Monday, August 31, 2009

Podcast Interview With Jeremy Clark

Our good friends at Horned Frog Sports sat down for a long interview with Purple Menace's Jeremy Clark to discuss the upcoming football season. Check out the podcast here.

A Challenge to You, the Fans

By now, you’ve probably seen a TV commercial, heard a radio ad, or seen a billboard plastered with TCU football’s new slogan, "Get with the Program". While that’s a catchy tagline for a really well-put together ad campaign, it goes beyond being just another run of the mill marketing ploy, such as the "June Cometh" campaign launched by SMU a year ago to attempt to lure fans into funding their outrageous expense of hiring the former Hawaii coach. The difference is that at TCU, we can say "Get with the Program," because the program has already arrived!

Let’s take a look at what we’ve got going for ourselves in Fort Worth. First, we have a once in a generation coach in Gary Patterson, who has built a brilliant staff of assistants around him. We have a team that finished last season as the 7th-ranked team in the country, and has won ten or more games in a season six times since 2000. During that time, the Frogs are 45-6 at home and have had five All-Americans. Recruiting has continued to improve year after year, helped not only by the impressive win-loss record, but also by training facilities that put TCU on par with any program in the country and will, in two years, play host to the AFC Champions as they prepare to play in Super Bowl XLV. With the number of players that the Frogs continue to deliver to the NFL on an annual basis, there is a good chance that a TCU alum will be among those enjoying our campus’ amenities that week.

So what’s missing? Despite all of the program’s success, the fan base continues to lag far behind what a top-caliber team like TCU should have. We cannot continue to use the small size of our school as an excuse for only averaging around 30,000 fans per game. There are far too many Horned Frog "fans" that do not go to the games at all, or stay at their tailgate parties while the game is going on in the stadium. On top of that, Fort Worth is part of what is possibly the most football-obsessed metropolitan area in the world- an area full of fans that haven’t yet discovered the excitement and value of TCU football. Maybe it’s just that people grow up being fans of other school’s teams, or maybe they don’t see TCU as being relevant because of the relative lack of media coverage. For whatever reason, TCU football is not yet the "thing to do" on a Saturday afternoon, and that has resulted in some less than stellar attendance figures for a more than stellar football team.

When I reiterate "Get with the Program," I can’t honestly expect every one of you to become a die-hard fan overnight. But what I can do is challenge all of you to be a better fan this year. Go to a game or two more than you have in the past. If you attend them all but just tailgate, get a ticket and go into the stadium when the game starts (you could always show up earlier to get all of that tailgating out of your system). Make a little more noise when the Frogs are on defense. Invite your friends and co-workers to come to the game with you. I think you get the point. If everyone takes one small step forward as a TCU fan this year, I promise you it will go a long way in improving the game day atmosphere at Amon G. Carter Stadium. When TCU football really becomes the thing to do on Saturdays in the fall, this program will truly take off.

If you’re with me on this, let’s put some legs under the "Get with the Program" campaign that the TCU marketing department did a fantastic job creating by actually doing what it’s asking us to do. Get your friends involved- copy and paste this into emails, post it on whatever social media site you’re a member of, anything that is going to get the word out.

Let’s all get with the program and be better fans this year.

Go Frogs
Quiet confidence surrounds TCU Horned Frogs Star-Telegram

TCU's defense gets best of offense in scrimmage

TCU's late start helps younger players Star-Telegram

When the offense works, so does the defense New York Times

Ranking the non-BCS conferences New York Times

Big games put Mountain West Conference in spotlight USA Today

TCU team notes USA Today

TCU hopes to break state of Utah's streak Associated Press

The saga of Sam Carter
Houston Chronicle

Capital One Mascot of the Year. Week 1


Friday, August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Texas comes in at No.24

No, that's not a football ranking, sports ranking or educational ranking. The University of Texas is the 24th Douchiest College in the country according to GQ. I am not exactly sure what qualifies the staff of GQ to decipher between magnitudes of douchiness but I am glad they realized the arrogant Bevo humping institution has more than it's fair share.

Why is Texas douchey? GQ claims Texas Home of: The Burnt-Orange Douche
Definitely douchey, but we're not totally sure why.

Feel free to chip in on what characteristics are a part of the University of Texas douche.

Morning Dump

Frogs answer Patterson's request Star-Telegram

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton takes leadership to the next level Star-Telegram

Watch what comes next for defensive end Jerry Hughes Star-Telegram

National stage awaits top Mountain West conference teams

TCU receiver Luttrell switches sides Dallas Morning News

Special teams again special for Frogs

Carter finally finds the field Houston Chronicle

Sammy Baugh to be honored at Classic
Sweetwater Reporter

30 questions for the 2009 season
Fox Sports

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ghostland in D.C. Friday Before UVA Game

For all you Ghostland groupies out there who plan on going to D.C., an alumni living in D.C. brought to my attention that there is a Ghostland show the night before the UVA game at the 9:30 Club in D.C. The show starts at 10pm (why it wouldn't start at 9:30 is perplexing to me) and you can get tickets here. From what I hear it's a great venue.

MWC extends it's bullshit deal with Vegas Bowl

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the Mountain West and Pac 10 have each agreed to extend their contracts with the Las Vegas Bowl through 2013. Wait, did I say Las Vegas Bowl? Because as bush league as that sounded already, it's now the Maaco Bowl. Awesome!

The deal will pit the Mountain West champion against the 5th place team from the Pac Ten. How's that for respect? The MWC had it's way with the Pac Ten last season, and yet our champion gets pitted against their 5th place team? BEFORE Christmas??? With all of the momentum the conference has going for it and the large amount of shifting going on between various bowls and conferences right now, I would expect something with a lot more splash than this from MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson.

Not that it even matters. The executive director of the bowl, Tina Kunzer-Murphy, made sure everyone knew that her game wasn't the set destination for the MWC Champion, but that she had the first pick of MWC teams. Since Utah went to the Sugar Bowl last year, Vegas as the top-paying bowl for MWC teams ought to have picked the second-place team, which was TCU. But as we all know, she chose BYU, whom the Frogs had gone rawdog on to the tune of 32-7, to play in the more lucrative game (for the 4th consecutive year, mind you) instead.

