O'Brien won the Heisman Trophy for TCU in 1938 as he led the Horned Frogs to the national championship. Former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was a 2010 semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award.
Pachall, who also appears on the Maxwell Award Watch List, set TCU single-season records last year for completions (228), completion percentage (66.5) and passing yards (2,921), while his 25 touchdown passes placed second behind only Dalton (27, 2010).
Pachall ranked 12th nationally, and third among non-juniors and seniors, in passing efficiency with a 157.98 rating in 2011. He was the Walter Camp National Player of the Week after career-high totals of 473 yards passing (24-of-37) and five touchdowns in a 36-35 win at No. 5 Boise State. The 473 yards passing were the most by a TCU quarterback in the 11-season tenure of head coach Gary Patterson and the second-best total in school history. The five touchdown passes tied a TCU single-game record shared by three others.
A junior from Brownwood, Texas, Pachall has been named by Dave Campbell's Texas Football as the State's Player of the Year in 2012.