Needing a Houston loss, TCU’s slim BCS hopes got even slimmer Friday afternoon when the Cougars blew by Tulsa 48-16.
But with a little help from the polls, the Frogs’ BCS chances stayed alive.
TCU moved up two spots in the BCS standings Sunday night to No. 18, inching closer to the coveted top 16 ranking. That and a Houston slip-up would give the Frogs its third straight BCS bowl berth.
Of course, some things are easier said than done.
The Cougars are undefeated and led by Heisman Trophy candidate Case Keenum, whose 43 touchdown passes have propelled Houston to the top of the NCAA scoring charts at 52.7 points per game.
Keenum and the Cougars will be heavily favored Saturday when they take on No. 24 Southern Miss in the Conference USA championship game. But if Houston loses, the Frogs more than likely would be the highest ranked non-automatic qualifier conference champion, which would make the team BCS bowl eligible if it is ranked in the top 16 of the final standings.
There lies the catch.
As good as the Cougars have looked this year, losing to the Golden Eagles Saturday may be more likely than TCU moving up two spots in the BCS.
The Frogs would need No. 17 Baylor to lose at home to Texas Saturday. That would presumably move TCU up at least one spot. After that, things get a bit more complicated.
Michigan is 10-2 and done with its regular season. It is deadlocked into the 16th position or better, meaning TCU would need No. 15 Wisconsin to lose to No. 13 Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game and hope No. 20 Clemson does not upset No. 5 Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game.