Saturday, February 27, 2010

NFL Combine begins for Frogs

The NFL combine has begun for two Frogs, LS Clint Gresham (the only LS at the combine) and OT Marshall Newhouse (projected by most as an OG). So far they have just been measured but you can follow their progression as well as Hughes' and Washington's at the NFL Combine's website. You can also watch it live here.


Marshall Newhouse OT: 6'4 319lbs, arm length: 34 inches, hand size: 10.25 inches

Clint Gresham LS: 6'3 236 lbs arm length: 31.5 inches, hand size: 9 inches

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fridays with Coach Schlossnagle

From the Star-Telegram

Challenge Time

I’m writing this as we fly at 36,000 feet on our way to Southern California to play Cal State Fullerton this weekend. We are obviously hoping to have a successful weekend, but, first, I’m looking forward to finding some great SoCal weather after fighting the cold, snow and wind of North Texas for the past few weeks.

It’s always exciting to take the team on the first road trip of the season. It’s something that we really try to do as early as possible in the year, preferably to open the season. Not that we don’t enjoy playing at home! Last weekend, in the home opening series vs. Sam Houston State, we learned a lot about our team and set a three-game homestand attendance record, which was great.

However, when you go on the road, you really get the opportunity to block out some of the distractions of home, get your team together in the plane, bus and hotel, and really learn a lot about the personalities that you have on your club. Ask any former athlete, most of the best experiences (and really good stories) occur on the road, both on and off the field.

For us this weekend, we are facing a great challenge in playing THE GAME (I’ll come back to that later) at Cal State Fullerton. Fullerton is one of the great, historic programs in college baseball, and you can only make your team better by matching up against them for a few days. In my career, I’ve had some teams suffer some serious beatings at the hand of the Titans, but if you handle it the right way, you really learn a lot about the make-up and resiliency of your team. Of course, if you have success (in terms of wins), it’s something you can really take confidence from throughout the season.

The challenge though, is to avoid conversation about your opponent. We talk, in our program, about playing “THE GAME.” Kind of like a golfer playing the course versus the opponent. Baseball is a very simple game that is very hard to play because there is so much built in failure. You have all heard how even the very best hitters fail at about a 70 percent rate. What other profession would celebrate that rate of failure?!?!

As the coach, I try to continually talk about the PROCESS of playing baseball versus the RESULTS. In other words, when you play the GAME, you try to take the opponent, the umpires, and all other elements you can’t control out of the mind of the player. For example, a ground ball hit by the Rangers’ Michael Young in The Ballpark in Arlington, a groundball hit by Christian Colon (CSF’s All-America shortstop) and a groundball hit in practice at TCU are all the exact same ... just a groundball in a baseball game. The difference is the external factors: the surroundings, the stadium, the crowd, the noise, the self-imposed pressure, etc. If we can, as a team, just field the ground ball like we do every day in practice, we will be fine and over the course of the season, we will have success.

Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done, especially for a young team (at least our position players) like the one we have. That’s why I’m so looking forward to this weekend ... you grow up quickly playing the game on the same field with the Cal State Fullerton Titans!

Say a prayer for the Horned Frogs this weekend, and I hope to see many of you at the ballpark Tuesday night for our next home game vs. UT-San Antonio at 6:30pm.

Go Frogs!

Coach Jim Schlossnagle

Member of TCU's perfect '38 football team dies

Robert "Bobby" Sherrod was the right guard on TCU's '38 championship team.

He was described as a kind, generous man that will be greatly missed. He was 90 years young.

Beat Up That Beat!

Been looking for that perfect compliment for your hair gel'd coif? Perhaps a suitable outfit for a day of GTL? Or maybe you just enjoy looking like a douchebag? In any case, has a look for you! Yes folks, that's real and that's SPECTACULAR. I suppose with success comes T-shirt fans, and with T-shirt fans comes a dizzying array of horrible fashion sense, but this is just over the top. Perhaps the recent reveal that Californians make up the majority of out of state students at TCU prompted the T-shirt makers to go on a rampage and capitalize? Regardless, if anyone shows up for any TCU sponsored function wearing that, I give you full permission to beat them up just like you'd beat up that beat on a Saturday night.

Although, I suppose this shirt would be the PERFECT accessory for beating up the beat during "Sandstorm"... alright, I rescind everything I said earlier. This needs to be the official SpitBlood T shirt!!

And speaking of GTL, gel'd up roid heads, the baseball Frogs are headed to the OC this weekend to take on the Cal State Fullerton... somethings. If you're in attendance and you want to fit in, I suggest you order this T shirt immediately. You won't be the goofiest looking person there by a long shot, I promise.

Morning Dump

Newhouse believes TCU prepared him for the NFL Star-Telegram

Record day for Horned Frogs at MWC swimming championships Star-Telegram

No. 9 TCU set to clash with No. 6 Cal State Fullerton

TCU preview CSF Scout

MWC now looks like a three bid league
Deseret News

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TCU/Baylor postponed

Per the Baylor Athletic site, tomorrow's scheduled game against Baylor in Waco has been Global-Warming'd out. No word yet on a make-up date.

