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TCU No. 14 In AP Preseason, Can They Play For The National Championship?

We all know how tough it is for a non-BCS conference school to play in the BCS National Title game, and it's certainly something that has many crying for an FBS playoff system instead of the BCS rankings. Still though, we're stuck with the BCS rankings for better or for worse. While the BCS rankings aren't available yet, TCU knows roughly where they stand to start the season after being ranked No. 14 by the AP in their preseason rankings. 

As per usual, TCU will have a tough mountain to climb if they want to play in the BCS title game. The 13 schools ahead of them that they'd have to climb are the usual suspects for the most part: Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Boise State, Florida State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Most of these schools are likely to pick up a loss throughout the season - and TCU will be facing off against Boise State on November 12. 

Still, though, is TCU's schedule strong enough to warrant a chance at the BCS title - assuming they can run the table?

Aside from the aforementioned date against Boise State, the Horned Frogs' schedule is soft. If Alabama or LSU comes out the winner of the SEC title game with one loss, that certainly will look stronger than TCU beating up on the Mountain West Conference schools. 

The Rose Bowl victory will also be fresh in everybody's mind when it comes to this debate - should it be necessary to have it in December. Still, though, it'll be up to the BCS computers to decide who plays in the title game. As it stands right now, I don't think TCU would be playing for the title over a one-loss SEC or Big 12 team in the title game - and I'm pretty certain that given the schedule, it'd be the right decision too. 

Of course, this is all getting way ahead of ourselves. It's August 20, and a lot can - and will - change between now and December in the college football world. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.