And for good reason.
With ten starters returning from last season’s 12-1 campaign, 2015 appears ripe for a playoff run.
A No. 2 preseason ranking puts the target square on the Frogs’ backs, and a certain rival 85 miles down I-35 sits at a dangerous No. 4.
Anchored by the defensive mind of Gary Patterson, the Frogs have long been skilled at stuffing their opponents’ offense. The duo of Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham has brought TCU’s offense up to par, to say the least.
The co-offensive coordinators have turned down head coaching offers to remain in Fort Worth and once again guide TCU’s offense.
Last year, Cumbie and Meacham revamped the team’s offense to be faster during and between plays, introducing the “air raid” style to a previously dragging tempo.
From 2013 to 2014, TCU had the nation’s most improved offense in total yards and scoring. The Frogs doubled their points scored between the two seasons and improved points per game by 21.
That offense broke several school records last fall including total points, total offensive yards, and touchdowns in a season.
Experience on the Line
Four starters on the Frogs’ offensive line are returning, and two of them were All-Big 12 selections last season.
Vaitai will take on the responsibility of left tackle since Tayo Fabuluje graduated.
The newcomer to the line will probably be sophomore Joseph Noteboom, who finished spring practice as a first-team right tackle. Noteboom played in all 13 games last year.
Austin Schlottman has not started for TCU, but the sophomore will likely get some good playing time this season. He also appeared in every game last season and can play either center or tackle for the Frogs.
Not a whistle has been blown, and Trevone Boykin is already on Heisman watch lists.
Off the field, the quarterback has recovered from last season’s injury to his non-throwing wrist and has represented the university well in the off-season.
On the gridiron, the offense as a whole broke TCU records last year, but Boykin alone set eight new marks for the Frogs.
The Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year broke four of Andy Dalton’s records, including season touchdown passes and total offense in a season.
Boykin’s completion rate crept over 61 percent last season, and he threw 10 interceptions in 13 games.
The Dallas native also came out as a dual-threat quarterback in 2014, rushing for more than 700 yards and averaging nearly five per carry.
Twenty Frogs had at least one reception in the 2014 campaign.
Josh Doctson had 65.
A highlight-worthy one-handed touchdown reception in last year’s victory over Minnesota put Doctson in the national spotlight, but he continued to impress throughout the fall.
The senior wide receiver was another record-breaker last season, setting school-high marks for season receiving yards and season touchdown receptions, with 1,018 and 11, respectively.
Doctson’s consistency was key in 2014, and his experience should play a large role during his senior season.
Who to Watch
In his only year of game experience at TCU, Trevorris Johnson ranked fourth on the roster with 302 rushing yards.
At 5 feet 11 inches and 221 pounds, Johnson will provide the power needed for short, explosive plays in the red zone.
The sophomore tailback entered TCU as the No. 7 running back in Texas, and he averaged 5.7 yards per carry over 12 games last season.
Johnson ran for a career-high 105 yards and two touchdowns in the 82-27 blowout over Texas Tech.