Wednesday, November 5, 2008

TCU, Utah play BCS elimination game


BCS rewards mediocrity

From The Sweep's All-American Blog Team Posted by: Mark Beech

Let the GP Games Begin

Just in case the Frogs needed a distraction right now, two days before their season-defining game, it is now apparent that Ron Prince will be stepping down as head coach at Kansas State later today. The significance, which I'm sure is not lost on any of you, is that KSU is Gary Patterson's alma mater. Get ready, because Patterson's name is going to be #1 on their list, and most of what you hear from the national media is going to make you think he's leaving.

Don't fret, though, Patterson isn't going anywhere. He'll just use this as leverage to get more (deserved) money from TCU.

I know, I know

In no way is this Horn Frog related. I was just really impressed.

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I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so...scared.

Ok not really scared, just the diet pills making me crazy. If we can convince an 8-months pregnant Frogs fan (Mrs. Conger) to come out of the safety of her home to watch the game with a bunch of drunk idiots as she sips water, I fully expect everyone to find a place to watch this game.

Biggest Game in MWC History
- The Big Podcast

Redistributing the BCS Wealth.

Two Thursday Night Victories in One Season? YES! WE! CAN!

The moment of truth part two is upon us. Frogs. Utes. Thursday Night. Salt Lake City. Blackout. If only we were one of those poison Frogs that the Indians used to kill each with by rubbing their arrow tips on them... then they'd be SCREWED. Anyway, as I mentioned about an hour ago in an empty post, this is THE biggest game of our TCU lives, at least as far as the big picture is concerned. Sure, beating Tech in 2006 and OU in 2005 was awesome, and going up against Texas is always fun, but when it comes down to a game that is ultimately going to decide the fate of an entire season, and maybe an entire era, of TCU football, look no further than this one. I mean, look at what BCS busting has done for Utah... now, I don't claim to be a scholar of Utah football, but I'm guessing that the past decade is definitely one of the most largely successful ones the program has ever experienced. Same goes with Boise. Both of those teams were quietly building mini-dynasties and were eventually rewarded for years of success. Hawaii is in the same vein as well, although they are experiencing an off year after June Leaveth. It's easy to see that after Utah went undefeated in 2004 and hammered Pittsburg in the Fiesta Bowl and Boise Jap Played (thanks, Bill) their way into winning the same bowl in 2006, the notoriety those programs has received has really increased exponentially. I mean, honestly, had Boise not beaten Oklahoma, Ian Johnson probably would still be an unmarried nerd in Boise, Idaho (seriously, though, as a side note: how is that guy still around? Is he on the UT 8 year program like Quan Cosby?) and Boise would be looking up at ours and Utah's bung holes like Ball State and, recently, Tulsa. Seriously, though, who has Boise played? At least Utah scheduled some teams that, in the pre season at least, were picked to be winners, and, more laughably still, Oregon State could still potentially win the Pac 10. Boise. Give me a damn break.
Ok sorry, I got on the same rage tear that shortnkerley's got on earlier, so where was I? Oh yes... Getting to and winning a BCS game when you are from a non-BCS conference does more for a program than you can even imagine. It moves you into the upper echelon of teams and always keeps you in the minds of the pollsters. Unfortunately, though, it has to this point proved to be a spring board for these head coaches to bigger programs... well, sort of as Dan Hawkins punched his ticket out the year before BSU got their Fiesta on and I'm not sure you can call SMU a step up from any program. Regardless, though, I think we all realize how important this game is, not just for this season but for the Patterson era. A BCS game could be very bittersweet if Patterson follows the money and fame trail like Urban Meyer, but given Patterson's dedication to TCU up to this point, I think we'd all be willing to roll the dice if it meant a post New Years Eve celebration in Miami, New Orleans or.. uh.. wherever the Phoenix Stadium for the internet University that doesn't have any sports teams is. So on with it!
11th AP/Coaches Polls
