Commentary

Summer Stock: TCU

Horned Frogs have big holes to fill, but likely will still be in BCS picture

Originally Published: May 29, 2011
By Tim Kavanagh | ESPN Insider
Ed WesleyJayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireTCU will likely ask Ed Wesley to carry a bigger load on offense this season.

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.

TCU Horned Frogs

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.

Tim Kavanagh

Fantasy and Insider
Tim Kavanagh is an associate editor for ESPN Fantasy and Insider, with specific responsibility for NHL and fantasy hockey coverage in addition to other sports.