Boykin wishes Baylor QB well as power in Big 12 tilts back to TCU

Quarterback Trevone Boykin will try get No. 5 TCU to 8-0 when it plays West Virginia on Thursday night.

Both the college football coaches and AP voters gave the early season nod to TCU over Baylor in their respective polls.

Then as injuries decimated TCU’s defense and the Horned Frogs came dangerously close to being upset, first at Texas Tech and then again at Kansas State, both sets of voters made the switch to Baylor over TCU in their Week 7 polls. 

Baylor, annihilating opponents with video-game-like highlights and basketball-like scores, was now being talked about as the best team in the nation. And Baylor certainly figured to open ahead of TCU when the College Football Committee debuts its rankings, the only rankings that matter, on Nov. 3. 

However, the balance of power in the Big 12 may well have shifted back to TCU on Monday with the news that Baylor quarterback Seth Russell will undergo neck surgery and miss the remainder of the season. The Frogs have lost multiple defensive starters, but they still have their offensive fire-starter, quarterback Trevone Boykin.

The No. 2 Bears meanwhile must hand over the keys to the nation’s No. 1 offense to true freshman Jarrett Stidham, a physically impressive, five-star dual-threat quarterback who initially committed to Texas Tech before a late change of heart to play for Art Briles.

And Baylor will still likely open the CFP rankings ahead of No. 5 TCU because it won’t play again until Nov. 5 at Kansas State, taking this much-needed bye week to ramp up Stidham’s reps and get him ready for full-time duty.

On Monday, Boykin sent his injured counterpart in Waco a well-meaning get-well tweet. 

Boykin has been brilliant as he chases LSU running back Leonard Fournette for the Heisman Trophy. His clutch-time heroics have allowed TCU to avert early disaster in terms of the Big 12 and playoff race as the Frogs head into Thursday night’s home game against West Virginia at 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12.

The Bears boast the identical record, but now must navigate a heavily backloaded schedule that includes Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, the showdown at TCU the night after Thanksgiving and finally Texas with a quarterback who at this time last year was tearing up the Texas high school circuit.

Stidham might perform beautifully and Baylor might not miss a beat. But that’s a tall order for a true freshman, and that tilts the edge back to the Horned Frogs.

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