Thursday, July 30, 2009

ESPN's 2009 College Football Sleepers






Morning Dump

Top 25 college preseason rankings Houston Examiner

MWC fall camp starts Aug. 3 ESPN

Schlueter's long road to NFL had slow start
Denver Post

Top 25 countdown: No. 25 Utah Star-Telegram

Phillips should be back on the field soon
Ravens 24x7

Rookie linebacker Jason Phillips, who tore his lateral meniscus at the NFL scouting combine while running the 40-yard dash, remains on the PUP list. However, he is hoping to be back soon.

"They're just holding me out right now to see if it swells up or bothers me," Phillips said. "They want to ease me back into it."

A four-time All-Mountain West Conference selection at Texas Christian, Phillips was unable to take part in any of the minicamps.

"I've never been hurt before or sat out like this," Phillips said. "I think I missed a total of five practices in college. The hardest thing for me is to be patient and let it heal. You've got to be careful with a knee injury."

Super Frog Competing for 2009 Mascot Challenge


Capital One Mascot Challenge

Super Frog is one of 12 in the competition

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Frogs to play at Jerry World?

Ever since the City of Dallas made the fumble of all time, failing to build the Cowboys a new stadium in Fair Park and letting Jerry build his grand new spaceship in Arlington ("The Game Room of Texas"), said stadium has been the elephant in the room when discussing non-conference scheduling.

With the Frogs wanting to beef up their OOC slate and neutral-site games in vogue these days, it's easy to imagine a scenario where a big program would only deign to play at TCU if the game were shifted 20 miles to the east and played at Jerry World. That's all well and good, except that it robs TCU of any kind of home field advantage- do you really think that Frog fans could outnumber, say, Texas A&M fans if those two teams played in Arlington? Furthermore, I think that once TCU does move a home game to Arlington, every big-name program they try to schedule will only agree to play there. Without the ability to draw top opponents to Fort Worth, the dream of renovating Amon G. Carter into a top-notch, modern facility would begin to fade...rapidly. I, for one, am adamantly against doing this.

Now comes a rumor that the TCU vs. LSU scheduled for 2013 may be moved to Arlington. The difference in this game being moved off-campus, though, is that 2013 is the game that is slated to be in Baton Rouge, not Fort Worth. The Frogs would still get their shot at LSU in the friendly confines of Amon G. in 2014.

If true (and again, it's JUST a rumor), this could set an extremely beneficial precedent for TCU in their attempts to schedule quality opponents in the future. It's saying "we're perfectly willing to play you in Arlington", while still having a line drawn in the sand in terms of moving home games away from campus. Instead of signing 'home & home' agreements, maybe from here forward they can offer a '2 for 1' deal to teams that want to play at Jerry World, where each program gets a home game and then the opposing team's second "home game" is played in Arlington.

Capital One Mascot Challenge


Super Frog was just selected as one of the 12 finalist in Capitol One's Mascot challenge. So far there have been 4 others chosen, Testudo from Maryland, Jack Rabbit from South Dakota State, Butch T. Cougar from Washington State, and Mike the Tiger from LSU, the other seven will be revealed over the next two and a half weeks. While the award doesn't really hold any significance, being a finalist means that he will be featured in the commercials that run throughout the fall. Great free national advertising.

GoFrogs Story


Mascot Challenge Site

Taking Inventory: Running Backs

As has been the case at TCU for quite some time- and going along with a practice that is becoming increasingly common in the NCAA- the Frogs will likely employ a running backs by committee approach to their ground game again this year. The question is, which backs will command the largest pieces of the pie and get the most carries?

The two returning backs that shouldered the most load last year are 5th-year seniors Joseph Turner and Ryan Christian. Both were held out of spring practice with injuries, but should be 100% by now. If Turner can stay healthy (which has been a recurring issue), he ought to again lead the team in both attempts and yards, as he did a year ago. His tough running style can be especially demoralizing to opposing defenses in the second half. With a new offensive coordinator(s), though, Christian may see his role change just a bit. Toward the end of last season, he was given less hand-offs and started to become more of a pass-catching threat. In my humble opinion, that is what his role ought to be, because he is a very dangerous weapon for this offense when he is in the open field.

With the departure of Aaron Brown to the Detroit Lions and Christian possibly receiving less carries, who will be picking up the slack? The top candidate is redshirt freshman Ed Wesley, whom the coaching staff has been raving about since he arrived on campus last fall and was a stand-out in spring practice. At 5'9" and 185lbs, Wesley has been described by some as a smaller, faster version of Robert Merrill. Jai Cavness, a shifty sophomore who ran for 134 yards and 2 TD's last season, also has the potential to play a significant role in the offense.

The two returnees that haven't been as conspicuous in preseason hype are 5th-year senior Chris Smith and sophomore Jurcell Fort. Smith, a bruiser who weighs in at 231 lbs, has played sparingly in his first three seasons, mostly in blow-out victories. Remember though, that Justin Watts had a similiar track record and did score 4 TD's as a senior last year. Fort played in 2 games last year, gaining 5 yards on 4 attempts after moving over from cornerback.

