TCU's BCS title shot in 2012
The Horned Frogs' D will have to step it up against Big 12 competition
ESPN Insider's 20 teams that can win it all series is previewing each of the top 20 teams in Brian Fremeau's five-year program metric (for a full explanation, and links to all of the previews as they are published, click here), with the help of ESPN's Stats & Information group. This is the entry for TCU.
It's been a schizophrenic winter in Fort Worth.
On one hand, the TCU Horned Frogs are coming off an 11-2 record, their fourth consecutive season of double-digit wins and ninth since 2000. They finished the year ranked 14th, their fourth straight year inside the Associated Press top 15. They finally (cue the Hallelujah Chorus) were welcomed into the Big 12 after being repeatedly dissed since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1996. And in the midst of it all, Amon Carter Stadium is undergoing a sorely needed extreme makeover.
On the other hand, Texas Christian University received an unfamiliar public black eye thanks to a drug sting that snared 17 TCU students, including a group of four football players led by high-profile linebacker Tanner Brock. The announcement of those arrests stole the thunder from the release of TCU's first Big 12 schedule, which happened barely one day earlier.
The good news is that the Frogs started their spring practice early, all the way back on Feb. 25. That was just nine days after the drug sting, timing that allowed the team to turn its focus back to football.
That's also what we'll do now as we break down the strengths and weaknesses of TCU's chances to make a BCS run in 2012.
Why TCU can win it all
The passing game could be elite.
Many in Fort Worth cringed at the thought of life after quarterback Andy Dalton, winner of 40-plus games, including the Rose Bowl. Then again, they also have cringed about life after Jeff Ballard, the man who was replaced by ... Dalton.
To read the full article on TCU's title chances in 2012, including a projected record for the Horned Frogs, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Lions launching Ford Field bowl, sources say
- QB Lunt mulls Illinois after visit, sources say
- Former Arkansas QB Mitchell picks NC State
- McCartney back on WVU roster after 6 months
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CFB content
Expert Takes• Insider: Can Clemson win it all? | Louisville
• Kiper: Top prospects for 2014, by position
• Haney: CFB's top 10 teams based on talent
• Kiper: Top QB prospects for 2014 | RBs | WRs
• Haney: Make-or-break QB prospect scenarios
Post-spring projections• Pac-12: Oregon, Stanford, USC on top
• ACC: Can Clemson win the league title?
• SEC: Bama, South Carolina early favorites
• Big Ten: Surprise winner in Legends
• Big 12: Two-team race for first place
RecruitingNation• Michigan No. 1 in 2014 class rankings
• Luginbill: Answering mailbag questions
• Crabtree: Urban recruits popular draft picks
• Notre Dame, Boise State trending up
• Recruiting updates for Pac-12 teams
• Recruiting updates for Big Ten teams
• Recruiting updates for SEC teams
• Recruiting updates for ACC teams
• Recruiting updates for Big East teams
• Recruiting updates for Big 12 teams
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Travis Haney's blog
Analysis and buzz from around the nation