Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gary Patterson Luncheon Recap

Today I was fortunate to sit down with GP for a very private lunch where we discussed the goings on of the Frog football program. And by very private, I mean with 300 other people while sitting at the back table barely able to so Gary's head. But it was totally worth it and here is the recap.

The lunch began with a standing ovation for Danny Morrison. He is still with us for the next few weeks apparently. He said that the AD job at TCU is one of the best in the country in one of the best cities in the country. Then Brian Estridge got up and introduced the two players who made it to the lunch, Anson Kelton and Jake Kirkpatrick, and then GP took the stage.

Overall he was very positive and said that he was very glad that our fans got to see a good win because we had to wait one extra week than the rest of the country to see some football. He said the defense has a lot of growing up to do, but he is excited about the offense and the score could have been very much more one sided last week had they been clicking the whole game. Here are some more highlights of his talk:
  • About our non-conference schedule Patterson said that these first four games are four of the hardest non-conference games we have had in a few years.
  • About Texas State, we have to be careful with these type of teams, just look at William and Mary v. Virginia. If you are not prepared then you will loose. Also said that they have two young coaches who know how we work just as much as an ex-wife, meaning alot.
  • He was asked about Kerley and he said that we need to get him the ball as often as we can
  • He was also asked about our young secondary and he seemed to have some restrained confidence. When you are playing your 4th, 5th, and 6th guys on the depth chart from last year you have some worries, but overall they did well against Virginia minus those last two minutes. He also said that if you look at our linebacking group Washington is the only senior, and all the rest are sophomores and freshman which is really exciting for the future.
  • Another question was on the hit on Jimmy Young which was called a penalty for hitting a defenseless player. GP said that if you look at each guy on the field, they are all defenseless most of the time and that when the NCAA changes a rule to try and protect the players, they tend to overdo it more than necessary. He added that football is a physical game played by physical people for about three hours and people are going to get hit, thats just how it is.
  • He finished with a note about home game attendance. He said that all he needs are the true fans that have been coming to games and will come every week no matter what. But he added, for recruiting purposes, having a packed football stadium is essential to getting top talent. Not only is it good for recruiting, but we play at a higher level when the stadium is rocking with a large crowd (i.e. Tech in '06 and BYU last year). To win a national title is more about the players and the coaches, it is about every fan and everybody in the program. We just have to climbing that mountain.
That's about it. For anyone that hasnt been to one of these, I highly recommend it. This was my first time and it is totally worth it for just $15. Good lunch and you get a Q&A session out of GP, it doesn't get any better than that. The lunch is every Thursday before homegames in the Dee Kelly Center. And you don't have to call ahead, just show up and enjoy. Another interesting note the players have stoped calling the stadium Amon G. Carter and it is now just "The Carter". I think we should do the same.

Top 25 Dragon - Now with Poorly Informed Gamblin' Tips! - Week 3.

Kenny Rogers - The OG. Original Gambler.

By request from one WWHD, and a little help from my main man Kenny Rogers, I’m going to add a twist to the guide this week – point spreads and ill advised gambling suggestions! A little background – I don’t bet on sports too much. I play in 2 college football pick em leagues, both of which I am getting my cellar dweller on in, and only bet on individual games when I happen to be in Vegas. However, my previously mentioned 100-1 odd bet with WWHD on TCU winning the National Championship is looking pretty good with BYU knocking off OU and giving our SOS a serious boost, no? Anyway, I don’t suggest you take my picks, but it’s just something fun to do for the time being until someone with some know how makes their own betting post each week. As a disclaimer, I will use the spreads from the spitblood pool when available and if not I am going to use the ones from my yahoo league.

Once again this week we get an early Thursday night ACC treat with big implications on our Top 25 standing as Georgia Tech travels to Miami to take on the 7th Floor crew. There are also some fantastic non conference matchups to keep an eye on, including Utah/Oregon and Cincinnati/Oregon State and a big mid afternoon non conference matchup between Nebraska and Virginia Tech. This without even mentioning the biggest game of the afternoon when the Bobcats of Texas State Southwest Herpes Syphillis University travel to Fort Worth to take on the Mighty Horned Frogs. These guys are the ultimate UT T shirt fans as they’re only in San Marcos because they couldn’t get into UT, so we should hate them that much more. Anyway, onward we go...

