Friday, May 28, 2010
Oh and John Daly is in a tie for 20 at 5 under, which is just amazing. Wouldn't be a bad idea to hit up a local Hooters one evening this weekend for a possible Lion sighting.
They'll be taking on the winner of this afternoon's game between New Mexico, who came back from a six-run deficit to defeat BYU yesterday, and UNLV. The Frogs, who would be playing in their third game of the tournament (and have only used four pitchers), would have the advantage over their opponent not only because of the quick turnaround but also because the Lobos would be playing in their fourth game of the weekend and the Rebels their fifth.
Frogs beat UNLV advance to MWC title game Star-Telegram
Former TCU golfer Bieber hopes show will help with LPGA dream Star-Telegram
Colonial is the dream Henry can't seem to live out Star-Telegram
Patterson Foundation makes donations to Slant 45 projects GoFrogs.com
TCU advances seven on Thursday in Austin GoFrogs.com
Duncan, Tuohimma advance in NCAA doubles GoFrogs.com
Brighiu, Price fall in NCAA doubles GoFrogs.com
To MWC or not to MWC ESPN
College baseball's seeding no secret Long Beach Press-Telegram
Cashner on the move - to Iowa for now Chicago Daily Herald
Rookie impact: Daryl Washington Roto Times
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Then came the Matt Purke fiasco. I use the term 'fiasco' loosely, of course, because while the rest of the dozen or so loyal Rangers fans out there sullenly pointed to the team's loss of Purke as yet another byproduct of Hicks' ineptitude, I (as an even more loyal Frog fan) saw that my silver lining had finally arrived.
Thank you so much, Tom Hicks, for being such an idiot.
In a Mountain West Tournament that had seen the lower-seeded team win the first four games of the week, Purke emphatically put his foot down for the favorites in Game #5 last night, striking out 14 batters in seven dominant innings of work to lead the top-seeded Frogs to a 13-2 victory. He allowed just four hits in those seven innings and struck out the side three times to extend his record (as a true freshman, remember) to 12-0 for the season. He also pushed past 100 K's for the season- the first time a Frog has accomplished that in four years.
With the win, the Frogs stay in the winner's brack and remain on line to secure the championship by winning just two more games as long as they avoid a loss. Kyle Winkler will be on the hill tonight to face UNLV (9:00pm Texas time), who upset 2nd-seeded New Mexico yesterday afternoon.
The Lobos, as I mentioned yesterday, were faced with a decision. Do they pitch ace Willy Kesler to make sure they stay in the winner's bracket, or do they save him for a shot at TCU in the second game? Well, they played it safe by pitching Kesler. Whoops! Now they find themselves in the loser's bracket, which TCU found out a year ago is a tough place to fight your way out of, and having already used their most potent weapon. They'll play at 5:00pm today, taking on the winner of the 1:00pm elimination game between BYU and Utah.
While New Mexico being dealt that blow is certainly a positive thing in terms of the Frogs winning the tournament, it could also be seen as a setback- in a situation where they need every little bit of RPI help they can get, TCU will not benefit nearly as much from playing UNLV (#147) tonight as they would UNM (#42). Still, though, there were plenty of things going on across the country yesterday in the Frogs' favor. South Carolina and Auburn, two teams in the hunt for a Top 8 overall seed along with TCU, both lost in the first round of the SEC Tournament. They play eachother in an elimination game this morning, meaning that one of them is assured to go 0-2 for the weekend. Texas also lost yesterday, 7-3 to Missouri. A loss by the Longhorns doesn't really mean much for TCU, but in a race where every little bit counts, that's a big win by a team (Missouri) that lost to the Frogs earlier this season.
If you haven't already checked out the new Section V forum, then what are you waiting for? Drop by today to talk about all the action going on in the conference tournaments today, and during the TCU-UNLV this evening. Fincher promises he won't ban you for something as silly as making fun of the owner of the forum. We're not children.
Freshman success nice surprise for sprinter Silmon Star-Telegram
No. 6 TCU opens tournament with 13-2 victory GoFrogs.com
Patterson and Henry hit the links together GoFrogs.com
Munch-Soegaard falls in NCAA singles GoFrogs.com
UNLV drops UNM will face TCU Las Vegas Review-Journal
Carter is ready to get to campus Rivals
Cashner quickest route to the majors might be the pen Des Moines Register
Just another challenge Seahawks.com
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The NCAA Committee was pretty forgiving of those home-field losses to Utah last year and TCU still earned the right to host a Regional. We all hope that they'll be willing to overlook this year's losses to Air Force and still give TCU one of those coveted Top 8 national seeds, but for that to happen they'll have to win this week's tournament in San Diego. That starts tonight against Utah (at 9:00pm on both The Mtn and CBS-College Sports) when 11-0 freshman Matt Purke takes the mound. As the #1 seed, the Frogs need to win just three games in a row to capture the tournament title.
In other action today, BYU and host San Diego State (the losers of last night's games) play each other in the elimination game at 1:00pm this afternoon. I'm still trying to figure out why, with the exception of when he had Stephen Strasburg, Tony Gwynn cannot produce a better team than he has. SDSU ought to be perennially at the top of the conference standings along with TCU, but as "The U of H of California", I guess you have to expect them to under-achieve.
