TCU may be in the Big 12, but they are not of the conference, at least not yet.
That's the biggest take-away from the opening line of their matchup with Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (fantastic name, I know). While the Frogs are 2 point favorites, the big story is the over/under of only 41.5, a far cry from the 49-45 shoot-outs the conference has become known for.
The Spartans, like the Frogs, are built around their defense, as they've given up only 16.3 points a game.
However, their offense, despite two game-breakers and future high draft picks in RB Le'Veon Bell and TE Dion Sims, has struggled mightily to replace QB Kirk Cousins, who graduated last season. As a result, they come into the bowl game with a 6-6 record, with five of those losses coming by a combined 13 points.
With Gary Patterson turning to a far more conservative offensive game-plan in the wake of QB Casey Pachall's departure, this game could be decided by which team wins the turnover margin and gives their offense a short field. Neither one has given any indication they'll be able to consistently move the chains against a top-flight BCS caliber defense, which both Michigan State and TCU have.