Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TCU Memorabilia Sale

If you aren't on the Frog Club email list, then you probably aren't aware of the current sale going on right now at Amon G. They are currently selling the old purple seats (see above, obviously) on the west side of the stadium. You can purchase 2 seats for $100 (no limit) on a first come, first serve basis today from 3:30-6:00 and tomorrow, 11/18, from 3:30-6:00. Reginal is up there as we speak snagging 2 for myself. Don't miss out on grabbing a piece of history.

Movement Watch Finale.

Thelma and Louise: Definitely the simile I've been looking for.

As there is only one potential problematic game this week - Auburn and Oregon are both off, although that will not effect them in the polls as it will us - and I will be gone for the majority of next week, this is going to be the 'capper for our season long movement watch. I hope you've enjoyed yourselves.

#1 Oregon Ducks.

This Week: Off

Remaining Games: Friday Nov. 26 vs. #22 Arizona, Saturday December 4th @ Oregon State.

Outlook: Do you remember when Arizona knocked off Iowa, was ranked in the Top 10 and seen as a legitimate threat in the Pac 10? Do you also remember when Oregon State was ranked in the Top 25, was a major attribute to our schedule, and the annual Civil War game against the Ducks was seen as a logical defacto Pac 10 Championship? Me either. Those days are LONG GONE after the Wildcats dropped consecutive games to Stanford and USC and Oregon State went o-for Washington. True, Oregon faced the best defense they'd seen all year in Berkeley this past weekend and had it not been for a MAJOR faux pas by the kicker, may be sitting at the bottom of the Top Ten right now. True, Arizona is going to be the second best defense they face all year, only allowing 320 yards and 18 points per game. Also true? Texas has the 7th best defense in the country and they've lost 5 games, so sizing up a game based on stats is bullshit.

The Wildcats derailed Oregon's title dreams a few years back, but for us to even be able to put this in the same perspective the state of Oregon would have to be wiped off the map by a hurricane, thus moving the game to Tucson, LaMichael James would have to have the judge change his mind in his girlfriend abusing case and lock him up for the remainder of the season, and Darron Thomas would have to realize his lifelong dream of becoming a Broadway backup dancer and quit the team to head east. In other words, Oregon is going undefeated.

Final Prediction: 12-0, National Championship Game.

#2 Auburn Tigers.

This Week: Off

Remaining Games: Friday Nov. 26 @ #11 Alabama, Saturday Dec. 4 vs. #17 South Carolina.

Outlook: There are two camps on Auburn - those that believe they are going to beat Alabama, win the SEC and go to the title game, and those that believe they are going to lose to Alabama, beat South Carolina and go to the Sugar Bowl. There really are no other camps... except mine, because I believe they will lose BOTH. Call me crazy - and you have every right to because I really have no hard evidence for why I believe this - but I just think all this bullshit with Cam Newton is going to get to them eventually. It has to, right?

More importantly, look at Auburn's schedule - they have played almost every single game at home, and when they've played good teams they've almost lost. Hell, they almost lost to this exact same South Carolina team back in September, and they would've lost to Clemson - CLEMSON - if not for a late missed FG in overtime. LSU has been their toughest test of the season and they got by them by 7. They've had 3 road games this year. THREE. One they beat Mississippi State by three, one they beat Kentucky by three, and the other they beat an Ole Miss team who is among the worst in D-I. So their next game is against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and keep in mind these two teams HATE each other. Like, pure, unadulterated redneck NASCAR hate. Alabama fans just THINK they hate that fancy talkin' Jeff Gordon - the ire they feel for their neighbors to the northeast, if my geography is correct, is criminally insane. Add to the fact that the Tide are having a down year and that by beating Auburn they can crush their title hopes? Are you kidding me? This game is going to be INSANELY vitriolic. Auburn being ranked ahead of and getting more attention in the national media than Alabama is the Tide's version of Pearl Harbor; next Friday in Tuscaloosa is going to be Nagasaki and Hiroshima on acid. Get your popcorn and bomb shelters ready, indeed.

As for the South Carolina loss, we've seen how SEC teams react when they've had the wind taken out of their sails - Alabama in the Sugar Bowl immediately springs to mind - and I think once Auburn loses, things are REALLY going to start spinning out of control in the Cam Newton case since they are no longer contenders and the BCS doesn't have to protect their interest, and they're going to have the most graphic letdown game of all time. The Gamecocks will win by three scores, Lee Corso.

Final Prediction: 10-2, Cotton Bowl, unless they elect to take Arkansas, in which case it could be Music City or something equally offensive. And I will laugh.

#4 Boise State Broncos.

This Week: Friday vs. Fresno State

Remaining Games: Friday Nov. 26 @ #18 Nevada, Saturday Dec. 4 vs. Utah State.

Outlook: This weekend is going to be the tell tale sign of how things are going down if Fresno, a 30 point dog, is able to keep this one close in a loss and Boise still gains on us. If this happens, and the Broncos beat Nevada and Utah State, there's a REALLY REALLY strong chance the Broncos jump us. If Fresno keeps it close and the pollsters treat the Broncos like they did us last week and hold things steady, I really like our chances of making the Rose Bowl or beyond. And, of course, if Boise blows them out like they should, then I'm going to be biting my fingernails to the quick watching the BCS Rankings show Sunday evening. Regardless, you'd be crazy to suggest the Broncos lose Friday night, in which case ESPN is going to be pimping the Friday nighter against Nevada as the game of the century. Seriously, DO NOT watch ESPN or read all next week because it's going to be the most nauseating thing you've seen not involving Britney Spears getting out of a limo without undies on. I've seen where her babies came from and I can never unsee it.

But maybe the craziest thing about said game of the century? I think Nevada can win. I really, really, genuinely do. Their one loss of the year came against Hawaii, and it was off the mainland and we know all sorts of weird shit can happen when you play in Aloha-land. Of course you have to worry that Boise is going to run rough shod over Nevada's defense - they give up 120 yards more per game than the Broncos - but on that note, Nevada's offense is the one that can definitely hang around with them. I'm sure the spread will be something along the lines of 2 TDs, which is worrisome, but if Reno has ever had a reason to leave the casinos and come watch a football game, this will be it and you KNOW they will be pumped. It's probably just wishful thinking on my part, but I think they make it happen. They can't honestly win every single regular season game for the rest of the time Chris Petersen is in Boise, right? Mark it!

Final Prediction: 11-1, Bwaze, Idaho Bowl mwhahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!

Oh so what's that we have here? Is that the Horned Frogs in the National Championship game? Why yes, I think it is! What, you thought I wasn't going to shut down the movement watch on a homer note? Pshaw.

Die Cam Newton. Die Boise.

Coming to terms with last weekend

Like many of you, I was not a happy camper on Sunday morning as the reality of the previous day's events began to sink in. As much as the "experts" are coming down on the Frogs for "struggling" against a 7-2 team, let's face it, it was Utah's complete meltdown in South Bend that did the most damage to the Frogs' BCS resume.

To delve into why Utah's post-TCU loss at Notre Dame was them being "exposed as overrated" and Virginia Tech's post-Boise State loss to I-AA James Madison at home was them "being so demoralized by the Boise loss that they lost to them twice" is to try to understand the minds of idiots. Essentially, the folks at ESPN have divided themselves into two tribes: one that is rah, rah Boise and the other that supports TCU. This week, the orange & blue followers have the greater traction in spinning the situation.

But before we start packing up & heading home like a bunch of totally beaten-down Yankee or Longhorn fans, let's just realize that this team is still 11-0 and is still #3 in the BCS. When the "experts" say that Boise passing up TCU is inevitable, just remember that they don't know shit. There's still a lot of football to be played, and what we think we know right now about college football can be completely flipped upside-down from week to week.

So let's all enjoy this week off as time given our banged-up team to rest and cheer like mad against the Broncos, Ducks and Tiger/War Eagles.

College Football Pick 'em -- Week 11

Not too much to say about this week that hasn't already been said. Week 12 is a booooooooorrrrrrringgggg week in college football, but it counts the same as the others. And let's be honest, it's better than watching the Cowboys even with their win over the Giants. TCU, Auburn and Oregon have byes this week. I wish the commish would/could select a Boise game so I could pick against them so I can claim I called it and have proof. Hook a brother up.

