Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is Automatic BCS status on it's way for the MWC?

ESPN's Brad Edwards weighs in on the Mountain West's quest to become an automatic-qualifying conference in the eyes of the BCS:

How close is the Mountain West?

Patterson Wins Munger Award for Coach of the Year

From ESPN.com - Graham Watson

"TCU coach Gary Patterson has been named the 2009 recipient for the George Munger Award, which is awarded annually by the Maxwell Football Club to college football’s national coach of the Year.

Patterson led the Horned Frogs to a 12-0 record, their first undefeated campaign since 1938, and to their first BCS bowl game. TCU will meet Boise State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

TCU is the only team to rank in the top 10 in both total offense and total defense. The Horned Frogs rank No. 1 in total defense for the fourth time in the past 10 seasons, allowing just 233.25 yards per game. The Horned Frogs offense ranks fourth in the country in total offense with 469.1 ypg. It set single-season school records for points scored (488) and total offense (5,629 yards).

Patterson's 85-27 (.759) record is the best mark of any of the four coaches who have been on TCU's sideline for at least 100 games. Patterson's 85 wins are second on the Frogs' career victory list, trailing only Dutch Meyer (109-79-13, .575). Meyer coached TCU to its 1935 and 1938 national championships.

Patterson's .759 winning percentage is second among TCU coaches with more than 20 games under their belt and fifth among active coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

During his 12 years on campus, Patterson has led TCU to 11 bowl appearances. He has led the Frogs to four straight bowl victories for the first time in school history. TCU is one of just seven schools nationally to have a current bowl winning streak of at least four in a row."

Let the speculation begin!

When the SEC added Arkansas and South Carolina in 1992 (thus giving it twelve schools and the ability to hold a lucrative conference championship game), it started a chain-reaction that eventually killed the SWC and sent independent programs around the country scurrying for whatever conference affiliation they could find. Then when the ACC announced the addition of Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech (again, to get to twelve members) in 2003, another national game of Chinese Fire Drill ensued, resulting in a number of schools changing conferences, including TCU's move to the Mountain West.

Now comes word that the Big Ten (which, as most of you know, is a misnomer because it contains eleven schools) may be looking to expand to twelve teams (read about it HERE and a little more in-depth HERE). So who would the Big Televen go after? And what might some of the ramifications be if those schools were to make the move? Here's a look at a few candidates:

-Notre Dame. The Irish would be the logical fit, right? But with their huge TV contract (with whom they don't have to share any of the money), do they really need to join a conference? Also, the Big Ten has gone after Notre Dame in the past, only to be rebuked. That may deter some of the decision-makers from making another overture, at least publicly. If they were the choice, though, the Big Ten would reach twelve members without affecting any other conference, which would minimize the domino effect.

-A Big East school. Plenty of possible candidates there, depending on what criteria are determined to be the most important. Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati could all be considered. If one of these schools left the Big East, you could see them replaced with a CUSA school (Memphis or East Carolina, for example). That would cause CUSA to look for another member (perhaps Louisiana Tech or Troy), which would then create an opening in another conference after that. You might also see the loss of a member cause instability that could lead to the non football-playing schools in the Big East to split from the football-playing members due to differences in opinion regarding the direction of the conference. I couldn't begin to speculate on all of the different scenarios that might cause.

-A Big 12 North school. Would Missouri, Iowa State, Nebraska or even one of the two Kansas schools consider bolting? I don't know if the Big Ten helps those athletic departments achieve their goals any more than the Big 12 does, but you'd have to expect that they'll at least be considered. It seems pretty unlikely, but this scenario surely has to be giving Frog fans boners, because you'd have to think that TCU would be a candidate to step into the Big 12, along with Arkansas, Utah, BYU, Houston...

-TCU? Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez stated that they would be looking at schools "all over the country". So while we're thinking outside the box, why not TCU? It's an up and coming athletic department in a large TV market that would create exposure for the Big Ten in another largely-populated part of the country and give them greater access to recruits in Texas. I doubt that they would seriously consider this, but it makes about as much sense as South Florida going to the Big East, right?

Of course, if the Big Ten does indeed decide to expand to twelve, does that mean that other conferences (most notably the Pac 10, Big East and Mountain West) might also look to expand? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section.

Another All-American team for Hughes

Add the Associated Press to Hughes' growing list of All-American accolades.

Ingam, McClain lead 6 Alabama AP All-Americans AP

"The BCS S-U-X"

This isn't the best song you've ever heard, but it was written at the request of the Frogs' redshirt freshman offensive tackle, Trevius Jones.

Death-Star game against Oregon State a go?

This isn't anything official, but it's the most substantial bit of published information we've seen yet regarding the Frogs' rumored game against the Beavers in Arlington next fall:

ESPN: Oregon State close to inking game with TCU

Portland Tribune: Lots of news, including OSU vs. TCU in 2010

Morning Dump

Fiesta Bowl is hot ticket for Horned Frog fans Star-Telegram

Brock tabbed a freshman All-American

Rising coaches feature some young and older
Yahoo! Sports

Hughes named Sporting News All-American Sporting News

Wildman Q&A: TCU coach Bill Montigel
Golf Week