As we're all very familiar with, the Frogs are ranked #11 in both the AP and Coaches Polls, which we can thank Tebow's circumcision of the Georgia defense for the one spot bump. We haven't quite reached our ceiling, but it's going to take a win over Utah and a couple of losses above us in order to reach and remain in the Top 10. Fortunately, in the biggest game of the year ever according to Mike Leach, you've got Texas Tech taking on Oklahoma State in Lubbock. As if seeing Leach on a national stage for an entire month leading up to a national championship game isn't enough incentive for you to pull for Tech, Okie State is currently ranked 8th in the AP and Coaches Polls and with another loss coupled with us beating Utah should help move us up a spot. We need that one BAD. In another help game for us, #21/22 Cal heads to LA to take on fucking bullshit ranked #7/6 USC. Don't let that either ranking deceive you: neither team is as good as where they are ranked. However, the super Leftists already have one victory this week, perhaps another is on the horizon in Berkeley? Unfortunately, these are the only two games that are remotely in favor of helping us. #9/10 Boise State takes on the mighty Vandals of Utah, but it's on the blue field... and BSU rarely loses on the blue field. So, if all things fall correctly, TCU could take a pretty amazing jump to possibly the 7 or 8 spot, so... yeah. Go Leach, Idahoes and Tree Huggers.
12th BCS.
In a polling that still mystifies me, we are still ranked behind a HIGHLY overrated two loss OSU team. Sure, their only two losses came to top 10 teams, but that is the only thing helping them along because the Big Ten is TERRRRIIBBLLLEEEEEE. Penn State is the most overrated team in the country outside of Columbus, and it's not ironic that these two teams happen to be in the same conference. I thought a convincing win over UNLV on the road, which we got, would boost us over the Buckeyes during their off week but I was wrong. Regardless, we only trail them by a .0111 margin (up from .0308 last week) and with OSU only having to face bottom dwelling Big Ten teams the rest of the way, a win over Utah REALLY should push us above them in Sunday's rankings. Other than that, the games and rankings remain the same. Hopefully after this weekend our ranking will be more consistent and I will be able to combine the polls.
Games that REALLY Matter. (AP/Coaches/BCS Ranking)
#2/3/2 Texas Tech vs. #8/8/9 Oklahoma State. Tech is definitely the IT team in the country right now, as they should be. Amazing win over Texas last week when few outside of Lubbock thought they could pull it out and way to silence the critics. Unfortunately, it's still not too late for Tech to fall into their typical late season big game slide. Oklahoma State is a great football team with an offense every bit as threatening as Tech's. Tech is a 3.5 point favorite but this may as well be a pick em. I think T. Boone wins in a shootout, but I hope for it to go the other way. Imagine the pain and anguish Tech success must be causing the Aggies?
#21/22/21 Cal at #7/6/7 USC. Man I really hate the Pac 10. It's almost not worth writing about. A loss here would hopefully drop USC waaaaay out of the Top 10, but you can't count on that with these pollsters. USC is seriously not that good. Yeah, you look at the numbers and they have flat out killed a few teams (notably those from Washington), but then you look at the 17-10 pillow fight that ensued with Arizona last week, as well as getting rolled by Oregon State... I mean, how can these guys be top 7 material? It's harrowing. A sad state of the times. Cal... I mean, they're not even worth looking up right now... didn't they have people living in damned trees so their football team couldn't build a new facility? Is that a team that deserves recognition? The Polls just like to throw in a low 20s wildcard Pac 10 team each week to keep balance whether it be Oregon or Cal, anyway. USC will win and Pete Carroll will continue to refer to the BCS as a joke... although it's the same system that would gift wrap him a BCS National Championship if he could run the gauntlet (joke, obviously) that is the Pac 10. I wish the left coast would just fall into the ocean. Maybe once Obama whittles our military down to nothing the Russians will take care of this.
