TCU’s chances of winning a Big 12 game are dwindling.

The Horned Frogs have six regular season games remaining, including a stretch of three games in six says beginning Wednesday night against Kansas State at Bramlage Coliseum.

The feisty Wildcats (17-8, 7-5 in the Big 12), who were once ranked and are still receiving votes in both national polls, recently beat top 20 teams in Texas and Kansas in Manhattan, Kan., before losing in double-overtime at Baylor Saturday. K-State held off TCU 65-47 on Jan. 7 in Fort Worth.

“I think they’re better defensively,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said of K-State. “I think they’ve got a good grasp of what [coach] Bruce [Weber] wants them to do defensively. That’s indicative of them beating Kansas, because that’s a special team. That’s a pretty good indication of how good Kansas State is playing.”

TCU (9-15, 0-12) is still playing pretty good defense, but it has wavered later in games at times with the score out of hand, much to Johnson’s chagrin. But the effort against No. 8 Kansas Saturday remained strong despite the lopsided score early in the second half. Johnson is resigned to the fact that great effort from his players is about all he can ask of them this season with only eight scholarship players available, plus having starter Amric Fields “dragging” a previously operated on knee around during games, and his starting center Karviar Shepherd playing with a cast on his broken hand for the last couple of weeks