Games to Watch that REALLY Matter. (AP/Coaches Ranking. Home team spread listed)

#14/13 Georgia Tech at #20/22 Miami (FL) (-4.5). So I believe we have mentioned last Thursday’s barn burner between Clemson and Georgia Tech quite a few times on this site, so I won’t get into it too much. After Georgia Tech nearly choked away a 24 point first half lead, the Tigers stormed back to take the league only to fall by the ACC-esque margin of 3 points. Miami has had 10 full days to prepare for the Georgia Tech wish bone attack while the Jackets are playing their second Thursday nighter in a row. Based on that alone, especially given what we know about Thursday night games, you have to want to take the Hurricanes. HOWEVER, you have to take into account that Tech actually had a full week to prepare for this game and is playing a team who came within a last second review of losing to Florida State – the same Florida State who came within minutes of losing to Jacksonville State of the mighty Ohio Valley Conference at home. Honestly, I think last week was a bit of a fluke for Georgia Tech as they simply fell asleep on Clemson. Not that the Tigers are a bad team, but they beat the pants off of them in the first half. However, I think a Hurricanes would still keep the Frogs higher in the rankings and would certainly drop Georgia Tech into the high teens/low 20s. Georgia Tech has won the previous four meetings in this matchup and Miami has been pretty anemic against their running attack. A Hurricanes win helps us more, but I’m going with the Yellowjackets.

Gambler says – Remember that magic number of 3 I mentioned earlier? That alone should make you take the points in this one – that and the fact that the Miami D gave up 34 points to a Florida State team who only put up 19 on Jacksonville State a week later.

#19/18 Nebraska at #13/14 Virginia Tech (-4.5). In the back end of a home/home series that was won by the Hokies 35-30 in Lincoln last season, the Corn Huskers travel to Blacksburg in their second season under Bo Pelini with revenge on their minds. After a poor showing against Alabama opening weekend, Virginia Tech looked downright nasty against Marshall last week, running up 605 yards and 6 TDs to Marshall’s 252 and 1. Nebraska has played a couple of cream puffs to start the season in Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State, manhandling both. As mentioned before, Nebraska surely remembers the game last year as the Hokies controlled most of the game and played with the lead the entire time. Don’t think they’ve forgotten. In reality, this game probably has no bearing on us simply because the two teams would probably swap places in the rankings with a Nebraska loss, and VT would remain up with a win. However, just to play it safe, we know a VT loss would move us up but we don’t know that Nebraska would jump us, although, like I said, it’s likely. Going into Blacksburg and getting a win in a non conference game is no easy task as they’ve won the last 31. Given Nebraska’s easy schedule to this point, and the Hokies having established a two headed freshman attack at running back, not to mention a hostile home environment, I’ll take the Hokies.

Gambler says-Regardless of my big talk of the Hokies, I think this one stays close. Nebraska seems to have a few offensive weapons, notably newly minted QB Zac Lee. With Pelini and Beamer under the headsets, I expect the defenses to play a major role in the outcome of this game and it could come down to the wire. I think the Hokies win, but it’s close, although touchdown close, not 4.5 points close. Let’s go Hokies.

#17/21 Cincinnati at Oregon State (-1.5). Pretty strange seeing a game between these two teams pop up on our radar, let alone having it be pretty important to our ranking, but here we are. Cincinnati, thought to be in a rebuilding year, has come out and just gotten FILTHY on the competition, putting up 70 on Missouri State and humiliating the Guidos from Rutgers, the preseason Big Least favorite, 47-15. Even Tony Soprano couldn’t stick around for that one. Perhaps this Big East is better than we thought? Nah, definitely not, but Cincinnati looks to have plenty of fire power on offense, and not bad defense to boot. Oregon State handily beat Portland State in their opening game, but had to squeak by UNLV last weekend on a late field goal. Despite this, they still have the Texas high school RB that got away in Jacquizz Rogers and a defense that has only allowed 28 points this season. Another factor to consider – the Beavers have won their last 26 non conference home games. All records have to end though, and I think this is the end of the road for this particular one. I don’t care how good their defense is, OSU won’t stop Cincinnati all night, and Cincy’s defense is equally as good. I’m going Bearcats even though it could cause us to fall in the rankings. Hopefully the pollsters will realize they’re still in the Big East when it comes time to cast their votes.