#12/12/11 Ohio State at NR/25/24 Northwestern. Finally an early ESPN2 game worth watching! If it means I have to listen to Pam Ward though, no dice. Northwestern falls under the Cal umbrella where their ranking is deceiving and they're just the token team to get thrown into the lower 20s because once you get out of the top 15 it's all perception and speculation anyway. Northwestern was part of the Nerd contingency earlier in the year (Duke, NW, Vandy) of typically smart schools not known for football putting up decent records, but has fallen off recently. Still, they're coming off a game where they knocked off a decent Minnesota team on the road, so anything is possible. I really just want a Northwestern win because Ohio State being ranked higher than us in the BCS is annoying the absolute hell out of me and I don't want there to be any more doubt. If you've got nothing to do from 11-2 on Saturday, and you don't outside of sleeping, it'll be worth checking out, but I doubt NW can pull it out.
Games that Definitely Matter but Probably Won't Happen.
#5/7/4 Texas vs. Baylor. Haha, in all honesty this game doesn't really matter mostly because A Baylor win will never happen, but I'm bumping it up a category because wouldn't that be AWESOME???? After last week though, Texas will win by 50.
#6/4/6 Oklahoma at Texas A&M. It matters because, as I've outlined 100 times, we need OU to win out to keep up our schedule strength. The Aggies are prone to getting up for big games (see: Texas 2006, 2007), but under Mike Sherman they haven't shown much. I see this one being more of the 77-0 variety and another aimlessly yelling crowd in College Station. Whoop(s)!
#9/10/10 Boise State vs. Idaho. Is this a rivalry game? Are there such things in the WAC? We will already know if this game means everything or absolutely nothing by the time it is played, but if the Frogs can pull one out and Boise slips, this would easily be the greatest weekend in college football history for me. Too bad for us, Idaho is currently sitting 2-7 and the only notoriety the school has received in the past few months is for scrapping their cheerleader's unis for being too "hot" and also their football team uniforms for having an oddly placed logo that made it look like everyone had crapped their pants. They will do the same on the "smurf turf."
Games That Don't Really Matter but Could Get Interesting.
#1/1/1 Alabama at #15/15/16 LSU. Uhh, think LSU fans have been thinking about this one since Saban signed with Alabama? A bunch of us actually considered going to Baton Rouge to witness this one in the person because the hate will be off the charts, and it's not an LSU gameday experience without hate. Honestly, I can't figure out Alabama. They're another one of those teams that has been squeaking by on reputation because you can't tell me that John Parker Wilson is QB1 of the #1 team in the nation. LSU isn't anything to write home about, but I'm going with the volatile crowd in this one... LSU will upset Alabama and the streets will run red with Elephant blood. Also, the apocalypse will occur when either a Paterno or Leach led team reaches #1.
#3/3/3 Penn State at Iowa. Penn State... beneficiaries of a weak schedule and a nostalgic group of panelists. Iowa has a ridiculous running back in Shonn Greene, but Penn State has a pretty stout defense. I'm not going to sit here and talk about this game because I really know nothing about it. A Penn State loss wouldn't drop them below us but would completely F up the system which is why I will pull for the Hawkeyes. Regardless, PSU is too close to a national title game to drop this one. Don't bet on it.
#4/5/5 Florida at Vanderbilt. Man, how crushing it must be to be a Vandy fan? These guys open up the season going 5-0 and within one game of bowl eligibility, then up and lose to Duke, Mississippi State and Georgia and now with Fulmer getting forced out against the teams will, I don't think there's any way they beat them either. They've almost beaten Florida in recent years, but I think this Florida team is too tough. It'd be nice, but Florida will win by 3-4 TDs because Vandy has NO offense.
#16/18/17 Ball State vs. Northern Illinois. Ah, the Wednesday Night special... think ESPN wants to renegotiate that MWC contract right about now? Like Boise State, these guys just annoy me. They have no chance of moving ahead of us, Utah or Boise in the rankings, and they've got some tough teams (by MAC standards) coming up on their schedule, but, should they go undefeated, these guys will be even bigger whiners than Boise should they do the same. They can't be taking themselves seriously, right? This team is a joke and I'm just ready for them to go the way of Tulsa and get off my lawn.
So there you have it. That's what we're up against this weekend. HUGE potential for movement into the Top 10...not quite like 3 weeks ago, but there's definitely some potential. It's going to be a HUGE one tomorrow night. So huge that I'm tired of talking about it. Go Frogs.

