Dec 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; The TCU Horned Frogs and head coach Sonny Dykes take the field to face the Kansas State Wildcats at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
John McClain: 5 reasons why TCU wins the national title
TCU stunned the nation when it upset Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinal round at the Fiesta Bowl. In the CFP championship game on Monday night at SoFi Stadium, the Horned Frogs are going to shock the world.
Frog Fever – catch it! They never croak under pressure.
Mattress Mack is the Frogs’ good-luck charm. He put down $3.1 million on TCU for a chance to win $9 million. He’s going to cash in and celebrate Monday night after TCU surprises Georgia and wins the national title. The SEC is going to be so impressed it’ll ask the Frogs to join Oklahoma as the conference’s newest members and tell the Longhorns they can remain in the Big 12.
The undefeated and No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs are 13-point favorites to win back-to-back titles, but the Frogs are going to rock their world, sending shock waves through college football as they pull one of the biggest upsets in college football history.
It’s going to be the Big 12 over the SEC. Read it and weep, Bulldog fans.
How are the Frogs going to orchestrate something few outside of the Fort Worth area believe can be done? Here are five reasons TCU is going to win its first national championship since 1938.
- The Bulldogs are coached by Kirby Smart. The Frogs are coached by Sonny Smarter. In his first season at TCU after being hired away from SMU, Sonny Dykes did one of the best coaching jobs in NCAA history, leading a team picked seventh in the Big 12 to a 13-1 record and an opportunity to win the second national title in school history. Smart is one of the nation’s great coaches, and he perennially signs five-star recruits for his program. Dykes took over for Gary Patterson, who signed two- and three-star recruits and has turned them into national championship contenders. Dykes had his team prepared for every pressure-packed situation, and the Frogs will be prepared Monday night when they’re going to show the SEC what Big 12 football is all about.
- No one intimidates the Frogs. No situation is too big for them. They upset Jim Harbaugh and unbeaten Michigan, a 7.5-point favorite, 51-45. They had the stunned Wolverines down 14-0, 21-3, and 41-22. Michigan had crushed Ohio State 45-23 in Columbus. Georgia was fortunate to escape the Peach Bowl with a 42-41 victory over the Buckeyes. TCU is going to do to Georgia what Ohio State couldn’t do when the Buckeyes missed a 50-yard field goal as time expired. The Frogs flexed their muscles against the Big 10, and they’re going to do it again against the Bulldogs and the SEC.
- The Frogs proved during the season and in the postseason they can win any kind of game in any kind of atmosphere. The Frogs are 6-1 in one-score games. On their way to averaging 40.7 points a game, they scored at least 34 points 11 times. They defeated six nationally ranked teams, including No. 8 Oklahoma State, 43-40 in two overtimes. They showed they could win blowouts – 55-24 over Oklahoma and 62-14 over Iowa State. They beat defending Big 12 champion Baylor 29-28 on a field goal with no time remaining. They proved they could win a low-scoring game on the road with a 17-10 conquest over Texas, ranked 18th at the time. The only blemish on their record was a 31-28 overtime loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game.
- Quarterback Max Duggan will outplay Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, who’s trying to win a second consecutive national championship. Both Duggan and Bennett were outstanding in their semifinal victories. Bennett threw for 398 yards and three touchdowns and engineered the game-winning drive against Ohio State. Duggan threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more in the victory over Michigan. Duggan has heart and guts – everything coaches want – to go with a fearless attitude that serves him well in the near-impossible situations TCU has been able to conquer this season. Duggan has one more miracle in his pocket, and he’ll use it Monday night.
- The Bulldogs are loaded with NFL prospects on both sides of the line of scrimmage, but the Frogs are no slouches when it comes to talent and depth. Their best prospect is 6-4 receiver Quentin Johnston, who could be the first player at his position drafted in April. He had six catches for 163 yards and a touchdown against Michigan. This season, he’s caught 59 passes for 1,066 yards (18.1 average) and six touchdowns. When the Frogs lost their leading rusher, Kendre Miller, against Michigan, his replacement, Emari Demercado, excelled off the bench. Miller has 1,399 yards, a 6.2 average, and 17 touchdowns. All Demercado did in his place was rush for 150 yards on 17 carries, average 8.8 yards and score a touchdown. TCU’s defense was so good against Michigan it returned two interceptions for touchdowns and stopped the Wolverines two times inside its 5-yard line without a point.
The Frogs are going to beat the Bulldogs. Rah, rah, TCU! Frog Fever – catch it!
(John McClain writes four columns a week for GallerySports.com. He can be heard Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday on Sports Radio 610 and Monday and Thursday on Texans Radio. He does three weekly Houtopia podcasts for 610. He also can be read three times a week on SportsRadio610.com).
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