Gambler says - Our pool got this game at -1.5 to Oregon State but the line has since moved to even odds. If we’re going straight up, I definitely like Cincinnati. If we’re not, I still like the Nick Lachey’s.

#18/16 Utah at Oregon (-4). Oooh love this matchup, and it’s not even the biggest one of the week in the MWC! So much for our weak schedules, eh? This game is big for many reasons outside of conference clout as Utah still holds the record for consecutive wins at 16, although they BARELY got the win last week against San Jose State. Personally I want the Utes to continue to roll so we can break their streak at Amon G yet again, but one game at a time. After the… let’s put this delicately… “turmoil filled” start to the season, Oregon almost slipped last week against Purdue, needing a failed 2-pt try to sneak away with a victory. This is definitely the hardest game of the week to call in my mind as both teams have a lot of question marks. Can they play defense? Is Terrence Cain the right answer at QB for Utah? Heck, what’s the deal with Jeremiah Masoli? I don’t know, I’m going with the stat geeks on this one: Oregon is 28/30 in non conference games since 1995, and are 5-0 against ranked teams. Frankly, Utah is HIGHLY overrated at 18/16 and a win for them keeps them hot on our tails in the rankings and we aren’t doing ourselves any favors this week with our scheduling. The best case scenario is for Utah to keep rolling so we can knock them off in November and boost our strength, but I think the Ducks win in a low scoring affair. Two records drop in Oregon!

Gambler says - Since I have no faith in my convictions, I’ll take Utah and the points here. Neither one of these teams are worth watching.

Games to Watch that Kind of Matter.

#10/10 Boise State at Fresno State (+7.5). Ooooh a Thursday treat AND a Friday treat back to back? Man how I missed college football! This is certainly a tricky one to call. Obviously we want at least one of the teams on the Boise slate to beat them this year, and probably two just to help our case even more. One thing that’s always said about Pat Hill’s Fresno State teams is that they aren’t afraid to play anyone, anytime, anywhere which is reason enough to like this program over the Broncos. However, as the Bulldogs haven’t beaten a ranked opponent in 5 years, perhaps the move isn’t so wise after all. Regardless, Fresno State went into Madison, Wisconsin last weekend and beat the Badgers up and down the field for most of the game and only lost in overtime on an intercepted pass in the end zone. Tough way to go, but that seems to be how his teams have lost a lot of these games. In last year’s meeting between the conference rivals, Boise was on a mission and put up 61 to Fresno’s 10. While the Broncos offense looked sloppy in week one, they had no problems dismantling Miami of Ohio last week, although it should be noted that they’ve replaced SMU as the worst team in college football for the 2009 season. The Bulldogs are going to have revenge on their minds after last year, but I don’t see how you can’t like the Broncos in this one. Also to consider: The Broncos have beaten Fresno in eight of their past nine meetings. As usual, a Bronco loss is good for us, but probably isn’t going to happen.

Gambler says - At first glance, this spread seems awfully close considering Boise’s offense, but I suppose the home crowd must be more of a factor than you’d think. Regardless, Boise hasn’t lost a conference game since 2007 and in that time have mostly blown out their inferior competition. Not that this one is going to be a blowout, but I’d feel comfortable saying the Broncos will win by more than one TD.