What's the Deal?

Later today I was going to put up the weekly Top 25 analysis, but before I do that I just want to ask: Why isn't anyone talking about the game Thursday? Why hasn't there been post after post about the biggest game we've played in 5 years, and probably the biggest game of Patterson's tenure when you look at the ranking on the other sideline? I'm by no means acting like I'm on a high horse or anything because I blame myself in this discussion as well. We have 19 contributors (which, if you ask me, is probably too many to keep the material consistent), and all we've gotten about the game this week is an Anti Mormon post, Luke Wilson saying Utah sucks, and my slap dash thoughts on the game in my review. Come on guys, I know we all have jobs, there was a Presidential Election, and some are licking their wounds from the weekend in Vegas, but that shouldn't be any excuse. Our country is about to spiral into an abyss of socialism, pacifism and taxation... shouldn't we focus on the one good and constant thing in our lives right now? Pride, bitches, pride.

Frog Talk / Ask-a-Frog: The Utah Youths

What is a ute??

As we approach the precipice of BCS immortality….

SchultzHater: It’s here….the BCS tease, so close before, so close. We would have already been there had the rules been the same a couple years ago. The pain of watching Hawaii last year, the SMU game in 05, the Southern Miss game, all so painful.

So, the Tech/UT game should be wearing off by now and hopefully the country can focus on perhaps the most important TCU game since the inception of the BCS – that’s right, since the inception of the BCS – not in our history. I cringe when I read uneducated writers say this nonsense. We have 2 National Championships…….yes that would be more than Texas Tech, A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Missouri, need I go on? Did people forget we played a pretty decent conference for most of the last Century? It’s disgusting how that is so easily forgotten, but I really don’t want to get started on all that.

A note on the game in Lubbock – greatness, I was hoping for a Tech victory because they will lose to Oklahoma State or Oklahoma……and Texas would have probably won the national title this year – can you imagine the fallout from such an atrocity like this? I just threw up in my mouth with the thought of Wal-Mart selling another record number of burnt orange shirts and pink hats (with the longhorn on them of course).
We could also have looked forward to the occasional UT fan wearing burnt orange on Saturdays at Amon Carter……..I love those people (it’s a shame I have known some of them).

Side note: I have never liked Boise State, in fact I loathe the fact that they get so much recognition. If I were in charge of something, I would give them the death penalty for having that bullshit blue field. Seriously how is this allowed….

So, Utah is here, in its sold-out, blacked-out, hard to find on cable TV glory. It’s a shame we don’t get to play on ESPN, imagine all the entertainment we would get from seeing the Saturday “regulars” shamelessly plug our team all week long?

So, back to the game. Black shirts are scary. Fans in all black are too. The home team on Thursday night is worse (like 25-1 ATS this season or something stupid like that). Utah is good….but TCU is scary. That is the difference, Utah is a good, solid football team, but this year, in 2008…..TCU can be scary – that’s the variable. We will see the difference on Thursday. Since the injury the Rooster has been grade AA – but the defense could put on a show, that will be the difference.

If we come ready, Utah is going to have a rough day, most teams in the country would. If we start fast and hard, enter TCU as the new number #8 team in the country next week.