Sports Illustrated Top 50 Draft List

"31) Jerry Hughes/DE-OLB/TCU: Hughes has been a pass-rushing terror at defensive end the past two years. He'll likely workout at both defensive end and linebacker at the combine -- two positions he may play at the next level. After sitting out the Senior Bowl with an injury, Hughes must perform well in Indianapolis."

"47) Daryl Washington/LB/TCU: He's another prospect on the rise and is viewed as one of the very few three down linebackers in the draft. Scouts feel Washington is close to being NFL-ready; a solid combine workout will only enhance his stock."

Full List from SI Here

CBS 19, Longview, interviews RH-51

Jenkins weighs in

Dan Jenkins, who would probably be mercilessly and hilariously critical of our little shitty corner of the blog world, has finally chipped in his two cents on the whole Tiger Woods fiasco. Here's a little taste:

"For all of the Tiger idolaters out there, it must have been like finding out that ice cream sundaes give you gonorrhea."

Read the entire article HERE.


Even USA Today...who's sports section is written with the intent of making you forget the fact that you're eating some barely-edible continental breakfast at a Holiday Inn Express on some pointless business trip for your dead-end job while some fat kids with jean shorts and rat-tails on their way to Sea World run around the lobby screaming bloody murder while their diabetes-ridden single Mom contemplates a way out of the whole, not even they could find a way to sound positive about TCU basketball.

In their latest look Around the Mountain West, they painted a pretty dismal picture of this program. It was summed up pretty well with this quote from Coach Christian:

"We don't fight when the game needs to be won- we fight not to embarrass ourselves. Every time we'd cut it to eight, we'd give up three more layups, so I don't think that's fighting back. If you cut it to one, then you're fighting back, but we're not doing that at all."


At 12-15, their chances for any kind of postseason play beyond the conference tournament are slim to none barring a miracle. predicts an 0-4 finish by the Frogs, including a projected 19-point loss against UNLV in Vegas tomorrow night.

On the bright side, though, there is still some money to be made. The latest bracketology from ESPN indicates there's a decent chance of the Mountain West getting four teams in the tournament, which would be a record for the conference (it's been a two-bid league each of the past five seasons). They've got New Mexico as a 3-seed, BYU as a 4, UNLV as an 8 and San Diego State as the first team listed in the "first four out". Just like with bowl games, every team from your conference that reaches the tournament equals cash for your program. So, Go Aztecs...or whatever.

And if you're among those who find women's basketball watchable, the Lady Frogs are 19-6 and in first place in the MWC right now. The women's bracketology (yes, ESPN employs someone to do that) has them as a projected 8-seed.

In other news, football season is 193 days away.

Zero pieces of Flair

Instead of addressing the issue of concussions and the sometimes-devastating and permanent brain injuries that can accompany them as a result of the violent collisions in football, the NCAA Rules Committee is instead turning their attention toward limiting the selfish, me-first attitude of players like Reggie Bush...except of course, when players like him cheat...which they'll allow, as long as that player's team is a major TV draw...

One of the proposed amendments to the NCAA Football rule book is to ban players from using their eye-black strips as messages to the viewing public. I really don't see the harm, but I guess the NCAA doesn't want us to know what area code certain douche bags grew up in or the favorite bible verse of some future NFL H-back.

Another is changing taunting and showboating penalties from dead-ball to a live-ball fouls...meaning the play that prompted the behavior could get called back. This will likely result in far, far less showboating if passed, but will probably also result in at least one coach stroking out on the sideline during a game after a go-ahead touchdown gets called back in a crucial moment. Wouldn't it be worth it, though, if it meant one of the guys on Sportscenter had to awkwardly explain the C-walk to middle America?

Morning Dump

AD: conference rumors are premature Daily Skiff

Jerry Hughes' draft diary: " My family is more excited about me graduating than playing in the NFL" Sporting News

Baseball America takes an in-depth look at this week's top 25

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lessons in SMU Hate - Craig James. UPDATE!!

To this point, these SMU Hate posts have served their own means to an end and haven't required any follow up... until now! Via the Dallas Morning News, Craig James and Eric Dickerson recently received the "Doak Walker Legends Award" for their roles in the Pony Express. Although, I'm assuming they must mean the "Dick Wad Larceny Award", because that pretty much sums up the pairs' true legacy for the school. I guess now that SMU has become moderately relevant with June Jones, it's OK to dig up the Death Penalty skeletons in their proverbial closet. Assuming Dan Hawkins can right the ship in Boulder, the next thing you know, The University of Colorado will be giving Rae Carruth their Lifetime Achievement Award.

It was also just mentioned to me that James has recently spoken out in support of USC in their on-going investigation with their own cheating allegations. While I haven't been able to find an exact article detailing this, I'm not denying it either. Their kind must stick together.

As an added bonus, though, this same article outlines former Stanford RB Toby Gerhardt's experience at the NFL Combine, including his new roommate. Who is it? Well, if you guessed Colt McCoy, you'd be right! Between this and Colt's pending nuptials to a girl, Jordan must be devastated.