When the Frogs line up in a formation that requires a fullback, 220 lb-sophomore Luke Shivers will be the man. He was mostly used as a lead-blocker last year, although he did score 2 TD's and caught a pass out of the backfield, showing that he could be utilized more as his career progresses. Junior walk-on Ryan Hightower is the only other fullback listed on the roster, but I'd imagine that Smith and Turner could line up at FB in a pinch with their size.

And then...there are the newcomers. The TCU coaching staff hit the jackpot when it came to recruiting tailbacks this past offseason, inking four oustanding ball carriers and creating an embarrassment of riches. There's 5'8" 190lb Waymon James out of Sherman (where he ran for 4,732 career yards, 54 TD and was a pass-catching threat out of the backfield), 6'1" 215lb Matthew Tucker out of Tyler Chapel Hill (6,093 career yards, 69 TD), 5'10" 225lb Dwight Smith out of Carthage (2,820 43 TD & a state title in one season) and 6'1" 200lb UCLA transfer Aundre Dean, formerly of Katy (5,495 career yards, 61 TD, 2 state rings). Even with a talented group of returning backs, all four of these backs have the talent to play this fall. Dean will have to wait a year, though, due to NCAA transfer rules and there is some question as to whether Smith will be academically eligible (fingers crossed). There is also, with this coaching staff, always the potential that one or more of these guys could end up playing a different position. Either way, the future looks very, very bright and I wouldn't get my hopes up about signing a high-profile tailback in the next recruiting class.

Up Next: Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

Morning Dump

Coaches fail to take their own poll seriously Star-Telegram

A tough league to predict
Charlottesville Daily News

Cowboys sign 3 rookie draft picks
Houston Chronicle
-I believe all of our draft picks have now signed

College football revenue rankings '07-'08
Orlando Sentinel

WAC commissioner talks Boise State, Mountain West
ESPN

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Commit

Katy Morton Ranch rising senior, Sam Carter, has reportedly become TCU's most recent 2010 commit. Carter, the lefty who played his first three years at Sharpstown (Houston), is listed in ESPN's top 150 watch list as an athlete and is ranked the 23rd best dual QB for the 2010 class. Last year, Carter, listed at 6 ft 205lbs, passed for over 1,500 yards and rushed for over 1,000. The Frogs snagged Carter over schools including Miami, Houston, Okie State and Baylor.

Welcome to the Frogs Sam.

ESPN evaluation

Taking Inventory: Quarterbacks

Coming into the '09 season, Quarterback is one of the positions at which TCU has the most returning depth, but that doesn't mean there aren't any question marks under center.

One thing that is for sure, though, is that this is Andy Dalton's team. Over his first two years as a starter, our favorite Ginja Ninja has led the Frogs to two bowl victories and earned Offensive MVP honors in both. He's already TCU's 3rd All-Time leader in passing yards, and with his mini-sophomore slump of the beginning of '08 behind him and an oustanding corps of receivers coming back, he's got a real good shot at breaking Max Knake's school record this fall. In TCU's ball-control offense, you've got to have a Qube that can do it all, and his 664 career rushing yards and 13 TD's on the ground are evidence that Dalton's legs are a perfect compliment to his arm. That warm feeling you've got in your soul is the fact that the Frogs have two more seasons with Dalton at the helm.

After a brief stint plying his craft at safety in the spring, Marcus Jackson has returned to the offensive side of the ball to play the role of insurance policy. It's pretty reassuring when your back-up QB is a 5th-year senior who has earned MWC Player of the Week honors twice in his career. He delivered W's over San Diego State and at Colorado State filling in as a starter when Dalton went down with a knee injury last year, and has over 1,000 career passing yards and 600 career rushing yards.

The #3 spot is where things really get interesting. In the event that Dalton & MJ are both unavailable at some point this fall, are the reigns handed to redshirt freshman Yogi Gallegos or blue-chip true frosh Casey Pachall? Pachall certainly came to TCU with more fanfare after a stellar high school career at Brownwood, but Gallegos has more experience in the system, having travelled with the team all last season as the #3 QB. Before you automatically go promoting Pachall because of his recruiting hype, don't forget that at one point many fans thought Jeff Ballard would forever be buried on the depth chart and would likely never see the field. Hopefully, though, this isn't a debate for this fall, but rather for the spring of 2011 after Dalton has exhausted his eligibility.

Two walk-on's will occupy the bottom spots of the depth chart this fall- Kyle Wilson, a redshirt freshman from Springtown, and Rick Settle, a true freshman from Olathe, Kansas. It seems like a long-shot for either of these guys to see the field this year- if all four of the scholarship QB's went down, you have to think that Jeremy Kerley, Antoine Hicks or any of the other dozen or so Frogs that played QB in high school would be called upon to lead the offense. But remember, walk-on Kyle Kummer did start against Army in '04 when Tye Gunn & Brandon Hassell were both injured, so who knows what chances Wilson & Settle could get if they stick with the program.

