Allstate Sugar Bowl Looks at Big 12-SEC 2015The Allstate Sugar Bowl secured its future through January 2026 with the announcement that it would host the champions of the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences in eight of the 12 years between 2014 and 2025. If the champion of either or both leagues is selected for the College Football Playoff, a replacement team from that conference will play in the Sugar Bowl. In the four seasons that the Sugar Bowl is not hosting the Big 12 and the SEC (2014, 2017, 2020, 2023), it will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal.
After last year’s Playoff Semifinal game, this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl will be the first as the official destination for the top available teams from the Big 12 and the SEC. To lead into the season, the Bowl is providing brief previews of each team in the leagues.
TCU2014 Record: 12-1 (8-1, tied for first in the Big 12)
Athlon: Allstate Sugar Bowl vs. Ole Miss
Sporting News: Cotton Bowl Playoff Semifinal vs. Auburn
Phil Steele: Cotton Bowl Playoff Semifinal vs. Alabama
ESPN (Schlabach): Cotton Bowl Playoff Semifinal vs. Oregon
ESPN (McMurphy): Cotton Bowl Playoff Semifinal vs. USC
AP: Allstate Sugar Bowl vs. Georgia
CBS: Cotton Bowl Playoff Semifinal vs. Auburn
Trevone Boykin (Sr., QB): 301-of-492, 3,901 yards, 33 TDs, 10 INT, Manning Award finalist
Josh Doctson (Sr., WR): 65 catches for a school-record 1,018 yards, 11 TDs
Kolby Listenbee (Sr., WR): 41 catches for 753 yards, 4 TDs
Aaron Green (Sr., RB): 129 carries for 922 yards, 9 TDs
Derrick Kindred (Sr., S): 80 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 4 INT
Joey Hunt (Sr., C): Second-team All-Big 12
The TCU program has a number of relevant key stats for this season, including the fact that they return 10 offensive starters from last year’s powerhouse team and that quarterback Trevone Boykin led the Big 12 in total offense with 363 yards per game. An interesting stat would even be that in 2013, Boykin was a receiver and caught 26 passes. However, our pick for the one “key stat” for 2015 is that of the seven bowl projections listed here, five have the Horned Frogs reaching the College Football Playoff.
Key Early Games
Sept. 3 at Minnesota (8 p.m. CT, ESPN): TCU’s 30-7 win over the Gophers in the second game of the year ended up carrying a lot of weight in the polls when Minnesota won its next four games to climb into the Top 25. This year, the Horned Frogs need to make an early statement again to justify their high ranking.
Sept. 26 at Texas Tech (TV TBA): The Big 12 opener could possibly be another lopsided affair like last year’s 82-27 TCU victory, however, it could also be a challenge for the Horned Frogs who need to replace six of their top seven tacklers from last year. The Red Raiders will be sure to test the newcomers with their high-octane attack.
The TCU defense was one of the best in the country last year, however, for 2015, Derrick Kindred (@ddkjr26) is the only returning player who tallied more than 41 tackles. The senior safety ranked third on the team with 80 takedowns – the rest of the top seven in that stat on the team have departed. In addition to his tackle numbers, Kindred snagged four interceptions – one of which he returned for a touchdown. Despite the key losses, Kindred is confident in his teammates and in the abilities of Coach Gary Patterson – since 2000, when Patterson took over, TCU has the nation’s top rushing defense. “I like that they doubt us,” Kindred said in a San Antonio Express-News article. “I feel like Coach P will do whatever has to be done to get us to be what we need to be. The doubters don’t worry me. We’re looking pretty good. We have to grow some guys up and fill in a couple of spots, but I think we’ll be all right.”
Quickly moving to the top of many Heisman Trophy projections has been TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, who was a finalist for the Manning Award last year. Here’s a great look at many of the highlights from Boykin’s outstanding junior season.
TCU was a critical part of the early history of the Sugar Bowl, winning a pair of games within the first five years of the bowl’s existence. In the 1936 game, College Football Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh led the Horned Frogs to a 3-2 victory over LSU, then in the 1939 Sugar Bowl, it was Heisman Trophy winner Davey O’Brien directing the Frogs to a 15-7 victory over Carnegie Tech to cap off a perfect national championship campaign.
O’Brien threw a 44-yard TD pass in the third quarter to give TCU a 12-7 lead, then increased the lead by booting a 20-yard field goal. Carnegie Tech continued to threaten and the victory was not assured until the superstar O’Brien intercepted a late pass to foil the Tartans’ comeback plans.