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Sunday, November 20, 2011
Charmed? TCU’s BCS hopes take hit

By Jeff Caplan

The TCU Horned Frogs entered Saturday's game against Colorado State ranked No. 19 in the BCS rankings and needing to move up.

After the dust settled on a wild weekend, TCU's 24-point win turned into a rankings loss.

The Frogs' hopes for a third consecutive BCS berth took perhaps a devastating hit when the BCS computers revealed Sunday night that TCU (9-2) actually dropped one spot to No. 20. TCU must finish in the top 16 in the final rankings in two weeks to have any hope of earning an automatic BCS berth.

For the complete BCS rankings, click here.

TCU doesn't play again until its season finale on Dec. 3 at home against UNLV (2-8), which will do little to strengthen its case. The Frogs are assured of at least sharing the Mountain West Conference championship and will win it outright with a victory over the Rebels.

If TCU did somehow get the help it needs from teams ranked ahead of it and did crack the top 16, the Frogs would still need help from Houston, which moved up to No. 8. TCU needs Houston to lose Friday at Tulsa, which would make the Golden Hurricane (7-3) the Conference USA West division champ and put it in the C-USA title game. If Houston beats Tulsa, TCU would then need the Cougars (11-0) to lose in the C-USA championship game. If the Cougars win out, they will play in the school's first BCS game.

The BCS grants an automatic berth to a non-AQ conference champion if it finishes in the top 16 and ahead of the champion of an AQ conference. Houston and TCU are virtually assured of finishing ahead of the champion of the Big East, which does not have a team ranked in the top 25 of the BCS standings.

After Sunday's rankings, however, it appears TCU's brief flirtation with the BCS will end as nothing more.

Likely TCU bowl destination: Independence bowl in Shreveport, La.