Up next: Running Backs

Morning Dump

TCU's Pricenton Review rankings
#8 Athletic facilities
#9 little class/race interaction

The Big East myth Examiner
-Hounds on Lebreton's article

Zook, Juice happy with offensive changes Central Illinois Proud

BCS changes open Rose bowl bids to outsiders
ESPN

Tim Griffin's mailbag, random TCU answer

Tim from New York City writes: I have a question that has Big 12 (actually Big 8) ties regarding a coach outside of the conference. Given Turner Gill's recent success at and brief turnaround of one of Division I's ultimate projects at Buffalo, is it a long shot to believe that he may make a return to his former conference? If so, what teams would make a good fit for him?

Tim Griffin: Turner Gill has done a masterful job in rebuilding Buffalo after leading the Bulls to the Mid-American Conference championship and the International Bowl last season.

That strong job obviously has to have caught the attention of his old coach, Tom Osborne, which would make some think that Nebraska would be a place he might end up as a head coach. For that to happen, Bo Pelini would have to go on to another job. I think Gill might need a tad more more seasoning at Buffalo. And I don't see any interest in Pelini pursuing any other jobs at this time.

Another job that will come open probably pretty soon will be Kansas State, where there's no indication that Bill Snyder is in the head coaching position for the long term. Maybe Snyder, who turns 70 on Oct. 7, will stay at his old school for two or three years. It would be interesting if Gill would be attracted to Kansas State and if the Wildcats would be attracted to him.

I think the job that would make sense to him would be at TCU in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Obviously, Gary Patterson would have to being going somewhere and I don't know how much interest Patterson has in pursuing other jobs at this time.

But I personally think that TCU might be the best non-BCS job in the country. And it might be better than some jobs in the Big 12. The reason I consider this job so highly include its proximity to the fertile Texas recruiting area, the developing facilities at the school, the school's winning tradition and its conference affiliation.

Patterson currently has an easier road to the BCS in his own conference than he would if the Horned Frogs were playing in the Big 12. And I think he knows it.

But I would also think the chance to return home for Gill would be attractive if the opportunity to accept the TCU job if it ever materialized for him.

Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 Media Guide

TCU 2009 media guide.




TCU 2009 Media Guide

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Graham Watson says TCU v ND '10 unlikely

According a source close to the situation a TCU trip to ND is unlikely for '10 but is not out of the question for '11 or '12. While it is a bit disappointing to hear, it is good to know that a game could still be in the works. Three non-conference road games isn't ideal anyway.

ESPN




Sorry for the over played video, there is so much negative to say about the fighting Rudys and I didn't feel like taking the time to be clever.

Dalton, Hughes and GP DuringTheir MWC Podium Session

video

Morning Dump

Air not apparent for TCU quarterback Andy Dalton Star-Telegram

Notre Dame reportedly wants TCU on their future schedule Star-Telegram

MWC, Thompson not giving in to BCS Star-Telegram

TCU positions itself with strategic losses
Bleacher Report

Watch out MWC big 3 - other 6 looking to catch up Deseret News

MWC: Media Days showcases a ticked off commish, and a Max Hall double
Examiner

'We belong' is offseason rally cry for ambitious MWC
CBS Sports

Mountain West considers expanding -- again Idaho Statesman

Bronco will cede some playcalling
Salt Lake Tribune

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tip our hats to an old friend



This has nothing and everything to do with TCU football, but I thought some of you that aren't in the Fort Worth area would like to know that our favorite bartender at the Oui, Kathy, passed away on Monday.

Post game celebrations will never be the same at the Oui.

She poured a stiff drink and she will be missed, but she will live on through all of us... aka the smell of smoke permanently imprinted into any clothes I have ever worn to the Oui.

Morning Dump


Ring, diploma why TCU defensive star was in no rush to leave Star-Telegram

TCU draws support as MWC's bes
t Star-Telegram

Football media pick TCU to win Mountain West AP

2009 preseason all-MWC football picks
AP

Five possible trends Sporting News

BCS talk hits the over
ESPN

Media poll rarely on mark Deseret News

What's wrong with Tulsa, maybe TCU? Blue and Gold

Sanberg misses victory, Cashner's performance
Knoxville News Sentinel

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MWC Media Days














MWC media days are under way and the preseason conference poll and awards are out. We'll start with the one that didn't go to TCU, preseason offensive player of the year goes to BYU QB Max Hall. Big Suprise pre-season defensive player of the year is All-American DE Jerry Hughes, but the awards don't stop there. Preseaon special teamer of the year goes to Jeremy Kerley and preseason fresman of the year has been bestowed upon RB Ed Wesley. Oh, and lucky us the Frogs were picked by the media to win the conference. ESPN's Graham Watson will be following the events here. And videos from the event can be seen here.

