7-5 (4-4), 5th Mountain West
8-4 (6-2), 1st Conference USA - West
December 28, 8:00pm, NFL Network
Unless you live in Houston, near TCU, or are lucky enough to have the NFL Network, you will, like me, find out about this game the day after it happened. Houston enters the game after being tied for the C-USA west lead but losing the tiebreaker to Tulsa to play in the conference championship game. TCU was one of my teams that I thought had a chance to bust the BCS when the season started, but a rough start losing 2 of their first 3 games derailed that idea. This game will renew a rivalry that went on when both teams were apart of the Southwest Conference from 1976-1995.
The Cougars have the 4th ranked offense in the nation, averaging over 514 yards per game but are looking to win their first bowl game in their last 8 tries. Also their head coach Art Briles, resigned to take over the Baylor job. Assistant coach Chris Thurmond will serve as interim coach. Conference USA Freshman of the Year, Case Keenum calls the signals for the offense and he relies on Anthony Alridge (1500 yards rushing, 14 TDs) to take some of the pressure off of him. Donnie Avery is a favorite target among the QB's catching 81 balls for over 1300 yards and 7 touchdowns. On defense, Houston ranks in the 50s for both pass and rushing defense.
While Houston relies more on its offense, TCU is a tough defensive team. The Horned Frogs rank 18th in rushing defense and 17th in scoring defense, only yielding 17 points per game. They are led by three-time All-MWC first-team end Chase Ortiz who has 8 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. On offense they have their own freshman quarterback in Andy Dalton who has thrown for 2200 yards 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Sophomore Joseph Turner has come on as of late. In his last game he ran for 225 yards and the Horned Frogs have amassed over 625 yards on the ground in their last two games.
TCU is a good team, much better than their record suggest. Four of their five losses cames to teams that are playing in bowl games (BYU, Air Force, Texas, and Utah) and they were in each game against those opponents. Houston on the other hand got blown out by Tulsa and Oregon, but kept it close with East Carolina and Alabama. I like TCU in this one because they have played better competition, their rushing game is coming on as of late, and because of the way they play defense. TCU 33 Houston 17
Picking TCU to Win
ITB Brian Sakowski, Corn Nation, MidWest Coast Bias, Football Frontier, Rizzo Sports, ITB Ron Juckett, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, Kansas It's Business Time, ITB Charlie Swager, Sportsbone TV, MizzouRAH, The LSC Scoop, The Enlightened Spartan, Bastard Sons of Pinfall Marks, Jeff Brancolini, Lou Nemec, Matt Kieta, Timmy B, Richard Dixon, Dan Schoonover, Brian Isaacson, Pete Boivin, Jason Stiver, Cyril Tircuit, Sunny Verma, Rodney Polston, Greg Gowins
Picking Houston to Win
Pitch Right, Logan Jaffe, Brant Chruscial, Lorena The Dodgerchick, Mrs Corn Nation,