The week 11 scores:

31 - 49
1Magic Man9-25921-35(*)
1Eddd Wesley's picks9-259
3geoffTCU's picks8-35827-30
4merkin's picks9-25717-44
4lenetown fizzle's picks8-35717-31
6Trcapps's picks9-25620-38
6tawilson007's picks9-25617-31
8Theeyeguy's picks8-35517-27
9TNtheRedHeadPed's picks7-45317-35
9THE FINCH8-35320-34
9smredd's picks7-45335-31

Our Dear Leader is still in the lead, a regular rainman. Hey, Wapner's on in 30:
1THE FINCH86-35576
2Rise Again86-35558
3FrogFan1986's picks90-31556
3Eddd Wesley's picks90-31556
5Trcapps's picks83-38552
5Hornedfrog1982's picks88-33552
7jack burton's picks85-36550
8gtgossett's picks86-35547
9sir wesley willis's picks86-35542
10merkin's picks84-37541
10Cro-Magnon Frog's picks81-40541

Go here to make your picks this week.

Obligatory Annual Basketball Over-reactive Hype Post.

Just in case you were wondering, he made that shot.

I do this every year. I watch an early season TCU men’s basketball game , make a few observations and base my expectations for the rest of the year off of that one performance. Typically, I wind up catching a winning effort against the one inferior team on our entire schedule, so as you can imagine my expectations are quickly defied once the season really gets started. And don’t be fooled – beating Jackson State and SMU is kind of like beating your 4-year old sister at basketball while making her tie both hands behind her back. I didn’t watch the Jackson State game, but if they are any worse than SMU – and based on the score, they’re at least equally as hapless – then the Paschal High School JV team could probably give them a game.

But that’s coming off all wrong because, honestly, I think this year is different. I really do. For the first time in recent memory, the TCU Horned Frogs actually LOOK like a basketball team. By that I mean, they have players at every position that look like they deserve to be there and, more importantly, look like they want to be there. And, shockingly enough, they’re FUN to watch. In the waning years of the Daugherty era, the most vivid memories I have are of Neil, Jr turning the ball over, Keion Mitchem missing threes, and Kevin Langford looking at his teammates like, “I left the Pac 10 for this shit?” And even in the first two years of Jim Christian, you got the feeling that he had a few of the parts he wanted, but he was mostly pulling from the scrap heap, and he most certainly never had a team. Last night it only took me about three possessions to see that that has greatly changed this year.

Now, basketball is my sport. It was the only sport that I was ever remotely good at – at least while I was still a foot taller than everyone; when they caught up, my career was totaled effed – and it’s one of the few sports where I actually understand the strategy and how it works. I love football, but as I’m sure you can tell from most of my write ups, I don’t know much about it beyond the superficial things. Occasionally I’ll read postings from Smart Football and I may as well be reading Egyptian Hieroglyphics; x's and o's? You mean hugs and kisses? So, even with the succubus that has been TCU basketball post-Tubbs, I’ve always kept my eye on things just so if they ever turned the corner, I’d be on level ground. And even if you don’t give two shits about TCU basketball – and admit it, you really don’t right now – you’re at least familiar with the name Hank Thorns.

For the uninitiated, Hank Thorns is our transfer PG from Virginia Tech who is eligible this year after sitting out last year. When his transfer was announced, I remember being a lot more excited than most, but I can’t blame folks for being skeptical. Why should you have been excited about a player who couldn’t cut it at an also-ran ACC school? Well, if you’d watched Ronnie Moss play out of position for two years, you’d know the answer, but his value could not have been more clear last night – he’s the best PG we’ve had since the NCAA teams of the 1990s, and it’s not even close. Sure, you can argue Santee, but he ran the floor simply because he was leaps and bounds better than his teammates and he HAD to from time to time, but Marcus Shropshire was the point man in that offense.

I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll go with the obvious: He actually SEES the floor. This may sound kind of silly to say and perhaps a bit obvious, but his court vision is going to be the difference between us challenging for a conference title and having a slap fight with Wyoming at the bottom of the standings. He’s had double digit assists in both of our games this year and his impact on Ronnie Moss cannot be understated. Moss is a natural 2 guard – he loves to run and he can create his own shot. More importantly, he typically looks for his own shot, which should not be the first option of any PG, especially one in this offense. Distribution was never Moss' key talent, and he was forced to play the point because no one else could. So last night, he looked like he was absolutely LOVING playing alongside Thorns. He had 16 points, but he was running around like a man possessed, hitting shots from all over the floor, including a pair of threes. I realize I’m talking about him like he’s Michael Jordan or something, but it was just so relieving to watch him be able to play to his strengths last night.

Thorns isn’t going to score a ton of points on a given night, and fortunately he won't have to, although he’s more than capable of knocking down shots and he can absolutely stroke it from three. He was 3/3 last night, and none of them were easy as he pulled up for a couple and the third he dribbled to the top of the arc, took a quick look around, and lobbed it in with a hand in his face. You’re going to see a lot of that this year. And, as if to drive the point home of how important he is, when he was in the game in the first half, TCU was up by 20. When he sat down for a breather, by the time he came back in the lead was down to 10. I hope we don’t have to run him into the ground in order to maintain leads, but I just can’t overempthasize enough how valuable he is to the success of this team.

Of course, there are other guys on this team, and perhaps none are more exciting than Garlon Green, or, excuse me, the high flying Garlon Green. Dude can absolutely GET UP. For Rockets and Mavs fans, you’ll remember his brother Gerald who, while maybe the lowest basketball IQ player to ever sign a pro contract, was probably the most raw athletic player on any team he ever played on. Garlon is kind of like that, although he’s going to greatly benefit from playing college ball, and regardless at this level you can get by with athleticiscm alone. There was one play early in the first half where Green took the ball , broke up the left side, and slashed into the lane while getting fouled and gave an SMU defender a faceful of crotch while slamming it home for an and-1. I’m not sure it compares to the Aaron Curtis play of the day from a few years ago, but had there been more than 15 people in the crowd, it would’ve absolutely brought the house DOWN. But like I said, there were literally 15 people in the crowd not counting the band, so it mostly went unnoticed. He was also on the receiving end of an alley-oop that looked like it was going to clang violently off the backboard until Green jumped over his man from behind the basket and slammed it home. Again, the whole 15 people/house brought down thing would apply here. For the night, the Frogs had five dunks; last year, I don’t think we had a guy who could even touch the rim.

Also to keep an eye on, JUCO Transfer Sammy Yeager. Yeager is one of those guys I remember getting really excited about after watching his highlight tape when the team was introducing the new recruits, and he did not disappoint last night. Despite being a 6-4 two guard, he led the team in rebounds with nine and tied Green for the team lead in points with 17. He also tossed in a couple of threes and led the team in steals with 4. Oh yeah, that’s another thing – we play aggressive basketball, and even if we miss a steal opportunity, they’re fast enough to recover and play defense. SMU shot 40% in the second half. Not all of that can be attributed solely to their ineptitude. Like our past few teams, these Frogs still take a lot of outside shots, but the key difference is they make them, shooting 65% last night.

And this team RUNS. Like, I’m not even sure we have more than a few offensive set plays because we run the fast break so effectively. Of course, like I said, temper your expectations because when we play a team with an actual defense there will have to be changes made, but last night guys were flying all over the place making quick plays and if we ever let the shot clock run off 15 seconds on a possession, I must’ve missed it. During the World Cup I read a little bit about Euro Soccer since it was bombarding me from the pages of every sports website I visited, and I remember reading how the Brazilians hated their coach, even when they were still in the tournament, for not playing their style of soccer. At the time I thought this was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, but after last night I understand. TCU probably won’t win the conference or make the NCAA tourney – in fact, I’m going to go out on the shortest limb possible and say neither of those things happen this year – but at least they’re going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch. They’re the anti-Spurs, who are extremely successful clearly, but if you’re a fan of up-tempo, improvisational basketball, their fundamentally sound style of play is your worst enemy.

So at the risk of telling you to book your Final Four tickets and send the team a box of scissors for net cutting duty, I’m just going to shut it down and say that this year really is going to be the first step we’ve taken in the right direction in a LONG time. Not since Santee, Shropshire, Stubbs, Curtis, Sloan and that crew were running things and making noise in the then solid CUSA have we had a team worth dedicating some time and energy to. Every year I say that I’m going to stop being lazy and head across the Metroplex to catch more than just a handful of games, and while it’s probably all big talk again this year – I’m old beyond my years and like my post-work relaxation, after all – I’m at least 5% more certain that I’ll do so this year and if not, at least I’m one of the four people in America who knows what channel the mtn. is on. I realize it’s going to take more than two convincing wins to bring the fans back to Daniel Meyer, but this is definitely a boat you don’t want to miss if at all possible. Let’s make the DMC known for something other than poorly located restrooms and hosting a Grateful Dead concert forty years ago. Go Frogs.

Morning Dump

Patterson takes case to national venue Star-Telegram

Patterson's gig at ESPN is akin to aiding the enemy

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton on Walter Camp watch list

Dalton tabbed Walter Camp player to watch

TCU not apologizing for close win


Frogs run past SMU to 2-0 start

TCU's rise a contrast with SMU

Good isn't good enough for TCU
(Womens) Star-Telegram