Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 9 Comprehensive Preview.

The Frogs definitely can't be caught being Peeping Toms for Utah this weekend.

I feel like the past few weeks I've really been mailing in these game previews. I mean not that, prior to that, I had anything worth while to say about the games. No, it's just that, even by the low standards I set for myself, the Colorado State, Wyoming and BYU previews really weren't up to par. And you know what? You're getting another weak output this week, so apologies. It's not that I don't want to preview a game where TCU is a five touchdown favorite on the road... well ok, it's exactly that. And I've been out of town all week and just got back today so I'm still a bit out of whack. And I'm heading out to the game tomorrow and have been trying to research how I'm going to beat the sports book this weekend - Utah -7 against Air Force? Don't mind if I do! - so my mind hasn't exactly been in it.

But, for the sake of duty, I should point out the most glaringly obvious reason why we should be a little skeptical about the sure fire outcome of this game and that's because of the one that follows it in Salt Lake. TCU is too good and UNLV is too bad for the Frogs to get caught looking, but this is one of those games where we need to come out, throttle them for three quarters, then move the starters to the bench for the 4th quarter to avoid any potential injuries.

Other than that though? There shouldn't be too many worries. Let's take a look at the 5 games we've played against UNLV since joining the Mountain West, shall we? I think you're all aware that TCU has won every single matchup.

2005: 51-3. Fort Worth.
2006: 25-10. Vegas.
2007: 34-10. Fort Worth.
2008: 44-14. Vegas.
2009: 41-0. Fort Worth.

So, it goes without saying we've had a LITTLE success against the Rebels. "But," you say, "How can you honestly compare year to year results? Each year is a different team!" Fair question. So let's take a look at what UNLV has done to date this year.

Wisconsin - Lost 41-21.
Utah - Lost 38-10.
Idaho - Lost 30-7.
New Mexico - Won 45-10.
Nevada - Lost 44-26.
West Virginia - Lost 49-10
Colorado State - Lost 43-10.

I'm no expert, but that's not very good. At all. If we're talking stats, UNLV features the 108th ranked scoring offense in the country (18.4 ppg), the 99th ranked rushing offense in the country (111.9), the 88th ranked passing offense in the country (195.9) and the 114th overall ranked total offense in the country (283.1). Sorry, Bobby Hauck. I genuinely hope you get this team turned around in the next couple of years, but you're definitely taking your lumps this year. To compare, the Frogs are ranked 8th, 10th, 73rd and 11th in those respective categories.

As for the peeping tom factor? Well, in 2008 we played one of the better UNLV squads we've seen since joining the Mountain West immediately preceding a MAJOR matchup in Salt Lake - you remember the one, no? - and pasted them by 30. And we played the Utes on a short week, giving the guys even less time to prepare following the game in Vegas, so you KNOW they weren't fully focused on the Rebels that week. And this year's Frogs team is better than that year's and the Rebels are worse!

I'm just sayin'- with a full week between games, a significant gap between the quality of the teams, and considering the Rebels losto to WEST VIRGINIA by 39, 5 TDs shouldn't be unexpected.

The Pick: TCU 44, UNLV 7.

I'm not sure how many SpitBlooders are going to be out in Vegas, but of the few I know who will, I can safely say it will be a ridiculously stimulating weekend. Look forward to seeing you all there.

As a bonus for that less than enthusiastic preview, here's a bonus movement watch. I don't have time to go into preview for each game, but I'm using a handy dandy star system so you can visualize what I WOULD have said. 4 stars means MAJOR movement alert.

#1 Auburn @ Ole Miss. **

#2 Oregon @ USC. ****

#3 Boise State beated Lousiana Tech.

#5 Michigan State @ #18 ****

#6 Mizzou @ #14 Nebrasky ****

#7 Alabama OFF

#8 Utah @ Air Force *

Wow, looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue/skimp on the movement watch. With TCU not kicking until 8 PM local, gonna be a BIG day in the sports book for this guy.

Big East Looking Better and Better?

Ever since rumors started surfacing that the Big East Conference had officially extended TCU an invite and the ball was in our court, everyone has been asking the same question - What's with the hold up? Surely there is SOMETHING there because 34 donors aren't putting up over $100 million for a BYU and Utah-less MWC . I think the easy answer is that school officials are going to wait until after football season to make any calls because they don't want it to be a distraction going forward. The hard answer though? For one, you have to think that Del Conte and Co. are deep down hoping to parlay this into a deal with the Big 12, which is at present less likely than Mike Locksley keeping his job. The other answer though is a bit tougher to answer - Is the Big East REALLY a better alternative if the MWC has a legitimate chance of getting automatic status?

