Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gotta love the haters



I was pretty happy to hear Chris Del Conte's reponse to Ohio State President Gordon Gee's comments last week, when he essentially said that when you start getting criticized by the Ohio States of the world, you know you've arrived.

Not that I'm comparing this kid to Gordon Gee. In fact, I hope you'll be go somewhat easy on him in your comments because frankly, I think he might have Asperger's and also because making fun of someone for having a gay-sounding lisp is considered inappopriate these days. But this kid echoes the sentiment of plenty of UT fans, which I find completely hilarious and indirectly flattering.

He starts the video by saying that he hates TCU more than any other school in the nation. And while he spends nearly seven minutes attempting to tell the viewer why...he never gets to the heart of it. He makes a few points over the course of the video, which I'll take the opportunity to respond:

"Of all the BCS conferences, you join the easiest to win. I don't think the Big 12 is in a position to turn schools away right now"

-I'm not usually one for internet shorthand, but this really made me "LOL". In whatever fantasy land this guy lives in (presumably his parents' house), TCU has their choice of whatever conference they want to join. And of all those, he believes, TCU decided to avoid playing in a conference against the same former SWC rivals that they've exhaustively tried to schedule in non-conference games for the past 15 years. Back here in reality, we've come to understand the fact that the Big 12 has no interest in new teams based on athletic prowess, but instead on marketability. The Big 12 has showed they don't want TCU, while the Big East does.

"When TCU beat Baylor, the newspapers acted like they had just beaten Alabama"

-Wrong again. The local media, which has been reluctant to cover TCU since the SWC broke up, simply gave the Frogs their due after their humiliation of Baylor. Had TCU simply beaten Baylor's best team in 20 years, you wouldn't have heard much. But championship-caliber teams are supposed to beat the Bears handily, and the Frogs absolutely destroyed them. I, for one, actually give Baylor credit for coming to face TCU in Fort Worth...unlike certain other teams...

"You can't even fill your own stadium"

-Oh, attendance smack. The ultimate fall-back for the ill-informed masses. But actually, we did fill our stadium three times this year, and four times in the past two seasons. For a school of about 6,500 undergraduates to average over 42,000 fans in a market saturated by pro sports and a myriad of other entertainment options, I'd say TCU is doing just fine.

So why does this guy, or any other UT fan like him, hate TCU with such passion? It's because we represent a threat to their monopoly on athletic success and fanfare in the state. For a long time now, the Longhorns have had a stranglehold on glory. Their fans enjoyed being the only ones who had signficant accomplishments of which to be proud (no offense to Baylor and their women's basketball national championship, but I put that right along with our national titles in equestrian and riflery). But now here comes little ol' TCU with Top 10 rankings, BCS berths and a brand-new stadium on the way for football as well as Top 10 rankings, All-America players and a College World Series berth (that went straight through Austin) in baseball. And UT fans can't stand having even a shred of the spotlight taken off of them. Are we not supposed to be proud of the success our Frogs have accomplished?

Sour Grapes - Big East Edition.


Lately it appears that either the Mountain West has the most apathetic blogging fanbases in the world who do not care about their team win or lose... or that intrepid SB blogger mankdog has simply abandoned his post. Regardless, I thought I'd take the reins this week and see what they're saying around the country about TCU's big move to the big east, plus any comments that I deem necessary.

The Dallas Morning News' Tim Cowlishaw offered up his thoughts, describing the move as "understandable, but strange." He calls it strange because he believes TCU has just as good of a shot at making the NC as a non-AQ as they do in the Big East, where the conference will always be overshadowed by the SEC, Big Ten, and UT/Oklahoma. He then questions if this move is really just driven by football and describes how the move makes complete sense for TCU. Apparently Captain Obvious is on the payroll at the DMN.

wacotexas says... "Do you have a Scott Drew and staff to take you to another level in basketball?" OOOOH Baylor on the loose!

My journeys across the web then took me to Boise Fan Site OBNUG.com, where I presumed the vitriol would be FLYING. What did I find? Actually, they're pretty pleased with it - most view it as a their ticket to the guaranteed non-AQ bid, ad infinitum. And most of them agreed that they would've done the exact same thing and that they can't blame us. Then again, not everyone is on board:

Loque says..."
HURRAY!

I had reservations about cheering on TCU in their bowl game. I now have a HUGE boon lifted off me so I can hope they burn in their bowl game — wherever they go to." We'd do the same thing.


The readers of the Sportsnation blog on ESPN.com disagree with the geographical aspect of TCU joining the league, but 68% agree that TCU will run the thing in 2012. One fan even suggests we should've only been invited for football and only football.


ryanmoblackie6206 says... "TCU should have just join in Football and only football there other sports there have you have never heard of they teams so they should stay in MWC and onlt play in football" ryanmoblackie apparently doesn't have a grasp of America's Pastime... or the English language.


I kind of thought the Dallas Morning News article about the move would feature all sorts of negative statements from the pro Big 12/SMU readers, but all I got was this


bandit10 says... "TCU......HA! Tired of hearing about them." So... burn?


and, of course, everyone still disputes TCU's track record.


r86 says... "TCU and Boise State should once again play each other for the Consolation Bowl. Sorry, they don't have the schedule, nor will they any time in the near future have the fan base to play "big time football". Just a fact." Apparently he's unaware of the whole BCS Conference concept.


ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel apparently wishes he still lived in the days of leather helmets and instant gridiron death because he refuses to accept that money is what drives not only college football but the entire free world.


Not a commenter, but Dan Jenkins isn't too optimistic about Christian's Frogs...""We should keep winning football games," Jenkins said, "but we're not likely to win a basketball game the rest of my lifetime."


ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett hits the nail on the head in his article, but sadly the one commenter lives in some diluted reality.

swimfan says... "Very confused!! I went to TCU and was an athlete there as well. I dont understand why we dont wait for the Big 12. It would have been the best fit. Instead we are forcing ourselves into a situation that is not best for all sports. I am a die hard football fan and love the move strategically...but for most of the sports we are not good enough to compete in the Big East! Once again, smart move for football and BCS implications, but I think we should have held out for the Big 12!" You don't understand sports... because swimming isn't one.


Actually some pretty insightful analysis in this article from ESPN.com's Big East blog and lots of level headed commentary and welcomes from from the Big East faithful. Except for this guy.


BBall 72_42 says... "THis is really stupid for TCU!" point taken, good sir, you've really expressed the facts of the matter.


Andrea Adelman... probably not too excited about her future with ESPN.com now that there is only one dominant non-AQ team to cover. And this guy isn't impressed with our move.


WilliamsEph97 says..."One garbage team going to a garbage conference, and this is front page news?." Considering this was the headline on MSN.com last night, which typically only reports on Kim Kardashian's increasingly caucasian dating habits, apparently someone out there is interested.


and finally, here are what the real thinkers - the Big East bloggers at SBNation - are saying. Apparently they view Rutgers kind of like the Big 12 views Baylor.


http://www.downthedrive.com/2010/11/29/1842407/tcu-to-join-the-big-east-yea


http://www.cardchronicle.com/2010/11/29/1842501/tcu-accepts-invitation-to-join-big-east


http://www.mwcconnection.com/2010/11/29/1843502/wagons-east-my-thoughts-on-tcus-impending-move-to-the-big-east


http://www.smokingmusket.com/2010/11/30/1845282/the-shotgun-throwdown-tcu-welcome-wagon-11-30-10-edition


For the most part, it appears that everyone not in the Mountain West Conference feels good about the move, which makes sense because it's a no brainer for both sides. But, there are always going to be naysayers to any idea, and voicing those opinions is what the internet is for. I've just scratched the surface though, so hopefully everyone else can do some digging of their own and fill us in.

Tuffy Moss = Good

With yesterday's announcement that TCU is headed to the Big East in 2012, I was pretty excited about Horned Frog athletics and decided to make the drive over to Fort Worth for the basketball game against USC. Jim Christian and the Frogs made it worth my while, downing the Trojans 81-69 to push their season record to 5-2.

This was my first in-person look at this year's squad, so I'll talk about the product on the court first. The biggest difference, to me, is the addition of Hank Thorns at point guard. Having a true 1 out there has allowed Tuffy Moss to flourish as a shooting guard, giving the Frogs their best scoring threat since Corey Santee. This year's Frogs also have a much better ability to finish plays- Garlon Green, Sammy Yeager (despite an uncharacteristically cold shooting night) and J.R. Cadot all got the crowd on their feet with emphatic dunks. I don't want to put thoughts of the Final Four in people's heads or anything, but this is a team that will be refreshingly distant from the conference cellar.

While many believe that the Frogs will need a great improvement to be able to compete in the Big East, I think the biggest need for improvement with this program is in the stands. The box score will tell you there were a little over 4,000 there last night, but I'm not sure a TCU basketball box score has ever reported anything under about 3,500...and I've been at some games with much, MUCH fewer fans than that.

Don't get me wrong, here- I'm keenly aware of the status of this program over the past few years, so I'm not expecting Daniel-Meyer to be rivaling Cameron Indoor right now. But the student section last night was completely non-existant. I did spy a few pockets of what looked like current frat dudes, but they looked as if they couldn't have been less enthusiastic or likely to stand up or cheer.

It doesn't take much to make that arena loud and boisterous, but it does take more than nothing. I assume ticket sales will skyrocket once the team starts playing a Big East schedule, but it'd be nice if the crowd weren't 100% newcomers come 2012.

Morning Dump


Big East:
TCU's move a good idea? Our columnist debate
Star-Telegram

TCU makes leap, accepts Big East invite
Star-Telegram

Jobs or TCU coaches got easier and harder
Star-Telegram

Horned Frogs ready for their close-ups
Star-Telegram

TCU falls in line with the BCS machine
Star-Telegram

TCU's move to Big East provides security
ESPN



Gary Patterson glad TCU no longer non-AQ
ESPN

TCU will enter Big East in 2012
Boston Globe

Texas: College football's new East
Wall Street Journal

Football:

TCU's Carder makes AFCA All-America team
Star-Telegram

Broyles award panel picks 5 finalists
Washington Post

ESPN's Edwards: TCU could get title shot
ESPN

UW football: Tale of the tape shows TCU smaller than UW-Whitewater
Madison.com

Basketball:

Frogs beat USC, but Big East's a concern
Star-Telegram

Trojans' woes continue as they fall to TCU, 81-69
Los Angeles Times