Article Here.

LT Released by Chargers

ESPN's John Clayton is reporting that LaDainian Tomlinson has been released by the San Diego Chargers.

Catching up with Jason Phillips

Just as Stephen Hodge was a non-factor for the Cowboys in his rookie year because he was on IR the entire season, so was Jason Phillips with the Ravens. Dan Kolko of, which appears to be geared towards fans in DC and Bodymore, Murdaland, recently caught up with Phillips. Read the article HERE.

Still #11

Apparently, TCU's opening-weekend sweep of Sam Houston State was exactly what the voters in the Baseball America Top 25 Poll expected, because they left the Frogs right where they were last week- at #11. Cal State-Fullerton dropped four spots to #8 after dropping 2 of 3 to Long Beach State, Rice dropped four spots to #9 after being swept by Stanford (who's only #18?) and Texas dropped two spots to #3 after dropping 2 of 3 to New Mexico (who isn't ranked) over the weekend. UVA is your new #1, after taking 2 of 3 from East Carolina on the road.

3 down, 53 to go

It was a good first weekend all around as the Frogs swept the Sam Houston Bearkats (still not sure why it's spelled with a k). Most important, of course, is the three wins that ought to move the #11 Frogs into the Top 10 when the new polls come out.

But it's also how they won that is so exciting. The pitching, as expected, was solid- and more on that later- but it was the emergence of the Frogs' bats that really opened my eyes. The MVP of the weekend was undoubtedly the true freshman from Round Rock, Josh Elander, who played right field Friday and Saturday before taking his turn at his natural position-catcher- on Sunday. For the weekend, Elander went 8-10, drove in six runs, stole four bases and reached base twice more with walks. That's quite the Huffman-esque performance from a freshman.

I'm not gonna detail the offensive exploits of every player on the team, but when you score 31 runs in three games and the team's first home run of the year comes from the guy batting in the 9-hole, you're doing something right.

Pitching-wise, I think everyone was looking forward to the college debut of Matt Purke. With all of the hype this kid has gotten, you got the sense that some fans were a little let-down with his first start. But striking out eight in five innings and picking up the win is pretty impressive to me. Junior Steven Maxwell had the best outing of the Frog pitchers of the weekend, though, striking out six in a scoreless 4 2/3 innings on Friday night.

For you stat nerds like shortnkerleys, here are the box scores from the weekend: Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Those of you that are, like me, concerned with the support that our teams get and obsessed with attendance figures, will be happy to know that a new single-weekend attendance record was set this weekend. With just over 8,800 fans over three games, the old weekend record of just over 7,400 (for a series against Cal State-Fullerton in '07) was shattered. Also set was a new record for a home opener, with 3,228 on Friday night. Not bad for a series that was played before most fans are even thinking about baseball in weather that is more suited for going to the movies.

Next up is a Wednesday matinee against Baylor down in Waco, followed by a weekend series at soon to not be #4 Cal State Fullerton, who will be out for vindication after dropping their home series against Long Beach State this weekend.

Also, as mentioned, New Mexico went and took two of three from the Longhorns in Austin. Represent.

lt4heisman will approve.

MDK, Dennis Pitta. writer Andy Staples recently ran an article where he posted his All-2 star or lower rated recruits team for the 2010 season. Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly if you watched him play, our very own Tank Carder made the list. You can read the full article here, but I'll post the blurb, which includes a very interesting tidbit.

LB Tank Carder, Jr., TCU(two stars): This one-timeBMX world champwas lightly recruited out of Sweeny, Texas, but he was no lightweight last season. Carder's 89 tackles were second-best on a unit that led the nation in total defense. Carder may do more than play defense in 2010. TCU coach Gary Patterson told The New York Timesin January that Carder may kick off and kick long field goals for the Horned Frogs.

Apparently I must have missed that memo, and while Ross Evans hasn't been called on to make too many long kicks, I can definitely get behind some new blood on kickoffs. Plus, this shores up any chance of a long return because, whereas most kickers typically get out-juked and whiff when making an open field tackle, Tank will put the fear of God in return men and make them think twice before trying to break one.

Also, what's more overplayed in the media- talking about Patterson's abilities to convert high school running backs to big time defenders, or referring to Tank as a former BMX star? Consistent Top 10 program the past few years. Let's get some new material, boys.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pretty good start

So far, so good. The Frogs won their season opener against Sam Houston last night, 4-0, in front of 3,200+ at Lupton Stadium. It was the largest opening-game crowd in TCU history and the 5th-largest crowd in school history.

The Frog pitching staff, which has been the reason for much of the preseason hype, did not disappoint last night. Starter Steven Maxwell threw four and two-thirds innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits and striking out six. Even more impressive was the TCU bullpen- Trent Appleby struck out five in his three and a third innngs of relief, while closer Eric Marshall struck out the side in the 9th to put the nail in the Bearkats' coffin.

