Following a disappointing 5-7 campaign in 2021 in which longtime coach Gary Patterson resigned in mid-season before his likely dismissal, expectations were low for TCU this year.
But a creative offensive scheme from new coach Sonny Dykes and stellar quarterback play from Max Duggan have led to one of the top reclamation projects in college football. No. 8 TCU enters Week 8 as one of only nine undefeated teams in FBS and the lone unblemished team in the Big 12. On the heels of a thrilling 43-40 double overtime win last week against then-No. 8 Oklahoma State, the Horned Frogs will host No. 17 Kansas State Saturday in Fort Worth.
TCU’s Sonny Dykes Was Born to Be the King of Texas Football | Sports Illustrated https://t.co/evaxBwrwAI
— Texas Coach (@TexasCoaches) October 16, 2022
TCU ranks third in the nation in scoring at 45.8 points per game. The Horned Frogs (6-0) have scored 40 or more points in four of six wins, including 41 in the first half alone on Oct. 1 in a 55-24 win over then-No. 18 Oklahoma.
For Saturday’s key Big 12 matchup, there are numerous wagering opportunities at BetMGM, one of the nation’s top mobile sportsbooks.
TCU (-115) is a 3.5-point favorite over Kansas State at BetMGM, with the total at 54 points. The Horned Frogs are a -175 favorite on the moneyline, which has odds of +145 for Kansas State to pull off the upset straight up. This week, Dykes described the Wildcats as the most complete team TCU has faced so far.
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Other key games on the weekend slate
No. 6 Alabama vs. No. 24 Miss State, Bama -21, Total 51
Alabama is coming off a devastating loss to Tennessee, its first loss to the Volunteers in the Nick Saban era. The Vols pulled off a 52-49 victory when Chase McGrath’s knuckling 40-yard field goal attempt barely cleared the crossbar with no time remaining. In the defeat, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young shrugged off a nagging shoulder injury to throw for 455 yards and two touchdowns. The Crimson Tide can still try to earn a spot in the CFP national semifinals by winning their next six games.
1. Bryce Young, Alabama
50. Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
PFF’s Midseason Top 50 Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft⬇️https://t.co/BGBT6EUo9A
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 21, 2022
Mississippi State is coming off a tough 27-17 loss last week to then-No. 22 Kentucky. It marked the first time this season that the Bulldogs were held under 31 points. Alabama (-110) is favored by 21; the total is 51 points.
The Crimson Tide are also -2000 moneyline favorites over the Bulldogs (+1000).
No. 9 UCLA vs. No. 10 Oregon, Ducks -6, Total 70.5
UCLA is off to its best start under Chip Kelly and is the only remaining undefeated team on the West Coast. Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, with 15 touchdowns to only two interceptions, has emerged as a Heisman candidate with his imposing dual-threat capabilities in leading UCLA to a 6-0 record.
The Bruins will confront a hostile environment in Eugene against Kelly’s former team. UCLA has lost eight of its last 10 games against Oregon, including its previous six games on the road. The Bruins last defeated the Ducks at Autzen Stadium in 2004.
Oregon has averaged 49.8 points per game over its last five contests, and the total has gone over 70.5 points in its last three games. Ducks quarterback Bo Nix is completing 70.3% of his passing attempts and has eight touchdowns on the ground.
No. 11 Oklahoma State vs. No. 20 Texas, UT -6.5, Total 60.5
The Cowboys look to bounce back from the stinging defeat to TCU in a critical matchup against Texas. For all intents and purposes, the losing team will be eliminated from contention for the Big 12 title. Both teams have one Big 12 loss on the season and will be staring up at the winner of the TCU-Kansas State matchup, who will remain undefeated in conference play.
Texas’ Bijan Robinson is in the mix for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s top running back. Robinson leads the conference in rushing with 780 yards, which is 119 more than the next closest back, Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn.
Even if you don’t follow college football, Bijan Robinson is a name you need to know for fantasy in 2023. He’s the closest thing we’ve ever seen to Barry Sanders. pic.twitter.com/mkYHX73dkt
— Kyle Lindemann (@LuckIsMadeFF) October 15, 2022
The Longhorns could use a steady dose of Robinson to keep Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders off the field. Sanders has thrown for 13 touchdowns on the season and has added another eight rushing scores. In five of Oklahoma State’s six games this season, the points total has exceeded 60.5, which is the over/under for Saturday’s game.
As of Friday, Texas remained the favorite to win the Big 12 title. BetMGM has odds of +155 on Texas to win the conference, ahead of TCU (+250), Oklahoma State (+350), and Kansas State (+450). Baylor, which opened the preseason ranked No. 10 in the nation, is now a longshot at +4000.
Photo: Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY