Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Combination


If we use the Pro Combat gear, the purple top is my vote.

Del Conte speaks about Rose Bowl uniforms

In his weekly Notes on a Scorecard column on gofrogs.com, Del Conte addresses the Rose Bowl uniforms that were unveiled yesterday morning at Cowboys Stadium:

"There's been a lot of talk about our new Nike uniforms that were unveiled Tuesday. We've heard directly from many of you and want you to know that Coach Patterson will make sure we're "Purpled Up" when we take the field in Pasadena."

That should help some of you rest a little easier. I thought it was pretty funny how much people got up in arms about what uniforms the Frogs will be wearing, but I understand everyone wanting our school to be represented well on such a grand stage.

3rd Annual Spitblood Bowl Pick Em


It's that time again to get your picks in for the 2010-2011 Spitblood Bowl Pick Em Challenge. This year we will be battling it out for 10 Spitblood GP Koozies. This is your chance to win 10 of the highly acclaimed, most sought out koozie in all of college football. Sign up here, get your picks in, and good luck to all. The password is "tcufrogs".

The first three bowls kick off this weekend the 18th. Make your picks and award confidence points for each game 1-35.

'Sconsin's DC leaving, and other Frog-related news

This news is a few days old, but Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren has accepted the head coaching job at Northern Illinois. If you're thinking that this might cause a distraction for the Badgers, I'd tell you not to get your hopes up. Doeren will remain with UW through the Rose Bowl, and if he's the type that would shovel himself out of being snowed-in to reach a job interview, then he's probably not the type to let himself lose focus on the task at hand in Pasadena.

In other news that will impact TCU, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen looks like he'll be the next head coach at West Virginia. Holgorsen was offensive coordinator at Houston and Texas Tech before OSU, so I think you can let his resume speak for itself in terms of his prowess at leading offenses. And with 10 years of experience coaching in Texas and/or the Big 12, you know he knows how to recruit in the Lone Star State. So chalk one up for the Mountaineers for understanding the benefit of bringing TCU into the Big East and adapting to it.

Also, the Meineke Car Care Bowl- which is played in Charlotte and hosts a Big East team every year- will be renamed the Belk Bowl starting next season. For those of you, like me, who have no idea what Belk is- it's a department store based in Charlotte. As silly of a named as "Belk Bowl" is, the new sponsorship deal will allow the game to increase it's pay-out to the participating teams from $1.3 to $1.8 million.

Rose Bowl Preview: Quarterbacks.


As I did last year, today I will begin the position by position breakdowns for the Rose Bowl to see who has the hypothetical edge and presumably get everyone fired up for the big game. Also, if you want to remain uncontrollably optimistic as I do, I suggest you do not go back and reread last year's previews and compare them to the end results. I'm only human guys! Leave me alone!

Admittedly, and this is a disclaimer going forward, I've watched very little Wisconsin football this year, mostly because our games ran concurrent with one another, but also because I never could bring myself to wake up only to be lulled back to sleep by Pam Ward in the early ESPN Big Ten matchup. So, I'll be making a lot of assumptions, most of which will probably knowingly or unknowingly swing things in TCU's favor. It's just how I operate and I'm sure most of you will be appreciative of that. So PLEASE feel free to correct anything I've said in the comments if there are facts to prove me otherwise. You'll be wrong, of course, but dissenting opinions never killed anyone... except during the Spanish Inquisition, World World I, World War II, The Vietnam War, the Korean War and the 2008 and 2009 versions of the TCU/BYU game in regards to Max Hall vs. Jerry Hughes.

To kick things off, I'll start with the most important position on the field - The Field General himself, the Quarterback... except for both of these teams, the QB is actually of lesser importance than their backfield counterparts. Regardless, nothing happens until they say it does, so start there we must!

Wisconsin - Scott Tolzien. SR. 6-3, 205.

Passing
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TCU - Andy Dalton. SR, 6-3, 220.

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Underinformed Analysis:

Based solely on the stats provided above, which is usually how I do a lot of my business, Tolzien and Dalton are shockingly well matched. But, understanding how both offenses tend to operate - "Hey you! Yeah You! Running Back! Take this and run that way with it!" - this makes a ton of sense. As TCU fans, we naturally bristle whenever someone refers to Andy "the Winningest QB currently playing in division I" Dalton as a game manager; in fact, I'm pretty sure I've written at least 3-4 posts on the subject just this season. However, from a superficial standpoint - IE someone who never watches our games and only reads the stats - you can see how that mistake is made. When you look at a team that has the 8th ranked rushing attack in the nation but only the 58th ranked passing, that's a fair and logical conclusion to draw. However, like I said - being the winningest QB currently playing division 1 football has to give him enough street cred to be seen as more than a "game manager," right?

I think Tolzien struggles with the same perception as well, and arguably even moreso. We've all heard the talking heads go on and on and on about the Wisconsin run game, but Tolzien has quietly had a pretty solid year. Especially considering he may as well not even play for the Badgers if you listen to the media talk about the team. He hasn't had any monster games when compared to Dalton - Tolzien's biggest day came against Northwestern in the last game of the season when he went 15-19 for 230 yards and 3 TDs whereas Dalton had more than 230 yards in 6 of the 11 full games he played this year, and 4 games with at least 3 TDs. Overall, Tolzien is more accurate, but he matched AD's 6 picks despite throwing over 50 fewer passes. The big numbers to compare here, though, are total yards and TDs, which Dalton leads by 300 yards and 10 TDs, respectively.

If we want to talk "big game" comparisons, I suppose you'd use Oregon State, Baylor and Utah for TCU and Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State for the Badgers. For Dalton, the Baylor and Utah games were perhaps his two best of the whole year, as he combined to go 42/49 for 622 yards with 5 TDs and no INTs. The Oregon State game was less impressive as he only went 17/27 for 175 yards a TD and 2 picks, but at least he got the one thing that mattered in the end: a win. For Tolzien, those three games represent some of his lowest outputs on the season, most notably against Michigan State where he went 11/25 for 127 yards no TDs and a pick. And, of course, his team lost by 10. He fared better against Ohio State, going 13-16, but only put up 152 yards and still had to 0 TD/1 INT mark against his statline. And the Iowa game wasn't much better - 1 TD/1 Pick. I'm not naive enough to suggest that Baylor and Oregon State are as good as Michigan State or Ohio State, and pre-" I'm so faaaaddeeeeeddd, man" Iowa very well could be better than Utah. But the real thing to remember here is, while those teams are good, none of them have a defense that in any way compares to what the Badgers are going to see on January 1. They can talk all they want about how their offensive line is going to absolutely blow us up, but, if you read the quotes, GP doesn't seem all that worried based on what we've already seen this year. Besides that, our passing defense is arguably better than our run D, which has little to do with their offensive line. If Tolzien couldn't fling it against those three teams, why should we expect him to do it against us?

This one is a lot harder to analyze than it seems. If we're going straight stats and comparing overall ratings, TDs, picks, completion % and yards, it's dead even with each QB taking two each and tieing in the picks department. I think the most logical way to look at this is to ask, "If the run game for both teams goes stagnant and the end result comes down to a QB battle, who has the better odds?" Would you rather have the guy who hasn't had to win a game by himself all year, or a guy who, despite being bolstered by a solid ground game, can rack up yards against anyone? Would you rather have the guy who played his best games against the top competition on the schedule, or the guy who had his weakest outputs of the year in those games?

Besides, can I really go against AD on the big stage, especially after last year? If there's anyone on the team who wants to avenge last year's embarassment in the desert, it's Dalton. You could probably pick this one either way, but this is the last time I'll ever be able to pick Dalton. I'm taking advantage.

Besides, in the Michigan game, Tolzien threw ONE pass in the second half. We would never downplay Dalton like that.

Edge - Frogs.

Morning Dump


Football:
TCU safety Johnson on All-American team Star-Telegram

TCU means business in Rose Bowl preparation
Star-Telegram

Three Frogs named to AP All American team
GoFrogs.com

Boyce and Maponga named Freshman All Americans
GoFrogs.com

SI.com tabs eight Frogs All Americans
GoFrogs.com

Daniels named All American
Kilgore News Herald

3-point stance: Rematch in the Rose Bowl
ESPN

TCU needs to wear purple in Rose Bowl
ESPN

Recruiting:
D-1 offer makes Bear Cub speechless
Press Democrat

Waxahachie's LaDarius Brown, SportsDay's top recruit, commits to TCU
Dallas Morning News

Alumni:
Bengals sign Marvin White
Fox 19