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 MASNsports.com, 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.

SI.com 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.