Joeckel is eligible immediately in 2014.
Despite owning one of the Big 12’s top defenses last season, TCU finished with its worst record under Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs finished 4-8 overall and just 2-7 in Big 12 play.
The main culprit of last season’s four-win mark was an offense that ranked ninth in the Big 12 in total yards per game (349.1) and managed just 4.9 yards per play.
Some of TCU’s offensive struggles were due to bad luck, as quarterback Casey Pachall was injured early in the year, which hindered the development of the passing attack.
Despite last year’s disappointment, there is plenty of optimism in Fort Worth going into 2014.
New co-offensive coordinators Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham have installed an up-tempo attack, and TCU landed Texas A&M transfer Matt Joeckel after spring practice to bolster the quarterback spot.
Joeckel doesn’t have a wealth of experience from his three years with the Aggies. Joeckel threw for 335 yards in his Texas A&M career and tossed two touchdown passes in 2013.
Despite his lack of experience, Joeckel’s transfer is a key addition for TCU. While eight overall losses on the resume last year looks bad, the Horned Frogs had several close calls against some of the top teams in the Big 12. TCU lost by only two points against Kansas State, by three to Baylor and by three to Oklahoma.
With slight improvement on offense, the Horned Frogs would easily make a bowl in 2014.
That’s where Joeckel comes in.
Why is his transfer important for TCU in 2014? Joeckel should claim the starting job in the fall, which would allow Trevone Boykin to switch to receiver. The Horned Frogs need more weapons on the outside, and moving Boykin from quarterback would bolster the passing game.
Also, Joeckel is no stranger to this style of offense. At Texas A&M, he was tutored by Kliff Kingsbury and Jake Spavital – both coaches that worked under Dana Holgorsen, who spent time at Oklahoma State with Meacham. So switching from the offense in College Station to TCU's up-tempo attack shouldn't be much of a concern.
Joeckel probably isn’t going to be an All-Big 12 quarterback, but he should help TCU’s passing attack improve, as well as allow Boykin to become one of the offense’s top receivers.
And while a Big 12 title seems unrealistic, with Joeckel in command, the Horned Frogs could be the most-improved team in the conference this year.