TCU also placed 7 on the preseaon all-conference team:

Jerry Hughes - DE
Daryl Washington - LB
Nick Sanders - CB
Rafael Priest - CB

Marshall Newhouse - OL

Anson Kelton - P
Jeremy Kerely - R

Barret Robbins on Real Sports

Interesting piece about Barret Robbins and his struggles in recovery tonight on Real Sports. Starts at 9PM on HBO.

Barret Robbins' Road to Recovery the Subject of HBO's 'Real Sports' - NFL Fanhouse

Morning Dump

Dalton, Hughes finally see the real Las Vegas Star-Telegram

Media days kick off in Vegas for CSU, MWC teams Coloradoan

Mailbag Cowboys.com

Spread offense has been around for decades ESPN

They shoot the Mountain West Champion, don't they? Yahoo Sports

AFCA delays change to coaches poll at BCS request
CBS Sports

Virginia's Groh on defending the spread ESPN

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lebreton: Speaker of Truth

If you're like me, you're tired of hearing the same old ill-informed & half-assed argument about the BCS. Most of the time, it's about whether or not a playoff would be better at determining the champion of college football and whether or not an LSU or a Texas or an Auburn or some other giant program got robbed. That's a really fun conversation to hear over and over again...if you like listening to Mike & Mike and like to read USA Today. Maybe we can listen to nerds like Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian talk about steroids after that!

But then in this morning's Star-Telegram, Gil Lebreton finally got to the real issue dealing with the BCS. That's finally the kind of commentary and support TCU ought to be getting from their hometown paper every day.

I mean, I for one don't give a shit if the Texases and the Oklahomas of the world and their legions of Wal-Mart fans feel jilted by not getting into the BCS Title game. They are the ones that wrote the rules- they can deal with it. The real problem is seeing mediocre teams like Wake Forest and Pitt waltz into a BCS Bowl just by winning their supposed "superior" conference. Beyond that, putred programs like Baylor, Vanderbilt and Washington State get to collect millions of dollars in revenue every year just for being in a conference that they can't compete in. All the while, programs like TCU, Utah, BYU, Boise State, Southern Miss, East Carolina, etc- have to fight uphill just to get any kind of respect without the resources afforded to BCS schools through bowl & TV contracts.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Little Love for the MWC


I have to admit, I'll always thought the way that SEC fans always cheer for their conference brethren while facing outsiders was pretty gay. Growing up in SWC country- with the authentic, sincere hatred that made you wish your rivals would be wiped off the face of the earth- I guess I just never understood why if "everyone is your biggest rival" and you hate them so much, you would turn around and wave your "manly" pom-pom for them when they face an outsider.

But over the last few years, I've really started to become a fan of other MWC schools when they are playing out-of-conference opponents. Last season, I got such a kick out of watching BYU eat UCLA's...well, I would say souls, but I'm not sure anyone in L.A. has one, Wyoming taking down Tennessee, UNLV stunning Arizona State and Utah knocking Michigan in the Big House and dominating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Maybe we're not getting an automatic BCS berth just yet, but the level of respect the media gives us has gone up considerably (Watch this video from CBS College Sports discussing the MWC).

While the SEC fans find solidarity in wearing bow-ties to games and living in the states with the worst Adult Literacy rates, the MWC schools can come together knowing that, if all 9 programs are moving forward- and some of the coaching hires made by the back of the pack are a good sign of that- we come a little close to getting our much-deserved piece of the pie.

Morning Dump

The MTN. announces addition of HD games MTN

Nice Frog mention on the Hill Roll Call

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homerism 101: Gambling

So, as these things sometimes happen, this past weekend I was enticed into an impromptu trip to Vegas. Given the circumstances of the trip, and given that I had nothing else to do this weekend so why not got to Vegas, I took the bait. This, despite knowing that my last few trips had ended in financial disaster and that, unlike my past few trips, there would be no major sportsbook goings on to entice me to tear myself away from the tables because, let's face it, betting on baseball is about as fun as sending in your SMU season ticket renewal each year.

However, before I left, a little bird - well, WWHD - suggested that there was one bet out there, one sure fire bet that I had to investigate and, if we deemed it worthy, we'd split between us and divide the inevitable profits. Now perhaps it was because we were at the time basking in GPs presence, or that we had bellies full of beer and BBQ, but, after really thinking about it, there's only one reason why such a thought popped into our heads: homerism.

Now, some of you probably consider yourselves wanton TCU homers, and in most cases you'd probably be correct, but how many of us really put our money where our mouths are? How many of us have so much faith in TCU football that we practically stake our futures in the Frogs presumed success? Evidence:



Alright, so perhaps I went a little overboard with all that "staking my financial future on the Frogs" thing, but for those of you who aren't familiar with the inner workings of a Las Vegas Sportsbooks, here's what it means: $20 on the Frogs to win the BCS National Championship at 100:1 odds. Now, those are pretty terrible odds, especially considering betting the field netted you 75:1, but after last week's BCS decision... 100:1 is probably pretty solid for the Frogs' chances, and perhaps even a little low. Now, do I really think the Frogs have a chance at running the tables this season? Well, I'd be a bit of a hypocrite if a I said no, wouldn't I? Do I think that by running the tables the Frogs have a shot at playing in Pasadena come January? Well, obviously there are a lot of obstacles to overcome, and a lot of stupendous upsets would have to occur, but, even with 100:1 odds, like Lloyd Christmas said, there's a chance. Besides, it gives us another reason to unite as one and root against Texas and Florida, and if that ends up being nothing more than a consolation prize, then I guess that'll be just fine with me.

