TCU has an image problem. Sonny Dykes should know.
It wasn't until recently the TCU coach was recognized at a local Starbucks while fetching coffee for himself and his wife.
"I told her, 'Well, it's the very first time everybody in the place kind of knew who I was,'" Dykes recalled in a conversation with CBS Sports. "I was a little disappointed."
But in a good way. Dykes has always wanted to be in a metropolitan area, able to blend in, even if that now means coaching at a private school with an undergraduate enrollment of about 10,000. The TCU campus is not only small but subdued, tucked away in the western fringe of the Metroplex in Fort Worth, the slower-paced neighbor of Dallas.
It is totally understandable TCU could be a place that offers a bit of anonymity. However, football has intervened. Eleven months into the gig, Dykes has made No. 7 TCU a national story.
The Horned Frogs (8-0) are one of six undefeated teams this week of the first College Football Playoff Rankings. They are the only undefeated team left in the Big 12, a conference they now have to be favored to win. They at one point had four consecutive wins over ranked teams, though the last three victories have been of the come-from-behind variety.
Now, about that image problem. It is real considering the company TCU keeps in those CFP Rankings. Compared to the likes of Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Michigan and Alabama, TCU doesn't have the same tradition or name recognition. No surprise it is behind all of them in the rankings, including the one-loss Crimson Tide.