We have more talent, but talent won’t win you games (Dallas Cowboys). It’s a team sport and you’re not going to win big games unless you come to play. We slack off for 1 ½ quarters, we will lose this game. Utah is too good all around. But TCU is scary, and I’ll take this scary team with one loss any day of the week.

Prediction: TCU 31 Utah 17

Disciples of GP: I agree with you that the Frogs are scary, especially when they play with passion. This will be no easy test though. A short week and being back on the road makes this much tougher. Utah is a lot better than BYU. They might have a huge edge in special teams, which in big games is tough to overcome. Don’t let their close game last week fool you- all that means is these guys are looking ahead to us. Their whole stadium is going to be going crazy, and we have to come out firing early. I usually am not much into the numbers, but I think a few things are worth noting:

TCU's Rank:
1st Rushing defense- 38.9 yds/game, #2 is Alabama with 65.56
1st Sacks per game with 38, Texas tied w/ Tulsa at #2 with 31
1st Tackles for loss with 85, next closest has 80
1st TOP with 34:46.00
2nd Total yards allowed/game with 214.5, #1 is USC (8 games, 211.6)
2nd Kick return game, 28.87 yard avg, #1 is Penn St. with 29.00 (.13 diff)
3rd Turnover margin, 1.5/game
3rd Scoring defense, giving up only 10.9/points a game
3rd Passes defended with 58
5th Fumbles recovered (7 way tie) with 12
5th 3rd down conversions % with 52.38%
7th INT's on the season with 12 (3 way tie), #1 has 14
9th Fumbles forced with 13
11th Rushing offense with 233.88 yds/game
14th 3-way tie for FG % with 86.7%
14th in sacks allowed, only 9

Where our opponents have ranked when playing us:
1st worst first downs a game, only 11.8
2nd worst red zone conversion % at 60%
3rd worst punt average with 35.62/yd avg
5th worst FG % at 50%
7th worst 3rd down conversion % 28.89%

Now the bad
109th PAT % rank, 1 spot behind TX Tech, out of 120 teams
120th Rank for penalty yards a game, last place, 83.7/yds game, 119th has 78.7

Notable players rankings:
Coleman ranked 8th (tied) for passes defended (12), Sanders tied at 14th (11)
J Kereley ranked 13th in punt return avg, with 13.88 yds

And lastly, but hardly least…..FROGZILLA aka Jerry Hughes (name credit to a certain person from Beaumont whose name rhymes with ooooozie):

1st for sacks with 14 (#2 has 11)
1st in TFL with 17
1st in fumbles forced (tied with 5)

I hesitate to even put individual player stats b/c they really can't capture what some of the biggest contributors to our team bring to the table week in and week out. For instance, "QB Executions" is not something that is statistically tracked (sorry Henson), nor is aerial body slamming receivers (sorry Hodge). Maybe we should though. We definitely need a "QB Injury" counter on SpitBlood (seriously, I’m not kidding). I know we all take this for granted, but I sometimes think GP is a mad scientist that somehow managed to merge a pack of rabid Serengeti lions with some WMD's and a Cupacabre to create a bunch of blood thirsty savages we call our defense. We absolutely dominate. Henson, S. Colman, Hodge, J-Hughes, J-Phil, Mr. Panfil, Moore, Vess, D-Wash...I could go on all day about our D and each of its components, but you already know how good these guys are and how week in and week out they make Mortal Combat finishing moves look pussy. Rest assured if the O keeps playing the way it is, we'll be seeing names like AD, Hicks, LTX (Luxury Tax), etc high in the rankings soon too (by the way, AB and Regan, this week wouldn’t be a bad one for a huge breakout game)…

That's right though….breath…..I encourage everyone to read back thru those numbers and try to comprehend the caliber of football we have the privilege to watch every single week. Keep in mind those aren't conference rankings, those are NATIONAL rankings. Now forget them. Because while the numbers are staggeringly great, they aren't going to mean anything come Thurs night unless we show up on both sides of the football. It’s prison cell rules- there’s an A team and a B team and you definitely don’t want to be on the B team. We have to be the aggressor both offensively and defensively- attacking like deranged maniacs. Play like we have nothing to lose. This is a Thurs game in enemy territory, tough back to back travel on a short week, undefeated Utah and their fan nation hyped out of their minds…nobody said it would be easy. Conference titles and shots at a BCS birth will not be given, they must be taken…..taken with the type of violent blunt force trauma that is our hallmark.