Sorry to go off on a rant like that, but I just get so sick when I see how well the conference is progressing and yet still has such a putrid bowl situation. At least the Frogs ended up with a great opponent last year, even if it was in a bowl that paid the minimum. Craig Thompson has done a great job in trumpeting the virtues of the MWC and lobbying hard for an automatic BCS bid, but he really, REALLY needs to pay some more attention to the rest of the league's bowl slate.

Upcoming Frog-Related Events

There are two upcoming, TCU sports-related events being promoted by other websites that I believe are worthy of mention here, even if some of the members of one of those sites can at times have a stick up their butts about links to our site being posted there.

First is's Annual "State of the Frogdom" Luncheon this Friday, August the 28th at 11:30am at the Pappa's Burgers right near campus. The event- food included- is free and you need only RSVP on this thread to attend. According to Wes, the proprietor of killerfrogs:

"Joining us this Friday will be athletic director Danny Morrison, head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle, women's basketball coach Jeff Mittie and we are still waiting on several other TCU luminaries to RSVP."

The second was brought to our attention by Spitblood friend David Peterson, who runs It's a golf event being put on by Purple People Seaters, an outstanding non-profit group run by TCU alumni that supports at-risk youth in the Metroplex (& wherever TCU plays in a bowl game- the picture above is at the '08 Texas Bowl). The scramble takes place the morning of the Texas State game, September 19, at Waterchase Golf Club. $125 per person goes to a great cause and gets you green and cart fee, range balls, light breakfast, lunch, beverages, gifts & prizes, and a ticket to the football game. More info is available here.

Morning Dump

Hughes receives top mark from Rivals

Frog fans could be big losers in TV battle Star-Telegram

TCU's Hodge falling behind Star-Telegram

Henson's pity party Washington Post

Monday, August 24, 2009

Update on AB

After the incredible highlight reel he produced in his first preseason game with the Lions, it looked like Aaron Brown might be on the fast track to NFL super-stardom, scoring two touchdowns while racking up 145 total yards on just 10 touches. But as Lions' reporter Tom Kowalski points out, for all of the amazing assets that Brown brings to the game, he also still has a lot to work on. That showed in his second exhibition game, a 27-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, when he only produced 46 total yards on 7 touches. We certainly all hope he does well in Detroit, although having a Frog play for the Lions will make Turkey Day nap-scheduling a little more difficult...

Morning Dump

TCU senior corner backs competitive even away from football Star-Telegram

Defensive effort has coach fuming Star-Telegram

Brothers look out for each other on TCU practice field Star-Telegram

Washington named to Butkus award watch list

Quad countdown: No. 14 TCU New York Times

No. 11 TCU Los Angeles Times

Five things you need to know about the Mountain West, and 8 you probably don't

Friday, August 21, 2009

Update on Big Herb

A lot of people have been paying close attention to how the five Frogs taken in April's NFL Draft have been doing in training camp. That would've especially been the case for Herb Taylor's first year with the Kansas City Chiefs two years ago, except that HBO wasted my time by never spending a second of time focusing on him in that year's edition of Hard Knocks (just like they haven't shown Gator at all so far this year as they document the Bungals' camp).

Well, according to, Herb is making some real strides entering his third year in the league. They included the following in their write-up on the Chiefs this morning:

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Damion McIntosh vs. Herb Taylor at right tackle. It looks like the Chiefs may have a good battle going on at this spot. McIntosh is a veteran who started all 16 games there last season. Taylor is a third-year man who received minimal playing time over his first two seasons with the club. McIntosh, who has knees that have taken a pounding over 10 years in the league, is not very fluid in handling pass rushers, especially those with a speed move outside. The quicker Taylor has been given more time with the No. 1 offense during practice, although McIntosh started the first preseason game.

That's good news, and since I made him chuckle one time in our Topics of Math class at TCU, this pretty much makes me famous, too.

Quest for Respect: Part II

Because the Mountain West made so much progress last year toward getting the national respect it deserves, this coming football season is vital in showing that 2008 wasn't a fluke, but was just the beginning for this up & coming league. The best way to polish the MWC's image is for the 9 schools in it to win as many games against non-conference opponents as possible. On Wednesday, we took a look at the OOC schedules of Air Force, BYU, Colorado State and New Mexico. Today, the rest of the conference:

San Diego State:
Sep 5: @ UCLA
Sep 12: Southern Utah
Sep 19: @ Idaho
Oct 3: New Mexico State

I can't figure out why San Diego State isn't good at football. It's a big state university in large metropolitan area that produces about as many talented football players as any other it's size. In that way, it's a lot like U of H...if Houston didn't suck and was on the beach. Back to the point though ,the UCLA game is obviously the one they've got circled, considering they've never beaten the Bruins in any of their 21 chances to- although they did tie them back in 1924. I'm not sure I see them breaking that streak this year. The Aztecs provided the MWC with perhaps it's most embarrassing moment last year when they lost at home to Cal Poly, a Division I-AA school, in their season-opener. With new coach Brady Hoke coming over from Ball State, though, you'd have to think they'd be an improved team this fall and it looks like they're set up to go 3-1 out of conference. That would be a huge boost for the league, considering SDSU was the main culprit in dragging down the strength of schedule ratings for the teams on top.

Sep 5: Sacramento State
Sep 12: Oregon State
Sep 19: Hawaii
Oct 3: @ Nevada

UNLV is the trendy pick to be the Mountain West's surprise team this year, and most publications have predicted them to finish either 4th or 5th in the conference. They scored two surprise overtime wins over BCS teams last year, stunning then- #15 Arizona State on the road and then a week later against Iowa State in Vegas. Only a disappointing loss to San Diego State in the season's final weekend kept the Rebels from being the conference's 6th bowl team. The two big games on their OOC schedule this fall are the home date against Oregon State and a trip to Reno to take on their arch-rivals, Nevada. Being that the Rebels were one of the country's most inconsistent team's a year ago, 2-2 is probably a safe bet here.

