Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some Disappointing News

As exciting as it was to see five Frogs picked in April's NFL Draft, the harsh reality of professional football has hit home today as Blake Schlueter has been released by the Denver Broncos along with three other players. The Denver Post did, though, go out of it's way to mention the possibility of the Broncos re-signing Schlueter to their practice squad next week.

Norman Einsteins Incomplete and Completely Biased CFB Preview

The creator of Norman Einsteins, an online sports magazine, approached me a while back asking if we would contribute to this year's Incomplete and Completely Biased College Football Preview.

Sir Wesley Willis stepped up to the plate and scripted a conversation between Jerry Hughes, aka Frogzilla, and the greatest coach on earth, Coach Gary Patterson. The conversation takes place in the future before this year's big game in Provo against BYU. Scroll down to the middle of the page here to see what Sir Wesley came up with.

Sign Up: 2nd Annual Spitblood College Football Pick 'Em

For the second year in a row, I have created a College Football Pick 'Em pool for the Spitblood faithful to compete against one another and try and take home the trophy this year. It costs you nothing to play.

I will pick 10 games each week that involve the best match-ups (in my opinion), and if the Frogs play that week, they will automatically be one of the games. This year we are going to be picking against the spread to make things more interesting. Just as last year, each pick will be based on a confidence factor. Therefore if there are 10 games to pick, you would put a confidence factor of 10 on the pick you have the most confidence in and a factor of 1 on the game you think is least likely to hit.

I will give an update of the standings each week on here, just make sure you get your picks in before the first game of the week.

If you have any questions or issues signing up, email me at thefinch@spitbloodtcu.com

Click here to sign up, and good luck to all.

Chasing that Top 25 Dragon: Frogs BOWeL Championship Series Outlook - week 1

Well can you believe it guys? It's here. Football season is really here! Well, I suppose it's not REALLY here for us until next weekend, but still, after a brutal summer that was only briefly punctuated with the unusual peaks and usual valleys that are the 2009 Texas Rangers, even Ole Ball Coach vs. the ACC on a Thursday night gets my motor running. This season we're going to go out of our way and try something new with these previews. I am going to continue previewing and reviewing TCUs chances to move up in the rankings each week, thus chasing that Top 25 Dragon, while lyle is going to focus on our conference games and how they increase or decrease our strength of schedule. There is not going to be any certain formula to this, but will likely involve taking a close look at the teams who are ranked within five spots of us in either direction. I will also highlight a couple of games of interest that may not have a direct bearing on our ranking, but are intriguing nonetheless.

I will also continue to do my 10,000+ word recaps each week, with certain features in said article delegated to other spitblooders to give them a different, more in depth look. This way we can have a few more posts pumping each week, and we can both devote just a little bit more time to our actual, paying jobs. Oh, who am I kidding, football is back! I'm not doing an ounce of real work until at least January!

Now, you might ask, "Well, what happens if, heaven forbid, TCU drops out of the Top 25? What will you post then?" Welll, if you think I'm not willing to go into that forbidden territory known as "Also Receiving Votes," then you obviously aren't familiar with my work. Then you might ask, "Well, what if it's 2007 and TCU drops out of that category as well?" and to that I say to you, "Go make love to yourself, and you're not a real fan."

Since this is my first go around since last year, it could be rocky, but I promise I'll perfect it as much as possible as the season wears on as well as fill it with lots of drivel and debris that may or may not be interesting to only me. Well, I'll be honest: it may.

So, as you are all aware, the Frogs are currently ranked 17th in both the AP and Coaches polls and that, yes, this is the highest that we've been ranked in 50 years and that, no, GP isn't buying into it and that no, the team isn't going to let it go to their heads and they're just going to play their game and that no, no one in the TCU athletic department is going to speak any language other than coachspeak about the topic. These things will always remain the same. However, it should be noted that with this ranking and with the rest of the top 25, TCU is positioned very well for BCS Bustin', although that was specifically outlined in a previous post so I will not get into it here. For now, let's see what we can do in our first week of action.

