TCU football exceeded all expectations in Sonny Dykes’ first season in 2022. No one expected the new coach to turn a 5-7 team around into a national title contender, but that’s exactly what he did.
TCU’s run felt a lot like North Carolina’s 2022 NCAA Tournament run where it just got hot at the right time and no one could slow the Tar Heels down. Like TCU, the Tar Heels lost in the national title game and expectations were high the following season.
But I’m not entirely sure that the Horned Frogs’ expectations will be nearly as high as UNC basketball’s were before the 2022-23 season. Actually, I know people will be down on TCU.
Losing Max Duggan and Quentin Johnston will hurt and replacing a quarterback and leader like the former is going to be borderline impossible. Chandler Morris will do his best Duggan impression next season, but no one is going to be quite like him.
Plus, Kendre Miller is gone after rushing for nearly 1,400 yards in 2022.
Expectations will be tempered for the Horned Frogs this upcoming season.
Realistic TCU football expectations for 2023
Without Duggan, Johnston, and Miller, the offense is going to take a step, or two, back. That’s not to say the Horned Frogs won’t be solid offensively, though.
Morris could be a surprise at quarterback, Jordan Hudson is my pick to be the next Johnston at receiver and there are some really good transfer wideouts coming in, and Trey Sanders will be a load at running back as the former Alabama back and five-star prospect will take over the backfield.
The offense will take a slight step back, but not a huge one, as long as quarterback play is above average.
Defensively, TCU will need some improvement and I don’t see why that wouldn’t happen. This unit should be better this year.
Looking at the schedule, I think TCU starts the year 5-0 before facing a tough road test at Iowa State. I think the Horned Frogs are better than the Cyclones, but they’ll slip up there to drop their first game of the season. They’ll bounce back to beat BYU before losing at Kansas State and at Texas Tech after a bye. TCU and Texas will have a heck of a game on Nov. 11 but the Horned Frogs will prevail by a score and they’ll also beat Baylor at home before losing in Norman against Oklahoma.
I think 8-4 is a realistic expectation for this team after losing so much from a national title runner-up team and 7-5 would be the floor. The ceiling for the Horned Frogs next year, in my opinion, is 10-2.