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Title game confidential: The six things TCU must do to upset Georgia

LOS ANGELES — TCU did not have a single player drafted in 2022. The Horned Frogs entered the season as 200-1 longshots to win the national title and were picked seventh in the preseason Big 12 poll. Just one season ago, they went 5-7 and fired the coach, Gary Patterson, who has a statue outside Amon G. Carter Stadium.

These aren’t exactly the trappings of sudden championship contention. But on Monday against Georgia (7:30 p.m., ESPN), TCU is 60 minutes from becoming the most unlikely national champion in college football’s modern era. In a sport long designed to favor bluebloods and big budgets, TCU’s championship would cast it as a new-age Hoosiers for college football. Well, if Hickory High could use the transfer portal.

How can TCU get here? Typically for big matchups, we break down both teams and ask anonymous coaches who’ve faced them to assess the game. But with the Horned Frogs a 12.5-point underdog, we approached the exercise through the prism of how TCU can overcome significant odds and pull another seismic upset.

TCU last won a national title in 1938 and has played conference roulette — Southwest Conference to the WAC to Conference USA to the Mountain West — before finally landing in the Big 12. (It even briefly joined the Big East but never competed.)

Here are six things TCU needs to do — and conversely what Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs need to avoid — for the Horned Frogs to cap this remarkable season with a timeless upset.

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