Sep 3: Utah State (Thurs)
Sep 12: @ San Jose State
Sep 19: @ Oregon
Sep 26: Louisville

The Utes ought to shoot out of the gate 2-0, which will run their nation's-best win streak to 16 games, but then come two very important games not only for Utah, but for the entire MWC. First is the trip to Eugene, where Oregon is very tough to beat- especially if you're breaking in a new QB like the Utes will be. That game is important, too, because the Ducks also happen to be the highest-profile non-conference opponent of Boise State, so the national media will clearly be drawing comparisons there. Next is a home game against Louisville, which represents the Mountain West's lone game against the Big East this year. GOT to win that one, Utah! I see them taking care of the Cardinals and having a good shot at beating Oregon to possibly enter conference play 4-0.

Sep 5: Weber State
Sep 12: Texas
Sep 19: @ Colorado
Oct 3: @ Florida Atlantic

Wait, WHAT?!?!? So Texas, who uses the excuse of our stadium size as their reason to not play at TCU, is willing to play at Central Florida, UTEP and now WYOMING but won't come to Fort Worth? There's no way around calling that what it is, which is complete bullshit. Anyways, the Longhorns will probably have their way with Wyoming. The trip to Boulder probably won't be an easy task for the Cowboys and new coach Dave Christensen, either- although they did beat Tennesse in Knoxville last year. Clearly, a win against either of those Big 12 teams would be huge, but the most vital game on their OOC slate might be the road game against Florida Atlantic. Travelling across the country can be tough, so you've got to hope Wyoming is able to avoid any distractions in that trip and not end up with a long, embarrassing flight home after losing to a Sun Belt team.

Morning Dump

TCU wide receivers work overtime Star-Telegram

Not backing down: predicting the TCU season Bleacher Report

Purke's rejection of Rangers leads to questions about draft process

Baltimore Ravens camp notes Ravens 24x7

NFL player's donation might be part of NCAA's Bryce Brown investigation Wichita Eagle

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reason #14

Another nice video from Concussion

Morning Dump

Offense has upper hand in scrimmage Star-Telegram

Newhouse and Washington make Lombardi watch list

Baseball welcomes 14 new members to squad

Star QB leaves Mavericks
Katy Sun

Report: MLB had impact in Rangers negotiations with Purke
Dallas Morning News

Mountain West ready to build on recent success
The Spectrum

Chat with Heather Dinich ESPN

Leo (Utah): What are the odds that TCU beats Virginia and Clemson?

Heather: Actually, I think the chances are pretty good, except that both of those are road trips for TCU. Clemson has the talent to win that game and should. It's so early in Virginia's schedule I think they'll still be working out kinks in their offense.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quest for Respect: Part I

It’s been a big last 12 months for the Mountain West. The conference collectively flexed their muscles during football season, with 5 of the 9 teams going bowling and TCU and Utah both finishing in the Top 10. That spilled over into quite a bit of offseason discussion about whether or not the league deserved the automatic BCS bid we want for it so, so bad.

I think we were all glad to hear the national media actually debating something that we have been adamant about for some time, but the conference’s work is far from done. To really garner the respect we all think they deserve, the teams of the MWC have to show that last year wasn’t a fluke and that they can perform like that consistently. To do that, they’ve got to win as many games against out opponents from outside the conference as possible. We all know about the Frogs’ four non-conference opponents, but let’s take a team-by-team look at who the rest of the conference will be taking on, and which games are the most important for the MWC:

Air Force:

Sep 5: Nicholls State

Sept 12: @ Minnesota

Oct 3: @ Navy

Nov 7: Army

As much as the Falcons would love to win the MWC title, winning the Commander in Chief’s Trophy is equally important to them. After basically owning the thing for most of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Air Force hasn’t brought it home to Colorado Springs since 2002. They’ve lost to Navy six times in a row- so you know they’ve got that trip to Annapolis circled on their calendars. They will also be playing in the first game ever at Minnesota’s brand-new, on-campus stadium. That is a great chance for a mid-tier MWC team to take down a mid-tier Big Ten team, and spoil their grand opening in the process. The Falcons really need to win at least one of those road tests and finish no worse than 3-1 out of conference.


Sep 5: Oklahoma (at Jerry World)

Sep 12: @ Tulane

Sep 19: Florida State

Oct 2: Utah State (Friday)

Clearly, BYU has the most to gain with their season opener against the Sooners. A win there would catapult the Cougars up the rankings and into the nation’s attention. I’ll sure be rooting for them, and I hope I’m wrong- but I think OU is just going to be too much for them. They’ve got a great chance for redemption, though, with Florida State travelling to Provo. The ‘Noles aren’t quite the world beaters they were in the ‘90s, but they’re still one of the best teams in the ACC and beating an icon like Bobby Bowden would earn BYU some respect in the Eastern part of the country. With a win against FSU, the Cougars should be 3-1 although we’ll hold out some hope of an upset of OU. Side note: how funny would it be to see the Mormons’ culture shock when they head down to New Orleans to play Tulane?

Colorado State:

Sep 5: @ Colorado

Sep 12: Weber State

Sep 19: Nevada

Oct 3: @ Idaho

If Colorado State-Colorado isn’t already on your list of games to watch opening weekend, you might want to re-think it. Those teams HATE each other, and these games are always very physical and heated. Aside from last year, each game since 2002 has been decided by a touchdown or less. After three years of being played in Denver, the series moves back to Boulder, so this is the Rams’ best chance to really make some noise for the conference. The other important game for CSU is when they welcome the Nevada Wolfpack to Fort Collins. As Boise State’s main obstacle toward a 42nd consecutive WAC title, Nevada presents a chance for CSU to help assert the MWC’s superiority over the WAC as well as hurt Boise’s strength of schedule- which I promise you’ll be paying attention to later in the year.

New Mexico:

Sep 5: @ Texas A&M

Sep 12: Tulsa

Sep 26: New Mexico State

Oct 3: @ Texas Tech

After a few seasons as the trendy pick to challenge the “Big 3” of the Mountain West, the Lobos are being picked near the bottom of the conference this year. That doesn’t make their OOC games any less important, though. The knock on the MWC the past few years has been that while, sure, the top of the conference is playing great football, the middle to bottom of the league doesn’t really inspire much fear. I don’t want to promise that New Mexico is going to be a cellar-dweller this fall, but if they are hopefully they can show that a struggling MWC team can still compete against the rest of the nation. Road trips to Lubbock and College Station aren’t going to be easy, but then again A&M did lose to Arkansas State in their season opener at Kyle Field last year. The home date against Tulsa may be the most important game for UNM, though- the Golden Hurricane absolutely embarrassed them last year, and you know that beating an MWC team fires up Conference USA like nothing else. A win in that game should get the Lobos to at least 2-2.