Offensively, the highlight for the Frogs came on the basepaths, not at the plate. Freshman Josh Elander and sophomore Jason Coats both stole two bases. Coats' first swipe came in the second inning, when it appeared that SHSU had him picked off at first base. They got him in a run-down, and just when it appeared that time had run out for him, he made a certified bad ass evasive move to avoid the tag and slide safely into second. Two plays later he scored the first run of the game.

Matt Purke makes his TCU debut today, with first pitch at Lupton set for 2:00pm.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lessons in SMU Hate - Craig James.

Greatest Moments
But ranked #1 in Cheating.

A lot has been said throughout the state of Texas about Craig James, although the mood of said sayings has taken a pretty dramatic shift over time. James, who was once revered as the white part of the Pony Express with Eric Dickerson and a former standout at Stratford High in Houston, is now almost entirely known for his dickheadery in the Mike Leach scandal, although people should’ve caught on much earlier based on his performance as an ESPN announcer. No matter what you think of Leach, he would still have a job today if Craig James had not set in motion the events that snowballed into his firing. Now, in James’ meager defense, Texas Tech officials are GD morons and place their personal pride over athletic and monetary success and, despite Mike Leach being the only thing keeping Texas Tech relevant, he was pretty much a dead man walking after his contentious off-season contract discussions. And, in the school’s defense, they had a right to be bitter – Leach was, by all accounts, a disloyal dickhead who would’ve been on the first flight out of Lubbock had he had any semblance of interviewing talent. However, that’s neither here nor there, and since this is a direct vehicle for SMU hate, I’ll get to the point:

Thesis: Craig James is the biggest douchebag in America, and this baggedness is directly derived from his time at SMU.

First off, I don’t think I need to further go into the whole Texas Tech debacle – we are all 100% aware of how that went down, and if you can view that situation as anything other than an entitled father wanting his son to have the same sense of entitlement without earning it, then you probably shouldn’t read this post. For the rest of you, get ready to hate.

You simply have to glance at James’ Wikipedia page to see what I’m talking about. His listed name? Jesse Craig “Pony” James. So, I understand how he was supposed to be “Pony” and Dickerson was “Express’ and HARF HARF PLAY ON WORDS!!!! But even beyond that, with a given name like Jesse James combined with his choice of college, how could this guy not grow up to be exactly who he is now? And even better – James and Dickerson, easily the school’s most famous football alums other than Doak Walker, are the main reason that SMU’s Football's has been irrelevant for the past 25 years! What a nut punch! At least our most famous football player came though in the post SWC era and was only lightly recruited out of high school, so you can be pretty certain he wasn’t being paid to be there. The SMU Death Penalty has been well documented and reveled in by the TCU fan community, but it’s still a lot of fun to poke fun at from time to time.

After his SMU years, James went on the play in the now disbanded USFL, but after an absolutely abysmal year, James suffered a major injury and was cut. He then signed with… The New England Patriots, easily the most reviled and obnoxious team in the NFL, and it’s not even close… not even NFC East fans can hold a candle to that bandwagon. Oh, and as fate would have it, it’s well known that Beantowners love nothing more than non-black positional players so, and not to get all Malcolm Gladwell on you, can you imagine a better place for him to land? If he goes to Oakland, he rides the bench and is selling used cars back home in Jacksonville right now. Rememeber, New England fans are the reason that the media thinks Wes Welkaaaaah is the second coming of Jerry Rice, which isn’t to say that Welker is a bad player, but an All-Pro? Seriously? In fact, getting back into Outlier mode, let’s say Welker and Randy Moss wind up in Philly with Donovan McNabb? Does McNabb shun Moss in favor of Welker as Tom Brady does? The racially skewed Boston fan-base strikes again! And, if you’ll recall, Welker attended… wait for it… Texas Tech!!! Like James’ son!!! Conspiracy theories…

But, since the Patriots didn't put together a significant fan base until Y2K, I guarantee you no current Patriot fans could tell you about James' time there, which actually resulted in a Super Bowl appearance… where James was held to 1 yard on 5 carries. That’s one more yard than I’ve had in a Super Bowl. Oh yeah, at this point he was also being known as “The Great White Hope.” A bit premature, no?

From there, James went on to begin his media career, and here is where the hate should really start festering because this is where James earned the right to become an AP voter. Has anyone ever checked his final AP ballots and compared them to how the final polls actually panned out? ABYSMAL! In fact, he's commonly viewed as one of the worst voters in the entire process. And when it comes to TCU, it’s just hysterical. For the sake of brevity, let’s take a look at his past two final AP ballots as those are arguably the defining seasons of the Patterson Era.

In 2008, TCU finished 7th in the AP poll, and, just to toss it in, Texas Tech finished 12th. How do you think James had us in the rankings? TCU 10/Texas Tetch 9. Seriously!?!? Only two voters had us lower and only seven voters had Tetch higher. Out of 59. Let’s compare the resumes, shall we?

