Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spitblood Psychic: The Future of Rooster.

Tommy from Quinzee is fired up about the prospect of a red headed QB in Foxborough.
Cause he's racist.
"HE'LL BE OWAH FOOTBAHL SCALABRINE!!!"



As the most beloved and ballyhooed prospect to come out of TCU since LaDainian Tomlinson, we all have a heightened sense of interest where Red will end up playing football professionally. So rather than make you all dig through the muck and mire that are sports related internet rumors, we will compile them all here, team by team, as they come along. For the sake of brevity, we will only feature team's that have scheduled an interview or workout with Andy, look at their current QB situation and draft picks and make one of our patented hasty assessments from there. We will also give more credence to team's with picks in the 2-4 rounds (amendment: 1-3 rounds, because that's looking more and more likely) because we're optimistic and can't see Dalton lasting beyond there.

Today we'll take a look at another potential landing spot that will have Bill Simmons frantically searching for ways to compare the pick to Shawkshank Redemption, the New England Patriots.

QBs Currently on Roster: Tom Brady, Jonathan Crompton, Brian Hoyer.

Draft Picks: Round 1 (17, 28); Round 2 (1, 28); Round 3 (10, 28).

Why Rooster Fits: I suppose the "fit" here depends on what you expect from Dalton in year one. But unlike other situations where the team in question has an established starter for Dalton to play behind, the Patriots have a first ballot Hall of Famer who will be throwing passes for the next 5-7 years at least. In other words, if Dalton winds up in Massachusetts, he'll likely never see the football field unless Brady suffers another season ending injury. However, if you look at that depth chart which features a player that Spencer Hall and Co. over at EDSBS have lovingly dubbed a catfish as well as something called a "Brian Hoyer," it's clear that New England needs a competent backup in the worst way. And while you might not think Dalton sitting behind Tom Brady would be good for his career, I suppose you should check out exhibit A Matt Cassell in Kansas City who parlayed one season filling in for Brady into a multi-year deal. Clearly Belichik and his staff know a talent when they see it, and if they are to choose Dalton it is with the assumption that he could fill in for Brady in a tight spot. The fact that they've scheduled a workout with him shows that there is genuine interest.

Perhaps the biggest reason New England fits for Andy are the numbers - 6 draft picks in the first 3 rounds. They have some offensive line questions to shore up, and they're silly if they think they can ride Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis to success two years in a row so that will have to be addressed, but if there's any team who can take a flier on a backup QB as early in the game as Dalton should go, it's New England. I can't see them taking him with either of their first round picks, but as they hold the all important #1 pick in the second round which allows them to sit on their selection for nearly 24 hours, if Andy is still on the board, that could be a prime landing spot. And if he's still there at the 28th? You can probably mark it down.
Why Rooster Doesn't Fit: Brady, Brady and Brady. He's the most worshipped QB in the league not named Manning, and he's more accomplished. He basically has a lifetime pass under center in New England and I can't see any situation where he doesn't stick around into his late 30s. Of course you can point to the aforementioned lost season where Matt Cassell cut his teeth, but even if that happened I'm not sure Dalton would immediately beat out a QB who has been in the organization for multiple years like Hoyer. Personally, I don't think New England takes Dalton with the #1 pick in the 2nd round, and I don't think he'll be there when they pick again. With all the money they owe to Mr. Gisele, I'm not sure they pay high round money to a guy they hope will never see the field. And as far as the whole, "Well, there are worse things than learning behind Tom Brady" argument? Well, for those of you who follow the NFL blogosphere at all, Brady has pretty much distanced himself from that team in all but the most necessary of situations. He spends most of his time in California with his current wife and child as well as his bastardized spawn. That's what happens when you knock up a bertch then leave her for an upgrade. So, in other words, I can't see Tom Terrific sticking around in the off season or after practice helping Andy acclimate himself to the game.

I think this basically comes down to whether or not you think Rooster is destined to be a multi-year NFL starter at some point, or just a journeyman backup. Admittedly, there ARE worse places for Andy to learn the game, but knowing you're in a situation where there's a not-so-glass ceiling isn't good for anyone's development. Getting drafted is always better than not getting drafted, but if Andy had his choice of job, I don't think the Patriots would be at the top of his list.

Who's next to duck a trip to Fort Worth?

During this offseason, Texas Tech and Boise State were both able to weasel their way out of having to come to Fort Worth this fall. This comes after series that are slated to include games in Fort Worth against Arkansas and Navy being pushed back, teams like Texas and Clemson choosing to only play the Frogs on their own home fields and Wisconsin joining the long line of teams who have chosen to not play the Frogs at all if TCU dared to ask for a home game in the agreement.