Now some questions-

Disciples of GP: How is it that the presidential election is getting more publicity from the major networks than the upcoming TCU/Utah game? Is this just another example of media bias? A BCS conspiracy perhaps??

SchultzHater: Yeah the damn BCS controls the media who controls the sports networks, news networks, local networks, and your mom’s hair salon. Election???? Is Gary running??? Welcome b. Obama to the throne, just don’t take my money or guns, I tend to cling to them.

Disciples of GP: According to a study based on prescription claims from a mail-order pharmaceutical provider, Utah ranked first in antidepressant and narcotic painkiller use. Does this mean even people who live in Utah can’t stand it?

SchultzHater: The pharm companies got this one right. Everyone in America can appreciate a way out, legal prescription drugs are the 21st century. The accepted way of elevating yourself to that altered state of mind that so many desire….and this of course is especially true in Utah, outside of meth labs I am not sure that you can find a decent street drug, much less a doctor that is willing to prescribe you some Oxycotton in full months supply. Utah just might have been the pharm companies testing ground. For example: it’s Wednesday night - your husband has 3 wives and your night with him was on Monday. So you’re doped up on antidepressants 6 nights a week and painkillers on Monday to numb you from the fact that yes, this is your life……

Disciples of GP: Utah ranks 47th in teenage pregnancy, last in percentage of births out of wedlock, last in number of abortions per capita, and last in percentage of teen pregnancies terminated in abortion. Do you think these statistics are artificially low due to teenagers going out of state because of parental notification requirements or do you think Utah is just the hardest place in the world to get laid?

SchultzHater: I don’t think this would have anything to do with getting laid, but I would have to ask, where does Utah rank on teen suicides? Outside of this, the simple fear of being hanged in the town square for pre-marital sex should be enough to scare most of the teen mommies out of state.

Disciples of GP: Better Utah representative- Roseanne Barr or the Lafferty Brothers?

SchultzHater: Roseanne admitted to being a whore recently… as in she accepted money for sex, she also succeeded in possibly having the world’s trashiest TV show for years, a show that was single handedly responsible for lowering the country’s average IQ and moral standards to all time lows. And she continues to not give a fuck about anything……all things considered….I would rather make love to Roseanne than see UT win the national championship this year………… but thank god I don’t have to worry about either anymore.

Morning Dump

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton has impressed Utah’s Kyle Whittingham ~FWST

Gary Patterson’s focus has TCU Horned Frogs on brink of a great season ~FWST

Utah football: Speed kills, matchup features two of league's fastest teams ~Salt Lake Tribune

TCU at Utah Point Spread Odds, Betting Trends & Injuries ~The Spread

TCU Horned Frogs at Utah Utes Odds - College Football Betting ~Vegas Sports Odds

Most compelling story lines of the week ~ESPN

Patterson: History out the window as Frogs ready to face Utes ~TCU Daily Skiff

Other coaches give their thoughts on Utah-TCU ~Salt Lake Tribune Blog

Utah Utes football: Team, fans ready for 'blackout' game vs. TCU ~Deseret News

Utah Utes football: TCU's defense, speed a concern for Utes ~Deseret News

TCU coach likes team's chances Thursday ~KSLTV Salt Lake City

Utah and TCU put BCS dreams on the line Thursday ~Lindy's Sports

Fearless Prediction: Utah - TCU ~Fox Sports (Video)

Phillips Discusses Utah ~Rivals (Video)