The kickoff time for the college football season opener between the TCU Horned Frogs and LSU Tigers has been set for 8:00 P.M. EST on Saturday, Aug. 31. This will be both schools’ second appearance in the Cowboys Classic, the name given to the game created by an agreement between ESPN and the Dallas Cowboys that brings a high profile college football match up to Cowboys Stadium, and the team to come out on top will be the first to claim two wins in the contest. That team will be TCU.
Yep, there it is; TCU is going to beat LSU to open the 2013 NCAA football season. Stop laughing, I’m being serious here.
It is no secret that the SEC blue blood lost a ton of talent from last year’s 11-3 team and while they are still LSU, which means that most of their second string guys have starter level talent, they won’t be the same LSU in 2013. The LSU defense lost a good amount of talent on both the line and in the secondary, so there is vulnerability all over the field to be exploited. The Bayou Bengals are going to lose a couple steps going into this season, and while I think they will figure things out as the season moves along, those losses are going to spell U-P-S-E-T in their opening game.
TCU has talent. They were over-hyped going into last season when people were picking them to win the Big 12 just like the West Virginia Mountaineers were, but they still performed well. They went 7-6 with a 4-5 Big 12 record. Three of those losses came against teams that finished in the Top 25, and one of those three was a triple overtime affair. The Horned Frogs are bringing back talent all over the field and have two excellent QBs to choose from.
Casey Pachall has returned after his off the field shenanigans forced him to leave school and seek help for substance abuse. Trevone Boykin, who stepped into the starting role upon Pachall’s departure, will be back as well. The job is being considered Pachall’s to lose, but I think that the two quarterbacks should be placed on even ground going into spring and perhaps even into preseason practices in August.
No matter who is under center for TCU they will have weapons to work with and the Horned Frogs offence will be able to hang points in 2013. LSU’s weakened defense will have a tall order to fill if they want to contain TCU in the season opener, as will the Tigers offense that will need to put up some big numbers of their own if it turns into a shootout. LSU’s looming lack of offensive production disturbs me.
The crowd won’t be a factor, which sounds like a given fact when talking about a neutral-site game but that hasn’t been the case with the Cowboys Classic. Every edition of this contest has featured a team that is well represented in the DFW area against a team that is from considerably farther off. TCU’s campus is a mere 20 or so miles from Cowboys Stadium and LSU has a strong fan base in throughout the Lone Star State.
The only upset in the history of the Cowboys Classic came in the inaugural game when the then #20 BYU Cougars knocked off the #3 Oklahoma Sooners 14-13. This game is due for another shake-up, and I smell the perfect storm brewing with this TCU vs. LSU contest. TCU will win this game.
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