Morning Dump

TCU's Patterson is about helping Star-Telegram

No. 18 TCU Austin American-Statesman

College football's new super league
ESPN

All-American football foundation to honor Southland representatives NewOrleans.com

Stephen Hodge is tackling the linebacker curve Blogging the boys

College football's top coaches: Meyer is No. 1
Sporting News

Virginia preview College
Football News

Monday, July 13, 2009

BCS Dilemna: Solved

No, no- it wasn't Orrin Hatch. Believe it or not, congress wasn't able to get something done...

Instead, the answer to college football's awkward postseason dilemna has finally been found by a student at the University of Colorado, who hit pause on his game of Halo long enough to unveil his master plan to the world this weekend.

I have to say, I like the way the kid thinks outside the box, even if that box does say "Jack in the Box" on it. Any idea that includes TCU rather than exclude them is fun to consider. But as you read the artcile, it becomes more and more evident that the kid's original draft probably included a few paragraphs about the moon crashing into the earth and ordering pizza with gummi-worms on it: Wisconsin in a conference with Arizona and Arizona State? Maybe we should put TWO flavor packets on this Ramen!


Summer Reading List


With just a smidge under 1,500 hours to go until kickoff of the Virginia game (yeah, that's right- hours), I can only assume that a lot of you are going through the same kind of antsy in your pantsy, Trainspotting-esque withdrawls for football. If you've already read through all of the preview magazines, and the re-runs of "classic" games on CBS-College and ESPN-U and the incredibly bland summer editions of "College Football Live" aren't enough to satiate your gridiron itch, let me nerd out for a minute and offer up a summer reading list that ought to help calm your nerves:

Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins

If you haven't yet gotten into Jenkins, now is definitely the time. It's not often that you can laugh out loud at a book, but nearly all of his have caused me to. Semi-Tough is written in the first person as a diary by fictional Paschal High & TCU alum Billy Clyde Puckett, who is preparing to lead the New York Giants into the Super Bowl. If you enjoy the irreverant humor in this one (and you will), also check out Jenkins' You Gotta Play Hurt, a spin-off that isn't quite a football book, but does have a backstory involving TCU football enjoying a great season. There was a terrible movie version of Semi-Tough made with Burt Reynolds playing Billy Clyde Puckett, and apparently also made a pilot for a TV series version with David Hasselhoff playing one of the supporting roles (I kid you not).

The Junction Boys by Jim Dent

When I read The Junction Boys, I had a few painful flashbacks to my own torturous experience with two-a-day practices in the brutal August heat. But those flashbacks were nothing compared to the relief I felt that I wasn't playing "back in the day" and with a psychotic sadist of a coach like Paul "Bear" Bryant. If you don't already know the story from watching the God-awful ESPN movie version, in 1954 Bryant (then at Texas A&M) took his team to Junction, TX, and basically decided to separate the men from the boys by putting them through workouts that, even for the time, were cruel & unusual. It's interesting to see how- and why- some of the players refused to quit.

Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger

Friday Night Lights goes in a category along with Lonesome Dove- if you haven't read it yet, shame on you. Growing up in a house with a parent who grew up in Odessa, I was required to read it at an age when some of the lengthiest titles I had completed included Little House in the Big Woods and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. For those of you still in the dark, FNL follows the 1988 Odessa Permian Panthers as they strive towards their ultimate goal, a state championship. It caused quite a stir upon it's release, because aside from showcasing the on-the-field success of the players, it also exposed some of the underlying moral flaws of the community behind the team. It was followed up, of course, with a movie adaptation starring Billy Bob Thornton that has enjoyed mixed reviews since it came out and a critically-acclaimed TV series, although the latter is not actually based on the book.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer by Warren St. John

Warren St. John, an Alabama native who was educated and lived as an adult in New York City, couldn't explain why he was still so emotionally invested in the Alabama Crimson Tide. So to answer the question "why do we care?", he bought an RV and followed the Tide to every game one season. He came into contact with some seriously, seriously salty characters along the way and came to some interesting conclusions to his initial question. Taking it's title from a signature Crimson Tide cheer, Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is definitely a good read for a psycho-fan.

Twelve Mighty Orphans by Jim Dent

"Incredulous" is an apt description of someone reading Twelve Mighty Orphans for the first time. It's the incredible but true story of the kids at at Fort Worth's Masonic Home Orphanage, which despite all odds, became one of the state's most dominant high school football teams during the Great Depression. The hardships that these kids overcame There is talk that it will be adapted into a film in coming years.

