TCU Could Pull Off an All-Time Upset
The storylines surrounding No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 TCU create an exciting matchup in the 2022 National Championship.
The Bulldogs are chasing history as the first back-to-back championships since Alabama did it in 2011 and 2012. Another title would solidify Georgia as college football’s next dynasty. TCU has made one of the most odd-defying runs in CFB history. If the Horned Frogs win, this will be one of the greatest Cinderella stories in college sports, along with 1984 BYU football and 1985 Villanova basketball.
Most are not giving TCU a chance against Georgia. The Bulldogs are 12-point favorites and their roster has far more talent than the Frogs. However, TCU has the tools to pull off one of the best upsets in college football history. Here’s why TCU will celebrate in the confetti on Monday night.
The Passing Attack
The Horned Frogs should be able to find success in the passing game. Georgia ranks 72nd in allowed passing yards per game. In the semifinals, Ohio State shredded the Bulldogs’ secondary for 348 passing yards. Georgia also ranks in the bottom half of the SEC in allowed passes of 10 yards or more.
Michigan’s defense was a good test for TCU. The unit ranked top-six in allowed points and yards per game. Like Georgia, Michigan has shown the tendency to give up explosive plays through the air. The Frogs took advantage of it with several explosives, including wide receiver Quentin Johnston’s 76-yard catch and run to the endzone.
We constantly hear about the Bulldogs’ talent on the defensive line, including defensive tackle Jalen Carter. However, Georgia is tied for 71st nationally in sacks. Plus, Ohio State showed how to slow the Bulldogs’ rush, specifically Carter. TCU will likely replicate it by moving the pocket and double-teaming Carter. The Horned Frogs have the tools to do it as well with one of the country’s best interior offensive linemen Steve Avila.
Quarterback Max Duggan has the legs to avoid pressure and make plays on the fly. TCU’s passing attack has everything needed to have success against Georgia.
TCU Showed Its Toughness
The biggest storyline going into TCU vs. Michigan was the line of scrimmage. Would the Frogs hold up against perhaps the country’s most physical team? Most thought it was not possible and labeled TCU as soft.
The Horned Frogs showed what they were made of against the Wolverines. TCU won the battle on the line scrimmage. The defensive line, in particular, took it to the best offensive line in college football.
If Michigan isn’t the most physical team in CFB, then it’s Georgia. The Bulldogs have the nation’s hardest-hitting defense, and the offensive line looks to wear opponents down in the run game. TCU showed it’s more than capable of winning a physical game after defeating Michigan.
Turnovers are the ultimate eraser in football. Anytime we see big upsets, the underdog usually wins the turnover battle. TCU has forced a turnover in 13 of 14 games and ranks in the top half nationally of takeaways per game.
Georgia has taken care of the ball most of the season with 17 total turnovers. Michigan had only seven turnovers before facing TCU. The Frogs forced three turnovers in the Fiesta Bowl, including two pick-sixes.
TCU is +9 in turnover margin, compared to Georgia at -2. The Horned Frogs’ defense could make game-changing plays, especially after Bulldogs’ Stetson Bennett showed some sloppy tendencies against Ohio State.
History Says Frogs Have a Chance
Talent disparity is evident in college football. The sport has lacked parity for several years. It’s usually a competition among the elite. TCU’s run to the national championship is the most shocking we have seen since the BCS era began in 1998.
In the last 24 title games, four teams have been double-digit favorites. In 2000, Florida State lost 13-2 against Oklahoma as 10-point favorites. In 2002, Miami fell to Ohio State 31-24 as 11-point favorites. Florida State in 2013 was favored by 11.5-points against Auburn and came back from a 21-3 deficit to win 34-31. Alabama is the only team to cover a double-digit spread in 2012 with a 42-14 win over Notre Dame.
History says TCU has a good chance of making this close. Let’s be honest, most have doubted the Frogs all season – including myself. Time and time again, TCU has silenced critics by winning. The Horned Frogs did not flinch in the bright lights against Michigan. Expect more of the same.