But, with news coming out today that Nevada and Fresno State aren't going to join the conference until 2012, you have to think the Big East is looking better and better considering the lost season we'd have next year in a similarly tiny conference with less clout. Sure, Boise will be there... but perhaps they'll put off their exit as well with this news? Regardless, TCU would move significantly down the rankings pecking order next year with those two teams choosing to sit out until the year after next.

I've always been extremely warm to the idea of the Big East simply because we'd be forging our own way in a BCS Conference without living in the shadow of Texas and Oklahoma. With aggy reaching out to the SEC during the shakeup, you can clearly see what that does to a team's psyche. Perhaps this will be the news that pushes us over the edge?

Utah tickets anyone?

Friend of the blog Little Moe with the Gimpy Leg has requested that I let everyone know that he is looking for 3-4 tickets for the Utah game, preferably in the TCU section. So if anyone can help him out please post in the comments section below and he will get in touch with you.

Week 9 Players to Watch: UNLV Rebels

I know I’ve used this excuse numerous times before this season, but let’s be honest, the cellar dwellers of the MWC have the most no-name rosters in all of college football and I know NOTHING about UNLV. But I’ll give it a shot as far as players to watch, but when a team is 1-6 they usually don’t have anyone of note, and the game is at 10pm central time so being coherent enough to pay attention to the game is my main concern at this point.

Omar Clayton (Sr. QB, 6’1 205, #2)

Omar Comin'!

I feel like Omar has been around FOREVER, and I guess he kinda has. He’s got 3 letters already, so he’s been playing since he was a freshman and is starting for his 3rd season. He put together a solid season in 2008 with 18 TD’s and 4 INTs before injuring his knee in the 9th game and missing the rest of the year. His bounce back season last year was pretty mediocre, throwing 13 TD’s and 12 picks. This season Omar has 941 passing yards, 5 TD’s and 2 INTs to go along with 140 on the ground (averaging 2 ypc) and 1 TD. Like I said, the numbers are pretty uninspiring, as is UNLV in general, so there isn’t much to discuss there. Omar is of course most famous for his rampant drug thievery of Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell’s West Baltimore crew in HBO’s hit show The Wire. He is also well known for his love of young Latino men. Omar should be easy to spot on the sidelines as well- he’ll be the one in a black trench coat with a sawed-off shotgun, sucking on a Blow Pop and whistling the nursery rhyme “Farmers in the Dell”.

Will Chandler (Jr. CB, 5’11 185, #1)

Mike Grant Will Chandler #1 of the UNLV Rebels runs for yardage after recovering a fumble during the second quarter of their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Sam Boyd Stadium September 4, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mike Grant #25 of UNLV trails the play at left. Wisconsin won 41-21.

Meh, who cares?

This is Chandler’s first season as a starter, although he has played in every game in each of the past 2 seasons. He has made the most of his starting role this season with 24 tackles, 2 for loss, 5 passes defensed, 2 fumbles recovered for a total of 82 yards, and 4 INTs already this season. Those numbers kind of put Reggie Rembert’s to shame, and he was supposed to be all-world. So with Dalton’s tendency to sail passes early in games (especially on the road), Chandler could easily be the guy that finds his way to the football. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen, but he seems to have a knack for the football.

The Chances of College Gameday in SLC

Because quite frankly our next opponent is UNLV, and I'm not afraid to say that we will win. I'm already looking ahead to November 6th at Utah. Our best competition that game week is Alabama @ LSU.

Here are the arguments why this will happen:
  • This week they are in Los Angeles for Oregon @ USC. Rice-Eccles is 694 easy truckin' miles away while Baton Rouge is over 1,800 miles away. Chris Fowler has said that logistics do play a part in their next location.
  • As long as TCU and Utah win, it'll be a top 10 matchup.
  • Both LSU and Alabama are off this week. LSU is close to breaking back into the top 10. They could go up because of the Michigan State loss in Iowa City this weekend (write it down).
  • Gameday has featured LSU once, and Alabama twice already this year.
  • Gameday hasn't been to the University of Utah since 2004.
As long as Utah beats AFA and our boys take care of business in Vegas, Gameday will be in Salt Lake City on November 6th.

List any reasons why gameday will or won't be in SLC in the comments.

This Guy Really Wants a Flag

I would be this upset if my team had lost to North Texas too. That's just the way football go.