Then the game I'll be keeping an eye on is at 5:00pm when #2 seed New Mexico takes on UNLV. It will be interesting to see what UNM skipper Ray Birmingham does against the Rebels. Does he pitch his ace, Willy Kesler, against UNLV to avoid slipping into the loser's bracket? Or does he save him for a shot at TCU on Thursday? Remember, Kesler was sensational in the Lobos' win over the Frogs on May 8, throwing a complete game and giving up just four hits to out-pitch Kyle Winkler, which gave Kesler the nod over Winkler as the final starting pitcher in the All-Conference Team.
TCU garnered a total of 21 selections in Steele's list, including ten first-teamers, four each on the second- and third-teams and three on the fourth-team. Here is the complete rundown:
-QB Andy Dalton (who is also apparently on the cover for this region)
-OT Marcus Cannon
-WR Jimmy Young
-KR Jeremy Kerley
-PR Jeremy Kerley
-DE Wayne Daniels
-DT Cory Grant
-LB Tank Carder
-S Tejay Johnson
-K Ross Evans
-WR Jeremy Kerley
-C Jake Kirkpatrick
-OG Kyle Dooley
-LB Tanner Brock
-RB Matthew Tucker
-WR Antoine Hicks
-TE Evan Frosch
-S Alex Ibiloye
-OG Josh Vernon
-DT Kelly Griffin
-LB Tyler Lutrell (who plays safety...)
Preseason questions about TCU's offense seem silly now Star-Telegram
Football dreams dashed, Renfro finds new resolve Star-Telegram
TCU set to face Utah in tournament opener GoFrogs.com
Frogs ready for NCAA preliminary round GoFrogs.com
Frog women's trio set for NCAA individual play GoFrogs.com
Catcher Bryan Holaday leads TCU into Mountain West tournament ESPN
Setting the stage for conference tournaments Yahoo! Sports
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The action gets started here in a few hours, when #4-seed BYU and #5-seed UNLV face eacother at 5:00pm Texas time. Following that game, it'll be #3-seed San Diego State against #6-seed (and defending tournament champs) Utah at approximately 9:00pm Texas time. Both games are being televised on The Mtn and CBS-College Sports.
As the #1-seed, TCU will face the lower-seeded team between tonight's winners. So that means that they're first game (being played tomorrow night at 9:00pm Texas time) will be against either Utah, BYU or UNLV. The Frogs' objective this weekend is pretty simple: three straight wins and they are conference champs.
For the full schedule of this week's tournament, check out the conference's MWC Tournament Central page, including the full bracket.
Projected to be joining the Horned...Lizards...in Funkytown are some familiar faces: #2 seed Rice, #3 seed Baylor and #4 seed Wright State. Facing the Gamecocks in Columbia would be the College of Charleston, North Carolina and UNC-Charlotte.
Other TCU opponents in the projected field are Cal State Fullerton and OU both hosting Regionals, A&M as a 2-seed and New Mexico as a 3-seed in Tempe and Texas State as a 3-seed in Austin.
Maxwell and Purke honored by MWC GoFrogs.com
Winkler tabbed MWC pitcher of the week GoFrogs.com
Ranking the non-AQ conferences ESPN
The Omaha eight: teams on track for the CWS Omaha World Herald
Mountain West may deserve BCS bid more than ACC, Big East Sports Illustrated
Rumors abound regarding potential MWC shakeup Las Vegas Sun
College football: BCS blatantly unfair, attorney says Deseret News
Hawthorne adjusting to life outside Everett Herald
Hawthorne may take Hill's place Spokesman-Review
Cashner named PCL pitcher of the week OurSports Central
Monday, May 24, 2010
That's right, SpitbloodTCU will be getting it's app on within the next month. It all depends on how long it takes Apple to accept it. They could approve as soon as 5 days from now, but I'm guessing it will be more than a week. The app will be available to download FREE from the iPhone app store and will also be compatible with Android for the handful of non conforming conformist.
The voters in the various polls apparently agree with me, as the Frogs have moved up in every single one....with the exception of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers, but that's just because it hasn't come out yet. NCBW has been the kindest to TCU all season, so I'm not expecting anything different now. The lowest the Frogs show in any poll this week is #11, which is where Collegiate Baseball ranks them. Baseball America, who at this this blogger consideres to be "the" poll, has the Frogs the highest at #6.
Next up is the MWC Tournament, being held in San Diego this year. TCU's first game will be Wednesday night at 9pm Texas time, and we'll know who their opponent will be come Tuesday night.
Further baseball readin':
Post Season Begins (HornedFrogSports.com)
Winkler named MWC Pitcher of the Week (gofrogs.com)
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Collegefootballnews.com released their 2010 Utah Preview today, so study up on your enemy.
TCU pummels Cal St. Bakersfield Star-Telegram
TCU's backup plan tests well in 13-1 romp Star-Telegram
TCU men tied with Texas A&M in region golf Star-Telegram
Detailing the Mountain West TV contract Idaho Statesman
Congress vs. the BCS. What's next? Atlanta Journal-Constitution
UCLA, Vanderbilt are big winners this week Yahoo! Sports
Our season opener has a title, click the picture for the ticket link
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Admin update: You can also watch the game live here: http://www.channelsurfing.net/watch-tcu-baseball.html
Or here if that doesn't work: http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=tcu&media=168759
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Before they can celebrate that, though, they've got to take care of business in next week's MWC Tournament and before that, this weekend's final regular season series against Cal State Bakersfield. If there's good news on the RPI front, it's that the Roadrunners have drastically improved theirs from the high 100's down to #118. That's good news for TCU, because some of the teams dragging down the Frogs' strength of schedule were having the same effect on the RPI. But as they've learned against Air Force and Dallas Baptist, you can't just cruise by the weaker teams- and Bakersfield is just a few weeks removed from winning 2 of 3 over Arizona in Tucson.
While the team looks to wrap up a successful season on the field, things have been oustanding in the bleachers. Even with the three remaining regular season games, the Frogs have already set a program record for attendance this season, just as the football team did in the fall. Of the top ten attended games in Lupton Stadium's history, seven have been this year, and all five of the top five attended weekend series have come in 2010. This weekend's games need to average just over 2,200 for the season average to be 3,000 fans per game...which would be a nearly 40% increase over last year...which was the previous record. Well done, Frog fans.
I’ve long been wanting to work up a Dallas Morning News hate post disguised as SMU hate. I actually started a post along those lines months ago and have continued building it over time as I’ve gained more kindling for the fire, but it may be too over the top even for this site. For instance, the Jean Jacques Taylor section alone is over 1000 words, but more than half of those are the F and C words, so you can see how the editing required to make it public would probably dilute the message too much for everyone to completely understand how I feel. Fortunately though, the DMN is the gift that keeps on giving in the hate department, and their own Kate Hairopoulos produced an article this past weekend that stands up well enough to garner its own posting entirely.
In Kate’s defense, the hate derived from this article isn’t due to her specific style as she mostly gives equal play to both TCU and SMU and, although it she definitely gives it that little SMU punch that DMN writers are required, it’s not enough to condemn her to the scathing diatribe that should hit the interwebs this summer and potentially spell the end of SpitBlood as we know it. So without further ado, let’s talk a little bit about the SMU Mustangs – your new Metroplex favorite to replace Missouri or Nebraska in the Big 12!
In all of this conference expansion banter – aside from my Pullitzer nominated piece from Monday – we’ve mostly focused on TCU going to the Big 12, with remaining in the MWC being a bit of a last resort should the conference shakeup truly go down. Well, turns out SMU has been doing the same thing, and they’re starting to make their case. Pretty amazing what one year of success will do for a school’s ego, but I suppose when you’ve been the middle section of the human centipede of college football for the past 25 years, you better strike while the iron is at least lukewarm.
From reading the article,which is culled from separate conversations with TCU AD Chris Del Conte and SMU AD Steve Orsini, SMU wants you to believe two things: One, that they can absolutely dominate and deliver the Dallas market for a major conference. In this case, that would presumably be the Big 12. And two, they’re an athletic program on the rise, so potential suitors better catch them before they hit the stratosphere and have enough clout to be an independent like Notre Dame (that's an exaggeration, but only a slight one)
I mean, God bless SMU. They covet our success so badly and are so envious that it’s not the 1980s anymore as far as the rivalry is concerned that they have to create this bizarre reality for themselves where being an also ran in Conference USA gets you national recognition. And, honestly, who can blame them? A lot of major programs out there would love to have the success that TCU has had under Franchione and Patterson. But, when a trained dolphin -or, in this case, an unpaid blogger- can deconstruct the arguments for your position with the bare minimum of research, you’re probably in over your head.
Taking a look at the whole “delivering the Dallas market” argument, just use common sense by looking at their attendance. Even this past season – the most successful season of SMU Football in 25 years – their own fans didn’t care enough to attend the games. And while TCU obviously has its own attendance issues in the face of success, at least our stadium has the capacity to encompass a growing fanbase. With a brand new, state of the art stadium that only holds 32,000 people, what kind of statement are you making about your expectations? That you basically don’t have any? And it’s not like anyone outside of the hardcore fan is tuning in to a Tuesday night CUSA game on ESPN featuring a .500 SMU team and the Tulane (insert mascot here)
And before you start accusing me of calling the kettle black, remember I took the negative nelly stance that we're likely not at the top of a major conference's list either due to these same things. But I just want to make it perfectly clear that we're higher up the list than SMU.
True story: I was at dinner Saturday night with some folks, and there was a table of people behind us that must’ve been family of an SMU graduate as their ceremony was earlier that afternoon. A couple of the guys started arguing about football and one, apparently an SMU grad, was ferociously touting the team’s 8-5 finish last year, and especially their whipping of a Nevada team without two of their biggest three offensive playmakers in the Hawaii Bowl. But his friends, who I didn’t catch their affiliation, pretty much ignored the guy, despite the fact that anyone in the restaurant could hear him yelling. And it wasn't like they were ignoring him in the sense of, "Yeah, good point. I have no rebuttal." It was more like when you turn on the TV and Barack Obama is giving a speech, how you just cast your eyes downward in shame and shake your head, like you don't even know where to begin naysaying. When your team’s success is so futile that you can’t even inspire your alcohol'd up buddies enough to acknowledge your position, you’re probably not in jeopardy of getting picked up by a major conference anytime soon.
The second argument – that SMU is a program on the rise and better be acknowledged – is also, at present, laughable at best. I mean, sure, when you go from a season where you won approximately 1 game to a bowl the next is, by definition, improvement. And I’m not sitting here discounting June Jones’ abilities as a miracle worker, despite accusing him of fielding a team of rapists in order to gain notoriety in an earlier discussion. But the fact that one year of football semi-success would be enough to have the Big 12 or Pac 10 - yes, the article mentions that -come calling is just ludicrious. Their basketball team consistently loses to ours, if that’s any indication of that team’s success. And you know what their next biggest, men’s (read: money making)
Yes, that’s right, they don’t even have a baseball team!
In their Big 12 related defense, neither do Colorado or Iowa State… but it’s fucking 0 degrees in both of those states during baseball months, so what are you gonna do? Purporting to be a major athletic program in the state of Texas and not having a baseball team is kind of like purporting to be a porn star while savoring your V card. UTA has a baseball team. So does Texas State. SO DOES PARIS, TEXAS JUNIOR COLLEGE. IT HAS 2200 STUDENTS! MY HIGH SCHOOL HAD 2200 STUDENTS. ALSO, A BASEBALL TEAM. HOW CAN THEY TAKE THEMSELVES SERIOUSLY? AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE BASEBALL, YET STILL MAKE THIS ARGUMENT! AAAAAH THAT SCHOOL IS SO TERRIBLE!!
But baseball aside – and, in truth, it is because football is what drives conference expansion – the scariest part about the article is that SMU genuinely believes that they are a better candidate to be adopted by a major conference than TCU. For me, the crux of Hairopoulos' article are these two paragraphs which, coincidentally, are the first two of the article, so at least you can’t say she’s lacking for direct assertion.
“SMU athletic director Steve Orsini sounded like a chamber of commerce brochure as he started ticking off his athletic program's attributes: beautiful facilities, beautiful campus in Dallas. All the pieces coming together.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte offered just as much persuasion, citing a school-wide
mission for excellence illustrated by what he describes as the athletic department's 10-year transformation, which led to the Horned Frogs playing in a BCS bowl last season.”
That’s it, Steve? That’s all you’ve got? I mean, if you’re trying to sell a vacation home in Del Boca Vista to a menopausal divorcee, then your discriptions of locational beauty are certainly pertinent, but an athletic department? If he genuinely believes that campus attractiveness is a major factor in this process, then he's obviously never traveled to College Station, Lubbock or Stillwater. How can you even compare the two programs? If this is the summation of his head-to-head battles, Chris Del Conte has the easiest job in the country outside of a professional golfer that keeps his dick in his pants – or at least knows how to appropriate hush hush money when necessary.
When I first took in the article, I honestly thought I was reading The Onion, the same farcical publication that has printed articles headlined, “Special Olympics T-ball Stand Pitches Perfect Game” “Mormon Family trying to ignore dog’s huge boner” and “My baby don’t need no damn medicine.” Heck, while I’m at it, “Don’t Tell Me You’ve never wondered what Yoda’s penis looks like” and “Pedophile Nervous for First Day of school,” have also graced their pages over time. That’s how rambunctuously ridiculous I thought it was. And if you think I didn’t use this paragraph mostly as a way for me to google search my way down The Onion's memory lane, then perhaps, “I Hope my baby don’t come out all fucked up and shit” will make that more clear.
Is SMU’s vision of reality clearly as distorted as Steve Orsini makes it sound? One honest to god, roundly mediocre football season in the past 25 years, and you’re ready for the Big 12? SMU lost to Washington State last year. You wanna know how many other games Washington State won last year other than that one? Well, look at your butthole in the mirror and you’ll find your answer. Maybe it's a Dallas thing. I mean, Cowboys fans, myself included, have tried to excuse the futility of the past 15 years based on the five Lombardi trophies residing in the team's trophy case, which is ironic because it's the same thing we deride Spurs fans for. And SMU, even at its peak, never even came close to imitating the success of those two franchises.
Look, I'm all for SMU upgrading and making the Skillet rivalry a little more interesting because, let's be honest, playing SMU has only been about a notch above playing Tennessee Tech in recent years. But, even if they manage to win a game or two against us over the next decade, they still have a LONG way to go before they can compare their success to ours, not to mention garner the national respect we're just now starting to receive. Even if your little brother beats you in one on one in the backyard, he's still your little brother. You can still go into his room and break all of his toys without much fear of retribution. SMU can walk tall all they want, but, as the great philosopher Ric Flair has taught us, to be the man, you gotta beat the man and before that, SMU has to prove they can beat the boys of Conference USA. Until that day comes, just stay in your place, Ponies, and get the hell off my lawn.
And that's today's lesson in SMU hate.
Beeler leads TCU women to fast start at nationals Star-Telegram
Senior plans to dive at TCU Hudson Hub Times
Calhoun expects conference shake-up Colorado Springs Gazette
Mountain West president: Expansion gains support Idaho Statesman
Early look at the MWC bowl picture ESPN
Sorting through the Big 10 expansion scenarios USA Today
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
They've got TCU hosting a Regional with quite the Southwest Conference flavor to it. Along with the Horned Frogs, they see the Fort Worth Regional also including #2 seed Rice, #3 seed A&M and #4 seed Centenary. Since all three of the visiting schools are within an easy drive of Fort Worth (Centenary is in Shreveport), that would make for some packed crowds at Lupton...and some very competetive baseball.
If the Frogs were to advance past that first weekend, they would be matched up with the winner of the Regional hosted by #6 national seed South Carolina. Also projected in the Columbia Regional are #2 seed College of Charleston, #3 seed Louisiana-Lafayette and #4 seed Minnesota. If anyone but the Gamecocks emerged from that Regional, the Frogs would win the right to host the Super Regional.
Other TCU opponents in the projected field include New Mexico as a #2 and Tech as a #3 in Tempe, Cal State Fullerton hosting a Regional, Texas State as a #3 in Austin and OU as a #2 in Fayetteville.
Purke named MWC pitcher of the week GoFrogs.com
TCU seeks national title in Tar Heel State GoFrogs.com
Munch-Soegaard earns regional sportsmanship award GoFrogs.com
Horn Frogs earn all-conference recognition GoFrogs.com
Omaha eight: Teams on track for the CWS Omaha World-Herald
Under-the-radar difference-makers to watch Rivals
Boise State could get invitation to join Mountain West Conference next month USA Today
Politicians may become key players for Big 12 Tulsa World
Cougars carry on as MWC's top stockpiler of keepsakes Deseret News
Hopes to host a super regional may be lost for TCU baseball, but glass still mostly full Examiner
Monday, May 17, 2010
Conference realignment chat is a lot like drinking a bottle of whiskey. You start timidly at first, trying to keep to your wits about you, but pretty soon you’re blindly stabbing at any and all things that cross your path, while completely abandoning any sense of reason and eventually crumpling to the ground in a jumbled heap before depositing those 3AM Hot Pockets in the nearest receptacle you can find, or more likely, on yourself. In other words, once you start pondering the possibilities, your thought processes snowball on each other and you’ve eventually talked yourself into the Big 12 finally removing Baylor and replacing them with the Frog.
As a result of this bullheadishness, most TCU fans pretty much fall into two camps. The first is that the Big Ten is going to expand by grabbing at least one, and possibly two, Big 12 schools, along with an assortment of Big East detritus, which would then start a chain reaction power grab amongst the major conferences and, as a result, TCU, Utah and possibly BYU would pretty much have a golden ticket into the conference of their choosing as they all try and keep pace. In our case, this would be the Big 12, where either we would go into the north division and guarantee our fans season tickets in Kansas City or Houston for the Big 12 Championship every year, or Oklahoma and OSU would move into the north and we’d go south where we could annually resume our long dormant rivalries with Texas, aggy and Tech. This would obviously be filed under the "best case scenario" tab in our Trapper Keeper of conference aspirations.
The other likely option is that the Big Ten is going Notre Dame or bust and, assuming bust, the status quo remains and, at the very least, the MWC will probably gain an automatic bid to the BCS in a few years anyway. And even if Notre Dame does decide to end its football independence, I think the Big Ten dials down its expectations at that point and becomes the other Big 12, which pretty much keeps the status quo except now the Big Ten furthers its lead as the richest conference in the country. Both of these solutions sound fine
to me, but the fact remains that in both of these scenarios the MWC is basically going to sit dormant and, for better or worse, let the cards fall as they may.
But there’s a third scenario out there gaining steam and this is the one I find the most intriguing – What if Craig Thompson gets up off his ass and takes the proactive approach of signing Boise State before the conference can be raped and pillaged by outsiders? What if we are able to all but guarantee that our conference is on level ground competitively with any of the other major conferences, and probably more so than the Big East and ACC, at least from a football standpoint? Basically, if we pick up Boise, and the Big Ten creates the snowball effect which presumably opens the door for us or Utah to switch conference allegiances, does it still make sense for any of us to leave?
I think we all have to assume that SOMETHING is going to happen with conference expansion. I’m a firm believer in the ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ idea and, from the looks of it, there is going to be some sort of a shift in the college conference landscape. I’m not sure there’s going to be an all out Armageddon like some people expect, but I do think a team or two are going to change locales and make some conference a nice chunk of change.
Honestly though, a lot of this seems like gamesmanship on the part of the Big Ten and, before I go any further, let me make it clear that this conversation mostly pertains to the football aspect of realignment because, at their heart, all of these talks are about football, money, and little else. The Big Ten has LONG been hurt in regards to clout because they lack a conference title game, a situation that automatically gives the Big 12 and SEC a leg up when it comes to national championship consideration. NCAA rules state that a conference must have 12 members in order to stage a conference championship and as Televen hasn’t been able to have this rule altered, expansion is the next best option. Still, unless Notre Dame is involved in some way, I don’t see it as being 100% certain that the conference will expand.
The fact that I can’t see why the Big Ten would seriously entertain taking on Pittsburg, Rutgers, Connecticut or Syracuse clouds my ideas. But, wouldn’t it make sense that the Big Ten, who has coveted Notre Dame since the beginning of time, would use Notre Dame’s Big East affiliation in other sports against them in the form of expansion talks? That, basically, Notre Dame can turn their back on the Big Ten… but they’re going to absolute F up what they have going for them with the Big East affiliation by gutting that conference and turning it into the Conference USA lite in the process? In which case, Notre Dame would probably have to join the Big Ten after all.
The Big Ten makes tons of money; they have one of the two most luractive television contracts in college athletics and their member teams are paid more annually than any other conference. So unless they can add a member who significantly increases their national exposure (read: TV money) why expand? I’m honestly not sure what Notre Dame’s hang up is because it makes sense geographically, they play half of the teams in the conference every year already, and, most importantly, they’d make more money than they currently do as an independent. Not that Notre Dame needs money - they make PLENTY - but most people only leave money on the table when the Texas Rangers are involved. If they want to continue to act like a big dog as an independent who cowtows to no one while getting drilled by Air Force and Navy year after year and get paid less for it, then that’s just plain, dumbass arrogance.
But, enough of a detour as my original point in putting together this post is to determine the best outcome for TCU. I love TCU as much as anyone and I think we bring as good of a collection of athletic programs to the table as anyone else in the region outside of the University of Texas. Still, as I stated above, this isn’t about athletics, it’s about money, plain and simple. And as much as we take pride in our school and our teams, step back for a minute and think about what we really bring to the Big 12 table because, if we are to change conferences, that’s the only logical scenario.
TCU is a small, private school with the same number of living alumni as some of their member schools currently have on campus. Our entire enrollment is smaller than the incoming freshman class at aggy or UT. Proposed expansion aside, we have an outdated 44,000 seat football stadium that we’ve filled once on our own in recent memory, we have a crumbling basketball arena that couldn’t sell ¼ of its tickets if they gave you the cost of your ticket in strip club funny money when you purchase them, not to mention the product we put on the court year after year. Truthfully, our best asset is our baseball program due to fan support, yearly success, and a top notch facility, but, in the college sports world, baseball is a distant, distant third to football and basketball, and maybe even track in some circles. And while we’d like to play up the Dallas/Fort Worth market as an asset, we can’t lie to ourselves and say that the Big 12 doesn’t already dominate it. Furthermore, at present the Dallas media has no idea we exist, and Fort Worth only covers us out of convenience, so it’s not like we have much of a portfolio to present. And while we certainly bring more to the table than Baylor and Iowa State, conferences aren’t exactly in the business of removing member conferences. So really, unless the Big Ten takes Missouri and Nebraska and the Pac Ten takes Colorado, I really just don’t see us ever getting an invitation.
Which is why I think, despite my recent skepticism of the idea, going after Boise State this summer and being able to retroactively incorporate their success into our conference resume really makes the most sense. Instead of waiting for a seat at the big kids’ table, why don’t we pull up our own, turn it around, sit in it Zack Morris style and be the big men on campus? In a sense, toilet ice the BCS conferences before they can mailbox ice the MWC. Not that the MWC would ever be as competitive top to bottom as the SEC as things currently stand, but a conference with Boise State, BYU, Utah, TCU and an automiatic BCS bid immediately becomes among the premier in the country and at the very least makes the national media forget about the Big East and the ACC.
However, this only works if BYU and Utah are both able to weather whatever realignment storm we have coming our way because, lose either of them, and picking up Boise becomes a moot point. But, from what I understand, much like aggy and UT are tied at the hip, as are BYU and Utah and they’re likely to be hesitant to make a jump unless it’s together. Still, if things remain as they are and the Pac 10 comes knocking on the Utes door, I have little doubt that they'd turn blink before accepting that offer short of legal injunction. If the addition of Boise is able to guarantee us a BCS bid – and we definitely only take Boise if there’s little to no doubt that it will – would the potential of being able to compete for an automatic BCS bid and a national championship, coupled with maintaining their Holy War rivalry, be enough to keep the Utes and Cougars around for the long haul? I sincerely think it would.
Obviously, all of this isn’t to say that if the Big 12 comes calling, we shouldn’t listen. I just think that, if they do, it’ll be because they’re a depleted conference and we really need to weigh ours and the remaining member conferences options because if we jump to the Big 12, and then Texas and aggy are picked up by the SEC for money purposes, we made a poor decision. With conference spring meetings on the horizon, it's pretty much now or never if some serious moving and shaking is going to occur. Even more pressing, if the MWC does indeed move to include Boise State, they must do so before July 1 in order to count the Broncos previous records towards the conference resume. The Broncos covet a MWC bid, but will the numbers add up? And, if it's borderline, is it worth it to take a flier on the Broncos as a preemptive strike against a raid by the the other power conferences? It’s hard to guage exactly what will happen over the coming months, but if we sit around thinking that good things come to those who wait, we may end up twiddling our thumbs in the WAC, part deux.
There was a silver lining of the weekend, besides of course the conference championship trophy. As David Peterson pointed out over at HornedFrogSports.com, the Frogs may have found a more reliable 5th starter in Erik Miller.