TCU finished the season with two losses – one an early season blowout at OU, and the last second loss to undefeated, 6th ranked Utah. We then capped the season by beating a 9th ranked and undefeated Boise State team that hadn't lost a game in almost two years in the Poinsettia Bowl. By contrast, Texas Tech finished the season with two losses, one a flat out raping at the hands of OU that was MUCH uglier than our performance, and then a nice filleting at the hands of Houston Nutt’s Ole Miss team in the Cotton Bowl to close out the year. Given, they had the Texas win, but, they also had wins over Eastern Washington and Massachusetts. And while the OU losses cancel out, Utah went undefeated and should’ve been in the NC game; Ole Miss lost four games, including to Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. Oh, but we didn’t have his son on our team. I guess it’s ok then.

But 2009 is where things really get ticklish. For the year, TCU finished 6th in the AP Poll and Boise finished 4th. I personally was fine with our finish, but thought Boise could’ve been higher, although I’m not sure they beat full strength UT or Florida even on a neutral field. So, for the most part, the voters got it right… except one. Guess who not only ranked Boise 7th, but the Frogs 14th? You guessed it, The Great White Hope himself, Craig James. So, we’re all completely aware that the media has a bias towards BCS teams and especially a guy who works for ESPN because he has an interest to protect. But, Boise and the BCS aside, FOURTEEN??? Really!?! Among the teams he had in front of us, with their actual ranking reflected in parenthesis, were Wisconsin at 13 (16), Nebraska at 10 (14), and Penn State at 5 (9). Not to mention three loss Virginia Tech, Pitt and Oregon. Hell, he put us six spots behind Cincinnati – a team who got blown out of the stadium by Florida in their bowl game, who played in a Big East Conference that was well thought to be weaker than the Mount West and who we likely would've jumped into the National Championship over had Colt released his throw one second later. I understand there are discrepancies in voting, and I respect the fact that I’m a homer for the Frogs and the voters aren’t, but to rank a team eight spots lower than the average of the other voters is just a joke and there’s no excuse for that. For the record, all 59 voters had us ranked higher. You can be absolutely assured that his lingering Frog hate and SMU-ness played a major role in this.

So hopefully I have painted a pretty good portrait of a loathsome human being right there. You can make the argument that events later in his life helped shape him – playing football in front of one of the worst fanbases in one of the more racially insensitive cities in the world, being given the pretentious nickname “The Great White Hope” based on one superlative season even though his overall career stats would be modest even for a bench player (5 seasons, 2500 yards, 11 TDs), and then finally making his way into the booth and being coddled by the conglomerate that is ESPN to the point that he felt he was important enough to get a highly successful college football coach fired because his son wasn’t good enough to earn playing time. However, I think you all know where I’m taking this - and if it isn’t obvious by now, then you haven’t read the previous entries – but I think it’s plain to see that Craig James’ true downfall began when he took that envelope full of cash and pledged himself to the SMU Mustangs.

Now, I’m not saying that TCU was necessarily running a clean program back then because, let’s be honest, paying your players was pretty much a rite of passage for membership in the Southwest Conference – but I am going to point out that no other team in the history of college football did it to the extent that they were banned from playing football for entire seasons. If all is right and just in the world, USC will suffer the same fate, because I have a feeling what they’ve done in the Carroll era would make SMU look like BYU ethically, but the fact remains that SMU was proven to have done it.

Craig James played a significant role in SMU getting the axe and any player who would go to a school based on the financial gain shouldn’t be allowed to be around the game ever again. While you would think that a person’s natural inclination after being caught for such a thing would be to become a more humble person, James let it all go to his head and pave the road for him to become one of the more notable ego maniacs of our time.

But, if you’re familiar with anyone from SMU, does this surprise you? Let’s imagine a hypothetical world where James comes to SMU because he genuinely wants to be there – can’t you still imagine him progressing into a Little League mom? Can’t you see him walking around with salmon colored shorts and a tie on? Can't you see him running down someone in his luxury car and then saying that it's OK because he's Craig James, the SMU Football player? Can’t you see him drawing a dick on a person from TCU’s car? I think that’s a resounding yes.

Fortunately, in the midst of all this hate, there’s a light – and that light is an opportunity for even more hate because James has recently made it clear that if Kay Bailey Hutchison vacates her seat in the Senate, he is going to run for it. Can you IMAGINE?!?! Nice work alienating the entire voting base in West Texas, not to mention a good portion of the Metroplex, and if he’s hoping to carry the SMU vote, too bad because 90% of those kids are from out of state. Heck, if he’s looking to carry the college football fan vote other than Tetch hating aggys, good luck because TCU fans hate him, UT fans are liberals, Baylor fans will be in church during polling hours and Tech fans, even if they disliked Leach, have certain literacy issues that preclude most of them for being eligible to vote anyway. While I honestly have no preference between Kay Bailey or Perry in the race for Governor, now I’m kind of for KB simply because I want to see this ass pony get pile driven.

James, at least for now, appears the be the gift that will continue to keep on giving. If there is a God, by the end of this Leach debacle, Craig James will be calling Monday night WAC games with his partner in the booth, Pam Ward. And if there’s one thing worse than being thpit on for 3 hours by Lou Holtzth, it’s being lulled to sleep by the silky smooth monotones of the female Barry White.

