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West Virginia vs TCU Prediction

While TCUs chances of winning a Big XII championship and earning a spot in the College Football Playoff may have increased during their bye week last week when rival Baylors quarterback was injured, the Horned Frogs would be wise to avoid looking too far beyond the Thursday Night Football West Virginia-TCU game.

Fox Sports 1 will televise the TNF West Virginia-TCU game at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Thursday from Fort Worth.

Undefeated TCU is ranked in the Top 5 entering the TCU-West Virginia game, and with its toughest remaining games coming in November, it might be tempting for the Horned Frogs to look past the TCU-West Virginia contest toward dates in November with Top 15-ranked Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, and #2-ranked Baylor. And Baylor may have TCUs attention right now, as Baylor quarterback Seth Russel suffered a broken bone in his neck against Iowa State last Saturday, leaving his status for the season-ending TCU-Baylor game in doubt.

The Horned Frogs will carry a 7-0 record into the West Virginia-TCU game, having scored at least 45 points in their last six games. TCU has been especially good at home, outscoring Stephen F. Austin, SMU, and Texas by a combined 176-51.

But West Virginia was a thorn in the side of the best Big XII teams last season, and the Mountaineers deserve the Horned Frogs full attention for the TNF game. West Virginia just missed an upset of TCU last season, falling 31-30 in Morgantown. That represented TCUs closest win in a 12-1 season. And the Mountaineers cost Baylor a spot in the College Football Playoff in 2014, handing the Bears their only regular-season loss, 41-27, in Morgantown.

The West Virginia-TCU game will be the final of a brutal four-game stretch to open Big XII play for the Mountaineers. After posting a 3-0 record in non-conference play, including a 45-6 win against Maryland, West Virginia lost its first three conference games, all against ranked teams that have a combined record of 20-1. The Mountaineers have lost 44-24 at Oklahoma, 33-26 in overtime at home against Oklahoma State, and 63-28 at Baylor.

Since both teams have become members of the Big XII, West Virginia trails TCU, 2-1, but the three games have been decided by a total of five points. The Mountaineers won in their only trip in school history to Fort Worth, knocking off TCU, 30-27, in 2013. TCU won by one point at West Virginia in 2012, 39-38.