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TCU's Sonny Dykes Shades SEC's Non-Conference Schedule: We Won't 'Catch The Citadel'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 29, 2022

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Sonny Dykes of the TCU Horned Frogs reacts as TCU takes on the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

TCU head coach Sonny Dykes took square aim at the scheduling structure for many SEC programs when he discussed the Horned Frogs' 2022 slate.

"We don't have the good fortune to play an out-of-conference game like the the SEC does in Week 10 or Week 11," he told reporters. "You're not going to catch The Citadel in Week 10. We caught Texas."

Drawing attention to his team's non-conference slate may not be an advisable approach for Dykes.

TCU opened the season against Colorado, which finished 1-11 and was the worst Power Five program in the country. From there, it played an FCS school, Tarleton State, and an SMU squad that won seven games.

Outside of the Big 12, the Horned Frogs didn't exactly navigate a murderers' row.

To Dykes' point, however, TCU did have to run the gauntlet once Big 12 began. It played and beat five ranked opponents before the conference title game, all without the benefit of a week off. The team's last bye was Sept. 17 on the heels of the 59-17 victory over Tarleton.

Say what you will for Alabama playing Austin Peay on Nov. 19 or LSU lining up UAB on the same date, but there's a clear method to the madness.

Wear and tear is inevitable as the season unfolds, and a team's depth is put to the test. Why not give yourself a straightforward win in mid-November?

It's also tough to argue scheduling an overmatched opponent early in the season is any more or less virtuous than doing it later in the year.