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!

2010 Schedule Wish List

Well, Football Santa, I think it's safe to say we're happy with what you left for us under the tree on National Signing Day. But now, like spoiled and entitled American child I used to be...still am...whatever...I present to you what I'd like to see from TCU's 2010 Football Schedule. Milk and cookies are on the table.

1) For it to freaking come out already! It seems like almost every other school in the country (outside of the MWC) has theirs out, so why do we have to wait and wait and wait every year? The answer is TV. Unlike the flex-schedules that most conferences employ, the Mountain West locks all of their TV games into place before they release the schedules, which is a time-consuming process. Maybe they ought to pick TV time slots just 10-14 days before the games, like most major conferences do.

2) No 1-AA/FCS teams. I guess this is something everyone is doing these days, but I'm just not that big a fan of TCU doing it. While it probably gets you an extra W, couldn't you get it against a better team that is more attractive to a fickle fanbase? Another game with Texas State was rumored to be in the works, and at least they brought a fair amount of fans to Fort Worth last year. Now Grambling and Texas Southern have popped up in the rumor mill- if it were either of those, you'd at least get a worthwhile halftime show watching our band get freaking schooled. Of course, it was about this time last year that the OOC game against Clemson came out of nowhere...

3) No weeknight games. How great was last year, having every game on a Saturday? It's the way college football ought to be, and I hope the powers that be at the conference headquarters realize that. Our games against Utah and BYU were banished to Thursday nights for years, and what happened once they got moved to Saturdays this year? ESPN Game Day came calling. Take note, Craig Thompson. Two things to keep your eye on in terms of possible weeknight games: the rumor that ESPN may ask SMU to move their home game against the Frogs to either Thursday or Friday night, and the fact that the UFL will not have any Thursday night games on Versus, as they did a year ago.

4) An actual off-week. As good as last year's schedule was, having to play 12 consecutive weeks was probably a tough ordeal for the players. Probably almost as hard as it was for us, the fans, to not have a Frogs game to watch on opening weekend.

5) No home game on Thanksgiving Weekend.
Sure, there were 41,000 and change at the game against New Mexico two days after Thanksgiving last year, but you're kidding yourself if you think it was because of anything but the 11-0 record the Frogs had coming into it. With as fickle as TCU fans are, anything less than a shot at a BCS bowl will result in an attendance disaster if there's a game during the holiday.

6) No home game on Texas-OU Weekend. Same as #4, except the crowd at last year's game against Colorado State did suffer because of the poor scheduling. To me, this potential conflict really isn't that much of one. Of course, any real TCU fan would much rather watch the Frogs vs. anyone than the Longhorns and Sooners, but Texas-OU Weekend has just become such a large cultural event in Dallas that all local sports entities should avoid conflicting with it.

7) An easy transition into conference play. I'm not saying that our conference schedule should be completely back-loaded, but let's not start off with the trip to Salt Lake City or the home game against BYU. Maybe start off with San Diego State at home?

8) All home games at NIGHT. It's really just the way Game Day was intended to be. Gives the rowdier fans a chance to get...ready...for the game, and allows families with kiddos in youth sports a chance to actually get out to the game without breaking their necks.

9) TCU @ UNLV on Halloween weekend. The Frogs and Rebels have played that weekend the last two years, and with GP & company headed out to Vegas again this year, there's no reason to make any change there. Halloween + Vegas + Frogs football = mayhem. Chances that WWHD makes said trip? 1 to 1.

10) No chances for a blizzard. Scheduling the trip to Laramie this pas fall was really tempting fate, because mid- to late-November games up there have been known to get pretty chilly and snowy. So let's try to keep our trips to Salt Lake City and Fort Collins away from the last two weekends of the season to attempt to avoid a blizzard. Then again, the worst weather of last season was the game at Air Force, which was played in early October, so you never know...

What else do you want to see when the Frogs' schedule comes out? And let's pretend we've got a Schedule Announcement Pool going, which of course we don't because who has the energy to organize something like that? Anyways, if we did- what day would you take?

Oregon...the new UT?