I'm not necessarily claiming that any of those programs are afraid to come play TCU in Fort Worth (ok, not all of them at least), but the consistency with which marquee teams stay away from Funkytown does start to make you wonder, doesn't it?

When any TCU looks at the future schedules on gofrogs.com, it's pretty easy to get excited about the upcoming non-conference games that are on the docket. OU, LSU and Arkansas all coming to Amon G. Carter in the coming years are dates that are sure to be circled in bright red ink on calendars in every Frog fan home.

But TCU is not on Oklahoma's 2012 schedule according to their official site. And where are the Frogs on the 2014 schedule that LSU lists on their official site? Again, not there. This could be an oversight, as TCU's own future schedules have been updated slowly on gofrogs.com in the past. But as a fanbase that's seen team after team after team avoid a trip to play our team in our stadium, don't you have to look at this skeptically? I couldn't find Arkansas' future schedules on their official site, but if someone does it wouldn't surprise me if at trip to play at TCU were nowhere to be found on it.

Again, to any OU or LSU fans that stumble upon this post- I'm not calling your team out for being scared to play the Frogs in Fort Worth. But what gives? And to the TCU fans reading this...which of the future games scheduled for our renovated stadium do you think will actually end up taking place?

Couple other Tidbits

Bruce Feldman over at ESPN wrote an article yesterday ranking the fastest players in college football. TCU's own Skye Dawson checked in on the list at #6. I'm sure alot of people feel the same why I do when I say that I want to see the ball in Skye Dawson's hands a lot more than last season. Yeah, he's tiny, I get it, but if Fuenderson can figure out a way to get the ball to Skye more often, I think we will see alot of long plays from this guy. Basically he can flat out fly and if he can break some tackles, defenders won't have any chance catching up to him. It's an insider article so here is the excerpt on Dawson:

6. Skye Dawson, WR, TCU Horned Frogs

An unheralded football recruit, Dawson came to TCU with big-time track credentials. He won the Texas Relays 100-meter dash with a time of 10.43, and went on to win the state title in the 100, 4x100 and long jump. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder sparked the Horned Frogs relay team in the 4x100 that ranked in the top five in the NCAA for the majority of the outdoor season. In addition, he won the 60-meter title at the 2010 MWC Indoor Championships.

And on another note, did anyone else catch Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel last night? If not, I definitely suggest recording it the next time it's on and watching the whole thing. Alot of accusations being pointed all over the place that left me with one question: How in the HELL does Auburn still have a football team on the field?

Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU falters again to lose by one run
Star-Telegram

Stephen F Austin hands TCU 4-3 lose
GoFrogs.com

Athletic Department:

Notes on a scorecard GoFrogs.com

Football:
TCU stadium takes new shape NBC DFW

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Still way-too-early postseason projections

I had visions of completely nerding out and doing a comprehensive analysis of the Frogs' RPI and how it was affected by their opponents' recent outcomes, sort of like the strength of schedule posts I do during football season- but that will have to wait a couple of weeks.

For now, though, I'll pass along the latest NCAA Regional Projections from both collegebaseballdaily.com and SEBaseball.com. They both currently have TCU as a Regional host, but that could change if the Frogs don't start taking care of business on a more consistent basis- starting with tonight's game against Stephen F. Austin.

Spitblood Psychic: The Future of Rooster.

If Dalton winds up in the Twin Cities
I'm sure Daunte can help him out with boats and hoes.

As the most beloved and ballyhooed prospect to come out of TCU since LaDainian Tomlinson, we all have a heightened sense of interest where Red will end up playing football professionally. So rather than make you all dig through the muck and mire that are sports related internet rumors, we will compile them all here, team by team, as they come along. For the sake of brevity, we will only feature team's that have scheduled an interview with Andy, look at their current QB situation and draft picks and make one of our patented hasty assessments from there. We will also give more credence to team's with picks in the 2-4 rounds because we're optimistic and can't see Dalton lasting beyond there.

Today we'll take a look at another potential landing spot that will certainly please our own vikingfrog, the Minnesota Vikings.

QBs Currently on Roster: Rhett Bomar, Patrick Ramsey, Tarvaris Jackson, Joe Webb.

Draft Picks: Round 1 (12); Round 2 (11); Round 3 (nein); Round 4 (9).

Before I even begin, it's pretty clear that either Peter King is an avid reader of Spit, or I need to be paid far more than the paltry $0 I make for my efforts on this site to get more on par with the big dogs like PK, because in his latest Tuesday Mailbag he concurred with my assessment that Dalton to the 49ers is a very likely scenario. And while King is a very noted sack rider of well behaved, under valued white QBs - see: Tebow, Tim - I'll shy away from my typical criticisms of his writing and say I think he hit this one right on the head. In a QB Class filled with head cases - Ryan Mallet, Cam Newton - and over-hyped guys that never produced at the college level - Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker - along with the uncertainty of the 2011 NFL season, it seems like more and more teams are becoming interested in players without character issues who they won't have to worry about effing up in a potential lockout year. And not just criminal activity wise, but in the sense that, presuming the worst case scenario that the league misses games this year, potential draftees will stay on task, get their workouts in and come into the season ready to contribute whenever that may be. Dalton's production speaks for himself and he's been acing interviews and workouts to the point that some, like King, have elevated him to the cusp of the first round. And while Peter King is more coffee and twitter writer these days than hard hitting journalist, he's still the top name in the biz and his words are far reaching. Articles like that can only help Dalton's standing a month from now. And now, on with the show...

Why Rooster Fits: Much like it was with San Francisco, have you SEEN that depth chart? I may sincerely hate Tony Romo to the point that my fan experience with the Cowboys has been jeapordized, but holy crap I don't know how Vikings fans can even bring themselves to look forward to next year as presently constructed. If I were them, I'd be calling Adrian Peterson everyday and getting him to say more racist shit about the men that pay him millions of dollars and drive them further from the bargaining table because if any team could use an extended off season to regroup it's this one. Yeesh. Good luck, Leslie Frazier.

This is certainly a group that could use some fresh blood at QB after the Dongslinger left them high and dry this off season. I think we all understand that the ideal situation for Dalton would be to sit a year and learn the playbook, but if the league and players are able to rectify their differences and the off season cranks up on time, there's no doubt Andy would be able to compete for the starting role right out of the gate. That may be cynical of me to say considering the Vikes have QBs on the roster with multiple starts under their belts, but would you disagree with me vikingfrog?

Why Rooster Doesn't Fit: To be completely honest, unless the Vikings are able to make a play for Kevin Kolb or someone of that nature in the off season, Dalton would be seemingly invaluable in Minnesota. Joe Webb may have gotten some PT last season and become a bit of a crowd favorite, but I'm willing to bet he isn't Leslie Frazier's first choice to risk his job status on in his inaugural year as an NFL head man. That sentence was clunky. Of course, the job is probably Tarvaris Jackson's to lose, which he's very, very capable of doing if you're familiar with his work. And Rhett Bomar will likely be looking for jobs at local car washes when the season starts. I suppose this really comes down to whether or not you think Dalton is ready to step under center in an NFL game in 6 months, because if he winds up in Minnesota, especially as a second rounder, it's a very real possibility. The Vikings aren't going to give him a look in the first round, but if he's still sitting there at 11 in round 2, the front office is going to have a big decision to make because he will not be there when they pick again in the 4th. Like San Francisco, this will be a situation to monitor closely in the build up to the draft.

Fiesta Bowl CEO in deep doo-doo

You've probably seen the news that Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker has been let go amid a controversy surrounding how the bowl's money was handled- including illegally funneling money to political campaigns and spending thousands of dollars on non work-related trips to the titty bars and expensive golf trips.

The good news out of this is that apparently the BCS is going to take a very serious look at whether or not the Fiesta Bowl ought to retain it's status within the organization. Were they to be kicked out, the Cotton Bowl (now being played in a BCS-worthy stadium) would be ready to take it's place in an instant. TCU vs. Texas or aggy or OU or Tech* at JerryWorld on New Year's Day? Yeah, I'll have some of that.

Or is this a sign of something even bigger? Since Junker has proved to be shady beyond all doubt, what about the other bowl executives? Now that this guy's been kicked to the curb, will he start naming names like Jose Canseco? Was TCU vs. Boise really Junker's top choice for the Fiesta Bowl last year, or was it part of a collaborative effort to keep the two kids at the kids' table? However this shakes out, it's definitely worth keeping an eye on.

*-just kidding, we all know Tech can't make it to a BCS Bowl

Morning Dump

Football:
TCU in good hands when Shivers gets ball
Star-Telegram

Recruiting dish: TCU holding its own
Sporting News

Draft dish: TCU could pass Locker, Mallett on draft board
Sporting News

TCU's Dalton has chance to be the Drew Brees of the 2011 NFL Draft
Sports Illustrated

Colts considering TCU QB Dalton
Yahoo! Sports

A Frog could be the answer to 49ers' QB troubles
NBC Bay Area

Baseball:
Tuesday baseball game rescheduled for Wednesday
GoFrogs.com

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Are We Beginning to see the Payoff of Joining the Big East?

Jim Christian - Mountain West Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals
I AM CORNHOLIO!!

Around these parts I'll be the first to admit that I'm arguably the biggest John Kerry-esque flip flopper when it pertains to Jim Christian's coaching abilities. This season alone I went from declaring him a genius who had finally turned the thing around, to damning him for losing the team, to forgiving him because he just doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a program builder, and then coming full circle on him after the MWC Tournament by genuinely contemplating how and why we will win the Conference next year and make the NCAAs. In other words, I really just don't know what to make of him. But, the bottom line on him is that he values the whole team aspect as much as any coach in the country and isn't afraid to sit his most talented player if he's not buying in. However, he's never had much to work with in the whole recruiting department and that has been a yearly downfall. Which is what makes the ramifications of the past few weeks so derned intrestin'.

First came the news that 4-Star recruit LeAntwan Luckett of Mississippi, considered one of the top remaining prospects in the 2011 class, was offered by the Frogs. Luckett is a shooting guard and if worst comes to worst and Ronnie Moss does not return to the team next year, a player of Luckett's caliber would make an immediate impact. Perhaps the biggest upside to Luckett is the fact that he's considered a "slasher" and "gets to the rim" with his "tremendous athleticism," which would hopefully take the heat off of Hank Thorns to do the same in late game situations. Of course, the article had me at "Above average defender" because, good god that would fill an area of need for this team. The knock on Luckett is that he may not qualify academically and is looking at going the JUCO route to get his bearings. Also, he's not a great outside shooter. However, Luckett would arguably be one of the most heralded recruits to set foot in Fort Worth basketball wise since Corey Santee. He's still considering Colorado, Missouri State and the Frogs and will announce his decision later this spring.

Around the same time as that story broke, TCU finally received a commitment for the 2011 class from JUCO transfer Aldrick McKinney, originally of Fort Worth. The fact that we didn't receive ONE commitment until after the season ended may and probably should bother you, but when you go 1-15 in conference play, your options have a way of limiting themselves. Besides, we only lost two players from last year's team, so there wasn't a whole lot of scholarship room anyway. And on the bright side, McKinney is a big body at 6'8" and will be able to slide underneath with Nikola Cerina and create at least a semblance of a post presence, which is one of the myriad things we so desperately lacked this past season. McKinney probably isn't the guy who is going to put us over the top, but if we're only going to sign a small class this year, size should be the focus of Christian and his staff.

Building on the momentum of actually having an athlete put pen to paper, Christian then turned his efforts to Edmond, OK native Josh Richardson, a 3 star SG recruit who also holds offers from Missouri State, Georgia Tech and soon to be Conference foe Providence. I'm not sure what's with the Frogs going to head to head with Missouri State on two of these guys, but considering they were a major bubble team heading into the tournament and their coach was just hired away by Tennessee, I'd say that's a good problem to have. The fact that said coach skipped town for the bright lights of Knoxville, you'd have to think we have an edge on both Richardson and Luckett, no? And on the Georgia Tech note - they may not be the program they were when Chris Bosh left them, but they're still an ACC school in fertile recruiting territory and it will only be a matter of time before they're challenging Duke and UNC for conference titles again. And like Missouri State, they lost their coach as well. I'd think the number of recruits we've stolen away from an ACC school - Thorns doesn't count - is somewhere in the neighborhood of 0 and -0. Anyway, Richardson has already taken a campus visit along with his parents, so that has to signify serious interest and intent, so let's keep our fingers crossed that he'll be wearing purple and white next season.

Then over the weekend, in perhaps the biggest development of Christian's career, Queensborough, NY native Ryan Rhoomes took an official visit over the weekend and is said to be very close to committing to the Frogs. Rhoomes is a 6'9" Power Forward who, unlike Amric Fields, plays with his back to the basket and, moreso than McKinney, would slip into a starting role next season. Of course, as it is with a lot of these late season recruits, Rhoomes purportedly has academic questions that he needs to iron out before setting foot on campus, but he is said to have boosted his test scores over his senior year. Rhoomes is a terrific scorer and rebounder and would give us our first true post presence since... since... I can't even say. Of course, as a fledgling TCU basketball fan I realize the inherent silliness is getting my hopes up, but Rhoomes himself seemed to give the Frogs an edge based on the early playing time that would be available to him next season. The opportunity to hone his skills in a weakened MWC before we take our talents to the Big East is pretty appealing as well. I'm not counting him among the team until he's on campus and practicing, but all signs point to Ryan being on campus next year.