#11/11 Ohio State (-20.5) vs. Toledo. After that epic game last week against USC, Ohio State finds itself in a definite comedown game against a Toledo team that absolutely donkey punched Colorado last weekend, although based on the early returns Colorado likely wouldn’t finish in the top half of the MAC this season. Despite the score last week, Jim Tressel had his pants pulled down by Pete Carroll from a coaching perspective and many of the pundits out there are wondering if phenom QB Terrell “We all murder people” Pryor made the correct decision in choosing the Buckeyes. Heck, there is even talk amongst the fanbase of wanting to remove Tressel from his play calling duties, with some even calling for the coach's head. Apparently beating your rival year after year, consistently winning your conference and playing in BCS games isn’t worth much to some folks, but obviously around here we’d make the guy chancellor with that kind of track record. Regardless, I don’t think Ohio State will have too much of a problem with the Rockets. I mean, they’re going to figure out how to effectively utilize Terrell Pryor at some point, right? RIGHT?

Gambler says- So far this season, Toledo has put up 31 points in a loss to Purdue and 54 points in a win against Colorado, while giving up 52 and 38 points, respectively. So this is definitely your classic, Leachesque all O no D situation. Unfortunately for Toledo, there is a significant drop off in defensive talent between Purdue/Colorado and Ohio State, who may have gotten slapped around by Navy, but put the hammer down on USC last weekend. Against such a soft defense, and with all the rumblings regarding conservative “Tressel Ball,” I think this week is when the Buckeyes let Terrell Pryor loose and he runs all over a team. 20.5 is a huge spread, but I’m taking the Buckeyes.

#12/12 Oklahoma (-15.5) vs. Tulsa. After a cakewalk game against Idaho State to get the Sooners back on their feet, in walks in state rival Tulsa for a very curious intersectional matchup. Despite the proximity, the two teams have only played sporadically in recent years, the last time being a 62-21 victory by the Sooners in 2007. As you can imagine, most of the games in this series have gone like that despite Tulsa’s much hyped high flying offense. Then again, Oklahoma has typically had a Hesiman hopeful, non-porn stache under center, so if the tables are to be turned, this is the year. As Lee Corso would say, though, “Not so fast my friend! EH EH, not gonna happen!.” Even though Tulsa is in the top 10 in points scored this year, those two games have been against a poor Tulane team and an abysmal New Mexico, so needless to say they haven’t faced a defense quite like that of Oklahoma. Even without Sam Bradford under center, I think the offense will make enough plays and the defense will put it away. Obviously this would be SUCH a magnificent upset, but OU is on high alert after the BYU game and should dispatch the Hurricanes rather swiftly.

Gambler says-Just to play devils advocate here – what if Landry Jones comes out, gets knocked around a bit, and loses his composure? What if Tulsa, who has been the nation's leading offense the past 2 seasons, puts a few quick scores on the board and OU has to play catchup? Just ask Oklahoma State what it’s like going into a game against a high scoring C-USA opponent with a 15.5 point spread. I’m calling it – Tulsa loses but covers and C-USA starts to gain back some of the respect it lost in the mass exodus of 2004. Haha, who am I kidding, SMU is still there to bring that conference down, but seriously, take the points.

Games that Matter because they fall into our Target Range but an Upset ain’t Happenin’

#16/17 Oklahoma State (-32.5) vs. Rice. After last week’s not-so-shocking loss to Houston, Oklahoma State welcome in Houston’s cross town, nerdier CUSA pals Rice. Rice hasn’t beaten a Big 12 team since 1993. Rice has given up 1,076 yards of offense in two games. Rice just lost the most prolific passing/receiving connection in NCAA history. Rice lost 44-24 to UAB and 55-10 to Tech. They surrendered 7 passing TDs to Tech’s Taylor Potts, who the week before threw 3 INTs and only 2 TDs against North Dakota. UAB got KTFO by SMU at home last weekend. Oklahoma State is playing without stud RB Kendall Hunter but are you kidding me? After dropping 10+ spots in the rankings, the T. Boone’s are going to have an insane chip on their shoulder to try and show they still belong in the Big 12/National title race… even though they probably don’t. Regardless, Cowboys roll.

Gambler says-Perhaps 32.5 points is a big spread to cover for a team who has scored 24 and 35 points in their opening two games. Perhaps, though, Rice will give up at least 5 TDs to Dez Bryant alone, not to mention the other receivers, tight ends, running backs, ball boys, etc. This one will be SO fugly. If the Pokes are half the team they think they are, they’ll have more murder in their hearts this week than the man himself, Dick Bumpas. 32.5 should be easy against that Rice defense.

Other games of Interest that don’t fall within the range but are worth watching.

#7/9 BYU (-7.5) vs Florida State. Not quite in the same vein as the Catholics vs. Criminals Notre Dame – Miami matchup, but you get the idea. Mormons vs. Morons? Or would it be Morons vs. Morons? Anyway, BYU jumps right back into this whole non conference thing with a tough home opener against Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles. Big for the mtn west if the Cougars prevail, although obviously nothing can top their opener. Win this one and we could be headed for an undefeated showdown on the 24th in Provo. Gameday, anyone? As this is the first home game for BYU, a team who always draws a phenomenal crowd no matter the situation, I can’t even imagine how crazy their magic underpants wearin’ fans will be going for this one. Max Hall = good. FSU secondary = bad. I don’t see there being too many problems for the Cougars.

Gambler says -Is betting on BYU games even allowed? 7.5 points though? Joke. Take BYU all the way to the bank… or Cumorah’s Cave, whichever you prefer.

#2/2 Texas (-16.5) vs. Texas Tech. Need I even build up this game? Love the move to the third weekend, by the way. Great job, ESPN. UT had a shaky performance last week against Wyoming, but you have to imagine they may have been thinking ahead to this particular match up, don’t you? Tech typically struggles in Austin, and hasn’t beaten the Horns there since 1997 and don’t expect the nearly 100,000 orange clad fans to give them a pass this year.

Gambler says-Mack Brown teams may have issues with covering the spread, but if they can’t get up for this one, then they have no business playing college football. UT by 3 TDs at least.

#1/1 Florida (29.5) vs. Tennessee. Oh. Oh my goodness gracious. Like, I really hate SMU. Not really because anyone from there has done anything personally to me- far from it actually as I like a lot of the kids I know from there-but they’re a laughing stock and their fans embody all of the qualities that I hate about America and Dallas in particular. Having them as our rival and getting to beat them year in year out is just icing on the cake. However, I can’t even imagine the vitriol Florida fans currently have towards Lane Kiffin and Tennessee. This was already a pretty solid rivalry, having only become lop sided in recent years. I think it’s safe to say that Kiffin has put a little fire back in this thing.

Gambler says-Is there a mercy rule in college football? You could tease this spread to 50 in favor of Tennessee and I’d still take Florida. Meyer called timeouts in the final minutes last year against Georgia when the game was well in hand so he could score. He kicked a field goal in the closing minutes against Miami when the Gators were up by 20+ points. What does he have in store for Kiffin? Can Roman Coliseum rules be imposed in the Swamp? I hope Vols QB Jonathan Crompton brought extra diapers for this one. This is your lock of the week.

So, from the looks of things, some great games this weekend, with only one being a presumed blowout. Unfortunately, playing TX State doesn’t do much for us as far as a rankings increase is concerned, and it shouldn’t, so we’ll need some help to move anywhere. From the looks of things, our best chances are for Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Boise to lose, with Ohio State sleeping on Toledo being an awesome one to hope for. The chances of all of this happening are slim, but it’s not like anyone can predict this stuff anyway. Most importantly, we have a home game this week. See you all there. I’m spent. No promises on a game preview.

Bobcat fans talking shit about Dalton...

Need a reason to get pumped up for Saturday's game? Check out this thread on Bobcatfans.com. Seems as if some of them believe that Andy Dalton wouldn't start for their team and that the Frogs offense poses no threat.

Strength of Schedule Watch: Week 3

Game(s) of the Week:
BYU (2-0) vs. Florida State (1-1) (6:00pm Saturday, Versus)
-Even though FSU dropped their opener to Miami, I think most of the National TV crowd that watched the game knows that they very well could've won that game and are still very much in the thick of contention to win the ACC crown. That makes for good exposure for the league when the Seminoles travel to Provo for BYU's home-opener this Saturday. If BYU is as good as advertised, they ought to take care of this one. I imagine there'll be plenty of folks checking this score on their cell phones in the stadium during the Frogs' game.

