It was the second occasion this season in which the Frogs fell in the AP poll, previously dropping from No. 2 to No. 3 after narrowly defeating Minnesota in week one.
The Ole Miss Rebels gained sole possession of the No. 3 spot in the AP Poll, having defeated Vanderbilt 27-16 in Oxford, Mississippi Saturday. The Frogs and Rebels finished last weekend at an exact tie for No. 3.
Meanwhile, Michigan State took over the No. 2 spot in the coaches poll, a spot TCU had regained last week after a win over SMU combined with an Alabama loss.
Also notable was that Oregon dropped out of the AP Poll for the first time since 2009. The Ducks were blown out by Utah 62-20 Saturday night in their own backyard at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.
Sunday’s rankings however were a wake up call for the Frogs, who have slowly been trending in the wrong direction in the polls since their opener.
TCU has yet to cover the spread for any of their games against FBS opponents this season. Saturday’s spread was 9.5 in favor of the Frogs, but the team only won by a mere three points, propelled by an improbable tipped touchdown catch by Aaron Green in the final half-minute of play.
While the Frogs remain undefeated, sitting at 4-0, Saturday’s outing was another shaky performance by a team that has been plagued with injuries on both sides of the ball. The latest victim for TCU was senior reciever Ty Slanina, who went down with a broken collarbone Saturday and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
“I told you it wasn’t going to be easy this year,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said in Saturday’s post game press conference. “Do you think you can write a nice story and we’re going to win by 30 points? That’s not happening in the Big 12, not when you play six games on the road.”
While the Frogs put up 750 yards of offense against Texas Tech, propelled by a TCU single game record of 267 receiving yards by wide receiver Josh Doctson, the defense’s outing didn’t help the Frogs case in the rankings. The depleted unit allowed 607 yards of offense to the unranked Red Raiders.
Penalties also plagued the Frogs Saturday. The team allowed 110 penalty yards over 10 calls.
A personal foul on Chris Bradley on what would have been the last play of the game even gave the Red Raiders an extra shot to convert with zero seconds left on the clock in fourth quarter. The Red Raiders nearly did, taking the ball all the way within the 10 yard line after a series of completed laterals.
Patterson was not pleased with his team’s lack of discipline.
“We had hoped for a field goal and then we’d throw the quarterback down,” Patterson said. “We’d get hands to the face when we had them [Texas Tech] on fourth down. You can’t win ballgames and play like that.”
For Patterson though, all that matters is outplaying the opponent, no matter how pretty the performance may be.
“I’m just glad we’re here at 55-52,” Patterson said. “We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and try to get better and see if we can find a way to beat Texas by one point.”