So what is driving all of this late interest? It's certainly not the 1-15 conference record. And while grabbing an unheralded JUCO star, getting close to signing a 3-star from a neighboring state and drawing interest from a 4-Star with grade issues doesn't necessarily draw any sort of conclusion, take a look at the list of schools Rhoomes is considering and you'll find your answer: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Providence, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia have offered the kid, and he's also considering Seton Hall and Providence. Yep, all Big East schools. While we all expected the Big East move to help recruiting eventually, I don't think anyone would have expected us to steal a kid away from a slew of Big East schools this late in the game before the move has even been made. And it's not just Rhoomes - New York PG Shaquille Stokes is also on our radar. Let's just hope the Frogs newfound New York state of mind pays off.

One of the things we don't give Christian the benefit of the doubt on enough is the fact that he had NOTHING to work with when he got to campus. Once Daugherty realized the differences between recruiting for Kansas and TCU, what with the need for creativity, the ability to look beyond the Rivals star system and, you know, actual recruiting skills, he simply gave up and let his son run the show. And while Christian had SOME momentum going before and after his first season, recruiting has always been a major issue to overcome. If we can sign Rhoomes and/or Stokes, it would appear that the stigma surrounding our program can no longer be blamed for poor recruiting. Christian may end up not being the guy to carry us to the promised land, but now he'll actually have a fighting chance. Let's not write him off just yet.

Mark Your Calendars

Aledo star running back Johnathan Gray, who is rumored to be attending TCU's spring game on Saturday, may have set a date for his decision. According to Angry Trey's Blog (citing a tweet by MaxPreps.com's Stephen Spiewak), Gray will make his decision between TCU, Texas and Texas A&M on April 22nd...making it a very special Good Friday for one of those fanbases.

Miller on the Mound vs. SFA tonight

The Frogs continue their season-long thirteen-game homestand tonight with a visit from the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin.

Taking a page out of the Rangers' book, Coach Schlossnagle will give his closer a look as a starting pitcher as Erik Miller is slated to take the mound this evening. Miller has had an up & down season at the back end of the bullpen so far, but it's his bad outings that show up in his stats: 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 11 appearances. Some might question putting such an inconsistent pitcher into the rotation, but HornedFrogSports.com's David Peterson will tell you why this is a good idea.

We're not yet sure whether this move is a permanent one, but it would appear that Schloss is turning to Plan B for replacing Kaleb Merck. It may end up that Miller regains his job as closer, but for now I would look for one of the two super freshmen- Andrew Mitchell or Stefan Crichton- to take over that role.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU set to host Stephen F Austin
GoFrogs.com

Gameday: TCU baseball vs. Stephen F Austin
Star-Telegram

Football:
Spring sale set for Saturday
GoFrogs.com

Time is now for Broughton
Sport DFW

Monday, March 28, 2011

Houston series recap

If you've been frustrated by this year's TCU baseball team, I hope you weren't attending, watching or listening to Friday night's game. In a season that at times seems to be ruled by Murphy's Law, the wheels came completely off as the Frogs gave up a 5-run lead in the 9th and lost to Houston, 7-6. The defeat elicited this exasperated response from HornedFrogSports.com, and probably a therapeutic latenight viewing of the Rose Bowl on DVR for anyone who suffered through it.

But just as the Frogs giveth away, they also taketh back. Matt Purke had an uncharacteristically subpar performance on Saturday and the Cougars jumped out to a 9-2 lead before the Frogs stormed back to win, 16-10. Sunday's game lacked the roller-coaster nature of the first two as TCU cruised to a 9-1 win and a 2-1 series win.

If it seems as if I'm always singling out Brance Rivera for a strong performance at the plate, it's because he's simply hitting the shit out of the ball. He went 7-for-12 this weekend, including three doubles and a home run...his team-leading sixth. He also drove in four runs, stole a base and pushed his hitting streak to 23 games. He's now hitting .427 on the season and is either first or second on the team in just about every major offensive statistical category.

Aaron Schultz (7-for-14, a double, a grand slam and 6 RBI) and Taylor Featherston (4-for-10, 4 RBI) also deserve some recognition, but Zac Jordan was the surprise star of the weekend. Playing only in the Frogs' two wins of the weekend, Jordan went 4-for-7 with 5 RBI, with all of his hits going for extra bases: two doubles, a triple and his first home run of the season. Look for him to pick up a few more at-bats in the near-future.

My pitching MVP of the weekend is a bit of an odd choice, only because this guy didn't really have all that great of a stat line. Trent Applebly came on in relief of Matt Purke in Saturday's game and was unable to stop the bleeding immediately- allowing Houston's 4-2 lead to balloon to 9-2 by giving up 3 hits and hitting a batter in his first inning of work. But Appleby was able to shake off his rough start and set the Cougars down in order in the 6th and 7th to allow the Frogs the chance to come back and then pitched a fairly efficient 8th & a perfect 9th to preserve the victory. That's the kind of mental toughness you need from a senior, especially just hours after the bullpen had failed in Friday's loss.

