Given all the national buzz and attention surrounding West Virginia's entrance into the Big 12, it sometimes seems as though TCU is the new member no one is talking about.

But the Horned Frogs have another quality roster heading into 2012, led by quarterback Casey Pachall -- who seems like a forgotten man, with Oklahoma's Landry Jones, WVU's Geno Smith and Kansas State's Collin Klein grabbing most of the Big 12's attention at that position.

The only question: Can the Horned Frogs survive a schedule that should be much tougher than any they faced in the Mountain West? A hot start against a relatively easy early schedule could get people talking about TCU again.

Best-case scenario: Who says the Big 12 is that much tougher than the Mountain West? The Horned Frogs explode out of the gates, winning their first seven games with relative ease. The hype machine heads into overdrive when TCU ekes out a win at Oklahoma State to move to 8-0, and people remember Pachall is a pretty good quarterback.

But TCU can’t pull the trick in back-to-back weeks, losing in overtime at WVU. Consecutive wins against Kansas State and at Texas ease the blow though, and few feel much embarrassment when Oklahoma comes to Fort Worth and knocks off the Frogs in the season finale. A 10-2 season makes for a heck of a debut in the Big 12, and wins over SMU, Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas have people legitimately asking if TCU might be the top program in the Lone Star State.

Worst-case scenario: Turns out life was much easier when for TCU when it only had one or two marquee games per season to truly worry about. The start of the season still goes just fine -- it’s a reasonably soft schedule, which features Grambling State, at Kansas, Virginia, at SMU, Iowa State, at Baylor, Texas Tech.

But the last five prove to be a different story, as the caliber of opposition ratchets up considerably. Oklahoma State protects its home turf, and West Virginia’s offense chews right through coach coach Gary Patterson’s formidable defense. Kansas State wins an ugly one in Fort Worth, and Texas does the same the next week, with David Ash throwing a late touchdown pass to seal it. Oklahoma puts the finishing touches on a Big 12 title in the season finale, and Frogs fans -- hardly used to seeing losses in recent years (only three in the last three seasons combined) -- are stunned to see their team take five defeats in a row to end at 7-5.

Most-likely scenario: The soft early schedule is still soft, and the five-game stretch at the end is still nasty. But TCU may not just steamroll through the beginning and then get steamrolled at the end.

There are a couple of tricky early games. A loss to Virginia, SMU, Iowa State, Baylor or Texas Tech wouldn’t exactly be stunning. TCU figures to be the favorite -- and rightfully so -- in all of those games. Still, the Horned Frogs have enough questions to think an early loss might not be unreasonable. As for that tough stretch at the end, any more than two wins in five games should be viewed as an excellent run. TCU finishes 8-4 or 9-3 and proves its success in the Mountain West was no fluke.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter.