Sonny Dykes introduced sunny times to TCU last season as the Horned Frogs went on a fairytale journey to the College Football Playoff. Is a repeat of that performance a minimum expectation or are fans hopping mad to be that presumptuous? Our TCU season predictions delve into the possibilities of the 2023 college football campaign.
TCU Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the Big 12 and across the country.
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the TCU season predictions indicate what fans can possibly expect for the Horned Frogs in 2023.
Week 1 – TCU vs. Colorado: Loss, 22-25
It isn’t hyperbole to say that the TCU season opener against Colorado has captured the attention of the college football community unlike any other game on the 2023 calendar. Despite being the second-best team in the nation — if you accept the premise that the National Championship runner-up is indeed the second-best team — it isn’t really TCU driving the fascination.
Everyone wants to see what Deion Sanders’ Colorado Buffaloes team looks like after a remarkable offseason. Is his impact, his transfer portal strategy, really enough to transform arguably the worst Power Five team into a true game-winner instantly? The Buffs’ defense will arguably be the biggest question as offensively they’ve stockpiled the weapons to beat TCU in Week 1.
Week 2 – TCU vs. Nicholls: Win, 41-8
After the attention of Week 1, TCU welcomes Nicholls to Fort Worth in Week 2 with the opportunity to get a comfortable first win on the board. The Colonels allowed an average of 41.5 points to FBS opponents last fall and TCU enters the contest with a 143-42-13 record against non-FBS opposition.
Week 3 – TCU @ Houston: Win, 29-28
The Horned Frogs open their Big 12 account with a “road trip” to Big 12 newcomer Houston. The two teams haven’t met since the 2007 Texas Bowl where TCU made it three successive games with a one-score win. While we’re predicting a tight game, TCU’s offensive additions and a stellar secondary should thwart Houston’s attempts to land a first conference win in Week 3.
Week 4 – TCU vs. SMU: Win, 30-24
Tensions will surely be inflamed as Dykes’ welcomes former team SMU to Fort Worth for a Week 4 clash against SMU. The Horned Frogs took the Mustangs for a ride last season, and while we’re expecting Rhett Lashlee’s team to be an AAC contender, the loss of quarterback Tanner Mordecai to the portal and Rashee Rice to the NFL might prove too much to overcome.
Week 5 – TCU vs. West Virginia: Win, 28-24
Back in Big 12 action, TCU takes on West Virginia in Fort Worth in what should be a winnable game for the Horned Frogs despite having not beaten the Mountaineers at home since 2017. West Virginia’s pass defense will allow QB Chandler Morris to utilize a new room of pass-catching weapons including former SEC players JoJo Earle, Jaylon Robinson, and TE Jack Bech.
Week 6 – TCU @ Iowa State: Loss, 22-26
TCU annihilated Iowa State to end the 2022 college football campaign, but it would be a surprise to see the Horned Frogs assert that same level of dominance in Week 6. They haven’t won in Ames since 2015, and while the Cyclones might not have some of the dangerous playmakers on both sides of the ball that we’re used to, QB Hunter Dekkers is one to watch in the Big 12.
Week 7 – TCU vs. BYU: Loss, 24-26
TCU faces just two of the Big 12 newcomers in the 2023 college football season, and having beaten off Houston on the road earlier in the year, they welcome BYU to Fort Worth in Week 7. The Cougars replace almost their entire offensive line, but there’s enough optimism about the talent — including standout Kingsley Suamataia — to think they can hold off the TCU defense.
Week 8 – TCU vs. Kansas State: Loss, 24-28
TCU and Kansas State played out a thrilling double-header last season, splitting the mini-series 1-1 with the Wildcats getting the better of the Horned Frogs when it really mattered. The lineups will be dramatically altered from those games, but with Kansas State returning Will Howard and some key offensive line pieces, the result from Arlington may remain the same.
Week 10 – TCU @ Texas Tech: Loss, 24-30
TCU got the better of Texas Tech in early November last season as they established themselves as the team to beat in the Big 12. Joey McGuire’s team hasn’t lost since, becoming the form side in the conference and a team on the rise.
The Red Raiders’ high-powered offense may prove to be just too much for a TCU side that returns some key parts of the secondary but will undeniably be impacted by the loss of ball-hawk Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson.
MORE: Big 12 QB Rankings 2023
Week 11 – TCU vs. Texas: Loss, 26-31
When TCU’s defense was repeatedly questioned and used against them in College Football Playoff rankings discussions, they stepped up and shut down Texas — holding the Longhorns to just 10 points.
However, their in-state rivals have an embarrassment of riches on that side of the ball this fall with a pass-catching trio as good as any in the nation. With a return to full health of quarterback Quinn Ewers, the Longhorns might just be too good to stop.
Week 12 – TCU vs. Baylor: Win, 26-25
A grand total of three points has decided the last two games between these two teams. We’re expecting a close game again in Week 12 of the 2023 college football season, with the Horned Frogs finding a way to subdue a potent Baylor ground game.
A win gives TCU bowl eligibility potential ahead of their final game. Kicker Griffin Kell could be a hero once again here.
Week 13 – TCU @ Oklahoma: Loss, 27-30
TCU hasn’t won in Norman since 2005, and with the expectation that the Sooners return to form in the upcoming season, that streak extends in a close game to round out the season.
Dillon Gabriel has the talent to lead Oklahoma back to Big 12 relevancy if he can stay healthy this fall. Meanwhile, they have a young, talented defense that can help power this team to victory.