Thursday, January 31, 2008
After last night's tough loss to UNLV (and I say tough because we were actually within single digits a good portion of the second half), TCU falls into a 3 way tie for 3rd place in the MWC... which, in realistic terms, is good enough for 6th place in the conference and our annual #1 seed in the Feces Madness Tournament. We are also just a Ryan Wall buzzer beater and an AWFUL CSU team away from maintaining our normal pole position at the bottom of the conference standings. Oh yeah, and Henry Salter left the game last night early in the first half and hobbled away from the DMC on crutches. He's our best player, in case you aren't in the know. Now it's up to Brent Hackett and his 40 contested 3-point attempt per game to push this team along. Keion Mitchem took over minutes for Salter and actually put up 9 points, all 3s... but, as I've written in previous diatribes, the guy is 5'2" and 125 pounds. I've seem lawn gnomes that have a more dominating presence than this kid. If there's to be a miracle run in the second half of conference play, there's going to have to be some Deities and VooDoo curses involved (and no, Langford's 17 game double digit scoring streak isn't going to be a difference maker without Salter).
Yes, you might argue that UNLV was a very good team last year and went deep in the NCAAs... but they lost anyone of substance from that squad. You might say that if we'd had Salter's 10-15 points things would've been different. In both instances, you'd be wrong. OH so wrong. It seems like since the beginning of the season, Neil has politely asked the team to stop playing any sort of perimeter defense (in the past two games, both losses, we've given up something like 25-30 3 pointers. This is not a fabrication). I'm not sure if his strategy is for us to outscore our opponents by 1 point as we did in the Tubbs era... but scoring in the 50s and 60s isn't going to do that.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I'm not talking Big Dance here. But there is hope out there that Dougherty's squad could be playing in meaningful games down the stretch and possibly put together a small run in the Conference Tournament and possibly land an NIT berth. Up next is a trip to Salt Lake City to take on Utah this Saturday, followed by a home game next Wednesday against UNLV, an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Alabama coach Nick Saban's search to fill Major Applewhite's coaching vacancy will continue in earnest this week, with more interviews expected in the coming days. Saban is expected to move quickly (but not TOO quickly) in filling the one current opening on his staff. For obvious recruiting purposes, a hire is sought before National Signing Day.
So far, I've got to say it has been much easier to eliminate possible names than come up with definitive new ones.
But here's a rundown after another day's worth of phone calls and questions:
- Former Michigan QBs coach Scot Loeffler was the first confirmed candidate to interview when he arrived on campus Thursday night and stayed through Friday morning. Loeffler (politely) declined comment when I reached him on the phone Friday afternoon, and remains firmly in the mix for a job at Alabama. My main question: Is Loeffler, 33, a candidate for OC or merely a QBs coach position? Despite a strong track record with QBs at Michigan, Loeffler has never been a coordinator.
- BamaOnline.com threw two more names into the mix tonight: Nebraska OC Shawn Watson and Texas Christian OC Mike Schultz. Watson was one of only two coaches recently retained by new Huskers coach Bo Pelini. He may want repay that loyalty. But his salary of $225,000 is unchanged from last season, per the Omaha World-Herald, and the Crimson Tide paid five assistants a higher total last season.
- Georgia Southern HC Chris Hatcher continues to insist he is NOT a candidate at Alabama. I repeat: Chris Hatcher is NOT a candidate. I covered Hatcher in a previous job and spoke with him last week and again today, during which he said nothing has changed since the first time he denied interest in the position. Despite continued message board speculation, Hatcher said again that he has not spoken with Saban and is not leaving his current position at Georgia Southern. Perhaps most telling, Hatcher called me back to say this. Serious candidates for jobs rarely call back reporters voluntarily, and they certainly don't offer much of a comment when they do. Hatcher -- twice -- has clearly said, "No."
