No. 19 TCU eyeing outside chance to earn BCS berth
Fresh off a victory that vaulted them back into the Top 25, the TCU Horned Frogs have to make sure nobody sneaks up on them.
It's already happened twice this season, in the opener at Baylor and at home against SMU.
Those losses dropped the Horned Frogs from the rankings and seemingly off the BCS radar only months after capping an undefeated season with a Rose Bowl victory. But by winning on the blue turf of Boise State last Saturday, No. 19 TCU is back in the big picture.
The Horned Frogs (8-2, 5-0 Mountain West) will clinch at least a share of the conference title by beating Colorado State (3-6, 1-3) on Saturday. TCU can win it outright by beating the Rams and UNLV on Dec. 3. Both games are at home.
Colorado State has lost five straight games and six of seven. Most of those games were at least close, save for a 50-point loss to the same Boise State club that TCU just beat. That's all the more reason Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson has to make sure his club doesn't have a letdown.
Patterson is using the chance of cracking the BCS as a motivator. It would take many things falling into place, but the opportunity exists.
''There are a couple teams ahead of us, so we need to climb a few notches in the BCS standings,'' Patterson said. ''The biggest thing we can do is what we did a year ago. You have to control your own business and go win.''
As if spoiling BCS hopes isn't enough of a rallying cry for the Rams, there's also the notion of standing up for the conference. TCU is jumping to the Big 12 next season, so Colorado State would love to end the Horned Frogs' streak of 22 straight conference wins dating to November 2008.
That may be asking for a lot, though, especially if quarterback Pete Thomas can't play because of a knee injury and the Rams end up starting true freshman Garrett Grayson.
Grayson replaced Thomas last game and ran for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion. He was 6 of 15 for 26 yards and an interception.
''We've come close during the season to putting him in,'' coach Steve Fairchild said. ''He'll play now. He'll play some every game. We've got to commit to him. Even when Pete (Thomas) is back, be it this week or next week. I think Garrett deserves the right to play in the games.''
Regardless of the QB, expect the offense to be anchored by Chris Nwoke, who ran for a national-best 232 yards last weekend.