Best case, worst case for 2023: TCU Horned Frogs

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

Spring football is ongoing across the state of Texas now that spring break is over. The 13 FBS programs in the Lone Star State are allowed to participate in 15 on-field practice sessions, including 12 involving contact. Spring games are littered throughout April with most taking place on April 15 or April 22. Houston goes first when the Cougars play their spring game on April 7. 

The 2023 season is one of change. Sam Houston is moving up to Conference USA from the FCS ranks. Houston is now in the Big 12. UTSA, North Texas, and Rice are preparing for their first season in the American Athletic Conference. 

But what is the best and worst case that can happen for each team in 2023? Here’s where we stand on the TCU Horned Frogs


2022 record: 13-2

2023 schedule 
Sept. 2           Colorado         
Sept. 9           Nicholls           
Sept. 16         at Houston      
Sept. 23         SMU                
Sept. 30         West Virginia  
Oct. 7             at Iowa State   
Oct. 14           BYU                
Oct. 21           at Kansas State          
Oct. 28           IDLE
Nov. 2            at Texas Tech 
Nov. 11          Texas              
Nov. 18          Baylor              
Nov. 25          at Oklahoma   

Best case for 2023: The Horned Frogs illustrated the program’s ceiling in 2022 – the first with Sonny Dykes in charge – and it turns out there isn’t one. TCU ran the table in the regular season and then beat Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl to advance to the national championship game. Not bad for a program that was essentially .500 in the four previous seasons. Quarterback Max Duggan reached the Heisman Trophy presentation and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson won the Thorpe Award. The only thing that eluded the Horned Frogs was a Big 12 title and a solid showing against Georgia. 

The best-case scenario in 2023 might not be the same, and that’s okay. The ceiling can’t become the floor after one tremendous season. TCU must replace its starting quarterback, running back, its best receiver, and offensive linemen. The defense also has plenty of holes. But the Big 12 is winnable. The conference is wide open and lacks a true favorite unless you’re brave enough to count on the Longhorns to fulfill their potential. TCU overachieved in 2022, so who is to say what the ceiling is in 2023? The talent is there to remain one of the best teams in the Big 12. The schedule early in the year should provide a runway for the new faces to emerge. Those new faces include impact transfers such as JoJo Earle and Tommy Brockermeyer. 

A 7-0 start isn’t out of the question, and that momentum could spark another dream finish for the Horned Frogs. 

Worst case for 2023: TCU fans only need to look towards their biggest rivals – Baylor – for a roadmap of how the 2023 season could unfold – or unravel. Baylor went from a 12-win team that won the Big 12 crown and the Sugar Bowl over an SEC squad to a 6-7 team in 2023 thanks to a mass exodus of stars. It is hard to imagine the Horned Frogs not taking at least a little leap backwards without starters such as Max Duggan, Kendre Miller, Quentin Johnston, Steve Avila, Dee Winters, Dylan Horton, and Hodges-Tomlinson. 

The worst case scenario for TCU could start with upset losses in non-conference play to Deion Sanders’ Colorado or Dykes’ former players at SMU. The backend of the Big 12 schedule is brutal, as well. The final five games of the 2023 season are Kansas State, Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma. Going 0-5 in those games isn’t ridiculous. There’s a possibility that TCU could go from national runner-up to not bowl eligible in one year. 


Texas Longhorns 
Texas A&M Aggies

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In
Don't Miss Any Exclusive Coverage!

We've been the Bible of Texas football fans for 64 years. By joining the DCTF family you'll gain access to all of our exclusive content and have our magazines mailed to you!