Now, logic suggests that you shouldn't move down in a week in which you do not play but, seeing as how this is college football rankings, all logic typically goes out the window. Still, with all of the throwaway games this weekend, I don't expect anyone to do too much shifting, with a few expections of course.

Games to Watch that Really Matter.

#14/16 Boise State vs. #16/14 Oregon. Remember that time I said that in week one most of the matchups are throwaway games and that no one should expect to really do much shifting? It was about one full paragraph ago. Well, sometimes you have to throw what I say right out the window, because this game is definitely not one of those. The first thing that sticks out to me is the unusualness of the reciprocal rankings for both teams. The second is that we're sitting in PRIME feasting position for a bump in the week 2 rankings. Whether or not a team that sits behind us will jump over us and keep us in limbo at 17 remains to be seen, but no matter who loses this game, TCU will be ranked ahead of them come Sunday. Now, the obvious persuasion here for a TCU fan would be for a Ducks win based on BCS implications but, as lyle will outline for everyone in a preview later today, the decision may not be as black and white as you think. With the game being played on a Thursday night and 30Rock still in reruns, I suggest you buckle in for this one.

#9/11 Oklahoma State vs. #13/13 Georgia. Man, when did SEC teams start scheduling out of conference games? Until last year against Arizona State, Georgia hadn't traveled outside their home state to play a non conference game in years, but it looks like the trend is reversing itself. I understand how playing a murderers row SEC schedule year in and year out allows a team to schedule a few breaks, but still - for a good laugh, look at Florida's non conference slate but still, this is supposedly the best league in the country, so why not prove it? And I haven't even mentioned what the Pokes are up against in the Big 12 South each year. It's amazing how just one loss can cause a team to tumble from first to fourth in that division in a given year, so I've got to hand it to the Fightin' T. Boones for stepping up to the plate and opening up their season like this. Kudos go to Georgia as well. Honestly, I have no idea what to make of this one. Okahoma State also has to play a no-pushover Houston team in out of conference play, so they likely have more to gain from this game than Georgia, especially since Florida is expected to run away with the SEC title, right Houston Nutt? The previous SEC homer in me wants to pull for Georgia, but, truth be told, I like ole T. Boone and how he basically owns his own college team. Besides, this is supposed to be the year that OSU goes from darkhorse to... lighthorse? in the Big 12 south and I'd love to see someone other than Tetch give the big two a run for their money. Pulling for OSU is also better for the most important fan: The Frog Fan. It's forseeable that a Georgia loss here could merely cause the Bulldogs to swap places with the BSU/Oregon winner, but I suppose there's a chance that we could overtake them even with the bye week. Regardless, if OSU were to lose, they still won't drop below 17, so it's Okie Lite all the way.

#3/3 Oklahoma vs. #20/21 BYU (J World). Alright, I guess this one is a toss up between my preview and lyle's, but I was told I could give it a go, so I'll oblige. Now, this one only has a direct effect on us if BYU does the unthinkable and upsets the Soonera, which would catapult them up the standings and drop the Sooners well out of the top 10, but it's mostly huge for our conference strength of schedule. This is easily the biggest non conference matchup for our league this season outside of a major bowl and I for one can't wait to watch it... oh wait, that's right, I'm getting dragged to a wedding against my will that night for 2 people I've only met once. Yaaay me. Ironically, said groom is actually an ex college football player, so I'm pretty baffled that he would schedule his wedding on the OPENING DAY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON! Seriously, I hope his marriage makes it. Anyway, that's one of those self indulgent things I was talking about, so I'll hold off on them for at least a few sentences and focus on the game at hand. I'd always been one of those people who disagreed with fans who, "pulled for the conference" in bowl games and out of conference games because, I mean, it only helps you if a league foe loses, and you get paid the same amount if you win or lose a bowl, no? Then 2005 happened and I became a fan of a Mountain West Conference school by default, the status of which makes out of conference games the bread and butter of a BCS at large bid. So, conference hatred becomes pretty moot when it comes to non conference matchups. Do I want to pull for BYU? No. Do I have to? Absolutely. But honestly, look at your alternative. I'd rather have to watch Six Man football for the rest of my life than have to witness the Boomers get blown out in another BCS game while the Frogs have to slug it out with a 5th seeded Pac 10 team before Christmas Day, so go Cougars all the way. With BYUs banged up and inexperienced secondary going head to head with Sam Bradford, does it matter what I think? Likely not. But a hard fought game here does wonders for the prestige of the conference. A win here is the best case scenario for the MWC when you're talking about the BCS, but it'd cost us spots in the rankings if the Cougars win, although it'd help our SOS mid season when we head to Provo and beat them. I'm torn here so I'll go with a hard fought Cougars loss, which makes the conference look good, but doesn't directly hurt our ranking.

