College Football Odds, Futures, Picks: 2 TCU Bets to Make in 2022
Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Max Duggan.
Another Friday, another future.
While we are still a ways away from the start of the college football season, it’s never too late to add futures to the portfolio as the calendar moves closer to the start of the season.
So far this season, I have highlighted my favorite season win totals, division/conference futures and Heisman picks.
This week’s focus shifts to my favorite Big 12 longshot: the TCU Horned Frogs.
A Change in Leadership
While I normally try and stay away from coaching overhauls, I just can’t help but fall in love with everything TCU is doing. After parting ways with Gary Patterson, who had coached TCU since 2000, the Horned Frogs have a new leader in former SMU head coach Sonny Dykes.
Dykes will look to implement an Air Raid-style offense — one that led SMU to consecutive bowl bids and a 30-17 record in his stint with the Mustangs.
After finishing 46th in Success Rate, the offense brings back a lot of familiar faces with a TARP rating of 93%. While the offense was capable of gaining ground, it would stall out once it got past the 40. This resulted in TCU faltering to the 104th-best Finishing Drives rank — one that will surely improve under Dykes’ offense.
With more room to work with, rocket-arm quarterback Max Duggan will look to take a leap in production after throwing for 2,048 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Max Duggan just bullied the Kansas State defense. pic.twitter.com/NLS03p8Fx7
— Dean Straka (@DWStraka49) October 19, 2019
He will have his top three targets back in Quentin Johnston, Derius Davis and Taye Barber after the trio combined for 1,629 yards and nine touchdowns on 99 catches. TCU also adds a weapon in pass-catching tight end Jared Wiley from Texas.
With an experienced offensive line, a more open field and a breath of new life, TCU’s offense is going to be a force in 2022.
New Scheme, New Results
The 2021 TCU defense was abysmal, to say the least.
The Horned Frogs found themselves getting run through time and again, finishing outside the top 100 in Success Rate, Finishing Drives and Havoc.
Naturally, this is the side of the ball Dykes looked to improve right away, bringing in Tulsa defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie.
Gillespie brings in a new defensive scheme, a 3-3-5, while hoping to improve the defensive metrics all around after finding success at Tulsa.
In addition to the new scheme, TCU hit the transfer portal to increase its depth and production. While the Horned Frogs bring back a TARP rating of 91%, the transfers will look to make an instant impact.
TCU added Navy transfer Johnny Hodges to slot in at linebacker after he recorded 50 total tackles in nine games. The secondary also features Colorado safety Mark Perry, who hauled in three interceptions last season.
It will be difficult to do much worse than it did last season, and if the defense can transition into the new scheme with success, it will go a long way toward making a serious run for the Big 12 title.
Verdict on Horned Frogs
With a plethora of returning production and impact transfers, TCU is setting itself up for instant success under Dykes.
While the offense was moderately successful last season, Dykes’ versatility in play-calling, coupled with a dynamic Air Raid offense, will result in much-needed production past the 40.
The defense will also look to improve, even if just slightly, under a new scheme. Havoc and tackling will be an emphasis, as those are metrics that Tulsa continually dominated throughout Gillespie’s tenure.
I will be backing TCU as a longshot to win the Big 12, along with its season win total over. With our projections around 8.5 wins, I will be grabbing over 6.5 (-135) at DraftKings, as other books are as high as -150 and -160 as of writing.
Pick: TCU to Win Big 12 +1800 (Play to +1400) · Over 6.5 Wins (-135)
Previous Picks: Miami Win Total Over 8.5 Wins · Miami to Win ACC Coastal (+150) · Alabama to Win SEC · Utah to Win Pac-12 (+400) · Utah Win Total Over 8.5 · UCLA Under 8.5 Wins · Kentucky Over 7.5 Wins· Florida State Over 6.5 Wins