Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Slingin" Sam Baugh: March 17, 1914 - December 17, 2008

NFL record-setter and former TCU star Sam Baugh, 94, dies

The Associated Press

Sam Baugh, who set numerous passing records with the Washington Redskins in an era when NFL teams were running most every down, died Wednesday night, his son said.

Baugh, who was 94 and had numerous health issues, died at Fisher County Hospital in Rotan, David Baugh said.

David Baugh said his father had battled Alzheimer’s and dementia for several years. He had been ill recently with kidney problems, low blood pressure and double pneumonia.

“It wasn’t the same Sam we all knew,” his son told The Associated Press. “He just finally wore out.”

Sam Baugh was the last surviving member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.

After starring at TCU, “Slingin’ Sammy” Baugh played with the Redskins from 1937 to 1952.

While he was noted for his passing, Baugh was one of the best all-around players of his day. One season he led the league in passing, defensive interceptions and punting. In one game, he threw four touchdown passes and intercepted four passes. He threw six touchdowns in a game — twice — and kicked an 85-yard punt.

“There’s nobody any better than Sam Baugh was in pro football,” Don Maynard, a fellow West Texas Hall of Famer who played for Baugh, said in a 2002 interview. “When I see somebody picking the greatest player around, to me, if they didn’t go both ways, they don’t really deserve to be nominated. I always ask, ’Well, how’d he do on defense? How was his punting?’ ”

When Baugh entered the NFL, the forward pass was so rare that it was unveiled mostly in desperate situations. But Baugh passed any time.

As a rookie in 1937, Baugh completed a record 81 passes (about seven a game) and led the league with 1,127 yards. At the time, only six passers averaged three completions a game that year. He went on to lead the league in passing six times.

Baugh still holds Redskins records for career touchdown passes (187) and completion percentage in a season (70.3). His 31 interceptions on defense are third on the team’s career list. He still owns the league mark for single-season punting average (51.4).

“He was amazing, just tremendously accurate,” Eddie LeBaron, who took over as Washington’s quarterback in Baugh’s last season, said in a 2002 interview. “He could always find a way to throw it off balance. I’ve seen him throw the ball overarm, sidearm and underarm and complete them.”

Not really an accolade, but pile em on!

Word to live by, words to die by
While the post season honors continue to roll in for Jerry Hughes, here is a slightly different take on the same ole award. Thewizardofodds has compiled an All America team based on how likely a players performance would help push his team over the spread. So, for instance, let's say Hughes had his same numbers but played for an albatross of a team like SMU; he wouldn't be eligible. So, not only does Jerry Hughes make us look good and feel good, he also makes us money! Just thought it was something different and amusing.

ESPN All-American team

ESPN just announced their all-American team and like most every other list in the country Jerry Hughes is in his rightful place as a first team defensive player. Congrats to ESPN for getting this right, just makes it all the more embarrassing for the AP.

Poinsettia Bowl Preview: Offensive Line

Every day this week I will preview a different aspect of both teams and then give my prediction on who has the edge. Today I will be looking at the wide receivers and tight ends for both squads.

I am going to go ahead and issue a disclaimer on this head to head matchup because the offensive line is the most thankless position on the football field and outside of sacks allowed and overall offense, it’s really pretty hard to measure them. In fact, I can’t find individual linemen stats on either team, so this is going to have to be a group effort. Obviously you can recognize a standout lineman from an average one, but it’s not quite like looking at quarterbacks. That being said, I will give it my best shot, albeit a short one.

Also, looking back I’ve realized two things: I forgot to include FBs in my RBs preview, so sorry Justin and Lukeon that one. I will include these stats briefly below. Also, I had forgotten to mention players with all conference accolades and will start doing this today, as well as mention those I looked over.


TCU – Justin Watts (rush – 31-105-2. Rec – 10-70-2) & Luke Shivers (Rush – 2-6-2, Rec – 1-5-0)

Boise – Richie Brockel (rush – 3-6-2. Rec – 9-91-2)

Non-OL Offensive All Conference

TCU – PR/KR Jeremy Kerley (1st Team), QB Andy Dalton (Honorable Mention), WR Jimmy Young (HM), RB Aaron Brown (HM)

Boise State – QB Kellen Moore (Freshman of the year, 2nd Team All Conference), WR Jeremy Childs (1st Team All Conference), WR Austin Pettis (2nd Team All Conference), RB Ian Johnson (2nd Team All Conference). No Honorable Mention Info.

Now, on with the preview…

TCU – Marshall Newhouse, Preston Phillips/Kyle Dooley, Blake Schlueter, Giles Montgomery, Nic Richmond/Marcus Cannon.

Newhouse – Jr. – 6’3”, 317. (2nd Team All Conference)
Phillips – Sr. – 6’6”, 293

Dooley - FR. - 6'3", 310
Schlueter – Sr. – 6’3”, 284. (1st Team All Conference)
Giles Montgomery – Sr. – 6’5”, 295.
Richmond – Jr. – 6’8”, 322
Cannon – SO. – 6’5”, 350. (HM All Conference)

A group that Gary Patterson said had the potential to be the best offensive line he’s coached in years more than lived up to the hype. They’re big, experienced, and they paved the way for TCUs record setting offense this season. They not only helped TCU have the 13th best rushing attack in the NCAA at 216 yards per game, but they only allowed 18 sacks. To think, Jerry Hughes almost had that amount by himself. Schlueter was a serious prospect for the Rimington Award this year which goes to the best center in college football. Newhouse will be a shoo in first teamer next year, along with Cannon. Richmond is a beast of a man who, despite his size, split a lot of snaps with Marcus Cannon and Cannon actually started more games. Despite his reputation as a defensive coach, the offensive line has always been an area where Patterson’s teams have been strong, and this is due in large part to defensive line coach of the year Dick Bumpas.