You can relax a little, Mack Brown. There's a new face on the penal powerhouse scene now that Oregon seems to be taking the spotlight off of all the football players down in Austin who've been arrested. The lastest: Texarkana's own LaMichael James, who was arrested early this morning on charges of "strangulation, assault and menacing", whatever that means.

Some of you might remember that TCU recruited James until the very end, when he chose the Ducks over the Frogs (just as Josh Huff did this year, although James never actually committed to TCU and then took back his word...). When James burst onto the scene last year in relief of the suspended LaGarrette Blount with over 1,500 yards and 14 TDs, I think we were all wondering if he was "the one that got away". But if these allegations of thuggery turn out to be legit and the Frogs' young stable of talented running backs turns out even half as good as expected, I'd say GP & company came out ahead on this deal.

And yes, I am aware that "penal powerhouse" sounds really gross. But it isn't.

Aw, come on guys- play nice

There's no bigger critic of the way ESPN constantly disregards the "have-nots" of the college football world than myself. Heck, after they warehoused the Frogs' game against Clemson on ESPN 360 this past fall, I left someone in the programming department a voice mail long and scathing enough to guarantee I'll probably never get a job anywhere in the ABC/Disney universe. But in the latest issue of ESPN the Magazine with Pete & Pete's lost brother, Shaun White, on the cover, Bruce Feldman gives GP & his recruiting tactics and some well-deserved props:

Five years ago, schools didn't make a habit of giving scholarships to prep juniors. They gave out one, maybe two offers. Now? LSU alone has seven verbals for its 2011 class. The recruiting game- in case you missed ESPN's constant coast-to-coast coverage- has never moved faster.

Except in Fort Worth. As other schools rush to secure early verbals, TCU takes it slow. In November, the then-No. 4 Horned Frogs had only eight commitments from seniors- about half of what their Top 10 counterparts had. That's just as they drew it up, coach Gary Patterson says. Keeping scholarship space open allows him to swoop in on late-blooming seniors who have nowhere else to go. "As a general rule, the ones you've waited on will be the best kids you get," he says.

Patterson speaks from experience. Four years ago, he had only two commits in October when he landed QB Andy Dalton and RB/DE Jerry Hughes, two rising seniors most schools had no room for. In 2009, Dalton was the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and Hughes its Defensive POY, and TCU finished 12-1 and No. 6 in the country.

This year, Patterson grabbed gifted dual-threat QB Matt Brown out of Allen (Texas) High School, who decommitted from Arizona after the Cats' offensive coordinator, Sonny Dykes, took the head job at Louisiana Tech. Brown called around and found that Patterson, unlike most other coaches, still had free rides in his pocket. "It was just one of those situations where it worked out," says Brown.

Good things come to those who wait.

-Bruce Feldman

Combining Forces: MWC and Big East

From the ESPN Rumor Mill:

In a mailbag extra wholly devoted to Big East expansion,'s Brian Bennett addresses a number of issues, but the most intriguing is the suggestion that the Big East essentially join forces with the Mountain West and stage a championship game between the two conference winners for the Big East's BCS berth. Think of it like the AL and the NL meeting in the World Series.
Bennett writes: "It sounds absurd at first glance, but the more we keep talking about the potential for superconferences, the more sense it makes. I actually kind of like this idea, though I would want to see more interaction between the two sides than just in the conference title game. Schedule balance and travel, of course, would be a nightmare. But who wouldn't enjoy competitive conference games against Utah, TCU and BYU? Plus, it gives the Mountain West the seat it so desperately desires at the BCS table (though it could take away a spot from current Big East teams if the "West" side wins the title game). Some of this may just be crazy talk, but the Big East needs to be ready to explore all options as it faces an uncertain future."

Morning Dump

TCU is better off staying in the Mountain West Star-Telegram

Listless Frogs have no fight in 68-51 loss to San Diego State Star-Telegram

Cotton Bowl Athletic Association names new chairman
Dallas Morning News

Expanding on expansion, signing surprises and title guesses CBS Sports

Re-ranking 2007 classes based on - gasp!- on-field production Sports Illustrated

Ken Starr to head Baylor University
-Yeah, that guy. Meant to post this yesterday