(5) Wisconsin (11-1) vs. (3) Texas Christian (12-0) (-3)
I love how so many previews for this game are making Wisconsin look like a king-hell offensive juggernaut that will lay waste to TCU’s defense and then burn Fort Worth to the ground just to make a point. The Badgers ran the score up on Austin Peay, Indiana, and Northwestern after Dan Persa was hurt. Any great defenses in there? Didn’t think so.
TCU makes a living keeping teams just like this from running the ball. It’s teams that throw that give the Horned Frogs problems. Note the season-high point yields to SMU and SDSU, two teams that have above average passing attacks. Air Force got seven points on TCU’s defense. Utah got blown the f*ck out for the same reason. Wisconsin is big, but they do not scare TCU at all.
I do wonder if TCU’s offense can score on Wisconsin, though. They aren’t a supermechanized killing machine like Boise State, and their spread scheme is fairly predictable. If Wisconsin can force Andy Dalton into having to do everything, he’ll make one or two key mistakes and that will probably be the difference.
I’m just disappointed we didn’t get to see TCU’s defense try to stop Oregon or Auburn in the title game, but this game is almost as good. Neither Auburn or Oregon dropped a game and TCU was playing in Boise State’s shadow all year. And yes, I’m fully aware of the irony of trumpeting Boise State all year only to end up possibly excluding the only non-AQ team left once they lost. I have no excuse.
Also, how did Gary Patterson’s name stay out of the running for all those big-time openings at Miami and Florida? Is he that committed to TCU? Sure, they’re moving to the Big East and get to keep their Texas recruiting advantage, but imagine what he could do at Miami or Florida with their recruiting bases. Then again, the moves TCU has made are probably going to make it too big-time a job for Patterson to leave, which will probably mean another pay bump to make the plane ride to New Jersey a little easier.
For this game, I’m thinking defense wins titles, or at least BCS games. TCU wins a close one with some kind of miraculous play in the fourth quarter.