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Plimpton was already one of America's most prominent sports writers in 1963, when he somehow convinced the coaches of the Detroit Lions to let him join the team as a reserve quarterback in training camp....at age 36. Given jersey #0, Plimpton worked through camp along with legends like Alex Karras and Dick "Night Train" Lane, and the players never knew he was really a writer. There was apparently also a movie version starring Alan Alda.

...But don't take my word for it!



Saturday, July 11, 2009

JJ tied for 6th heading into the weekend

JJ is currently tied for 6th at -6 heading into today's round at the John Deere Classic. This is by far his best showing so far this year, and if you're by a TV this afternoon be sure to watch him. He tees off a little after 1 p.m.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pipe Dream?

When the Rangers made Klein's phenomenal lefty pitcher Matthew Purke, who happened to also be TCU's prize recruit, the 14th pick in the MLB Draft last month, the odds of him ending up pitching at Lupton did not look good. After all, as a first-round pick, he's looking at a seven-figure signing bonus, and really, what flame-throwing teenager from Texas is going to say no to Nolan Ryan?

The word on Purke leading up to the draft was that he might be picked later than his talents would dictate because of his (made-up word alert) 'signability'. It was said that he wanted "Rick Porcello money", in a reference to the current Tigers rookie who signed a contract worth $7.28 million with Detroit after they picked him in the 2007 draft. Despite this, a June 15th article in the Dallas Morning News indicated that Purke expected to get a deal done and sign with the club.

But then last week came the news that Rangers' owner Tom Hicks has had to borrow $15 million from Major League Baseball just to meet payroll. Now, my understanding of economics is mostly limited to childhood games of Monopoly that ended prematurely when my brother and I would get in a fistfight because he was being a total fag about building hotels on his properties- but that doesn't really sound like the financial profile of an organization that is about to shell out a record-breaking contract for an 18 year-old kid, does it?

Now granted, the Rangers are not broke. Even if they can't put up the $7 million that Purke reportedly wants, they'll still be able to pay him an amount of money that will dwarf the partial scholarship that awaits him at TCU. According to Jim Schlossnagle at last night's Coaches Dinner in Dallas, however, Purke did spend quite a bit of time on campus in Fort Worth last week.

Perhaps he is content to get a college education and compete for a top-flight college team if his lofty demands aren't met by the Rangers? After all, if he is as good as advertised, those millions will be there two or three years down the road, won't they? No need to chance it, according to Schlossnagle, who urged all in attendance at the function last night to boycott going to Rangers games and putting money in Old Man Hicks' pockets.

Even though there is some cause for optimism that Purke will end up as a Frog, I wouldn't hold my breath- the deadline for him to sign (or hopefully not sign) with the Rangers is August 17th, and that'd be a really long time to hold your breath. I can only do it for like 30 seconds.


Morning Dump

Former Hokie Thorns heading to TCU Daily Press

Posted comments about the MWC and BCS
ESPN

Chargers' version of the wildcat dubbed the Frog
Pro Football Weekly

The MTN. is steadily making progress Deseret News

Dallas Coaches Event

Do I really need a reason to bust out this pic?

So for those of you who weren't in the know, and from the young alumni turnout there were apparently a lot of you, last night was the now 12th annual TCU Dallas Coaches event. I've only been the past two years, but, as lyle posted earlier in an attempt to drum up support, it's always a good time, there's all the BBQ and drank you can handle, and it's the closest thing you're getting to football between the spring game and September 12th, so that should be excuse enough. Besides, the night always ends with GP getting up and belittling either an opposing coach, program or even his own special teams players, so that should be worth the price of admission alone.

This year, though, and like I said I've only been involved twice, I felt was missing something. It's not that it wasn't enjoyable - and in fact, I think the turnout may have been even bigger than it was last year - it just seemed like no one really had anything insightful to say and they weren't going to dig deep to rectify the situation. The main thing that has bothered me the past two years about the event is that it's basically a bunch of Killerfrogs webmasters and their wives (read: old dudes), a few guys who went to TCU who don't care about the program, but now they make a lot of money so they like to show off by blowing everyone away in the auctions, and about five guys around our age. I'll never understand, with all the young alumni in Dallas who call themselves fans, why more can't turn up for these events, and don't use, 'well, I don't want to get on the tollway at five o'clock' because... well, F you, that's why. Anyway, disregarding that, like I said, something was missing this year and hopefully by the end of this recap I can get to the bottom of what exactly that was.