The bottom line is, these guys were very good for the Frogs this year. In most cases your offense can only be as good as your offensive line and judging by our school record 54 TDs and 420 points, we should all be able to concur with Patterson about this being one of the best he has ever coached. TCU also led the country in time of possession, another aspect that can be credited in part to a strong offensive line. TCU was 28th in the country is offensive yards per game.

Just to be a little more balanced, I, and anyone who watched the Frogs, will admit that this group was a little undisciplined, especially given their experience, and were prone to false starts and holding penalties. Towards the end of the year, however, they really started to get into a good groove and stopped giving the other team free yardage. I don’t look for this to pose a major problem.

Boise State – Andrew Woodruff, Jon Gott, Thomas Byrd, Kevin Sapien, Nate Potter.
Woodruff – Sr. – 6’3”, 320 (All WAC first team)
Gott – Sr. 6’3”, 286
Byrd – Fr. – 5’11”, 275
Sapien – SO. - 6’4”, 274
Potter – Fr. – 6’6”, 272

Looking at this line strictly at face value, it screams unbalanced. The left side is experienced with great size; The right side in young and undersized. Looking at the numbers, though, these guys definitely overachieved. They only allowed 11 sacks on the year (7 fewer than TCU) and helped the Boise offense put up the 13th most yards total in the nation. The rushing numbers weren’t overly impressive, but the fact that Kellen Moore was able to do the things that he did for that offense despite being a freshman shows a strong line that knew how to pass protect. Woodruff and Gott are big boys with experience in a major bowl game, so look for that confidence to trickle down to the younger guys. That stuff is contagious, you know.

Overall – So, you’ve got a big, experienced O Line vs. a small, inexperienced O Line. This is going to make you think I’m automatically pick TCU, but don’t be so quick to assume. Boise is 3rd in pts allowed this season and 14th in rushing yards. They also piled up 34 sacks, so it’s not like our O line is going to walk all over them. They also only allowed 7 ground TDs this year, which further shows that, even with their backs up against the wall, this defensive line didn’t get dominated by any offensive line all season. A lot of the press I've read about them mentioned that they were "inconsistent," but, from the naked eye, it's hard to see that side of it.

Ok, ok, who am I kidding? A freshman and a sophomore, neither weighing more than 275, thinking they can contain the right side of the line where Jerry Hughes lives? I mean… I don’t want to say I’m giddy but… well, I’m giddy. The fact is, TCU has a bigger, more experienced offensive line. Even if you were to call it a draw between the two lines, which you could at least make an argument based on the stats, I said way back at the beginning that I was looking at the matchups for THIS GAME, not as a direct comparison between the two. The TCU defense, which is ranked first in rushing yards allowed and 2nd in points scored, is as good as it gets in the country in terms of its front seven. I’m not going to go crazy and say anything like Jerry Hughes is going to have eleventy billion sacks and hurries this game, or that Robert Henson is going to have a soul devouring party on the 50 at halftime, because a team that has a coach a good as Chris Petersen surely has a game plan for that. However, I do think this offensive line is going to have a very difficult time maintaining our attack. They may be able to contain Vess and Panfil on the left side due to their size and talent there, but it’s only a matter of time before Moore and Hughes wear down those youngsters and start teeing off on Kellen Moore. Not wanting to risk taking away all of my selling points for tomorrow’s D Line preview, I’m going to cut this short and make the call.

Edge – Frogs.

Jerry Hughes got jobbed by the AP

The accolades for Jerry Hughes have been rolling in over the past week, and deservedly so- he was the biggest, baddest monster on the nation's 2nd-ranked defense. However, when the AP released their All-American teams yesterday, Hughes was on the 2nd Team. What gives? Ahead of him were Texas' Brian Orakpo and Penn State's Aaron Maybin, who, unsurprisingly, both play for large state schools. When you look at the stats, it would appear that the writers who make up the AP voted by looking at which teams had the most 8th grade boys wearing their logo on Starter Jackets:

Jerry Hughes, TCU:
-30 solo tackles, 18 assisted- 48 total
-18.5 tackles for loss for 121 yards
-14.0 sacks (which led the nation) for 109 yards
-2 interceptions for 32 yards and 1 TD
-6 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries

Brian Orakpo, Texas:
-29 solo tackles, 11 assisted- 40 total
-18.0 tackles for loss for 102 yards
-10.5 sacks for 90 yards
-0 interceptions
-4 forced fumbles, 0 fumble recoveries

Aaron Maybin, Penn State:
-27 solo tackles, 18 assisted- 45 total
-19.0 tackles for loss for 92 yards
-12.0 sacks for 78 yards
-0 interceptions
-3 forced fumbles, 0 fumble recoveries

It should be noted, however, that Hughes has been named a 1st Team All-American by
the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, and Phil Steele.

Morning Dump

Players from TCU, Oklahoma among Rudy Award finalist Star-Telegram

TCU: DE nets more All-American accolades Star-Telegram

TCU DE Hughes named second team AP All-American
Star-Telegram's 2008 All-Americans

Sporting News college football All-American first team Sporting News

TCU's Mike Schultz to interview for NMSU coaching job Las Cruces Sun-News

Brown to play in East-West Shrine game

Kennedale back voted to all-state football team Star Telegram

Tyler Chapel Hill RB highlights 3-A all state team
El Paso Sun-Times

Cove dominates 12-5A all district team Killeen Daily Herald