- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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No. 6 TCU set out to send a message in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Wednesday and did a whole lot more: a 42-3 demolition of No. 9 Ole Miss that evoked the admiration of the college football world. Three things that stood out about the Horned Frogs' finale to finish 12-1:
1. TCU could've won the College Football Playoff. That's not a guarantee, an overreaction or some crazy hot take. The Horned Frogs team we saw Wednesday would've given Alabama all it could handle and more in New Orleans. The potent cocktail of aggression, speed and impeccable preparation put on display against the hapless Rebs proved TCU can play with anybody. Gary Patterson's squad can beat anybody, too, when they're clicking like this. The Tide and their CFP counterparts should breathe a sigh of relief. This TCU team is scary dangerous and seemed capable of pulling off a playoff stunner.
2. Frogs defense went for the kill. Who had the No. 1 scoring defense in the country during the regular season? Ole Miss, of course. But the better D won this game, and there's really no question about that. Forcing Bo Wallace to self-destruct right away made this game a cakewalk, and TCU's relentlessness against the run (9 yards allowed) made the Rebels even more miserable. James McFarland's zero-yard pick-six was the unforgettable highlight of the afternoon, but so many other players came up big as well. Horned Frog defenders took over, played fast and saved their best for last.
3. If you thought this was fun, just wait. Trevone Boykin and nearly every member of this offense are coming back for 2015. The only seniors departing? Left tackle Tayo Fabuluje, blocking tight end Cliff Murphy and valued backups David Porter and Matt Joeckel. That's it and that's all. TCU's offense will have all the same firepower, the momentum of an eight-game win streak and another full offseason to take the Air Raid to the next level. With all the buzz this bowl showing elicited, it's easy to see why TCU could go into 2015 as one of the most-hyped teams in the country.