Coming Friday: San Diego State, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming

Morning Dump

There is an open scrimmage at 9:45 this morning for those of you capable of going.

TCU football team draws inspiration from Tom Petty song Star-Telegram

Washington headlines linebacker corps

Mountain West preview: BCS climb Fox Sports

here's 5 games you shouldn't miss Longview New-Journal

NCAA investigating Bryce Brown's eligibility
Wichita Eagle

Rangers are falling behind in one critical area: finances Star-Telegram

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taking Inventory: Special Teams

As the Frogs know all too well, games can be won or lost on special teams. Just last year, they survived the Poinsettia Bowl partially due to a missed 38-yard field goal by Boise State, and of course every TCU fan remembers what happened against Utah…

Despite his misses from 35 and 26 yards against the Utes, sophomore Ross Evans was pretty solid as a freshman in 2008. He made 80% of his field goals with a long of 50 yards and 89% of his PATs. Obviously, you’d like to see him make 100% of PATs and connect on his FGs when they matter most, and I think he will as he gets older. I’m not much for finger-pointing, but instead of deriding him for being the goat, maybe blame the coaching staff for their lapse in recruiting that pushed a freshman into that situation? Evans didn’t handle kickoffs a year ago, so that job is up in the air. His backup, junior Kevin Sharples, did spell Drew Combs to handle two kickoffs last year, although both of them went out of bounds. That’s a pretty big no-no on kick-offs, so that job is perhaps the biggest question mark on the team as of now.

Sophomore punter Anson Kelton, who is inexplicably Sir Wesley Willis’ favorite player on the team, also returns. As a freshman, he averaged 41.3 yards per punt and put 55% of them inside the 20 yard line. To be perfectly honest, I’m not really sure who his main backup is, but punters NEVER get hurt- right, Cowboys fans?

The most exciting aspect of the Frogs’ special teams has to be junior punt returner Jeremy Kerley. Because he was hurt for part of the season, he only got the chance to return 25 punts a year ago and never broke one for a touchdown, but with his electric athleticism, it’s likely only a matter of time. Nick Sanders and Antoine Hicks both returns a few punts as well. On kickoffs, Ryan Christian is the top returning returner, having averaged 22.3 yards on the six he fielded last year. Speedy sophomore Greg McCoy is another option at kick returner, and true freshmen Josh Boyce and Skye Dawson could factor into the return game in the future..

It’s often said that a deep snapper is doing a great job when nobody hears his name, so it’s a good thing you’ve never heard of the Frogs’ snapper- senior Clint Gresham. He performed well enough last year to get put on scholarship, so there should be no worries about botched snaps on field goals or punts. Sophomore Joseph Bates and redshirt freshman Daniel Shelley will look to replace Gresham after this year. Kerley served as the holder last year, but it’s not known yet whether or not he’ll continue that duty this fall.

Morning Dump

TCU's conditioning program paying off Star-Telegram

Rangers lose top draft pick Matt Purke to TCU Star-Telegram

Dalton named to Manning Award watch list

NCAA football preview: TCU Horned Frogs
Seattle Post Intelligencer

Pressure on defenses in MWC
Deseret News

Lions' Aaron Brown flips into competition at RB Associated Press

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope?

Last week, I said that the Rangers' deadline for signing top draft pick and TCU commit Matt Purke was 11:59pm tonight. It's actually 10:59pm. Don't you hate it when people in the media just assume that everyone is on East Coast time?

Anyways, Brett Perryman of the Dallas Morning News reported (well, cited a source) on the DMN's Rangers Blog that:

"The Rangers are not optimistic about signing first-rounder Matt Purke, who will probably head to TCU and re-enter the draft in 2011 as a draft-eligible sophomore. The two sides are still more than a million dollars apart."

Interesting stuff. There are still about 9.5 hours for the two sides to meet somewhere in the middle, but hopefully Purke's experience at TCU Orientation left him feeling that there's no need for him to lower his demands at all.

Morning Dump

No. 18 Texas Christian Washington Post

Two bang-bang pass plays start TCU's scrimmage Star-Telegram

Tight end a deep position for the Frogs

Popular villains of the non-AQ ESPN

Rangers in continuing talks with Purke

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Brown Highlights

Did anyone else just see Aaron Brown take in a 45 yard reception for a TD and do a back flip in the end zone? Never saw that while he was at TCU. He also had a 32 yard run for a TD in the 3rd.

Update: Here's a link to the highlight video from the game between the Lions and Falcons. Wait until around the 3:20 mark for some Brown highlights.

Friday, August 14, 2009

JJ at the PGA Championship

With scores of 72 and 73, JJ is currently sitting tied for 37th at +1. The projected cut is +2, but with conditions getting tougher this afternoon it is projected to go as high +4, which means he will make it to his first weekend in a major this year (he did not make the cut at the US Open, the only other major he played in).

Taking Inventory: Defensive Backs

It’s easy to have mixed emotions when looking at what TCU has returning in the defensive backfield. On one hand, three starters return- including two fourth-year starters at corner. On the other, there is a bit of uneasiness in the uncertainty of who will step into the two safety spots that were vacated by the graduation of Stephen Hodge and Steven Coleman.

Junior Tejay Johnson, who started 12 games last year at weak safety, will slide over to quarterback the defense at free safety this year. Johnson was second on the team in passes broken up and sixth in tackles last year. He’s not afraid to lay the wood, either, as evidenced by his jarring stop of Harvey Unga on a 4th and inches play against BYU last year. In my opinion, he may have been the most underrated player on the defense. Behind him at FS will be his former high school teammate at South Garland and fellow junior Alex Ibiloye, who played in all 13 games last year at corner before switching to safety in the spring. At weak safety, senior Corderra Hunter emerged from spring practice atop the depth chart, but should face stiff competition for the starting role from sophomore Tekerrein Cuba. Both are big and athletic East Texans who contributed on both defense and special teams a year ago. Hunter has more experience, but judging from the flashes he showed last year, Cuba probably has more upside.