In other news, Tuesday's game at UT-San Antonio has been cancelled and will not be made up.
Breakfast club meeting wakes TCU Star-Telegram
TCU rallies for 5-3 victory over Air Force; picks um win no. 40 GoFrogs.com
College baseball good and bad Yahoo! Sports
Andrew Cashner to remain a starter ESPN
Friday, May 14, 2010
If I told you I ventured onto SMU's campus to pay money to go hang out with a ginger, most of you would think I was crazy. Some of you would probably even stab me without giving me a chance to explain myself.
But tonight an exception to my rules against SMU and Gingers and especially both at the same time were broken for a good cause.
Our friend Conan O'brien decided to show his pasty face in Dallas and put on a show as part of his "Legally Banned From Being Funny On Television" tour.
The show was great. Andy was there. Conan licked La Bamba's face (supposedly it tastes like Funyuns). Triumph made an appearance to talk shit about Dallas (awesome). Conan ripped television execs a new one. Conan had a huge ginger beard. Dirk Nowitski pulled the Walker Texas Ranger "Handle" (He could not use the word "lever" due to the Late Show trademarking it), and much much more.. it was all great, but one thing made it that much better... the sweet taste of SMU hate.
Conan was sporting a purple shirt with his suit all night, which can only mean one thing. Conan is a huge Horned Frog fan (probably reads the blog) and hates SMU and all they stand for. I tried to take a pic of it, but as you can see; my Iphone makes it look like I am a zillion miles away from the stage.
I offered him one of my tickets in section V. you better hope your tickets are in front of mine because this white giant is even taller than he seems on television... or should I say used to seem on television...?
So, here's my shout out to Conan for another lesson in SMU Hate.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
With a sizable chance of rain all weekend, including thunderstorms, there's a possibility that one or more games could be rescheduled, if not cancelled outright. A cancellation might not be the worst thing for TCU, as even victories against Air Force (with an RPI of 269) aren't going to improve the Frogs' postseason résumé. The exception to that, of course, is the suspended game. Game 3 of the TCU-Air Force series back in March up in Colorado Springs, you'll remember, was supsended in the Top of the 7th with the Falcons leading by a run. The Frogs have GOT to play the remainder of that game and HAVE to win it- if a win over a lowly-ranked team has the potential to harm your RPI, just think what a loss to them would do. Word on the street is that depending on the weather situation tomorrow, they may move the final 2 ½ innings of the suspended game (scheduled to begin at 5:30pm as of now) up to as early as noon.
He's got the Frogs hosting Rice, A&M and Wichita State in the Regional. That's no walk in the park at all. If they were to prevail against that tough field, they'd then get the right to host the winner of the Los Angeles Regional in the Supers. Playing in LA will be host and #1 seed UCLA, #2 San Diego (USD, not San Diego State), #3 UC-Irvine and #4 Fresno State.
Other TCU opponents in Rogers' projected field include New Mexico as a 3-seed in Tempe, Cal State-Fullerton hosting a Regional that includes Tech as the 3-seed, Texas State as the 3-seed in Austin, OU as the 2-seed in Oxford and Oral Roberts as the 4-seed in Fayetteville.
Ever since I was a little kid, I had assumed that aggy was the most overbearingly cultish school in the entire country. From their brainwashing camp to their dumbass cheers to their robustly homosexual male cheerleaders, there’s nothing I’ve ever found enticing about College Station and its traditions. And that was before I even went down for a visit and was accosted under the guise of "proper fan behavior." Sure, A&M a fine academic institution, and you have to appreciate their dedication to the military in some respects, but then you look beyond those two things and realize that there’s nothing below the surface capable of drawing in a non-believer. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love my dog, but aggys REALLY love their dog.
But over the past few years, a funny thing happened. One, TCU joined the Mountain West Conference in 2005 and defeated BYU in an epic overtime game thus creating an instant rivalry despite the unfamiliariaty of the two teams. Before that game, the only knowledge of had of BYU Football was the success they experienced under Steve Young and Jim McMahon, so once we walked off the field with that victory, I knew they were going to be a serious threat to our football livelihood for the foreseeable future.
Ironically, the next summer I picked up the book Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer due to my appreciation of his works and a whole new aspect of BYU was opened up to me. I’ll be honest, I knew very little about the Mormon faith and what it stood for outside of some minimal hearsay and South Park, so you probably wouldn't consider me an expert. Not that Krakauer’s depiction would qualify as the most balanced – if you haven’t read it, the impetus of the book is the story of a man murdering his sister in law and niece after purportedly receiving a message from God to do so, so you can imagine the cheery web he weaves from there – but he uses quite a bit of historical data and liturgical references that you really just can’t spin. But, in all honesty, using their faith against them has always been one of my least favorite bits of fan behavior for our matchups with BYU because, to an outsider, all religions have their quirks, so it's a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black.
