TCU football: Horned Frogs get off to tame Big 12 start before playing heavy hitters
Here is a quick primer on TCU's first season in the Big 12:
Last Year: 11-2, Mountain West champions, beat Louisiana Tech 31-24 in the Poinsettia Bowl.
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Coach: Gary Patterson (109-30 in his 12th season)
Returning starters: 15 (7 offense, 8 defense)
Outlook: The Horned Frogs, despite losing 26 seniors off a Rose Bowl championship team, claimed an unprecedented third straight Mountain West title last fall. Under Patterson, winning – and winning big – has become habit. The Frogs have won at least 11 games in six of the past seven seasons and been ranked in the top 10 of both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Poll the past three years.
The Big 12 will be a jump up in competition on a weekly basis, although TCU has proven itself worthy in recent spotlight non-conference clashes.
TCU returns 15 starters from the 2011 squad, including most of its key playmakers on offense. Quarterback Casey Pachall, a junior to be, was superb in following Andy Dalton, throwing for 2,921 yards and 25 TDs with seven interceptions. He passed for five touchdowns in a win at Boise State.