Heading into spring, strong safety was already a concern because really, who is going to replace the man/beast that is Stephen Hodge? The situation became a little more worrying when Sir Demarco Bledsoe left/was kicked off the team this summer. That left junior Colin Jones as the de-facto starter at SS. Jones is a great athlete who played in all 13 games last year and blocked a punt as a freshman in ’07, but he has already been hampered during fall practice with a recurring hamstring problem.

In the unfortunate event that Jones’ injury lingers, you may see either Cuba or Hunter slide over from WS, but it also may be an opportunity for one of the Frogs’ two returning youngsters or three newcomers. Sophomore Johnny Fobbs played in 8 games last year, making him the most experienced of that bunch, while redshirt freshman Chris Scott also has a year in the program under his belt. After two stellar years at Trinity Valley CC, junior Malcolm Williams may be the most likely candidate to rocket to the top of the depth chart. Freshmen Jurell Thompson and Trenton Thomas both had fantastic high school careers and could bypass a redshirt year if the situation warrants it.

Cornerback is a little more settled. Seniors Nick Sanders and Rafael Priest return, both having started the last 39 games for the Frogs. While neither is a Deion-type interception machine, they both possess unteachable coverage ability and have played a major role in the defense only giving up 188 passing yards per game over the course of their three years as starters. Both should get a look from the NFL after this year. Backing them up will be sophomore Greg McCoy and junior Jason Teague. McCoy, who is consistently referred to as the fastest player on the team, played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman last year, and had an interception against Wyoming. Teague, a taller corner at 6-2 and a highly-touted transfer from Tyler Junior College, played in 5 games last year after being injured in preseason practices. If needed, Ibiloye could probably be called to return to his former position.

The Frogs have two cornerbacks committed to play for them next year- Kevin White of Round Rock Stony Point and San Antonio John Jay’s Travaras Battle-Smith, who will graduate early and participate in spring drills next year. Because the situation at Katy Morton Ranch makes incoming freshman Michael Venson look more and more like he might not end up on campus this year, don’t be surprised to see the Frogs take a 3rd corner in this class…possibly a JUCO transfer. With no current commits and the premature departures of both Bledsoe and Chez Thomas, safety is one of the biggest areas of need for the coming recruiting class. Look for at least 2-3 of them to sign up to be Frogs.

Up Next: Special Teams

Morning Dump

Dalton back at practice for TCU Star-Telegram

Could offensive change be in the air at TCU or is it just crazy talk?

TCU staying focused in a blur of hype
Dallas Morning News

TCU season preview
Dallas Morning News

Q&A with TCU offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse
Pegasus News

TCU favored for Mountain West title
Las Vegas Sun

Henson stands out in 'Skins loss
Roto Times

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Purke Watch Enters the Home Stretch

The Texas Rangers have until 11:59pm on Monday to sign their 1st round pick, Klein left-handed pitcher Matt Purke. While a good number of you Spitblood readers are Rangers fans who would like to see the club add another quality pitcher (I say 'another' because they all of a sudden actually have a few!), you'd probably love to see him not sign by the deadline and instead play for the college he signed a letter of intent with...TCU.

Before you really get your hopes up, I should say that I consider the odds stacked against the Frogs on this one. A friend of Spitblood recently spoke with a representative of Purke's, who said that "barring a disaster, Matt will be signing with the Rangers". After all, what 18 year-old kid from Texas is going to turn down $5 million (which is rumored to be what the Rangers are offering) from Nolan Ryan? But then again, Purke was asking for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, and has a bit of leverage in that, because of his age, he'd be draft eligible again after just two college seasons (instead of the usual three). Also, at least one anonymous MLB scouting director has named Purke as the high school draftee most likely to pick college over signing a contract, according to ESPN's Jason Churchill.

Two unknown factors in determining where the two sides will meet are A) the extent of Tom Hicks' and the Rangers' financial woes and B) Purke's level of desire to have the college experience and a chance to play in the College World Series. Word is that Purke is slated to attend TCU orientation on Monday(deadline day)...if the TCU Admissions Department has any brains at all, they'll put him in an orientation group with nothing but the hottest incoming freshmen tail.

Like I said, if I had to wager, I'd put my money on him signing. But it's definitely something to keep an eye on, because the addition of Purke to the Frogs' already outstanding pitching staff could make TCU a very dangerous team next spring. And you never know, because even though "barring a disaster" makes it sound like it's close to being a done deal, there's no MLB team that pulls off disasters quite like the Rangers.

Morning Dump

TCU's Jerry Hughes named to sixth preseason All-American list Star-Telegram

TCU kicker on Lou Groza award hot list Dallas Morning News

Ten non-AQs named to Lou Groza watch list

Could a non-AQ player win the Heisman?

Familiar faces at wide receiver

Duke, UConn, LSU, Arizona St in NIT Tip-off


I got em

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ranking the Purple Power

Though the rankings don't mean anything, still cool to see us ranked above LSU.

Ranking the Purple Power - Bleacher Report

Taking Inventory: Linebackers

It seems as if Jason Phillips and Robert Henson were at TCU forever. When I think back to the time before #39 and #51 were eating the souls of opposing quarterbacks, backs and receivers, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even have armpit hair back then. Both of them were among my favorite Frogs to watch over the course of their careers, and their departure to the NFL means that linebacker is the position hurt most by graduation heading into this season.

While losing those guys definitely hurts, it does mean that the spotlight is now available for senior Daryl Washington, who just might be the best athlete on the team. He had 63 tackles a year ago- good for 4th on the team- 5.5 of which were for a loss to go along with 3 sacks and one interception. He also made one of the most important plays of the year in the Poinsettia Bowl when Boise State completed a long pass down the left sideline and he used a great angle and his superior speed to get to BSU's Vinny Paretta just in time to shove him so that left foot grazed the boundary, saving what would’ve easily been a touchdown that could’ve tilted the game in favor of the Broncos. Next spring, he ought to be joining Jerry Hughes as an early-round draft pick.

At the other starting spot in the Frogs’ 4-2-5 scheme should be sophomore Tank Carder. He played a lot on special teams last year (he was part of the mob of Frogs that blocked a punt at New Mexico) and a little bit on defense toward the latter part of last year, totalling 9 tackles and a pass broken up. He is quite the versatile athlete- as a kid, he was a champion BMX rider and played six different positions as a senior in high school.

