TCU head coach Gary Patterson throws a game ball into the stands after the Horned Frogs' 50-7 win over Texas last season. TCU again is expected to contend for the Big 12 title, but will have to do it without quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson, who have moved on to the NFL. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Football

The American-Statesman’s Top 25: No. 13 TCU

Posted July 18th, 2016

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Sure, it’s just July. But it’s never too early to talk college football. Here’s your daily fix — our eighth annual countdown of the preseason Top 25, as selected by the American-Statesman sports staff. Last season’s four College Football Playoff semifinalists were rated Nos. 3, 6, 13 and 24 on our 2015 list.

Today’s team: No. 13 TCU

The Horned Frogs will contend if … they find a quarterback to run the uptempo offense that defensive-oriented Gary Patterson embraced in 2014, along with a go-to receiver and a consistent runner — Trevone Boykin, Josh Doctson and Aaron Green have taken their talents to the NFL. TCU also must try to be successful with young players; there are only seven scholarship seniors on the roster.

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INSIDE THE HORNED FROGS

Coach: Gary Patterson (17th year, 143-47 overall)

2015: 11-2, 7-2 in the Big 12; beat Oregon in the Alamo Bowl, 47-41

Returning starters: 5 offense, 7 defense

The key game: Oct. 1 Oklahoma, Fort Worth

Hello: QB Kenny Hill, QB, RB Kyle Hicks, WR KaVontae Turpin, DL Josh Carraway, DL James McFarland, LB Ty Summers, CB Ranthany Texada

Goodbye: QB Trevone Boykin (Seattle Seahawks), WR Josh Doctson (Washington Redskins), RB Aaron Green (Los Angeles Rams)

Spring cleaning: TCU has lost only three games in two seasons, so it’s a given that other schools may want to poach members of Patterson’s coaching staff. But Patterson was able to retain all nine guys on his staff. Texas really wanted Sonny Cumbie, TCU’s young offensive co-coordinator. And Texas A&M tested the interest of Doug Meacham, who coordinates the offense with Cumbie.

Former Texas A&M starter Kenny Hill is expected to take over for the departed Trevone Boykin at TCU. Hill sat out the 2015 season after transferring. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Former Texas A&M starter Kenny Hill is in the mix to take over for the departed Trevone Boykin at TCU. Hill sat out the 2015 season after transferring. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

RETURNING LEADERS

Passing: Foster Sawyer, 11-27-155 yards, 2/3 (3rd)

Rushing: Kyle Hicks, 55-262-3 (3rd); Trevorris Johnson, 43-262-0 (4th)

Receiving: WR KaVontae Turpin, 45-649-8 (2nd); RB Shaun Nixon, 47-501-1 (4th)

Tackles: LB Travin Howard, 105 (1st)

Sacks: DE Josh Carraway, 9 (1st)

RETURNING ALL CONFERENCE (5)

Offense: WR KaVontae Turpin (honorable mention)

Defense: DE Josh Carraway (1st team), LB Travin Howard (honorable mention), S Denzel Johnson (honorable mention), LB Ty Summers (honorable mention)

FYI …

  • Patterson won’t offer any hints on who might be his starter at quarterback. It’ll either be Kenny Hill (the Texas A&M transfer) or Foster Sawyer. Patterson is going to stick with the same plan that produced Trevone Boykin over Matt Joeckel (also an Aggies transfer) — he’ll look to see how each of his current options handles August scrimmages.
  • TCU’s depth at tailback took a big hit this summer weeks before preseason practice started. Shaun Nixon, the former Lake Travis High star, is out for the season with an undisclosed injury. Kyle Hicks is the favorite for the starting job. And maybe Michigan transfer Derrick Green, a one-time five-star prospect, can get some reps.
  • The Frogs are more than happy to welcome back cornerback Randall Texada and defensive end James McFarland. Texada, TCU’s best defensive back, missed all but three games a year ago. McFarland was the defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in 2014, but missed all of last season with an injury.

TCU's 2016 schedule

DateOpponentLast yr's result (if played)
Sept. 3South Dakota State
Sept. 10Arkansas
Sept. 17Iowa State*W, 45-21
Sept. 23at SMUW, 56-37
Oct. 1Oklahoma*L, 30-29
Oct. 8at Kansas*W, 23-17
Oct. 22at West Virginia*W, 40-10
Oct. 29Texas Tech*W, 55-52
Nov. 5at Baylor*W, 28-21
Nov. 19Oklahoma State*L, 49-29
Nov. 25at Texas*W, 50-7
Dec. 3Kansas State*W, 52-45
* Big 12 game

TCU: The last 5 years

YearW-L/Conf.RankBowl
201511-2 / 7-22nd / 7thAlamo Bowl, W
201412-1 / 8-1— / 3rdChick-fil-A Bowl, W
20134-8 / 2-720th / —No bowl
20127-6 / 4-520th / —Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, L
201111-2 / 7-014th / 14thPoinsettia Bowl, W
Total45-19, 28-154 bowl games (3-1)
Note: Ranks are that year’s preseason/final ranking.

 

2015 NATIONAL RANKS

Scoring: 7th (42.1 ppg)

Scoring defense: 64th (27.2 ppg)

Passing yards: 8th (347.5 ypg)

Rushing yards: 24th (215.4 ypg)

TOP 25 SO FAR …

No. 25: Washington State

No. 24: Boise State

No. 23: Louisville

No. 22: Oklahoma State

No. 21: Oregon

No. 20: North Carolina

No. 19: Baylor

No. 18: Iowa

No. 17: Washington

No. 16: Georgia

No. 15: Michigan State

No. 14: USC

No. 13: TCU

No. 12: Coming Tuesday. Want a hint? This school claims Houston Nutt, Ed Orgeron and David Cutcliffe as former head coaches.

BY CONFERENCE

4 schools: Pac-12 (14-USC, 17-Washington, 21-Oregon, 25-Washington State)

3 schools: Big 12 (13-TCU, 19-Baylor, 22-Oklahoma State)

2 schools: ACC (20-North Carolina, 23-Louisville); Big Ten (15-Michigan State, 18-Iowa);

1 school: SEC (16-Georgia); Mountain West (24-Boise State)

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