While you'd love to see the Frogs sweep an opponent they are clearly better than (and with all due respect to Coach Whitting, TCU is clearly better than U of H at this point) and hate to see a disastrous loss like Friday's, you have to be happy that at least this team can rebound to salvage a series win. Stephen F. Austin continues the parade of in-state, non-conference opponents when they visit Lupton tomorrow night, and then the homestand continues with a three-game set against Air Force this weekend.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU offense pounds on Houston
Star-Telegram

Football:
Three Frogs named preseason all-Americans
GoFrogs.com

Dalton to visit four teams
Star-Telegram

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting paid to be a pledge

If there's one guy that bought into the ridiculous theory that "you'll look back on your time as a pledge and wish you could go back there", it's Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen catcher Jeff Motuzas, who has made a career of getting paid to do the demeaning things that only the sick minds of 20 year-old fraternity kids and over-paid baseball players could think up.


Read the full story, which includes a few quotes from former Horned Frog and current Diamondback Sam Demel, from the Wall Street Journal of all places, by clicking HERE.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Recruiting Update

Although our attention has been diverted with the start of baseball season and spring football, Coach Patterson and his staff have continued their recruiting hot streak. Yesterday they picked up the 8th member of the Class of 2012 when Pflugerville Hendrickson's Daje Johnson (pictured above) committed to play at TCU. Johnson, a 5'10" 180lb athlete with a 4.4 forty time, is listed as an athlete and could end up playing any number of positions once he gets to Fort Worth.

At this time last year, TCU had four commitments for the 2011 class- so it looks like recruits were impressed with a second consecutive undefeated regular season and Rose Bowl victory. For those of you that haven't been keeping up, here is the current list of 2012 commits and below are a few links to some free highlight videos of these future Frogs:
-Daje Johnson, ATH, Pflugerville Hendrickson
-LaDarius Anthony, RB, Kilgore
-Austin Aune, QB, Argyle
-Griffin Gilbert, WR/TE, Austin Lake Travis
-Joey Hunt, DT, El Campo
-Tyler Matthews, QB, McPherson, Kansas
-Edward Pope, DB, Carthage
Couldn't find one for James McFarland. Sorry...

TCU-Houston series preview

After starting conference play last weekend with a 2-1 series win over UNLV, the Frogs return to non-conference action this weekend when they host former SWC and CUSA rival Houston for a three-game set at Lupton. The Cougars, at 11-11, have an RPI of #43, making them one of the higher-ranked teams remaining on the Frogs' schedule and thus making this series an important one for TCU's hopes of hosting any postseason baseball.

The main storyline to look for this weekend is TCU pitching vs. Houston hitting. Like the Frogs' midweek opponent, Texas State, the Cougars can flat-out mash the ball. They are hitting .313 as a team, with four players hitting above .370. They don't hit for a lot of power (just nine total home runs), but they can push a lot runs across the plate- they've scored more than ten runs in a game six different times already this year. Sophomore shortstop Chase Jensen (an Arlington Martin product) and senior outfielder Caleb Ramsey have driven in the most runs with 24 and 26 respectively, while junior DH Matt Creel leads the team with a .397 batting average. Junior catcher John Cannon isn't far behind Creel, batting a salty .391- but if you'll allow me to be a complete baseball nerd for a minute, his on-base percentage is .494. Overrated stat? Possibly, but MLB scouts salivate over it and it means he's keeping innings going by getting on base nearly half the times that he steps to the plate.

TCU's pitching rotation seems to have settled into a regular pattern, as it'll go Winkler-Purke-Maxwell again this weekend. And if you're unsure about the order of the days of the weekend, Rebecca Black is happy to clear that up for you.

How would an offensive juggernaut like U of H lose half their games? If you have to ask that question, you clearly aren't a Rangers fan. The Cougars' team ERA is 4.36 and their allowing opposing hitters to hit .304 against them. Mo Wiley, a 6'4" junior righty who's 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched, goes against Winkler tonight. Jordan Lewis, a junior lefty with a 4.67 ERA and an opponents' batting average of .299 goes on Saturday and then Houston still has an ominous (for them) "TBA" for Sunday's game.

So while the TCU pitchers will have all they can handle in this series, hopefully the bats can continue their gradual emergence from hibernation. Jason Coats and Joe Weik, who were being counted on as major producers in the middle of the lineup, have shown some signs of life the past few weeks. In the meantime, Jantzen Witte and especially Brance Rivera (batting .405 with a 20-game hit streak going) continue to shoulder most of the load.

