Thursday, April 15, 2010

John Hollinger is a DOUCHE

Ok. So you might know John Hollinger as an ESPN NBA analyst, but in his latest post on the NBA playoffs, he goes beyond his coverage of NBA to throw out a little insult to the Frogs. This guy has no frame of reference because A. He didn't do his research and find out that TCU is in Fort Worth and B. He's a fucking NBA analyst. Anyways, part of his story is below.

(2) Dallas vs. (7) San Antonio
Season series: 3-1 Mavs.
Odds say: Spurs 74.5%; Mavs 24.5%

This is one of two matchups that really vexed me, because the statistical indicators basically collide with themselves.

Let's start at the top. In a previous piece on the Mavs that got Dallas fans stirred up, I mentioned I thought my Power Rankings had overrated San Antonio. Oops. As it turns out, they were remarkably prescient: San Antonio went on to crush one contender after another the rest of the way. (Lesson: Never try to make playoff predictions in early March. Not that making them in mid-April will turn out much better.)

Second, there's that whole 41-0 thing. Dallas won the season series with San Antonio 3-1, so the Spurs would be a glaring exception to the rule if I were to pick them.

I've been cynical about Dallas' contender status ("Really?" Mavs nation says, "You don't say?"), but the Mavs played much better over the final 10 days of the season and ended up with a respectable point differential over the final quarter of the season. The Mavs also are 23-7 since trading for Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, which is superior to San Antonio's 20-11 mark in that time.

The difference is that San Antonio played one of the league's most difficult schedules over the final quarter of the season, while Dallas' schedule looked like it was drawn up by TCU's football program. (You like that? Two Dallas sports insults in one sentence! P.S.: Roger Staubach was a ninny.)

In all seriousness, Dallas played the league's second-easiest schedule over the final quarter. Of the Mavs' final 21 games, 12 were against lottery teams, two others were against the lottery-esque Bulls and one was against San Antonio's scrubs -- plus, 12 of the 21 games were at home. So only six of 21 were against playoff-caliber competition, and they lost four of those games (and two others).

Meanwhile, San Antonio faced a murderer's row over the final month. Eleven of the Spurs' final 17 opponents won 50 games, and two others (Memphis and Houston) were respectable, plus 10 of the 17 were on the road. In that time, the Spurs beat Cleveland, L.A., Orlando, Denver, Boston and Oklahoma City, and posted a better scoring margin against the brutal schedule than Dallas did against its parade of softies.

What I'm saying is that the records deceive -- by most advanced measures, San Antonio appears to be the better team. As for that little 41-0 thing? It comes into play only because the Spurs tanked the season finale in Dallas. Had they won, the season series would be 2-2 and I'd have no reason whatsoever to pick Dallas.

As noted, the last team to defy the 41-0 rule was the Spurs, who did it the last time they went into a series without home-court advantage in the first round. It looks like they'll do it again.

South Park to create Broadway play

I realize this isn't TCU related per se, but the creators of South Park are coming out with a play set to hit Broadway in March of next year.

What is the topic you ask? That's where this kind of becomes TCU related. The play, titled The Book of Mormon, will focus on good ol Joseph Smith and since it's is due out next Spring you will all have plenty of time to see if before our next trip to BYU.

Frogs at BYU, tonight through Saturday

Now that the Frogs appear to be getting their feet back under them, it's time for them to reaffirm themselves as the dominant team in the conference as well. Right now they are 5-3 in MWC play, trailing New Mexico (8-4) and just a hair in front of UNLV and Utah (both 5-4). Starting tonight, they've got a three-game series at BYU. All three games will be televised live on BYU-TV, which is Channel 9403 if you've got Dish Network and Channel 374 if you've got DirecTV. You can also watch live, for free, on the BYU-TV website.

The pitching rotation will be the same as it has been for the past few weeks- with Purke going tonight, Winkler on Friday and Maxwell on Saturday. When the Cougars came to Fort Worth in March, the Frogs took 2 of 3 games and out-scored BYU 28-14 over the weekend. Here are the pitching lines put up by the starters that weekend:

Purke: 7 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs (only 1 earned), 8 K's, zero walks.

Winkler: 6 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs (only 1 earned), 2 K's, 1 walk.

Maxwell: 5 IP, 11 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), 7 K's, 1 walk.

Offensively, the Frogs scattered 39 hits over the weekend of the first BYU series, including 14 that went for extra-bases. Jason Coats had six hits, Jerome Pena five (four of them doubles) and Matt Curry four (with seven RBI's).

Is Hughes a Top 10 pick?

Most NFL Draft "experts" have Hughes going in the middle to late 1st Round, but at least one writer is out there saying he could go #9 to Buffalo. Ok, ok- so it's a blogger, not a real writer, but you've got to think the Bills have been happy with the last TCU pass-rusher they drafted (Aaron Schobel in the 2nd round in '00), right? I would be pleasantly very surprised if Hughes went that early, but it's nice to see him at least getting this kind of notice.

Morning Dump

TCU equestrian embracing the power of music Star-Telegram

NFL countdown: special teams players

Patterson selects TAFB for charitable donation

Horned Frogs travel to national championships

Fros begin quest for MWC Championship

TCU spring game report Fox Sports Southwest

NY Jets CB Drew Coleman signs sixth round tender $1.176 million ESPN

Stand-up guys fill LB field
Buffalo News

NFL draft: defensive lineman
St Louis Post-Dispatch

Cashner strikes out 10 for second straight start WBIR-TV
-Their headline might be the longest I have ever seen

Arrieta sharp again in second start