The Frogs nearly always have an unofficial “third starter” at LB. It was Henson for three years behind Phillips and David Hawthorne, and was Washington last year. This year, that role will likely go to either true freshman Tanner Brock or sophomore Kris Gardner. Brock was a tackling machine at Copperas Cove, where he was 1st Team All-State three times. He graduated early, had a very impressive spring and is the surest bet to play as a true freshman this fall. Gardner, the nephew of linebackers coach Tony Tademy, was mostly a special teams player last year as a redshirt freshman but worked himself into the defensive rotation in a few games after having played tight end during his first year on campus. Greg Burks, a redshirt freshman from the Houston area, will also add depth and most likely contribute on special teams. Burks had a fantastic high school career at Spring Woods, but at 210 lbs has not put on as much weight as you’d like to see on your linebackers. But then again, LaMarcus McDonald was an All-American playing at about 210-215, so you never know.

On top of Brock, TCU adds two more talented freshmen this year: Kenny Cain and Justin Isadore. Cain was a four-year letterman and two-way star at Lousiana powerhouse River Ridge, and was the MVP of the 2A state title game as a senior as well as a member of the state championship 4x100 relay team. Isadore was a two-time All-Southeast Texas performer at Ozen High in Beaumont (so you know he's crazy), and was rated as the 23rd-best inside linebacker in the nation by Rivals. I wouldn’t be shocked to see one of these guys burn his redshirt and play as a true freshman this fall...I also wouldn't be shocked to see one of them eventually shift

Two more linebackers are committed to play for TCU starting next year, but as I mentioned in the D-line write up, Blake Roberts looks like he’ll end up at DE. Marcus Mallet out of Cleveland (Texas) is the other, and as you can tell, he’s perfectly named to play linebacker for such a destructive defense. Both of these guys live up to the expectation of what you would think TCU would be recruiting at linebacker after having so much success at the position for so long.

Up Next: Defensive Backs

Morning Dump

At TCU, defense still the name of the game Star-Telegram

Starting strong safety's injury a big concern for TCU

TCU's Patterson forced to use his injury directive Dallas Morning News

TCU aims for Mountain West title, fifth straight bowl Houston Chronicle

Sporting News top 100: No. 24 TCU Sporting News

Hughes named to Sports Illustrated All-American team

Debate: Big East, Mountain West, BCS automatic qualifier ESPN

Lions rookie RB Aaron Brown changing his game
Flint Journal

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ESPN Bowl Prediction Are Out

Mark Schlabach and Bruce Feldman came out with their "fearless" pre-season bowl predictions today. Most readers (99%) of this blog will be thrilled to see that both guys have the National Title match up between Florida and Texas.

Furthermore, they both have Boise State facing Oklahomo in the Fiesta Bowl. Are they trying to make me puke?

More importantly, they both predict the Frogs to compete in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Idiot "A" has us playing Arizona State, and Idiot "B" has us playing Stanford. Once again the major media outlets have underestimated the power of the Patterson Dynasty. Hopefully we will turn this into a positive and use this as bulletin board material.

Still Waiting on 2...

When the Frogs opened up fall practice yesterday afternoon, they were joined by all but two of the members of the recruiting class of 2009. Those missing, according to this morning's Star-Telegram, were running back Dwight Smith and cornerback Michael Venson.

Smith's difficulty in becoming academically eligible after transferring from California prior to his senior year of high school has been pretty well discussed. At one point, he was considered a long shot to become eligible to play for the Frogs this year. But as of July 20, according to East Texas football guru David Smoak, Smith just needs to complete one more correspondence course and get a 'B' in it in order to be eligible.

Venson's situation has been much less talked about, and very little is known about it. There is, however, a brewing scandal at his former school- Morton Ranch High School in Katy- that could shed some light on his situation as it develops. There is an investigation going on into the possible tampering of student records by Morton Ranch coaches. This situation also throws into limbo the status of TCU commit Sam Carter, the QB who transferred to Morton Ranch from Sharpstown this summer.

Because we don't really get much (any) first-hand information here at Spitblood, it's pretty difficult to say what the chances are of Smith and/or Venson enrolling at TCU this fall. The Star-Telegram story this morning, though, did mention that 104 players are in camp right now. With 105 being the NCAA-sanctioned limit of players who can practice before classes start, what does that imply about Patterson's expectation for one or both of them in terms of qualifying?

Morning Dump

TCU running back Joseph Turner makes it through rough first practice Star-Telegram

Early freshman have advantages on, off the field Star-Telegram

Camp '09 experience defines cornerback position

Non-AQ bowl projections ESPN

Basketball: TCU team notes USA Today

Monday, August 10, 2009

Taking Inventory: The Defensive Line

When compared to the destruction caused by the TCU defensive line last fall, Hurricane Ike just a light afternoon shower. Seriously, when the Frogs’ opponent had the ball, it looked like someone was playing Rampage...with a Game Genie. They combined for a ridiculous 28.5 sacks and 52.5 tackles for loss, while giving up just 47.1 rush yards per game. For the naysayers out there, they only gave up 30.2 yards per game on the ground against their four opponents that were ranked in the Top 10.

The bad news is, three starters and a very productive reserve have been lost to graduation. The good news? The lone returning starter is All-American senior end Jerry Hughes. All he did last year was lead the nation in both sacks (15) and forced fumbles (6). He also intercepted two passes on brilliant reads of screen passes, returning one of those for a touchdown. Another year like that and Mr. Hughes will be making dolla dolla bills, y’all.

The other reason not to be too concerned about the relative lack of experience is that under GP, the Frogs have always had a full cupboard and been able to reload quickly on defense. A number of ends will compete for time in the rotation, but for now it appears that junior Wayne Daniels, who had one sack last year, will get the starting nod as Hughe’s bookend. Pushing Daniels will be the trio of junior Clarence Leatch, who had a very productive spring, and sophomores Ross Forrest and Braylon Broughton. Forrest, who walked on at TCU rather than accept a scholarship at Rice, played as a true freshman in '08 and picked up both a scholarship and 30lbs of muscle during the offseason. Broughton is a scary combination of size and speed (6-6, 250), and could be mentioned in the same breath as Hughes, Schobel, Blake & Ortiz if he ever really figures it out.

