TCU vs Colorado

The past and present of the Big 12 collide on Friday night when the Colorado Buffaloes host the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU helped to fill the void in the Big 12 after Colorado left, although this is the first meeting between the two schools. On the road, TCU is favored by 14 points, with the over/under for the game set at 55.5 points.

The Buffs have had some trouble finding traction during the first two years of the Karl Dorrell era. To be fair, Dorrell led Colorado to a 4-2 record during the shortened 2020 season. But a 4-8 campaign in 2021 leaves the Buffaloes at 8-10 overall over the past two seasons.

Meanwhile, the Sonny Dykes era is about to begin for TCU. After more than two decades with Gary Patterson at the helm, the Horned Frogs parted ways with their longtime coach in the middle of last season. Dykes, who’s coming off a successful stint at SMU, now takes over a TCU program that has failed to reach a bowl twice in the last three seasons.

New Sheriff in Town

Under Patterson, playing good defense was always TCU’s calling card, although Dykes will surely put more emphasis on the offensive side of the ball. Of course, that could be complicated with a three-way quarterback battle during the preseason that could extend into the season opener. The good news is that while the quarterback position remains unsettled, the Horned Frogs bring back their top four receivers and their second-leading rusher from a season ago.

On the other side of the ball, Patterson was fired in part because the TCU defense struggled last year, leaving Dykes to clean up the mess. The Horned Frogs had the second-worst defense in the Big 12 last year, giving up a lot of explosive plays. If nothing else, TCU is loaded with seniors on that side of the ball, especially after Dykes brought in a few transfers to help supplement the existing talent.

Rebuild Mode

There’s no question that Colorado is in rebuilding mode heading into the 2022 season. A few of the team’s standout offensive players last season opted to transfer, leaving the cupboard a little empty. Starting quarterback Brendon Lewis is back this season, although he was underwhelming last season behind a porous offensive line and is still trying to hold off Tennessee transfer J.T. Shrout for the job.

Things don’t look all that promising on the defensive side of the ball either, as the Buffs were among the worst defensive teams in the Pac-12 last year. On top of that, only four starters are back, with Dorrell doing his best to bring in transfers to help fill the voids. Nevertheless, there are still nine freshmen on the two-deep, with the Buffaloes looking particularly young in the secondary, which could make them vulnerable against the pass.

Who’s Got Answers?

Both of these teams probably head into the season with more questions than answers. That makes it tough to get behind a team that’s a double-digit favorite on the road. With the Horned Frogs facing important questions on both sides of the ball, the safe pick in this game is taking Colorado to beat the 14-point spread at home.

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