After a disappointing performance against Iowa State in their first game without suspended QB Casey Pachall, TCU showed signs of life in the last two weeks, easily routing Baylor in Waco and losing a nail-biter to Texas Tech in Fort Worth last week.
Now, with the meat of the Big 12 schedule in front of them, the Frogs desperately need a win over Oklahoma State on Saturday to become bowl eligible, as it's the last game on their schedule against an unranked opponent.
But even after losing starting QB J.W. Walsh last week, the Cowboys will be buoyed by a strong home field advantage in Stillwater and are favored by -7.5 points over TCU on Saturday.
Walsh, a Denton native, had assumed control of the offense after Wes Lunt went out with a knee injury earlier in the season. Now, Lunt, a true freshman, will get the chance to claim his stake on the QB position headed into next spring.
Oklahoma State, which lost stars Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon to the first round of the NFL Draft, is in a very similar position as TCU, as the defending Big 12 champions are currently at 4-2 and have no easy road to get to 6 wins if they can't hold off Gary Patterson's bunch this week.
The game may come down to which team's freshman QB – Lunt or Trevone Boykin – makes a critical mistake. The odds makers don't seem to have much confidence in either, as they set the over/under at 62.5, a low number given the shoot outs that the Big 12 has become known for in 2012.