Coming out of spring practice, juniors Kelly Griffin and Cory Grant emerged atop to the depth chart at defensive tackle. Griffin was a full-time starter as a true freshman in ’07, but played a reserve role last year when James Vess returned from a year-long suspension. Grant, a 300-pounder, has recorded two sacks in his first two seasons. Challenging both for starting roles will be junior Henry Niutei and highly-regarded redshirt freshman Jeremy Coleman.

The Frogs welcome four true freshman D-linemen this fall: Stansly Maponga out of Hebron and the much-anticipated “Maud Squad”: James Dunbar, Bryant House and Ray Burns, the only trio of 1A teammates that anyone can ever remember signing with the same major college program. As mentioned before, D.J. Yendrey was recruited as a defensive lineman and is now listed as an offensive lineman, but I wouldn’t count out his return to defense.

Two high school seniors are currently in line to play on the defensive line at TCU: David Johnson of Argyle, who will remind fans of former Frog DT Jared Kessler with his red hair and unstoppable motor, and Blake Roberts, who plays linebacker at Tyler Lee but at 6-4 and 220 with a 4.5 forty, he’s destined to be a dynamite defensive end when he gets to Fort Worth.

Up Next: Linebackers

Morning Dump

TCU looking beyond preseason rankings Star-Telegram

'Don't back down' means Frogs have expectations Star-Telegram

Frogs report for practice, fun will have to wait

Coach Patterson keeps things in perspective for the Horned Frogs at TCU Media day Pegasus News

Patterson meets with the media

Frogs set to report for camp

Top 10 impact players for 2009 Fox Sports

State of the conference: Mountain West ESPN

Non-AQ preseason power rankings ESPN

A few points to ponder before kickoff
Deseret News

Breaking down the coaches pol
l Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sunday, August 9, 2009

GP's Blog

Apparently GoFrogs and GP launched a blog last week. While I highly doubt our Coach is actually going to take the time to blog, it could provide another interesting site to read as we close in on opening day.

I love TCU

Here are a few photo's of my Groom's Cake from the wedding. And just so you are able to get the full perspective of the masterpiece, the helmets situated on the table are full size regulation helmets. And before the analyzing eye of the bloggers review the photo to ensure the scoreboard is the 1/84th the size of the stadium for an accurate account and representation of our place of worship, a few side notes/explanations. Yes, the new construction of the south end zone box's are not depicted in this reproduction of the stadium. This is because two aspects that I wanted to include were forgotten by the baker's, 1. an ΣAE (purple/gold) tailgating tent in one of the parking lot corners. 2. the scoreboard to read 12-3. A representation of the September 16, 2006 game, the best home victory during my enrollment as an undergrad at TCU. Though the overlook of the south endzone construction was never included in the talks of the cake, it might have just been forgotten and just happened that it was suppose to be representative from 2006, so I went with it, and thats my excuse.

As I am sure that no one finished reading the previous paragraph because no one is that concerned about that cake. I take this moment to show all the faithful fan's a glance at the NCAA record book with an emphasis on the team records, individual records and all-time records to follow.



Most Plays vs . a Major-College Team
111—Texas Tech vs. Iowa St., Oct. 11, 2003 (775 yards);
TCU vs. San Diego St., Nov. 24, 2007 (694 yards)


Most Passes Attempted, Both Teams
135—TCU (79) & Houston (56), Nov. 3, 1990 (completed 81)

Most Passes Completed, Both Teams
81—TCU (44) & Houston (37), Nov. 3, 1990 (attempted 135

Most Yards Gained, Both Teams
1,253—TCU (690) & Houston (563), Nov. 3, 1990 (135 attempts)


Pass Sacks
15—TCU vs. Nevada, Sept. 9, 2000


311 ----- MICHIGAN
257 ----- FLORIDA
203 ----- TCU (13TH OVERALL)
194 ----- AIR FORCE
184 ----- TENNESSEE

Friday, August 7, 2009

36 days...

It's only 36 days until the Frogs make the trek to UVA's Scott Stadium to begin the '09 season. For those of you still considering following Patterson's march to the East Coast I suggest you finalize those plans in the near future.

The TCU alumni bus from DC to Charlottesville officially closes registration today and a number of Spit Blooders are already on board. To join them click here. last I checked there were approximately 10 spots remaining.

If anyone needs tips on what airports to fly into, or where to stay (I still have a spot or two open) let me know.

Coaches Poll ANALysis

Pre-season expectations really bring out the giddy 7 year old girl in me.

By now I'm sure most of you have seen that the coaches have decided to give the ole Frogs a little love in the season opening poll, slotting us in at #17 overall, sandwiched neatly between Boise State and Utah, respectively. It's the highest preseason ranking we've had in 49 years and best since 2007 when we started at 22nd (although we're all well aware how that season ended up.) Fifth time in GPs tenure that we've been ranked in the pre-season top 25, but first time we've made it above 20. Rather than me spelling it out for you, just take a look for yourself.

1. Florida (53) - 1,466
2. Texas (4) - 1,386
3. Oklahoma (1) - 1,358
4. USC (1) - 1,321
5. Alabama - 1,134
6. Ohio State - 1,126
7. Virginia Tech - 1,020
8. Penn State - 988
9. LSU - 917
10. Mississippi - 889
11. Oklahoma State - 861
12. California - 711
13. Georgia - 707
14. Oregon - 694
15. Georgia Tech - 559
16. Boise State - 542
17. TCU - 461
18. Utah - 404
19. Florida State - 371
20. North Carolina - 293
21. Iowa - 257
22. Nebraska - 236
23. Notre Dame - 194
24. BYU - 178
25. Oregon State - 165

Noteworthy Observations:

