No. 6 TCU in position to make title run
Coming off a first-ever BCS appearance and returning 19 starters, the TCU Horned Frogs begin the 2010 season ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Saturday morning. It is the highest preseason ranking ever for the Frogs, who came in at No. 7 in the coaches' preseason poll.
No surprise, defending national champion Alabama is No. 1 and Ohio State came in a distant second.
The Frogs sit between familiar company. The Texas Longhorns begin the post-Colt McCoy era ranked No. 5 and the Oklahoma Sooners return from an injury-ravaged season at No. 7.
The Boise State Broncos, the other main BCS-buster with TCU, opens at No. 3, its best preseason ranking coming after last year's undefeated season that included a 17-10 win over the Frogs in the Fiesta Bowl.
For TCU and Boise, the ranking puts those programs in prime position to make a run not only at another BCS game, but at a possible national championship game appearance if either team can run the table. Last season, TCU started at No. 17 and climbed to No. 4 after going undefeated in the regular season. Many observers believed TCU came within one second of playing Alabama in the Rose Bowl for the national championship before Texas kicked a last-second field goal to beat Nebraska (ranked No. 8 in this season's preseason poll) in the Big 12 title game to secure its place opposite Alabama. A Nebraska victory might have pushed the Frogs over the top. Boise started last season at No. 14 and rose to No. 6 prior to the Fiesta Bowl.
A team from a non-automatic qualifier conference such as the Mountain West or WAC has never played for a BCS national title. With two such teams ranked in the top six to start the season, could this be the year?
"I don't know. We'll see in December. We'll see if somebody can be undefeated," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "If they are, then they should get an opportunity if they started high enough, like Boise or ourselves."
TCU will begin its quest in two weeks, on Sept. 4 at Cowboys Stadium against the Oregon State Beavers, who come in at No. 24. Boise State opens the season on Sept. 6 in Washington D.C. against No. 10 Virginia Tech.
Let the games begin.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.