Monday, May 10, 2010

The first bit of tangible conference expansion news?

Given the numerous denials that have followed it, there's always a chance that Kansas City radio station WHB 810's report that the Big Ten has extended invitations to four schools could be bullshit. After all, I think we all remember a certain story that orginated out of Kansas in the fall of 2008 that ended up as nothing but an attention-grab by a subscription website.

But then again, there is the chance that Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Rutgers are indeed the first to grab new seats in the ongoing game of musical chairs that is college football. Obviously, this would be a scenario that would be of interest to TCU fans, because it could potentially rob the Big 12 of two member schools.

The initial reaction of any optimistic Frog fan would be to imagine the Big 12 simply shifting OU & Oklahoma State to the northern division and inviting TCU and someone else (Arkansas, Houston, SMU, does it really even matter at this point?) to join as members of the south. I'm guessing the thought of replacing games against San Diego State and UNLV for Tech and A&M sounds as appealing to you as it does me.

On the other hand, though, do you really expect it to be that easy? Would Texas and Oklahoma be ok with adding a small private school in a market already fairly well-saturated by the conference to replace a giant like Nebraska while the schools in the SEC and newly-expanded Big Ten continue to make substantially-larger sums of TV money?

As I've said before, this game of wait & see is pretty troubling for a TCU fan. Sure, we've got a great up & coming athletic department and a growing fanbase. A nationwide reassessment of which programs should be part of the premiere conferences could definitely be fortuitous. Just as easily, though, it could be just another opportunity for us to be left out in the cold. We'll keep an eye on things as they progress.

Carpenter promoted to AA

I just came across this- Matt Carpenter, one of the heroes of last year's Super Regional team, has been promoted to Double-A Springfield by the St. Louis Cardinals organization. While his batting average was just over .275 at Single-A Palm Beach, he had walked 26 times (compared to just 14 strike outs) for an on-base percentage of .437. Those of you that have read Moneyball will recognize the importance that many GMs now place on reaching base. Way to go, Matt!

Frogs move up in the polls

The newest baseball polls are out, and the Frogs have moved up in nearly all of them. At 36-10 overall, they're now the #7 team in the country according to Baseball America, the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and Rivals. They were treated the best in the National College Baseball Writers' Poll, which has them at #4 this week, but they actually dropped one spot to #12 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll.

Frogs 26, Lobos 4

I don't want to step on spitpurple's toes, as the game story from last night's slaughter was covered with it's inclusion in this morning's dump, but Jesus H. Christ, 26-4? I thought that the beating Hank gave Jesse on Breaking Bad two weeks ago was the worst beating Albuquerque had seen, but Schlossnagle and the his boys treated the Lobos like a skull being introduced to a hollow-tipped bullet last night.

It's just hard to wrap your brain around the offensive outburst. The Frogs collected 34 basehits, including NINE home runs. Three of those came in the 1st, an inning in which UNM used 3 pitchers. Aaron Schultz hit two home runs (a grand slam and a 3-run bomb), making him the 5th Horned Frog to record a multi-home run game this season. It's not often that you see back-to-back homers, but the Frogs did it THREE TIMES last night. Taylor Featherston's home run in the 3rd gave the 2010 Frogs the team record...with 8 regular-season games to go...not bad for a team that had us fans worrying about offensive production at the beginning of the year.

More importantly, though, it gives the Frogs a three-game cushion over UNM in the conference race.

Morning Dump

TCU whips New Mexico 26-4 Star-Telegram

No. 4 TCU explodes in 26-4 victory

Keep an eye on 'other' Packers rookie o-lineman
Pro Football Weekly

Domino effect
Houston Chronicle

Money matters if UW wants to compete
Laramie Boomerang

Fredette to return to BYU for senior season