On Monday night, TCU Football’s unforeseen run in the 2022 season came to a disappointing end at the hands of the now back-to-back National Champion Georiga Bulldogs. Nonetheless, it was a truly magical run as the Frogs went from unranked to start the season all the way to being the runner-up in all of College Football.
You don’t need odds to tell you that not a lot of people think the Rangers are going to make a run to the World Series so It’s safe to say that the Texas Rangers are going to need some of the same magic the Horned Frogs encountered if they want to make a deep run in the 2023 season.
However, if one thing was proven by Max Duggan and the boys from DFW this fall, it’s that anything can happen in the wild world of Sports. To say the Rangers don’t have a chance to make a deep run this year shows that you haven’t been watching sports for the past six months.
At the forefront of every deep run is a mastermind coach who seems to always push the right buttons when necessary. For TCU Football it was first-year head coach Sonny Dikes who had one of the greatest first seasons ever by a college football coach. Unlike Dikes and the Frogs, the Rangers have a first-year head man who has won three championships as a manager in Bruce Bochy. There is no doubt that Bochy is the right man to lead the Rangers into the promise land.
This season the TCU Horned Frogs were led by offensive playmakers Max Duggan, Kendre Miller, and more, to say the Rangers have significant offensive playmakers would probably be an understatement. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager will be back in Arlington for the second year of their huge mega contracts. Year two in the Lone Star State should see significant improvements for both Semien and Seager. The two first-year middle infielders combined with Adolis Garcia and Nathaniel Lowe created a four-man force to be reckoned with in 2022, and they will look to do the same in the new year. Not to mention the depth that Texas will feature in their lineup in 2023 which includes Mitch Garver, Jonah Heim, and more. It has become clear that the Rangers will have an elite offense in 2023.
A key to winning in sports is having success on both sides of the ball. TCU Football showed that to be the case in their big semi-final upset win vs Michigan. The Horned Frogs forced three turnovers including a pick-six on their way to a 51-45 win against the Wolverines. Rangers GM Chirs Young made it his mission this offseason to upgrade the pitching staff and boy did he do just that. Newcomers Jacob Degrom, Andrew Heaney, and Nathan Eovaldi will join returnees Martin Perez and Jon Gray to make one of the best rotations in all of baseball. The Rangers are set up to find success on both the offensive and pitching side of things in 2023.
Unexpected heroes play a big role in sports teams’ championship runs, and many of sports top stars emerged from nowhere to make a name for themselves. For the Horned Frogs football team, we saw that at the most important position in all of sports, quarterback. Coming into the year, Oklahoma transfer Chandler Morris was under center for the Frogs. It wasn’t until Morris suffered a leg injury in the Frog’s season opener against Colorado that future Heisman trophy runner-up Max Duggan had an opportunity. Just about everyone in DFW knows that Duggan cashed in on that opportunity as he went on to throw for over 3,000 yards with 32 touchdowns while rushing for over 400 yards and 9 touchdowns. For the Texas Rangers, you can take your guess as to who the unexpected hero will be. I think a name to watch out for would be Andrew Heaney. When Chris Young set out to bolster the rotation this offseason, bringing in Andrew Heaney for the number five spot was a huge boost. The former Dodgers K% was in the 97th percentile while his whiff % was in the 96th. I think that Heaney could be an unexpected breakout for Texas in 2023.
The truth is absolutely no one expected the TCU Horned Frogs football team to make a run all the way to the National Championship Game. The same can be said for the Rangers, not a lot of people think they’ll even make it to the playoffs. However, if there’s one thing we learned from the Frogs this fall, it’s that anything can happen in the wild world of sports.