TCU had an unbelievable season in 2010-11, posting a 13-0 record and a Rose Bowl victory over the Big Ten’s Wisconsin Badgers.

The only blemish was out of their control, as the Horned Frogs were not able to convince voters and computer rankings that they belonged in the BCS National Championship Game

Entering the 2011 season, bodog.com has TCU listed as a 28-1 futures play to win the BCS National Championship. Can the Horned Frogs have another undefeated season AND break the BCS monopoly

Offense 

TCUTCU will be breaking in a new quarterback this season following the graduation of Andy Dalton. Sophomore Casey Pachall is expected to take the reins of the offense. Pachall had a year under Dalton and should provide the Horned Frogs with a dual-threat option that is perfect for the offense. The key to his success may be the offense line (more on those issues later). 

The TCU Horned Frogs are stacked at running back with the returns of Ed Wesley (1,078 yards, 11 td), Matthew Tucker (709 yards, 7 td), and Waymon James (509 yards, 5 td). Assuming Pachall is as effective with his legs as expected, this should be an explosive rushing attack. 

Josh Boyce (646 yards, 6 td) is the top returning receiver for TCU, which must replace 18 touchdowns from a trio of departed wide receivers. Antoine Hicks (175 yards, 2 td) is considered the top candidate to complement Boyce on the other side of the field. Four-star recruits LaDarius Brown and Brandon Carter may also be called upon to contribute early. 

The offensive line is a major point of concern for the Horned Frogs this spring. Kyle Dooley returns at left guard and Blaize Foltz will start at right guard. Foltz missed much of 2010 with a knee injury, so his health is a question mark. Senior Zach Roth is expected to take a starting position, but Gary Patterson will move him around based on the needs of the team. Patterson is, according to reports, displeased with the other candidates for tackle. Junior James Fry should take over at center. 

Defense

TCU’s defensive line will look very different this season, with only sophomore Stansly Moponga returning from last year’s unit. Defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas must find replacements from returning players, as there don’t seem to be any answers in the 2011 recruiting class. This unit could struggle a bit, especially early in the season. 

Both linebackers in the Horned Frogs’ 4-2-5 return for the 2011 campaign. Tank Carder and Tanner Brock will be called up to support the young defensive line against the run while they also harass opposing quarterbacks. Deryck Gildon could see early playing time as a true freshman for this unit. 

The secondary will be anchored by returning corner Greg McCoy and safety Tekerrein Cuba, both seniors. Spring and Fall practice will determine the other three starters, though upperclassmen Jurrell Thompson and Johnny Fobbs seem to be favorites for two of the spots. It is important to remember that three of the five secondary positions will be manned by new starters in 2011. 

Schedule/Outlook 

TCU

TCU’s last season in the Mountain West Conference will be highlighted by a visit to the Smurf Turf of Boise State on November 12. I believe that this game will eliminate any shot at a BCS bowl for the Horned Frogs. 

Other dangerous games on the schedule include a trip to Colorado Springs against the Air Force Falcons and a visit to Jerry’s Palace in Arlington to play BYU. The game against Air Force could be particularly dicey since it takes place in the second week of the season. The offensive line, defensive line, and secondary may still be in the process of gelling at that point.ugh 

Patterson has done a tremendous job at TCU, and 28-1 is an attractive price for such a successful program. There are, however, more unknowns than usual surrounding the Horned Frogs in 2011. If you take this wager, you’re betting on a perfect season for them AND no two BCS schools having undefeated records. TCU will have a good season, but not a great season. 10-2 sounds like a reasonable record in 2011. Save your futures money for a better wager.