And that’s today’s lesson in SMU Hate.

Opening Day!

It seems odd that there will be regular-season baseball going on this weekend, right? I mean, if baseball players are the "boys of summer", then why is the season starting just a week after Fort Worth and Dallas got a FOOT OF SNOW? Given the horrifically-depressing sports lull that exists after the NBA playoffs and before football season, combined with the fact that these players miss so much class time during the spring semester, wouldn't it make more sense to push the college baseball season into the summer?

Not that I'm complaining. With the basketball program in the state that it is (and has been for years), the prospect of watching the Horned Frogs compete as a Top 15 team in another sport this weekend has me all kinds of giddy.

David Peterson and his gang over at (and I do mean 'gang'- Dave's from New Orleans, so he isn't fucking around) have opening weekend covered from every angle, and unlike some completely mentally stable and non-childish people from some other TCU sports site, I fully encourage you to venture over and read what they've got to say:

-Peterson's own position-by-position preview of the 2010 team. It's lengthy, but a good read.

-Kevin Dalrymple's analysis of the momentum the TCU fanbse has right now and what baseball season means to it's continuity.

-Leonard Gruca's preview of the SHSU series.

And finally, if you aren't yet pumped about baseball season arriving, here is another look at the current all-time highlight of the TCU baseball program (soon to be replaced, hopefully)...

Go Frogs

Morning Dump

Horned Frogs' baseball goal for 2010: Omaha Star-Telegram

2010 baseball season kicks off friday night

College baseball: projecting the field of 64 Baseball America

Gary Patterson

Mountain Climbing

TCU reached BCS heights in 2009. The Frogs and the rest of the MWC will use the spring to plan the next step. Team-by-team previews » Q&A: Commish Craig Thompson » Chat wrap: Watson »

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Here we go...

The 2010 Horned Frog baseball team's journey to Omaha gets underway tomorrow night, with the first pitch against Sam Houston State set for 6:30pm. After last year's success, all of the returning starters and the addition of the Rangers' 1st round draft pick Matt Purke have expectations sky-high, as evidenced earlier in this very paragraph with the implication that a trip to the College World Series (where TCU has never been before) is imminent.

But with 56 scheduled regular season games and the possibility of up to a dozen or more in the postseason, you have to expect that there will be some bumps in the road along the way. That is especially true early in the season, as Jim Schlossnagle has again assembled a very tough non-conference schedule to counter the relatively weak conference in the eyes of the computers that compile the RPI rankings as well as the NCAA Tournament Committee.

Just as GP often talks about breaking down the football schedule into quadrants, let's first look at just the seven games on the docket for February. Right off the starting gun, you need to think again if you're taking SHSU lightly. The Bearkats have been to the NCAA Regionals three consecutive years after winning the Southland Conference tournament in each year they've been coached by Mark Johnson, who came to SHSU after being head coach at A&M for 21 years. Their preseason All-America second basemen, Braeden Riley, hit .387 last year and led the NCAA hit 111 hits. This weekend is easily their biggest 3-game set, so you know they'll be focused. Winning the series against the Bearkats will be tough, and a sweep would be a major accomplishment.

Then you've got the midweek game at Baylor next Wednesday afternoon. The Bears are unranked and were picked just 6th in the Big 12 preseason poll, but then again the Big 12 is one of the very best baseball leagues in the nation. Baylor and TCU have always played each other tough, and last year the green & gold got the best of both match ups- including a 15-4 win in Waco.

As if that weren't tough enough, the Frogs head west next weekend for a series against Cal-State Fullerton...the #4 team in the country. Like TCU, Fullerton has a deep pitching staff and a young, mostly untested lineup- so this series will be a major test for them as well. The Frogs did manage to take 2 of 3 from the Titans out there last year, but duplicating that feat will be a tall order.

I don't mean to seem like a major pessimist, because in reality I'm anything but. Just don't think that the preseason hype around this team is going to instantly equal a 7-0 February. I'm looking at these games like a best-of-seven series, so winning four would make it a successful Black History Month in my eyes.

Thursday Conversation with MWC Commish Craig Thompson

For the past two seasons, all eyes have been on the Mountain West Conference as it’s tried to make a push from the ranks of the nonautomatic qualifiers to the automatic qualifiers.
The conference tried its hand at reforming the BCS system after the 2009 season, and now is trying to earn one of the coveted automatic bids by thriving during the BCS’ four-year evaluation period, which is already two years in.
Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson indulged me with an e-mail Q&A session (that’s why charts are included). He gives his thoughts on the conference’s progress toward being an AQ conference and possible Pac-10 and Big Ten expansion.
The conference ended its second consecutive season with three teams ranked in the Top 25.
What do you think that says about your conference and how on par it is with some of the conferences with automatic bids?
Craig Thompson: The MWC has consistently taken the position the BCS should be performance-based. It is clear from the head-to-head competition numbers the MWC is performing at the same level as the AQ conferences.

