Summer Stock: TCU
Horned Frogs have big holes to fill, but likely will still be in BCS picture
This article is part of our Summer Stock series, a three-week look at the programs generating the most buzz coming out of spring practice.
When asked what kind of adjustments he anticipates making with his team as it attempts to build upon an undefeated, Rose Bowl-winning season with a number of new personnel in key positions, TCU head coach Gary Patterson reiterated that his aim is to "be a great program, not just a great team."
While this might seem like rhetoric at first, the metrics back the coach up on this one, as the Horned Frogs are an unquestioned part of college football's top tier.
Football Outsiders' Program FEI rankings -- displayed and explained here -- put TCU in the No. 11 spot following the 2010 season, an indication that they've maintained a high level of success over the previous five seasons (they've gone 51-10 over that span), and are also in position for good things in 2011 (the rankings are a strong indicator of next-year success).
But boosting that level of success in 2011 -- the Horned Frogs' last in the Mountain West Conference before a move to the Big East next summer -- won't be automatic, especially with a total of 26 seniors lost from the 2010 squad. Key starters like quarterback Andy Dalton, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, defensive end Wayne Daniels, safety Tejay Johnson and four out of five starters on the offensive line are among those that Patterson will need to come up with replacements for. The coach will not only need production out of his next wave, but leadership, as well.
"Every year has been different," Patterson said, when asked about which players he expects to fill that leadership role this season. "It'll be interesting to see what happens."
To read more about TCU's 2011 outlook, including why the team could be in the BCS picture, become an ESPN Insider today.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Buckeyes' Miller throwing ahead of schedule
- Manziel A&M jersey expected to fetch $100K
- Man acquitted in death of EMU football player
- Fitzgerald: Union push 'unified' Northwestern
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Summer Stock series
College Football Previews
May 16: Georgia Bulldogs
May 17: Florida State Seminoles
May 18: West Virginia Mountaineers
May 19: Alabama Crimson Tide
May 20: Texas A&M Aggies
May 21: Arizona State Sun Devils
May 22: Arkansas Razorbacks
CFB Rumor Central
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Bruce Feldman's Blog
Daily insight from around the gridiron
Ryan McGee's blog
On refs, bowl bids, and campus life
NFL Draft Blog
A look towards April 2011
Always on top of the college and pro game
- Rawlings TCU Horned Frogs Game Time Full-Size Football