2015 season preview: TCU Horned Frogs

With 10 offensive starters returning, Trevone Boykin and TCU appear equipped for a playoff run. Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

Our season preview capsule for the TCU Horned Frogs:

Most important player: Trevone Boykin, who else? Boykin’s dramatic transformation from part-time receiver to Heisman-contending quarterback spurred TCU on the verge of the College Football Playoff last year. With nine other starters back offensively, the Horned Frogs have the pieces to punch their ticket into the playoff. Of course, they'll only get there if Boykin can replicate the dynamic form he displayed in 2014.

Breakout candidate for offense and defense: Offensively, promising sophomore Trevorris Johnson will bring a different element to the TCU attack as a bruising power-back option able to churn out tough yards in short-yardage situations. Defensively, with three-year starter Sam Carter gone, the Horned Frogs will be looking for someone to step up at strong safety. Since the spring, junior Denzel Johnson has lived up to the task, and should lock up a starting job before the Thursday night opener at Minnesota.

Most important game: Baylor, who else? The "Revivalry" was the game of the regular season in college football last year, and with both teams loaded again, the 2015 showdown could feature the same. The fourth-quarter collapse in Waco last season was the difference between TCU missing and making the playoff. This Black Friday in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs will be gunning for payback against Baylor while stating their closing argument for the playoff committee.

Class of 2015 signee to watch: Gary Patterson shocked many when he started true freshman Mike Freeze in the spring game. The three-star linebacker wasn’t considered a major recruiting victory when he committed, but he’s the type of player that excels in Patterson’s program. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s continued to blossom physically and is now 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. -- ESPN RecruitingNation’s Jeremy Crabtree

Class of 2016 storyline: TCU joins Baylor as the only two Big 12 teams in the top 20 of the national recruiting rankings. The Horned Frogs' class is off to a tremendous start and they capitalized off of last season’s success. Manvel High, southwest of Houston, has been good to the Horned Frogs, with ESPN 300 lineman Austin Myers and athlete D'Eriq King committed from the school. -- Crabtree

Record/season prediction: With trips to Stillwater and Norman on the docket, the Horned Frogs don’t make it through the year unscathed. But in their regular-season finale, they avenge last year’s loss to Baylor to finish 11-1, capture the Big 12 title and advance into the playoff.