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LSU Tigers vs. TCU Horned Frogs Preview: Two Mysterious Quarterbacks Control Their Teams' Ambitions

It's Pachall vs. Mettenberger as LSU and TCU look to stake their claims on a new season

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

LSU Tigers vs. TCU Horned Frogs, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

TCU is kind of an enigma this year. And it's not just because of last year's 7-6 record during the Horned Frogs' inaugural season in the Big XII. After all, Texas A&M being the obvious exception, teams that aren't already in the national championship conversation year-in and year-out tend to take a year or two to adapt to a new league when they get there. That was maybe not expected, but was certainly not unforeseeable.

There are other reasons that the Horned Frogs are a little bit mysterious this year. Casey Pachall returns from the exile that seemed to endanger his college football career roughly a year ago. Pachall was a solid quarterback for TCU, and you have to think their season came unglued at least in part because of his suspension.

Of course, LSU has its own enigma at quarterback. Zach Mettenberger still has not completely proven that the breakout everyone has been expected is in the offing. And Mettenberger brings his own checkered past into this game, hoping that another year and a quality year at that will ensure that his name will not forever be associated with the strange series of events that brought him to Baton Rouge when he originally planned to play in Athens.

This game marks the first opportunity for Mettenberger and LSU to prove that they are not simply the third wheel in the race for the SEC West. While Alabama has drawn the attention befitting the reigning national champions and Texas A&M has drawn publicity because of Johnny Manziel's Heisman and all other manner of Manziel things, LSU has been quiet. Now, it's time for them to make a statement.

LSU 28, TCU 10