Utah (2-0) at Oregon (1-1) (2:30pm Saturday, ESPN)
-This game is the reason you need to be out at Amon G. by 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon, so that you can make sure all of your tailgate stuff is set up in time to tune in to this one, which is pretty important to the MWC. The Utes looked a little shaky against San Jose State last weekend, but now they need to show they are deserving of their Top 20 ranking by going to what is supposed to be one of the toughest road environments in all of college football. There will also, undoubtedly, be comparisons drawn between how the Utes play against Oregon on Saturday with how Boise State played the Ducks a few weeks ago. Anything that makes Oregon look good at all legitimizes Boise...and we don't want that.

Other games to keep an eye on:
Clemson (1-1) vs. Boston College (2-0) (11:00am Saturday, ESPN360)
-Maybe it's not TCU...maybe ESPN just has it out for Clemson by putting them on 360 two weeks in a row? Either way, Clemson is so far 0-1 in the ACC after their loss last Thursday, and they need this one pretty bad. BC was walked all over their first two opponents, Northeastern and Kent State, who I'm guessing have nowhere near the athleticism that Clemson does.

Colorado State (2-0) vs. Nevada (0-1) (4:00pm Saturday)
-Both of these teams are coming off performances that they'd just assume forget (CSU squeaking by 1-AA Weber State, Nevada getting shut out against Notre Dame two weeks ago). As a middle-tier Mountain West team, we really need Colorado State to take care of the Wolfpack, an upper-tier WAC team.

SMU (2-0) at Washington State (0-2) (4:00pm Saturday)
-There's a lot on the line for the Mustangs in this one. Their gunning for their first win over a BCS conference team since 2000, their first back-to-back road wins since 1997, their first 3-0 start since 1984 and most of all, confidence. If they do get to 3-0, they'll have two weeks to prepare for the Frogs and their fans will have two weeks to convince themselves that they can beat TCU...maybe that sells some extra tickets though, who knows.

Wyoming (1-1) at Colorado (0-2) (2:30pm Saturday, Fox College Sports)
-The Cowboys get another shot at the Big 12, this time on the road against a Colorado team that, in the words of Joe Namath, are "strug-a-ling". The season series between the MWC & the Big 12 is tied at 2-2 right now, so this is the rubber game. Also, if Colorado drops to 0-3, Dan Hawkins could be out of a job before the season is even over. Hear that, Kevin Sumlin?

Games that don't look like they'll provide much surprise:
Virginia (0-2) at Southern Miss (2-0)
(2:30pm Saturday, CBS College)
-As of right now, I'm not sure UVA could beat anyone, much less Southern Miss at The Rock. Al Groh and his staff have looked completely clueless so far, but maybe they'll finally figure out how to use some of the impressive athletes that they have on their roster. Probably not, though.

Air Force (1-1) at New Mexico (0-2) (6:30pm Saturday, CBS College)
-In the first MWC game of the season, the Falcons will look to rebound from their heart-breaking loss at Minnesota when they travel to Albuquerque to take on the Lobos. I'd look for Air Force to roll in this one, as it looks to be a looooong season for New Mexico.

San Diego State (1-1) at Idaho (1-1) (4:00pm Saturday)
-The Aztecs found their offense last week against Southern Utah, now they'll take it on the road and indoors to Idaho's Kibbie Dome. If they can't beat Idaho, Brady Hoke might rethink his decision to leave Ball State.

Hawaii (2-0) at UNLV (1-1) (10:00pm Saturday, The Mtn)
-The Rebels will look to get back on track against the 2-0 Warriors after losing in the finals seconds last weekend against Oregon State.

Morning Dump

Frogs look for ways to get Kerley more touches Star-Telegram

Texas State athletic director has deep ties to Fort Worth, TCU Star-Telegram

Numerous ties bind State, TCU
San Marcos Record

Frogs leaping into BCS scene San Marcos record

15th ranked Frogs host Bobcats in Fort Worth
Seattle Post Intelligencer

Clemson changes TCU game time
ESPN

MWC faces three big tests against BCS foes this week
Salt Lake Tribune