- Most of you probably know this already, but folks at Louisville are saying it's doubtful that Cards OC Jeff Brohm would seek a job on Saban's staff at Alabama. Brohm turned Saban down a year ago.
- Green Bay's loss in the NFC Championship Game could help Alabama in the Tom Clements hunt. The veteran QB coach for the Packers, Clements' odds would have dropped had his club reached the Super Bowl, requiring a wait of two weeks. Like Brohm, Clements was targeted previously by Saban.
- LSU's Gary Crowton may have more of an interest than was first thought. His name has come up several times now.
- So has Boise State's Bryan Harsin, basically because he was a previous Saban target. There has been no confirmation from Idaho that Harsin, who is currently at his alma mater, would be more interested in moving this time.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Currently Patterson & staff do not have a running back committed for this year's class, but so far they seem to have been focussed on two main targets:
Texarkana, TX (Liberty-Elyau HS)
5'10", 180lbs, 4.4
James, rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals, ran for over 4,200 yards in his high school career at 3A Liberty Elyau, including a 2,000 yard season as a senior, to go along with 50 career rushing touchdowns. He currently ranks TCU among his top choices along with Nebraska, Oregon and Minnesota.
Cisco Junior College (originally from Memphis, TN)
6'1", 220lbs, 4.5Crawford was originally thought to be a defensive prospect, but rushed for over 3,000 yards in his two years at Cisco, and was the nation's leading JUCO rusher a year ago with over 1,900 yards and 19 TD's to make himself into a four-star running back. There were reports that his coach at Cisco said he had committed to TCU, but he has not said so himself and has also taken visits to Tech, Ole Miss and most recently Kansas.
Then just yesterday, an unexpected third major target entered the scene for GP & company after he decommitted from Arkansas and expressed publicly his interest in TCU:
San Antonio, TX (Madison HS)
5'10", 185lbs, 4.4
Thomas burst on the scene last year, rushing for 1,891 yards and 23 TD's as a junior. As a senior this year, he had already amassed 1,447 yards and 17 TDs through just six games before a horse-collar tackle broke his ankle and ended his season. He had seemed to be solid on Arkansas until yesterday, but now lists TCU among his three favorites along with Arizona State and Ole Miss, where former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt now resides.
Any of these three would be able to come in and immediately compete for playing time, and would be considered among the gems of our recruiting haul. Here are some of the others we are supposedly looking at:
-Chris Adkins- 5'9", 180lbs from Tulsa, OK (Jenks HS)- #3 rated RB in Oklahoma
-Drew Ashley- 5'11", 195lbs from Justin, TX (Northwest)- 1,375 yards as a senior
-Michael Connor- 5'10", 190lbs from Wolfforth, TX (Frenship)- 2nd Team All-State in 4A
-Mishak Rivas- 5'8", 175lbs from Weslaco, TX- Amazing athlete from the Valley/Youtube sensation: http://youtube.com/results?search_query=Mishak+Rivas&search=Search
-Kortlin White- 5'10", 201lbs from Rockdale, TX- Great athlete on a bad team, ala Lonta Hobbs.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Other Baylor news: Former UK football coach Guy Morriss, who was fired as Baylor's head coach in November after four seasons at that school, may be a candidate to become Boyle County High's new football coach
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
So, seeing as how this is a TCU blog, I suppose news pertaining to SMU is fair game and should've been noted several days ago when it happened. Anyway, as most of you probably know by now, SMU hired ex-Hawaii, NFL retread coach June Jones to further the downward spiral that is the Mustang Football program. June, June, June, you're an idiot, but I've got to respect your logic: At least we know he's solely, unabashedly in it for the $$$. Somehow SMU PONIED UP $10 million over five years for Jones to continue to completely crush the spirits of an already depleted fan base. This is mind blowing. SMU, which hasn't been to a bowl game in 20 some odd years, has roughly the same alumni base as TCU, and has about a tenth of the fan base is going to pay a football coach who just got absolutely massacred in a bowl game $2 million per season. This is far more than GP is making, and I hope occurences like this don't end up running him out of town. While I'm not too scared of the DFW Shoot Out or whatever they call it now becoming too competitive in the near future, it's kind of disheartening when your only true rival makes a splash in the coaching scene when your own proven coach can't get paid half of his salary.