My last bit of BYU awareness, though, came last year when I and a contingency of others traveled up to Provo for the massacre that was BYU/TCU 2009. Now, I’d heard all the stories – that they aren’t friendly to outsiders, that drinking wasn’t allowed, that there are no bars, etc – and, while the last two were mostly true, the whole unfriendly thing couldn’t have been more untrue as, outside of a small handful of folks including the gentleman who aggressively separated bucknasty from his posterboard flair, everyone seemed pretty grateful that we had made the trip and could not have been more welcoming. Given, all of this congeniality occurred before the game kicked off and I don’t remember much of the ensuing chaos once the rout was on so I can't vouch for everything, but all-in-all it was a great experience and I would absolutely do it again.
But, there’s one last collective stereotype that I just haven’t been able to shake even after my trip to Provo, a stereotype that is so prevalent in the south, the fact that I noticed it elsewhere must surely mean something. And that stereotype is that t
here are literally no minorities in the state of Utah.
And when I say literally no minorities, I mean, according to the latest census estimate I could find, the state of Utah is 95% white and 60% Mormon. And, while you would think that with missionaries all over the world converting non believers to their faith, surely they could’ve evened the playing field a bit, so to speak, apparently this has not come to pass. Then again, when Brigham Young himself, one of the patriarchs of the Mormon Church, openly stated, “…Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African Race? If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so..." well, I suppose you sleep better at night by simply advancing the status quo.
Now, I’m not here to give a broad, sweeping statement against racism. Nor am I here to suggest that all members of the Mormon church are racist. In fact, the church received a revelation from God himself in the 1970s that discrimination was bad and needed to be eradicated from church practices. Whether you tie the action’s sincerity to the fact that this revelation coincided with an IRS threat to end the church’s tax exempt status contingent upon them ending institionalized racism is up to you. I'm just pointing out an ironic situation that's potentially not ironic at all.
But still, the school’s suspension policy over the past month in regards to successful Cougar athletes should certainly raise suspicion in the minds of even the most casual of observers as to the merit of the school’s new tolerance policies.
As a refresher, last month BYU surprisingly announced that workhorse running back Harvey Unga – maybe one of the more underappreciated backs in the country– would not be returning to school in the fall, not to mention the football team. The administration mentioned a vague reference to a violation of school policy as a reason and, while many speculate it must have had something to do with the school’s aggressive policy against pre-marital sex due to Unga’s girlfriend also being suspended, no one really knows. The fact that Unga is reportedly appealing his suspension in hopes of being reinstated for his last season suggests that perhaps his case isn’t as cut and dried as it seems.
But while the Unga story made the rounds here at our very site, the story of the BYU basketball team releasing Michael Loyd, Jr. seemed to fly a little bit more under the radar.
Since I’m assuming none of you have heard of him – and I admittedly had not either until the Cougars opener in the NCAAs against Florida – Loyd was a rising star sophomore for the Cougars basketball team this past year and, along with returning senior Jimmer Fredette, likely would’ve led this year’s Cougars to the MWC Championship and another berth in the NCAAs. However, it is not to be as he was turned away from the program for non-disclosed reasons and will finish up his career elsewhere.
The story of a successful athletic program releasing a major contributor or two is usually big news, but this one should go beyond that when you consider the ethnic backgrounds of the players and the school in question. Unga, if you couldn’t tell by his name, is of some Pacific descent – I’m honestly not completely sure – and Loyd is African American. Once is an outlier, twice could be the start of an epidemic.
But before you start accusing me of being a rabble rouser who’s trying to put a racist spin on a coincidental situation, consider this – who are BYU’s most beloved athletes in recent years? John Beck, Austin Collie, Max Hall, Jimmer Fredette, Dennis Pitta… the list goes on. What do they all have in common? Other than the fact that none of them will make it at the next level outside of Collie, they’re all white dudes. And while I’m not sure that Loyd, Jr ever would’ve become a true superstar for the basketball team – although his 27 points against Florida in the opening round sure looked like a precursor – what if he did? What if he came out on fire next year and upstaged Fredette, maybe the greatest basketball player in BYU history, the guy who the Cougars scheduled an out of conference game against Vermont in his hometown in upstate New York - yes, I know - just so he could play for the home crowd? And Unga could CERTAINLY be viewed as one of the most prolific running backs in BYU history. In fact, had he been able to play this year, he likely would’ve become the school’s all time career yardage leader. Could this fact, coupled with the church’s history with race relations, have created some underlying pressure on the athletic department to keep him out of the BYU pantheon?
(For full disclosure, the man Unga trails in the career rushing yards category, Curtis Brown, is an African American, so this kind of debunks my theory a bit, but SHUT UP LEAVE ME ALONE!)
The pragmatist in me wants to take the high road here and believe that these guys openly violated some detrimental school policy and were rightfully ousted. But the sports hater side of me wants to believe this is some sort of blatant, Final Solution caliber conspiracy that will hopefully be recognized by the rest of the world and condemned. A college football stadium is a hostile environment for an opposing team. Remarks that in any other setting would be deemed unspeakable fly around as casually as the empty beer cans you fling into the visitor’s section after a touchdown. But, from what I understand from some of our own players, Lavell Edwards Stadium can be a different beast entirely. Is it possible that the BYU fanbase has alienated minorities to such an extent that they aren’t even welcome on their own campus? I guess we’ll know when we check the sidelines come October.