Mid-major (for lack of a better term) Love - Say what you will about no one giving the little guys respect because, well, we've got it. We may not have gotten the system changed - and, we all know that deep down we never will, which is a bummer because now that Obama is off of that soapbox he has a lot more time to take a cleveland steamer on our healthcare system - but it looks like this year the powers that be are going to give us a fighting chance at making a stand. Now, I have no desire in doing the research, but I have to feel like the non BC esses getting four teams into the preseason top 25 is easily the best we've ever done. I believe that BYU began last season in our very same 17 hole and had the true makings of a non-BCS team ready to break the glass ceiling and wreck the BCS National Championship Game... for me to poop on on a Thursday night in Cowtown. I don't like THOSE particular parallels, but I do love where we are. It's very obvious that the pieces are in place for us to make a run at the BCS if we are to win out and, honestly, if worse comes to worse and we drop a non-conference game, I think we still have a decent chance at a major bowl, assuming we run the tables the rest of the way and Boise drops a game. With Oregon, Tulsa and Nevada on BSUs slate, their odds of a perfect season are going to be a little longer than in most years, too. Given last year was woudl've likely been our BEST chance at busting the BCS - and you can make an argument for 2003 and 2005, a year in which we would've gone under current rules - due to the OU loss looking better given the rest of their season and our 59 minute throttling of Utah, this year is absolutely up there. If we can make it through October 24th undefeated and Utah comes to town on November 14th with a full head of steam, you can have your OSU/Michigan because that would be my personal game of the decade.

And your Heisman finalists are... - Not exactly making it interesting this year, eh? With Florida, UT and OU going 1-2-3, respectively, you can all but guarantee that all 3 of those QBs will be in the top 3 at the end of the year. Also, unless Tebow goes out and circumsizes all the SEC defenses this year, you can take it to the bank that the UT/OU winner will be the man - and don't make me laugh, Taylor Mays and Eric Berry. Honestly? That seems fair. Bradford is a phenomenal QB and earned all the accolades he received last year. I'm all sorts of sick of hearing about how Tim Tebow is the second coming of Jesus, and I think you could plug a lot of top QBs into a system with all of those 5 star athletes and put together a pretty nice little season, but, the guy kills you with kindness and plays as hard as anyone in the league and you can't deny his track record. McCoy, despite playing for the team that shall not be named, seems like an alright guy and has an achingly hot girlfriend who I have to assume he's had his go at, unlike Mr. Saving Himself Tebow, so he's got that going. Seriously though, Tebow? You go to a school that has arguably the best hot to slut to dumb ratio in the country outside of the state of Arizona, and you're saving yourself? You, the Heisman winning, National Championship hoarding, All American QB? Either you're a complete moron or a fantastic bullshitter, because dude, you're completly wasting your prime. Anyway, who am I pulling for? Tebow and Bradford have won one and Colt, despite his talents, loses all sorts of respect due to his budding friendship with Bradford. How can you be a part of one of the greatest, most hated rivalries in sports, and become friends with the opposing team leader? That'd be like me working an ACORN racket for Obama. I'm definitely pulling for an outsider, and not Jahvid Best due to his school affiliation because, let's be honest, when your student body lives in trees just so you can't build a football facility, perhaps you shouldn't be mentioned among the best in the country? I'm Dalton for Heisman guy all the way.

Big East FAIL - Alright alright, I've looked at this list several times and, nope, still no Big East teams involved. Phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. The MWC gets in 3 teams, and the Big East, a BCS school, gets none. I'm not even going to elaborate, I just wanted to point that out. Hopefully the commish took notice.

SEC reigns supreme... again - The SEC leads all leagues with five teams in the top 25, with the Big 12, ACC and Pac 10 (!!!) all bringing in four. However, just like every year, the SEC will cannibalize itself, the ACC will pillow fight itself, UT and OU will run rampant through the Big 12 while Okie Lite flakes out under the expectations, and the Pac 10 will, well, be the Pac 10 and end up with only USC in the top 25 at the end of the season. Seriously though, USC is always going to be top ranked because of media fascination with them and the caliber of their athletes, Oregon is going to be in there as long as Nike is in business, and apparently Cal has some sort of squad this year although they lack a QB yet again. But Oregon State? Really now? Yeah, they beat USC last year, but USC is eminently beatable and will drop a game they shouldn't each year. Apparently that's what gets you in the top 25 these days. I think UT/OU sitting at 2/3, outside of all the non BCS love, is probably the most interesting development just because of said rivalry. Florida probably isn't going to lose a game between now and that game, and I know every other year UT/OU is THE BIGGEST ITS EVER BEEN!... but I truly think this year is going to be as intense as it's been in years. In recent years, more often than not it has decided who goes to the NC a few times, and it seems like all the cards are stacked in that favor again this year. If I didn't hate both fanbases so much, and if we didn't have a home game that day, I'd absolutely be in attendance.

TCUs Moving Power - This is what sticks out to me the most: the amount of wiggle room we have if we take care of business. Seriously, like I said, if we can get past that BYU game unscathed and roll into the Utah game undefeated, absolutely look out. Just on the surface, Georgia and Okie Lite play each other the first week, so one of those guys will drop out. Same with Oregon and Boise. We likely aren't going to jump those top 5 guys anytime soon, and Penn State and OSU will probably be undefeated until they play each other, but has Virginia Tech ever run the tables in the post Ookie years? Does LSU really look like a big time contender? Doesn't Houston Nutt still coach at Ole Miss? Actually, let's look deeper at this:

Florida - LSU, Georgia.
Texas - OU, Okie Lite
OU - UT, Okie Lite
USC - Oregon, Cal
Bama - Va Tech, Ole Miss, LSU
OSU - Penn State
Va Tech - Bama, GT
Penn State - OSU
LSU - Bama, Ole Miss, Florida, Georgia
Ole Miss - Bama, LSU
Okie Lite - UGA, OU, UT
Cal - USC, Oregon
UGA - Okie Lite, LSU, FLA, GT
Oregon - USC, Boise, Cal, Utah (threw them in since they are our main competition)
GT - UGA, Va Tech
Boise - Oregon

... whew! Alright... so, not counting repeats, you currently have, if my count is right, 19 different matchups this season where teams currently ranked ahead of us in the top 25 play one another. That's what you call a lot of movin' on up potential. Ole Miss seemed to have done the best, not drawing Georgia or Florida out of the SEC East, but whew, poor, poor LSU! If those guys can run that schedule, just give them the trophy. From the looks of things, and when you give USC it's one requisite loss, your final top five could end up looking something like Florida, UT, OU (loser shouldn't drop too far) OSU/PSU winner and... TCU? It could happen, and that's why we love the game. We'll begin to find out in 36 more days.