Tonight's series opener marks the return to Lupton of Todd Whitting. Now the Cougars' head coach, Whitting spent the past seven seasons as an assistant at TCU and was a major contributor to the Frogs' rise to prominence as a program. I'm not usually a big fan of standing ovations for members of the opposing team, but in my opinion the Lupton crowd ought to be on it's feet multiple times this weekend for Coach Whitting.

All three games will be carried live on The Mtn, for those of you who have DirecTV. They'll also be streamed live (video and audio) on grofrogs.com if you want to sit by your computer all weekend. If not, they'll all be on 88.7, which can be heard online at ktcu.net or on your phone by dialing 682-233-6382. You can also follow either @TCU_Baseball or @FollowtheFrogs, who both usually give pretty good updates via twitter.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
Frogs confident despite fall form top of polls
Star-Telegram

TCU continues homestand; hosts TCU for three
GoFrogs.com

Don't complain about Purke
SportDFW

UH preps for TCU in final non-conference series
Cypress Times

Football:
Frogs offensive line to look different
Star-Telegram

Dalton will visit Vikings
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Draft rumors: Dalton to visit Vikings, others
NFL.com

Swimming:
TCU swimmer back in NCAA water
Star-Telegram

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Houston series baseball videos

Circling the bases with Coach Schlossnagle



Jason Coats asking for a stadium full of purple

New vs. Old in Anaheim tonight

Well, maybe "New vs. Current" would be more accurate, but how many of you (show of hands here, folks) have mentally moved on from the MWC after their little scheduling tricks like I have? However you label it, a team that TCU will be playing on their conference schedule in the next two years will advance to the Elite 8 when San Diego State and UConn battle each other in the West Regional semifinals at 6:15 this evening.

Both leagues have two teams in the Sweet 16- San Diego State and BYU for the Mountain West, UConn and Marquette for the Big East. While the Big East has had to endure becoming a bit of a punchline after having 9 of 11 teams lose in the tournament's opening weekend, Jack Bogaczyk of the Charleston Daily Mail wonders if that bashing is really warranted.

After all, isn't getting 11 teams in the Dance still pretty darn impressive? Isn't having 9 teams flame out quickly in the tournament that matters better than having a couple of teams make a run in the NIT or whatever made-up tournament SMU is playing in?

Parking Situation for 2011

The season ticket/parking renewal packets went out in the mail earlier this week, and plenty of Frog fans are going to have a different game day experience in 2011 while the stadium is still under construction. Clearly, a lot of folks are going to have different seats next year- but it seems as if those of us in Section V will be staying put- granted you renew by the May 15 deadline.

Parking, however, is probably going to be quite a bit different for just about everyone that reads this blog. The map above details all of the changes from last fall to this coming one, all of which are being brought on by the fact that the old Lots 1 & 2- on the west side of the stadium- are completely shut down for 2011.

The most notable change, at least as it relates to the main demographics of the Spit Blood readership, is that folks that had permits for Lot 3 last year (on the north side of the stadium) will be pushed back to Lot 4- across Cantey Street even further north of Lot 3. If you thought getting people to leave tailgates to go into the game was hard enough already, just wait until you have to ask them to walk an additional couple dozen steps to watch one of the best football programs in America!

What about the folks that were in Lot 4 last year, you ask? They're being moved to "Lot 13", otherwise known as the baseball stadium parking lot on Berry. At that point, you've got to wonder if paying for parking is even worth it, right? This is why WWHD and I are currently looking into how close blimps are allowed to hover over the field- we might be renting one for game day...or for a permanent residence, depending on price.

Morning Dump

Getting to know...TCU QB Andy Dalton NFL.com

Notes on a scorecard
GoFrogs.com

Shooting guard Josh Richardson visits TCU
Sport DFW

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pointless Trivia

In the packet sent for the season ticket renewal's there was a page excerpt on the Club Level seats, with simulated images of what the inside will look like.

Trivia Question: What game is on TV? Outcome? and who is the TCU player?


More of a "challenge" if you look at the season ticket packet, the online photo's have the same game/photo on TV but far easier to clearly see. Post answers in comments. Stupid? yes, but you will get 1/2 frog club point for correct answers, when accompanied with a $100 donation to SB.

A way-too-early look at the postseason

If you are like a lot of fans and are not too familiar with the landscape of college baseball, you might have been under the assumption that beating Texas State on the diamond last night was like beating the them in football. But the Bobcats came into last night's game at Lupton with a 15-4 record and an RPI ranking of #9 in the country, so the Frogs' 3-1 victory is actually a pretty big W. It boosts their own RPI-overnight, mind you- from #41 to #29.