There are 2 ways to look at this from an SMU standpoint, and I'll start with the bad.
- No one gives a shit about your football program, including current/former students and current/former players
- He's 55 and a god in Hawaii for what he did with that team, so once that sinking ship the SS Miniature Pony continues to flood, you bet your ass he'll be on the first jet back to Maui.
- No Texas ties, which will hurt his recruiting, which can lead to the above point
- Does he really have name recognition? I know he coached in the NFL for a while, but does a guy who just got slaughtered on national television with a team that was mediocre even in their own weak conference really inspire you?
- You are recruiting from the deepest high school talent pool in the country... but once it gets ransacked by the likes of Texas, A&M, Tech, OU and even LSU these days and sometimes Baylor... have fun filling your roster with a bunch of Renfros and Manfredinis.
- No fan base. Didn't I already mention that? Well, it's worth another look. I've talked to a handful of SMU friends who are EXTREMELY skeptical of this hire... and they won 1 game this past season. A one win team should be excited even if Charlie Weis was given the reins. That's a bad sign.
- Oh yeah, they won ONE game this past season... and it was supposed to be their break out year.
- Forever tainted reputation, which has KILLED the program in recruiting.
- His name is June. That's a diaper wetting grandmothers name. Give him a couple of losing seasons and his fragility will shine.
- Nowhere to go but up!
- They don't tailgate, they boulevard! Eat my fucking feces.
- Rich Sluts
- New fan base will be just as coked up as previous one.
- Get real paid for 3-5 years of losing, then can retire back to Hawaii and sip Mai Tais on the beach for the rest of his life
This should be interesting. Go Frogs. Pony down.
Friday, January 4, 2008
The biggest issue? Henry Salter is the best player on our team. By far. Anyone who has seen a game this year can attest to this. Unfortunately, Neil, who will be abbreviated to GQ for brevity's sake, has this ludicrous idea that our team has "depth" so he rotates him in and out far more consistently than he should and let's Brent FUGGIN Hackett launch 3s all game. He was something like 3 for 55 over a three game stretch. That's a hyperbole... but not much of one. The staff also seems to feel that Langford is some sort of extraordinary talent, but, I've got news: Dudes don't transfer from a middle of the road Pac 10 team to TCU because they're good. I think Neil is delusional and thinks he's still in Kansas and it's actually Kevin's brother Keith. It's the only explanation. Mike Scott is pretty good as well, but he's 5'4'' if he wore high heels, and probably weighs a cool 130. Luke Tauscher needs to stop being a lady part. I don't think there's anyone else on the team.
TCU opens up conference play tomorrow at San Diego State, and I look for them to finish at least second to last, which will prove Neil Dougherty's uncanny ability to improve a basketball program. (They finished tied for last in the 2006-2007 season)
I also look for a Frog-less Mountain West All-Conference team, because Neil's strategy is to play way too many guys and pull players when they are heating up. i.e. playing Keion Mithcem a total of 11 minutes against Texas after hitting 3 of 3 from beyond the arc.
The only thing Neil Dougherty has won during his tenure was the 2004 Nation's Best Dressed Coach Award. Upon receiving the award Neil commented, “I don’t like wrinkles. I will re-iron a shirt even after I get it back from the cleaners. It’s just one of those weird things that I can’t stand.”
Hey Neil, why don't you take some of that obsessive compulsive energy and start ironing out the wrinkles in your team. And while you're at it, learn how to recruit from the large talent poole that is the DFW Metro-Plex. If we don't finish at least middle of the pack this year in the conference, I don't see how we could keep this guy around.