In regards to a possible automatic bid, how is that going and how far off do you believe the conference is from achieving that goal?
CT: After the first two years of this four-year evaluation period, the Mountain West would have a very strong case for inclusion as an automatic-qualifying conference.
After the push for BCS reform last year, it seemed like there was a lot of pressure on the conference to perform well. How do you feel like your conference handled that pressure?
CT: The results speak for themselves. For a second consecutive year, the MWC had three teams ranked in the final BCS standings, including the highest ranking ever for a non-automatic qualifier [No. 4], and earned a spot in a BCS game. Combine that with our 4-1 bowl record and becoming the only conference to win the Bowl Challenge Cup for the third time. Our coaches and student-athletes are continuing to prove it on the field.
The top three teams in the conference -- TCU, BYU and Utah -- seem to be maintaining their high level of play, what does the rest of the conference need to do to catch up?
CT: There is a misperception that the Mountain West is a three-team league and doesn’t have the depth of other conferences. The reality is every conference’s standings have a top, middle and bottom. The teams that currently follow TCU, BYU and Utah in the MWC standings are every bit as competitive as the teams that are similarly positioned in their conferences standings.
In fact, these MWC teams have contributed wins against AQ opponents as noted above [e.g. Wyoming at Tennessee, Arizona at New Mexico, UNLV at Arizona State, Iowa State at UNLV, Colorado State at Colorado -- all MWC wins in the last two seasons]. These “other” teams have also contributed to the MWC’s nation-leading bowl record over the last few years.
Clearly the BYU, TCU and Utah programs have created a blueprint for sustained success that has set the bar in the Mountain West. We are confident the other programs in the league are headed in the right direction with the commitments that have been made to facilities, scheduling, coaching staffs, recruiting, etc.
With all this talk of expansion and teams such as Utah, BYU and TCU being mentioned as possibly moving to other conferences, are you concerned about the future of the conference?
CT: Certainly, it is important to be cognizant of the changing landscape. We are continuing what has been an ongoing process of evaluating our options. However, we are not going to overreact to rumors and speculation. We have positioned the MWC to be as successful as possible and have made great progress. The Mountain West is a very attractive conference that I believe people want to be a part of.
Do you feel that losing one or more of those teams would adversely affect the Mountain West’s push for a BCS automatic berth? And does the conference have a plan should one of those teams move to a different conference?
CT: Conference membership clearly impacts your ability to reach the automatic-qualification threshold under the current four-year BCS evaluation system. A change in membership could affect an automatic BCS berth in any number of ways. We would be prepared tomorrow for any number of scenarios. We've always been proactive, are doing the necessary research, and looking at all options.

2010 Recruiting Class Intros - Mash Up, the Finale

Alright, so now that signing day is officially two weeks complete, I'll finally close up the book on it. Really, I've just already taken it this far so I may as well finish it. I'm diligent and thorough like that. And, here to help me out in this final chapter is renowned analyst/therapist, Dr. Tobias Funke!

Elisha Olabode. Safety, 5'10", 170. Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill HS).

One of the later additions to the 2010 recruiting class, Olabode is a local product out of Cedar Hill, a team that was favored to win state heading into the playoffs until falling to eventual champion Abilene - can I get a what what, lenetownfizzle? It does seem like we have a lot of potential safeties in this class - not to mention last year's - but with the 4-2-5, I suppose that's an alright problem to have. Elisha is a strong tackler and isn't afraid to light someone up; I suppose growing up with a name like Elisha will bring the animosity out in a man. He also has great leaping ability and while he may not be an interception machine - and be honest, who on our team would you consider such a thing? - he's more than capable of going up over receivers who have several inches on him and breaking up passes. I could easily see him being a free safety for the Frogs over his career.

Dr. Funke's words of encouragement to male athletes who have been christened with names better suited for their female counterparts - "For there's a man inside me, and only when he's finally out, I can walk free of pain."

Blake Roberts. Linebacker, 6'4", 225. Tyler (Tyler Lee HS).

Unlike Olabode, Blake Roberts has been with the Frogs practically since day one, has never wavered in his commitment and, despite him attending one of the rival high schools from my day, I'm glad to have him. The best thing about Roberts is, obviously, his size. To be that big in high school is rare, and I bet the strength coaches are already fired up about how much bulk they can add to Roberts large frame. The 45th ranked linebacker in the state, Roberts packs a lot more punch than his pedigree would suggest. He may not knock holes in opponents souls like fellow classmate Jonathan Anderson, but Roberts will certainly make runners think twice about taking him head on. He can also fly for a white guy - 4.5 speed - and accelerates at the point of impact which will increase his chances of causing fumbles or disrupting catches. Also, with his height and edge rushing abilities, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the staff give him a shot at defensive end before he settles into an established role. He's going to be a fun one to watch develop.

Dr. Funke's advice to Blake Roberts, who is not only an aspiring football player, but an aspiring filmmaker as well (alright, so that was entirely fabricated in order to serve my end game - "Well, I've always wanted to remake Annie Hall. Except, I wouldn't want to get in bed with a green producer like a Sofia Coppola, though. Oh, but give me an old pro like a Robert Redford. Oh, I'd jump into bed with him in a second. And I wouldn't just lie there, (Blake Roberts), if that's what you're thinking."

