Big 12 Power Rankings: Little Separation At the Top

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Sep 22, 2012; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Casey Pachall (4) celebrates throwing a touchdown pass with quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) during the first quarter against the Virginia Cavaliers at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

5. TCU Horned Frogs

Last Season: 7-6 (4-5)

Key Player: Casey Pachall

Key Word: Redemption


Can Casey Pachall stay out of trouble? Will running back Waymon James be able to stay healthy? Can a no-name receiving group produce? Will the offensive line stay healthy enough to not expose their lack of depth?

If those answers are all yes, then with TCU’s defense the Horned Frogs could find themselves at the top of the Big 12 by season’s end.

If not, then things get dicey. TCU’s defense on its own is good enough to keep them in the top half of the Big 12, but they are going to need a strong showing from their offense the scuffled often in their first year in the conference. The experienced Pachall can solve a lot of their problems but he is going to need his receivers to make plays for him, his linemen to keep him upright, and for James to stay healthy. Two of those three things could be enough for TCU, but it is not something they want to test.