Just as a demonstration that something was missing, I'll be honest and say the bidding war myself, lyle and WWHD found ourselves in with some vulture on dinner with the Hardline guys was probably the most exciting part of the evening. After a lot of misdirection and sly one-upmanship, we were both upstaged by a last minute, tora! tora! tora! attack from some over compensated booster who probably fell into the 'show off' category mentioned above. After that loss, WHHD and I set our sights on the real prize: two tickets in Danny Morrison's box for any home game next season. Now, a lot of you are probably unaware of the history with Morrison and WWHD, but it involves heavy drinking, cornering, and constant suggestions on the part of the latter and the fact that Morrison would be forced to allow a gameday conditions WWHD to sit in his box and be in his ear for 3 hours is pretty priceless. The suggested price on the package was around $200 - a fee which, even in our economic times, was practically a steal - which was right in our ballpark, and we knew we had to get the bidding started. So what does the auctioneer do? Starts it at $500 right as WWHD raises his hand, which he immediately retracted, sort of like a scared turtle's head. Needless to say, we did not win said prize and will have to resort to more practical methods if we wish to fill the AD with our drively ideas. Besides, we would've been tossed out of there within about five minutes of our entrance and probably sent to rehab in lieu of prison. Fate works in not so mysterious ways

Enough of that anecdote though, all you really need to know is what the coaches did and didn't say, and there was a lot more of the second part of that than the first. After the radio team did their usual violently corny introduction, and Morrison gave his pump up the athletic department speech, the night was handed over to the coaching staff, among them the women's tennis coach, Jim Christian, Jim Schlossnagle, and GP himself. According to Morrison, TCU had 11 teams finish in the top five in the nation in their respective leagues this year - a stat that sounds a little fishy, but, according to WWHD, when you consider the amount of teams competing in women's rifle and equestrian, it makes a little more sense. So, go Frogs. Anyway, here are the speech highlights

Women's Tennis Coach - Blah blah, forehand, blah blah, deuce, blah blah, NCAA tournament appearance, blah blah drive to FW and watch women's tennis. All I could think about was how a few very fortunate people paid $350 bucks and got to sit with GP or Morrison, and some other poor saps paid the same amount and had to sit with this guy. Not that we shouldn't be proud of our women's tennis team... but, I don't recognize an activity played by women to be a sport, so there ya go.

Jimmy Christian - The funniest part of his speech was he got up and immediately apologized and pointed out how GP had reprimanded him at last year's event for not introducing his wife, who is really cute and really pregnant so congrats on that coach, so now you can see that GP not only watchdogs his players, but also the opposing coaches. GP. Leader. Bitchslapsman. Anyway, he didn't talk a whole lot about last season, and he wasn't as fire and brimstone as he was last year, but he sounds very optimistic about the team and made the comment that, "last year there was one guy who was talking about winning a championship, and unfortunately I couldn't play, but this year we have 11 guys all talking about winning a championship," which, while it may not be true, at least shows that he has confidence in his team. He did mention the issues he's had this spring and summer in regards to trying to practice with only 8 guys, but it sounds like the roster will fill out nicely by the time the season rolls around, especially when that PG transfer can play next season. He's very dedicated to finding his kinds of players, no matter how far across the globe he has to travel, and even told a pretty funny story about being on the phone with a recruit at the airport and being so into the conversation he left his briefcase in the terminal and only got off the phone when he came back to find the bomb squad all over it. The biggest announcements from him were in regards to next year's schedule and how we are starting home/home series with Rice and Houston, with Rice coming in this year and us traveling to Cougar High this fall. He also mentioned that he's trying to drum up home/home series with Tetch, Baylor and/or aggy, but is having problems getting them to commit. He didn't say they were scared, but he did hint pretty strongly at it. Maybe the most intriguing event we'll be playing in next season is the pre-season NIT, where we will open up against Arizona State, who, if you're not familiar, have put some pretty sharp teams on the court under Herb Sendek. There's no season home opening bang like we had with Nebraska last year, but it sounds like he has the team heading in the right direction and we should have some pretty exciting matchups in the years to come.

Jim Schlossnagle - Unfortunately I missed a little bit of his speech while hitting the head and making a beer run, but I got the general idea. First off, no standing ovation, crowd? For shame! Obviously he's still very, very distraught about the Texas loss, citing that, 'I don't want to give Texas a run, I want to beat their butt,' which is exactly the attitude we've come to expect from the GP of baseball. Needless to say, pretty sure that guy's level of UT hate is now on par with that of myself, WWHD, lt4heisman and buck, to name a few, and you can bet he's going to have his guys fired up next time we face them... which, fortunately, will come next season. The team will be playing in some tournament at Minute Maid Park in Houston, which he described as one of if not THE premiere college baseball events in the country, and we'll have a chance to beat up on Texas and Rice among others. He definitely wasn't preaching false optimism about the team's hopes next year and is very aware of how young his starting 9 are going to be, but he has a lot of faith in the pitching staff as we didn't lose too many guys, and acted like even though we have a lot of youth, these guys have a chance to continue our recent baseball success. As far as upcoming schedules, we've still got our usual gauntlet of Baylor, Oklahoma, CS-Fullerton, Tetch, etc and he mentioned we will be re-starting our series with Ole Miss. There were some more in there, so hopefully lyle can fill in my errors. pun.

