Despite falling in the Big 12 Championship game to Kansas State, the TCU Horned Frogs (12-1) are heading to their first College Football Playoff as the No. 3 team in the country. TCU has been the biggest surprise of the college football season and joined the 2021 Michigan Wolverines as the only other team to start a season unranked in AP Poll and still make the CFP.
First-year head coach Sonny Dykes is one win away from tying TCU’s single-season win record (13 in 2010) and is poised to win AP Coach of the Year. Dykes briefly spoke with the media after TCU’s selection into the CFP and offered his preliminary thoughts on facing Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl.
When asked about his first impressions of Michigan:
“You know honestly, I haven’t had a chance to look at much of Michigan, so far. Watched them a little bit last night. I was on kid duty, quite frankly… The little bit I saw they looked like a very physical football team. I think certainly at the end of the game they were very physically imposing last night against Purdue. Saw the quarterback make a ton of plays, improvise outside the pocket. I was really impressed with the things that he can do, what kind of athlete he was, how accurate he was, moving outside of the pocket. They just look like a very, very good football team.
Defensively, they’re what you would expect: big up front, physical. Saw the corner No. 2 (Will Johnson) have a couple of interceptions, really looked like he was a very productive player last night. So it was a big win for Michigan last night against a good Purdue team. They look like a very talented football team, as I said we haven’t had a chance to dive in yet and look at them, but just on the outside looking in, they look like a heck of a team.”
On his time as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona and facing Jim Harbaugh-led Stanford teams:
“You know I remember they were really good. They had some really good players: (quarterback) Andrew Luck and some guys that were really, really good football players. They had a really physical football team. I think that is the one trademark of Jim Harbaugh teams, certainly Stanford and I would assume Michigan as well.
You know they’re going to be tough, physical, hard-nosed football teams. I think that’s Jim’s mentality and I think that’s why he’s been so successful. His teams always play hard, they are going to be well-coached, they are going to play physical, and they are going to be competitive and play tough. And those are all key ingredients to having a good football team. You know I don’t know Jim all that well, been around him on a number of occasions and look forward to getting to know him through the process and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and what he has done at Michigan.”