Monday, June 21, 2010

New Football Unis Released...Maybe

Not to take focus away from our epic game in front of us tonight, but...

If you trust the fine folks over at EA Sports, which I do because programming for NCAA 2010 started way before any off season workouts or practices, then here are the new unis:
(I can't reveal my source because if I type in their name on this site it will change to "Spitblood")

Let us know what you think in the comment section, along with a forecast for tonight's game.

Know your Enemy: UCLA Bruins

This is Lo Bosworth. She attended UCLA and is a side character on MTV's The Hills.
She makes more money than all of us combined because of this.
The Hills is the leading cause of our current state of idiocracy in this country.
Thanks, UCLA.

After Saturday's dominant victory over the Florida State Seminoles, TCU faces national 6 seed UCLA tonight at 8PM for control of our side of the opening round bracket. For their part, UCLA curb stomped 3rd seeded Florida 11-3. This should be a good one. Like I did for the Florida State game, this preview will be done in good manager/bad manager format.

Good Manager: Despite my unfounded mental picture that UCLA had to be a major hub for college baseball tradition and success, I was pretty surprised to find out that, like us, Friday was the Bruins first ever victory in a College World Series. In fact, they had only been to the big show twice in their history before this year, and not once since the 1997 season. So it goes without saying that, like us, the 2010 version of their squad is the most successful in school history. But, I don't mean this to sound negative or anything. I'm just trying to say that UCLA's team this year is extremely talented and, like TCU, they're a program riding the crest of momentum generated by recent success. And the fact that both teams are focused on building a baseball tradition should make for some inspired baseball.

For their part, UCLA seems to have a lot of respect for TCU, saving their Ace pitcher GerritCole for tonight's game, rather than sending him out in the opener. Obviously this was a risk, but as they got the win, apparently it paid off. And having him match up against Kyle Winkler - a player who certainly proved his worth against Texas, although his stats certainly would say he made his point well before then - should mean that both offenses may not have it as easy as they did in their opener. I definitely wouldn't expect either team to reach 8 runs, and certainly not 11.

But, seeing as how I'm no baseball expert - did you catch the extreme use of vague baseball speak in those paragraphs? - let's move on to my real motive in all of this: Hate.

Bad Manager: Now before I begin, much like I informed our friends at Florida State - who apparently didn't receive the message - unless we're talking about Texas or SMU, the hate expressed in these posts is all in good fun and extremely far fetched in most cases. That being said, UCLA hate was certainly not an easy one to dig up, at least when directly addressing the school. For one, they absolutely LOATHE USC and, as USC is the scum of college athletics, the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" rule certainly would apply here. Jackie Robinson also played for the Bruins, and he's kind of a big deal around baseball circles. Further, as I said, they respected TCU's bats enough to save their ace for tonight's game - I'm assuming they figured TCU would beat Florida State, as we all did, but I'm a homer like that - so they're obviously not so cocky as to assume they can just roll in and steal the game. And also to repeat myself once again, they're much like us: A program that is currently having their best ever years under a recently hired coach - UCLA Coach John Savage was hired in 2005, one year after Schloss - and, even though they received a National seed, doesn't come into Omaha as a heavy favorite. Really, if TCU gets eliminated, compared to the rest of the field, UCLA is probably as good of a horse to hitch your wagon to as anyone, and likely THE best.

But hate is good, so hate we must.

So, if you're unaware, Southern California in general has pretty awful baseball fans. UCLA's stadium only holds 1250 folks, a puny figure that they rarely come close to hitting. In fact, while searching through Bruin Nations archives for some material, I found out that he had two posts alluding to the state of their fans - one outlining why you should become a fan of UCLA baseball and another outlining the rules of college baseball. Yes, they were that uneducated.

Also consider that Dodgers fans love Manny Ramirez and that Charlie Sheen was once able to purchase THE ENTIRE OUTFIELD at an Angels game so that he could catch a fly ball, we're certainly not talking about an area that necessarily "gets" baseball. The fact that Los Angeles- the city with the biggest bandwagon fans in the entire world - couldn't get behind these guys should tell you something. When you consider the vast amount of celebrities that have attended UCLA, this is even more shocking.

Meanwhile, TCU has set every possible attendance record imaginable since opening Lupton Stadium in 2002, despite playing baseball in one of the most uninterested college towns - and I use that term VERY loosely - imaginable, and having roughly 20,000 fewer undergraduate students. I'm not even going to get into a comparison of baseball conducive climates - hint: UCLA wins. In fact, Lupton Stadium - three times larger than UCLA's home stadium, mind you - is currently exploring expansion opportunities. And TCU almost didn't HAVE a baseball program in the late 90's as, due to uninterest and budgeting, the school almost gave the program the SMU treatment. So the fact that a school of our size, in our town, in our climate, can bounce back like it did really demonstrates how much folks from these parts know and understand the game. I'm not saying that a team should get the benefit of the doubt because they have better fans, but did you watch Game 7 of the NBA Finals the other night? Can you IMAGINE a less deserving group of fans to have that much success?

Ok, Ok, I'll be honest: This is easily my weakest hate post yet and I'm kind of embarrassed to post it, which should say more about UCLA than it does about me because I can honestly create hate out of anything, so I'm going to stop now. But really, other than going on a diatribe about California in general - and let's remember, they elected Arnold Schwarzenneger as their Governor, so there's a ton of material there - there isn't a whole lot to say. I expect a great game tonight and while I obviously feel like the Frogs are going to come out in the drivers seat for the championship series, I doubt it will be the cakewalk that was Saturday's game.

What say you, people who know more about baseball than I do?

A View From The Other Side - UCLA Preview

Ryan Rosenblatt over at Bruins Nation has put together a preview of tonight's match up. Check it out to see what we are faced with.

UCLA and TCU Meet Up With Control of CWS Bracket On the Line

Spitblood Omaha Fan Photos

Thanks to all of you who sent in pics. Since I am not able to be there, I want to live the experience vicariously through the faithful that made it to Omaha. Let's take care of business tonight.

UCLA's finest:

Blossom is probably UCLA's most famous alum, if you don't count Urkel.

Morning Dump


TCU Horned Frogs could rest easier with victory over UCLA Star-Telegram

Former athletic boss' parting gift to TCU: hiring Schlossnagle

Iowa native Rivera enjoying Midwest homecoming

TCU pitchers count on Holaday
Houston Chronicle

Senior catcher is 'the rock' for TCU
Omaha World-Herald

TCU hardly timid in World Series debut
USA Today

TCU fans in it to win it
Action 3 News

Sunny days ahead for Schlossnagle
Hagerstown Herald Mail

Savage's decision on starting pitcher pays dividends
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Pitching gamble pays off for UCLA in College World Series opener
LA Times

Monday heat check for Clemson
Yahoo! Sports

Conference realignment:
Nine is fine for MWC Laramie Boomerang

Frogs in the pros:
Jason Phillips' knee is getting stronger
Carroll County Times

JimmieMac's 6-21 recruiting update
SpitBlood Recruiting

Foe becomes Friend?

It's not quite on the level of a reconcilliation with Mike Leach, but Craig James' comments to Ray Buck in Saturday's Star-Telegram weren't exactly what I thought I'd hear from the former SMU student-employee. James told Buck that he thinks TCU ought to be added to the Big 12, along with Arkansas.

This comes on the heels of James stating on College Football Live a few weeks ago that he thinks the Frogs have the best set of skill-position players in the country. Is this like when the Ghostbusters cartoon came out, and Slimer was all of a sudden one of the good guys, or is this just James keeping his enemies close?