The man, the myth, the legend. GP - We were so pumped for GP's speech, all that was missing was Michael Buffer announcing his presence in the ring. Unfortunately, the crowd reaction was menial at best, with a very hesistant standing O from about 1/4 of the crowd. Come on people, this is one of the top 5 coaches in the country we're talking about here! Anyway, GP was his typical self, but slightly more jovial than I remembered, and actually cracked at least 3 smiles over the course of his 10 minute sermon. As expected, he wasn't in the mood to heap praise on his previous successes and slipped 'paper tigers' into his speech pretty early. Obviously the thing we all love about GP is his fearlessness, but, despite this, he defintely has a lot of respect for the non-conference opponents we've chosen to match up with. Naturally he addressed the Clemson situation first, saying that it is one of the toughest environments to go into and get a win in college football and saying that if you thought OU was loud last year - which I personally did not - just get ready for Death Valley. I know I've got tickets for the game and I think a few of you others do as well, which is good because we're going to need all the support we can muster. He showed a little too much respect for UVA considering the man they have holding the clipboard, but we should all take to heart that they're returning their QB from 2 years ago when they were all the rage after he sat out last season for academic reasons. Always the politician, he tried to give a little credence to SMU and Texas State, but all he could come up with was that they both have off weeks before they play us which gives them time to prepare, but we all knew his tongue was deep down firmly implanted in his cheek. At that point, he did say something kind of unsettling about how it's nearly impossible to run the tables when you have no off weeks which, as we all well know, is exactly the situation we find ourselves in, so hopefully we break the mold there. He seems excited about bringing in Rusty Burns as our WR coach and, to buck's delight, didn't heap too much praise on Schultz, only mentioning that he left. I'm still very interested to see the two OC system we'll be running because, as much as GP hates having one OC, I can't imagine what he'll do with two, and honestly I can't remember him having much to say about it other than it's happening. He did have a very GP moment when talking about a coaching summit he just went to, though. He was talking about how it's going to be tough to go into Laramie and pull out a win, especially in late November, but mentioned how their new coach, Dave Christensen I believe is his name, gave him no respect at the summit and didnt' even say hello to him to which GP responded, "So, I guess we're on." Naturally, this raised quite the response from our section. He knows he and the team are the top dogs in our conference and isn't afraid to flaunt it. Power to him. He also dead-panned that he's excited to have AD as a junior QB this year because, "he's not a freshman QB." When talking about recruiting, he took a small shot at Urban Meyer, as he was talking about how we brought in a good and dedicated group of kids, but that Florida has two championships playing with a bunch of dudes that have felonies pending against them and how he maybe needs to take a new direction in recruiting guys if he wants to win the big one. No BCS talk. Very few specifics about the team, although he did mention that we only have 13 seniors on the team this year, and only 7 or 8 of them will start, so let that settle a while when you think about the future of the program. He didn't mention much if anything about our backfield juggernaut, but perhaps that was too obvious to discuss. He ended things by asking for questions but after a split second passed and no one had stood up, he closed things up for the night.

After reading through that, it might seem like I came away with a lot of information, and I guess I did, but it just seems like last year there was a lot more selling, hype and team specifics than there were this year. However, I suppose when you're among the best football and baseball programs in the country, you have have a re-emerging basketball team, and, apparently, a women's tennis team, the results sell themselves.

64 days. We Ready.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Concussion

No not the head injury we can expect Washington and Hughes to dole out come fall, the Fort Worth PR/Marketing firm tasked with drumming up support for TCU athletics. I am sure you remember the last year's campaign, the one where Phillips cut his nose to look more intimidating. Well, Concussion is at it again and in the last day or so they have been filming at TCU in preparation for the upcoming campaign.

So far they have some pretty good looking stuff, videos are posted on their facebook page

Enjoy

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gary Patterson Q&A Sporting News

Argument over beer leads to shooting of ex-TCU player, police say Star-Telegram

Cashner continues to move up baseball ranks
Montgomery County Courier

Thorns picks Horned Frogs
Roanoke Times

Stewart Cink twitter interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Q: What’s the funniest tweet you’ve tweeted?

A: At TCU college baseball game with Steve Stricker, eventual champion: Stricker is 14 under, should I give him the Nancy Kerrigan treatment?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Things not going well for LoJo...

In the fall of 2005, Lorenzo Jones seemed on top of the world. The 6'4" 295lb D-tackle from McKinney had chosen TCU over offers from the likes of Nebraska, Oklahoma State and A&M, and was playing as a true freshman for the Frogs as they began what would be a conference championship season. I clearly remember watching him beat his man time & time again in the season opening win at Oklahoma, helping to completely shut down All-American Adrian Peterson.

Seems like a lifetime ago now, after a fall from grace that could only be rivaled by another certain TCU defensive lineman that wore #97...

First, he was thrown off the team later in that '05 season for reportedly not showing up for practice. Then, there was the infamous rape allegation. Though the charges for that were eventually dismissed, any chance he had to mend fences and come back to TCU were shot, along with probably any chance to play college ball anywhere. Now comes word that Jones is in critical condition after being shot by his mother's boyfriend near Miami.

For all his faults, you've gotta hope that he doesn't lose his chance to turn his life around. Hang in there, Lorenzo.