probably the first thing that would be talked about when making a case against TCU’s potential to play Auburn and Oregon.
The reality of the situation is that the Horned Frogs are very fast.
Wisconsin is definitely not one of the fastest teams in the nation, but TCU made it a foregone conclusion in the Rose Bowl that they were faster than them.
Oregon and Auburn are two teams that are also based on speed, but if TCU were granted the opportunity to play either of them, speed would not be an issue.
Andy Dalton is 6’3 and 215 pounds.
Tank Carder is 6’2 and 232 pounds.
Tanner Brock is 6’3 and 233 pounds.
These three impact players are not extremely undersized for their positions.
Outside of a few other impact players, TCU has good size on their team.
It is definitely not the massive size that teams have in the Big Ten or the SEC, but a combination of their average size and the aforementioned speed makes the Horned Frogs dangerous against anyone that they play.
When the clock struck zero in Pasadena, TCU showed everyone why they were given the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl.
They had just beaten the Wisconsin Badgers and finished their season undefeated.
Although they weren’t the top tier teams in college football this season, TCU still beat Oregon State and Baylor this season.
Other teams that TCU has beaten over the last few years that hail from power conferences are Virginia, Clemson, and Stanford.
It is also worth noting that in 2008, TCU held the high powered Sooners offense to 35 points, which was their lowest total points scored during the regular season.
TCU has a proven track record when it comes to playing power conference teams
TCU has now played in two BCS bowls in back to back seasons.
Their record is 1-1, but they were extremely competitive in both victory and defeat.
Gary Patterson and company would hold an edge in experience over Gene Chizik and would be tied with Chip Kelly.
TCU’s win over the Badgers makes AQ schools now 4-1 against power conference teams in BCS Bowls.
It is a valid argument to say that both Oregon and Auburn have stronger regular season schedules, but still both coaches cannot say that they have overcome the long break that comes with playing in a BCS bowl and won.
Under Gary Patterson, TCU has lead the nation in total defense five times: 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
That shows that this year’s defense was not a fluke.
One of the main reasons as to why TCU had had such great defensive seasons is because of Patterson’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme.
In terms of both Auburn’s and Oregon’s passing ability, the TCU defensive secondary has excellent speed, which was evident by the fact that they were able to knock so many passes away from Wisconsin’s wide receivers in the Rose Bowl.
Andy Dalton is currently the active wins leader in college football, which is definitely not something to look over when making a case for TCU against the best of the best.
Dalton won 44 games and only lost eight during his four years as the starting quarterback at TCU.
During those 52 games, Dalton threw for 10,314 yards and 71 touchdowns and ran for 1534 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Those stats prove that Dalton has come through for his team.
Winning is something that cannot be taught and winning football games is something that Dalton knows how to do.
One aspect of the Auburn Tigers that shows that they are human is their pass defense.
It has been anything, but spectacular this season.
It didn’t matter who the quarterback was, the Tigers are just not that good at stopping the pass.
Ryan Mallet was injured against Auburn, but that didn’t matter.
His backup threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns.
Andy Dalton and the Horned Frogs would have a great opportunity to put their passing game on the national stage if they had the chance to face Auburn.
As long as TCU’s offensive line would be able to keep Nick Fairley out of the backfield, Dalton would have enough time to find his open receivers.
Oregon was one of the nation’s best return teams this season.
Add good field position to a high powered offense and it is a recipe for disaster for the opposing team.
TCU had very good special teams coverage this season, especially their punt return coverage.
The Horned Frogs allowed opposing teams to average 7.1 yards per return and did not allow a touchdown.
Oregon’s punt return team was excellent this season. They averaged 18.2 yards per return and returned five punts for touchdowns.
TCU’s returns coverage, especially in the punting game, would be critical for them to beat the Ducks.
The BCS system has left TCU as the eighth team to finish the season undefeated without them not only winning a national championship, but not even having the opportunity to play for one.
That does not mean that Oregon and Auburn are not two deserving candidates because they made it clear throughout the season that they were the nation’s two best teams.
TCU’s victory over Wisconsin and their play throughout the 2010-11 season showed their ability to play at a very high level.
The Big East invited TCU to join their conference, which is further evidence that other people think they can play at the power conference level.
The Big East may not be as good as the other power conferences, but it is still a power conference.
Oregon and Auburn should be a good game, but TCU would also make for a good opponent against those two teams.