Games that Kind of Matter.

#19/18 Utah vs. Utah State (Thurs.) Only because it's conference and because they are ranked right beneath us. lyle can do the honors.

#18/19 Florida State vs. Miami. Where's the only place you can find 22 convicted felons on a football field at any given time? The formerly annual Labor Day game which used to hold national prestige has moved back to its opening Monday kickoff and, based on poor ticket sales, their own fans don't care any more than I do. Honestly, I have little interest in the game and know nothing about either team, so I'll just make this quick and say Go Canes for the rankings standpoint.

#23/23 Notre Dame vs. Nevada. Normally this game would fall into the "Other games of Interest" category or not be mentioned at all, but, with the media's fascination with the 2009 Irish, I GUARANTEE a win here would catapult them into the Top 15. This is bad for business in the Frog World. What's not bad for business though? ND is still coached by Charlie Weis and the Colin Kaepernick led WolfPack are this year's media darling BCS dark horse team and, honestly, they should be pretty good. Apparently the Emu has made some serious strides in spring ball/twoadays, but this looks like another pretty good opportunity for him to be the second best QB in his own stadium. Despite Holtz's predicition of the Irish making the National Championship against Florida - the only team I want to see in there less than Texas is ND - I, and sorry for the Corso here, LOVE Nevada in an opening week upset here. If they can pull it off, and Boise holds off Oregon, that BSU/Nevada game later in the year could have huge implications in the non BCS bid picture.

Other Games of Interest that have No Bearing on the Frog.

#5/5 Alabama vs. #7/7 Virginia Tech (Atlanta). Another one of those games that I get to miss due to wedding, although this one became a lot less interesting when starting VT running back Darren Evans went down for the season with an injury. Still, Alabama is breaking in a new QB and VT QB Tyrod Taylor is really supposed to shine this year. It's good (Beamer) vs. evil (Saban). You know Beamer has that goiter because his face melted when he was a kid. I can't even make that up. There are also a few similarities between the Hokies and Frogs, such as how those guys look at Beamer like we look at GP, and their team also runs onto the field to the greatest rage pump up song ever outside of "March of the Pigs," "Enter Sandman," although their stadium seems to have a PA that can handle more than 10 decibels. Also, Bama's QB is from Southlake. Southlake is yucky.

#12/12 Cal vs. Maryland. An interesting game considering Maryland had no right beating these guys last year and did and that Cal has the uneviable position of having a returning upperclassmen starting QB who is still unproven. A Maryland win here would surely drop the Bears behind the Frogs in the rankings. Serves those tree huggers right for voting for Obama.

There are obviously a lot of other games on the slate in the Top 25 given that TCU and Florida International are the only 2 teams in D-1 who do not begin their season until the second week, but there's a lot of Akrons, Citadels and directional midwest state schools involved in them, which makes them uninteresting and not worth talking about. Believe me, if I thought Jacksonville State had an honest chance of beating 15th ranked Georgia Tech and improve our ranking, I'd lay it on you. I also don't think 21st ranked North Carolina's victory over the Citadel is going to boost them up the rankings unless it's over a team that loses. In the future, though, when conference play picks up, these will be much more substantial. Until then though, at least we know the Frogs are guaranteed to make it through opening weekend unscathed.

For full disclosure, here are the remaining games I talked about in that 10 team range.

#21/20 UNC vs. The Citadel

#22/21 Iowa vs. Northern Iowa.

Morning Dump

TCU unveils 2010 baseball schedule Star-Telegram

TCU giving 'reasons' to support the Frogs Bleacher Report