The baseball team’s deep run has been a nice diversion and all, a fact that we’ve all given great credence to in these parts, but, now that it’s almost been a week since we’ve been eliminated, there’s only one thing we need to remember: HOLY SHIT IT’S ONLY 63 DAYS UNTIL KICKOFF!! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGEEEEEEEE!!
With the Dallas Coaches event on the horizon, my football jones is absolutely becoming uncontrollable. And I think the fact that I’m missing the event for the first time ever is making my even hungrier. Don't worry though, I'm
countering the bad karma by purchasing a TCU BCS National Championship wager in Vegas simultaneously with GP taking the stage via my spies at the event.
The Coaches event is a great off season appetizer; now I’ll be forced to skip the soup and salad and have to wait for the red meat main course, and salivating over a medium rare beef tenderloin for 2 months would be a lot to bear even for the most stout of vegans. So, in other words, I’ll be REALLY ready for football season when it rolls around.S
o to whet my appetite, I thought I’d post some Frogs related internet clippings I’ve scrounged up over the past couple of days.
First off, some good.
So the main reason most of us usually purchase any sort of College Football preview is to see where the Frogs are ranked according to their experts, and that’s really about it. Any sort of roster or schedule analysis they give is beyond old news for those of us who treat the spring game like the Super Bowl and pick apart message board postings like a literary scholar does Proust. So fortunately for us, Doug Gillette over at EDSBS.com has culled the rankings of all the major preseason publications and posted a Top 25 based on those averages. I think you’ll like the results:
West Virginia, Stanford, Houston, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Utah, South Carolina, Clemson, Missouri, Navy, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Washington, Texas A&M.
For those of you who care to take it a step further, Gillette even links to the google spreadsheet where he displays all the rankings. But for those of you who don’t, our outlying rankings are 4th by Phil Steele – the most accurate pre season football magazine a billion years running. It says it righ ton the cover and everything. And, if you’ve ever read it, it makes my wildly overwritten postings look like a newspaper blurb. Seriously, it’s like reading 500 pages of the classified ads, only if they directly related to football. So you know it has to be good – and 11th by Athlon and Fanhouse. Eat shit, Athlon. I knew there was a reason I bypassed your magazine a few days back in favor of Steele and Dave Campbell’s. As for the rest, five pubs list us at 6th, one at 7th and another 5th.
I think this probably shakes out about as well as any of us would’ve expected, and honestly, I wasn’t even sure we’d make it that high. Obviously none of these count and we can’t be judged until the AP Poll is revealed next month, but this average should be a pretty solid indicator of where we will open the season. Obviously the most glaring observation is that we’re again going to have to hope for a Boise State loss in order to control our BCS destiny and while I’m tempted to suggest that , all things being equal, the conference schedules will sort everything out, if the Broncos are able to get past Virginia Tech in their opener, we are going to have to really hope for them to drop one to Oregon State a couple of weeks later runonsentence. Considering the Beavers will be out for non BCS revenge after we paste them Labor Day weekend, this is entirely possible. The Broncos also face Wyoming in non-conference. To me, the best case if Boise is only going to lose one game is for them to drop the one against Oregon State after we beat them so that we have a directly comparable victory. Ok, well, obviously the BEST BEST case if for them to lose to Wyoming to help our conference power rankings, but I don’t see it going down like that.
I’d go into a more serious analysis of the Top 25, but seeing as how it isn’t official yet, I’ll save it for the AP. Ok, I can't help myself. No real surprises although I think Texas is a bit high with a first year QB, no matter how much of a stud he will become, and Oregon is COMPLETELY unstable right now for a 9 spot. Hopefully Oregon State holds their position in the Top 25 over the next couple of months because that’d be a phenomenal, nationally televised program touting victory. Also, Oklahoma seems a bit low considering they really came on at the end of last season – although I’m still not sure they have an offensive line – and Arkansas, as much as I love them, may have Ryan Mallet under center, but dude just had surgery and took no spring reps and the Hogs haven’t had a defensive secondary since the late 90s. Plus they’re bound to lose a few more players this off season because those dudes LOVE them some drugs. They’re this year’s Ole Miss from last year, I’m afraid. But I said I wasn’t going to do a full analysis, so check out Gillette’s article if you want more opinions. (But, someone gave AGGY votes? Seriously?)
Continuing on the Steele front, something for the haters. So obviously, if you listen to just about any national pundit, you’d come away thinking that TCU is all defense and we beat teams 7-3 every single week. Same goes for the fans of every opposing team we face. And while TCU is always going to be known for the defense, and rightfully so, it's kind of becoming problematic sincet Andy Dalton, the most prolific quarterback in team history, can’t even get Heisman love in most circles because of this reputation, something I’ll go into in a few paragraphs.
Fortunately for our case, ole Phil in his infinite wisdom, has published a chart showing the largest yardage differentials for NCAA football teams per season over the past 10 seasons. Checking in at #5 with 2,821? You guessed it, the 2009 TCU Horned Frogs, who actually carry 4 of the top 50 spots on the list (9th in 2008, 21st in 2006 and 49th in 2001). The only team with more appearances? USC, with five. For those scoring at home, the 2009 team is only 443 yards behind decade leader the 2000 Florida State Seminoles. And while I understand that does directly correlate to the prowess of our defense, the fact that we outgained our opponents by that much over the course of a decade suggests we must have more than just a putter of an offense, don’t you think?
For fun, he also lists the Bottom 50 performers, and after perennial guest of honor Duke, you know who the Blue Devil’s fluffer is? The Legendary, Big 12 and BCS affiliated stalwart Baylor Bears. Love those guys.
But I’m going to end this post with some rage, because really, rage is the best medicine when it comes to building yourself up for football season. I’m sure a lot of you read Stewart Mandel’s weekly football mailbag over at SI.com because A) He’s about the only major off-season writer covering football this extensively at this point and B) Right now, with only the Major League Baseball season to comfort you, you’ll latch onto anything football related you can find, including touting your team based on yardage differential lists that cover teams from 10 years ago. And honestly, I like Mandel. He may be a BCS and Big Ten homer - he went to Northwestern which is great for journalism, but BAAADDD for sports, which makes it such an ironic haven for national sports writing graduates -he may compare things to Lost a bit too much, and he may be a faux Brooklyn hipster, but I typically enjoy reading his columns and, even though I may not always agree with him, for the most part, he tells things like they are. With that being said, one of his responses in his most recent mailbag has drawn my ire enough to coerce me into firing off a few expletive filled emails in attempts to rectify his mistakes. A reader wrote in asking Mandel who his current Heisman favorites were and the results are shocking. Rather than posting his entire response, I’ll condense the candidates and give my opinion because this is MY blog post, after all. Notice anyone missing?
First Tier Favorites: Alabama RB Mark Ingram (No way he wins it twice in a row. Archie Griffin he is not), Washington QB Jake Locker (Dude gets a LOT of slurpage for doing little and playing for one of the crappiest teams in Division 1A doesn’t he? He’s also currently on a media tour touting his campaign. Desperate times require desperate measures I suppose), Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Heisman campaign hits a MAJOR roadblock September 5th), Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor (Jesus Christ, really? If he didn’t play for media darling Ohio State, he’d be listed as the biggest recruiting bust of the 2000s not named Mitch Mustain), Boise State QB Kellen Moore (Grudgingly agree. Dude will slice and dice those WAC defenses again, and if the Broncos can run the tables again, he’ll be in New York. I hate Kellen Moore, but I respect him), Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett (He has the strongest arm in college football – and probably some pros – but an always killer SEC schedule plus not having a defense backing him up will kill his chances. He’ll have to throw at least 4-5 touchdowns a game to have a chance), West Virginia RB Noel Devine (How many years have you been in school? And does he put up big numbers? Suckling at Deion’s teat has never paid off so well), Oregon RB LaMichael James (Has a shot since the Ducks have no QB to speak of. Just has to stop beating up his girlfriend all the damned time), Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams (I don’t know you, and I’m not generating a response), Florida State QB Christian Ponder (I keep hearing he’s supposed to be a big, big deal this year, but I think I heard that last year. And no player from the ACC should ever win a Heisman. Besides, the Noles won’t win enough games. Jimbo Fisher will be an upgrade over the current era Bowden, but he’ll have growing pains), Miami QB Jacory Harris (Loved watching him play, but no. ACC rule applies) and Houston QB Case Keenum (put up record numbers last year but didn’t sniff it despite Houston’s steamrolling start to the season. Has to be on the list because of the inevitable numbers, but like a Tech QB, will be screwed by the “system” label).
Mandel: These are guys who fit the traditional Heisman mold: established quarterbacks or running backs with built-in name recognition who are likely to put up big numbers.
Second Tier Favorites : USC QB Matt Barkley (USC is going to take a HARD media hit this year for the first time in years… and I couldn’t be happier about it. No way he gets anywhere close. The bowl ban doesn’t help his numbers either), Stanford QB Andrew Luck (I’d say no, but I never would’ve thought Toby Gerhardt would be the best RB in the league last year, so anything is possible. Still, you can move to Palo Alto, but you can’t get that Houston stank off of you. It will doom him. Plus, he plays for Stanford. I can’t take them serioiusly),OU QB Landry Jones (very intriguing. I think he’s going to be good this year, plus he’s got the OU name backing him and will put up good numbers in their offense. I probably would’ve moved him to first tier),UT QB Garrett Gilbert (
Dark Horses: Arizona RB Nic Grigsby, Auburn QB Cam Newton, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn.
Ok, so considering our sister site here is ADforHeisman.com, I don’t think I have to paint a masterpiece for you to understand where I’m taking this. But honest to god, HOW does he not make this list????? I understand that the odds are against him to put up Heisman caliber numbers. Some of this is due to our phenomenal run game, and some of it is due to the short field our defense consistently gives him to work with. I’m not sure what our average offensive starting position was last year, but I have to think it was pretty positive. But seriously – HOW THE HELL DOES STEWART MANDEL CALL HIMSELF A SPORTS WRITER AND NOT LIST DALTON???
Look, I’m not here to make a case for Dalton – I think anyone who has made it this far in this, now, 2300 word post knows his body of work. But, thusfar, this is the biggest 2010 TCU related off-season media slap to this point. Worse than anything said during the conference realignments; ironically enough, most of the national pundits suggested that the Big 12 is moronic not to take us, including Tommy Tuberville in his roundabout way. I just can’t fathom how Dalton is so disrespected. Given, this is just one man’s list, but he’s still a Heisman voter and likely reflects the opinions of his fellow voters. This is just tragic. And it’s not that I think Dalton should be the front runner – compared to others on the list, he shouldn’t right now. But to not even get a mention in a list of 30 names? In the words of Jean Jacques Taylor, POPPYCOCK!! Espeically when you consider all the unproven commodities on the list like Gilbert, Newton, Brantley, James who will miss a game and a DEFENSIVE END FROM IOWA!!!! You’d think being the QB of a Top 10 team coming off a BCS appearance who has or will break every single quarterback record in the school’s history should be good for some props, right? Guess not for Sports Illustrated, the publication that pays Peter King millions of dollars to talk about coffee and flies him to Africa to cover a sport that he has negative knowledge of. Or let’s Jeff Pearlman write Mets and Giants slurp stories.
So, I URGE you, fellow Frogs, to send a message to Mr. Mandel letting him know what you think. You can find an “Email Stewart” link at the top of the article. And, if you have the means, pass it along to Andy himself. The more fuel he has to light that football fire, the better.
Now, seeing as how I’m on hold with my cardiologist right now trying to schedule an emergency angioplasty, I better end this. Go Frogs. For your health.