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson. C, 6'4", 315. Farmersville (Farmersville HS).

Already one of GP's favorites from the new class, Michael Thompson brings tremendous size to an offensive line that is in need of some capable backups, not to mention replacements for all of the seniors who will be departing after this season. His stated position is at center, and he could do a lot worse than learning for a year under All-Conference performer Jake Kirkpatrick who learned from former AC Center Blake Schlueter. He's very strong - benches 400 and squats 600 - and was all over just about every All-3A list for the entire state, despite being ranked 18th at his position. I'm sure Michael will take a red shirt season this year, but already sitting at 315 pounds, and with a year of strength work under his belt, he could easily challenge for a starting role in 2011.

Dr. Funke's outlook on signing offensive linemen to your recruiting class - " Even if it means me taking a chubby, I will suck it up."

Nykiren Wellington

Nykiren Wellington. OT, 6'6", 275. San Antonio (Holmes HS).

Wellington arrives in Fort Worth after considering Utah and Colorado and, based on his above picture, the kid's head is in the right place. The obvious given here is, standing 6'6", Nykiren has the size and long arms that coaches look for in an offensive tackle. He's not the behemoth that Marcus Cannon is, but let's hope he skews more towards that mountain rather than our former, underachieving one, Nic Richmond.

Dr. Funke's impression of how Utah and Colorado felt when Wellington bolted them for Fort Worth - "Oh, come on. Don't leave your uncle T-bag hanging."

Kevin White. CB, 5"10", 170. Round Rock (Stony Point, HS).

Rounding out the 2010 class is Kevin White, a cornerback out of the outlet mall and chain restaurant capital of Texas, Round Rock. An all-5A first teamer, White fielded offers from MWC schools Wyoming and Air Force before deciding on the Frogs, which was probably the least complex decision he's made in his entire life, preceding, "should I breathe today?" With our lack of cornerback depth, if White is able to produce quickly, he could see some playing time in the fall, although with Travaras Battle-Smith already on campus, he's going to be several steps behind. Still, the more capable corner backs we have, the better because it's definitely an area of need.

No set up, just a hilarious damned quote - "Although, if I may, let me take off my assistant’s skirt and put on my Barbra Streisand in The Prince of Tides ass-masking therapist pantsuit."

Bonus Quote!! - "Here he comes. Here comes John Wayne. I'm not gonna cry about my pa. I'm gonna buy an airport, put my name on it. Why, Michael? So you can fly away from your feelings? You can keep them bottled up, Michael, but they will come out. Sometimes in the most unexpected-Hey, where the fuck are my hard-boiled eggs?"

So that brings us to the end of our 2010 class intros, although based on the lack of comments it looks like most of you got your fill in a more timely manner from Rivals. I'd like to thank Dr. Tobias Funke for being here not only to shed some light on out latest batch of Horned Frogs, but also to further alienate our readers who may not be familiar with most of my humor. But, in any case, I hope I at least inspired one of you to become excited about a player you may not have been familiar with. We have less than 200 days to go. Keep fighting the good fight, Spitblooders, and soldier on through the abyss known as baseball season.

What to Watch for in the MWC: TCU

From ESPN College Football Blog:

Spring practice starts: March 6
Spring game: April 10
What to watch:
Replacing All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes will be a big task, but TCU has a history of finding diamonds in the rough. In fact, when Hughes replaced Chase Ortiz, no one knew who he was. D.J. Yendrey, who played defensive tackle last season, and Braylon Broughton, who was
Hughes’ backup, will compete for the starting role.
The Horned Frogs will look for a replacement for Clint Gresham at deep snapper. Gresham was the team’s deep snapper for the past three seasons and in that time TCU never had a bad snap.
Aundre Dean, a running back transfer from UCLA will work at strong safety this spring. He worked out at strong safety some last season, but now the move will likely be permanent. It’s just as well. The Horned Frogs have a quite a few running backs lining up for playing time.

Morning Dump

Cannon received high marks from Kiper

Bears invite TCU's Richmond for visit ESPN

Regional projections: The preseason edition
Yahoo! Sports

Three strikes: The preseason edition Baseball America

Arlington Martin playmaker can do it all

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Best Epic Fail Ever!!

So you've spent your whole life training for the olympics and you finally get your chance, aaaaand FAIL. Damn that sucks.

Makin' it Rain

With conference expansion and realignment as the flavor of the month,'s Andy Staples decided he would put together a plan for massive conference realignment based on the most important aspect: straight cash, homey. His plan: four conferences made up of sixteen teams each, comprised of the sixty-four Division I schools that bring in the most revenue.

Before you get all up in arms, the Frogs are included in this plan because TCU checks in as the 58th-highest revenue-producing athletic department in the nation after bringing in nearly $46.5 million in 2008-2009. That's ahead of such programs as Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Washington State. In fact, TCU is the only non-BCS school to show up in Top 64. Not bad for a school of less than 9,000 total students!