The superb freshmen duo of Andrew Mitchell and Stefan Crichton combined for 8 innings of one-run baseball against a team that had absolutely been mashing the ball so far this season. The two youngsters, who will likely be handed much bigger roles in the pitching staff next year, both have ERAs under 2.00 and impressive strike out to walk ratios.

As we look ahead to the postseason, collegebaseballdaily.com still has the Frogs as regional hosts in their latest regional projections. Projected to be in Fort Worth are #2 seed Baylor, #3 seed Louisville and #4 seed Wichita State. Other teams in this part of the country that are currently listed as potential hosts are Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and LSU. Looking even further ahead in the projected field, if the Frogs were to advance into the Super Regionals they'd be in a familiar place: facing the Longhorns at Disch-Falk for a third consecutive year.

Spring Game will be at Amon G.

Despite the construction going on, TCU's spring game will be played at Amon G. Carter Stadium on April 2nd, as confirmed in this morning's Star-Telegram. All of the fans will be asked to sit on the east side of the stadium, but Frog Alley will be open for the kiddos (or those of you that still act like one). Might there be a Spit Blood tailgate? Stay posted...

Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU rallies to edge Texas State
Star-Telegram

TCU rallies for 3-1 victory of Texas State
GoFrogs.com

Football:
TCU defensive lineman growing into starting spot
Star-Telegram

Gary Patterson's system being admired by others
WFAA

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update on Carpenter

Former Frog Matt Carpenter, at the start of just his second full year of professional baseball, was given a non-roster invite to the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training after having been named the organization's minor league Player of the Year in 2010. He made the most of the opportunity, hitting .340 in 20 Grapefruit League games with the Cards, but his longshot bid to make the Opening Day roster came up just short when he was assigned to AAA Memphis yesterday.

According to the story from Fox Sports Midwest, though, it sounds as if the St. Louis brass was impressed with him and that he's got a good shot at being called up to the bigs at some point in 2011.

Frogs vs. Texas State tonight

Whoa whoa, ladies- I didn't ask for a demonstration...

TCU will play the first of 13 consecutive home games tonight at 6:30 when the Bobcats of Texas State pay them a visit at Lupton Stadium. Coach Schlossnagle's squad will be looking to win their third straight game and gain a bit of the consistency that has eluded them all year.

So far in midweek games this season, the Frogs are 2-2 with losses coming against UTA and Dallas Baptist. They'll look to get above .500 on Tuesdays against a much better team tonight, as Texas State comes in with a record of 15-4 (including wins over Baylor and Nebraska) and an RPI of #9. The Bobcats, as a team, are hitting .305 and averaging over 8 runs a game. They are led by second basemen Tyler Sibley- the junior from Frisco bats leadoff and is hitting .419 on the year. Another one to look out for is junior catcher Casey Kalencosky, who has already socked 8 home runs.

According to the preview of the game from gofrogs.com that is in today's dump, freshman Andrew Mitchell will take the mound for the Frogs. Mitchell has an opponent's batting average of .141 and an ERA of just 0.39, but remember that he was slated to start last Tuesday and Kyle Starratt ended up doing so. So maybe Coach Schloss just likes to make gofrogs.com and Spit Blood look silly.

For the Bobcats, it'll be senior lefty Lee Colon who is 1-2 on the year with a 3.63 ERA. One thing that catches your eye when looking at Colon's stats, though, is that he's allowing opposing batters to hit at a .338 clip- hopefully that trend continues tonight as the Frogs look to keep their bats waking up from an early season slump.

If you're headed out to Lupton tonight and are looking to heckle the Bobcats, just please do it better than this dude at a TCU-Texas State game in '06.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
Gameday: TCU baseball vs Texas State Star-Telegram

Frogs kick off 13 game homestand Tuesday
GoFrogs.com

Alumni:
Not entirely sports related but it's a slow news day. Here's a video of Bob Schieffer's office in DC. It includes an entire wall of TCU gear towards the end of the clip. Courtesy of Politico

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dalton a first rounder?

Trent Dilfer seems to think it's a possibility.

UNLV series recap


Like Mikey, TCU was the big winner in Vegas. OK, maybe not "big" winner, but winner nonetheless

When I checked the baseball score on my phone late Friday night, I have to admit that some of the "doom and gloom" being spewed by the majority of TCU's fickle & finicky fanbase crept into my mind. I had been following the game through the first three innings, during which Kyle Winkler was perfect as usual. But after he was exposed as mortal and the Frogs suffered another late-inning collapse and lost to UNLV on a walk-off home run, I felt a frustration at the continual underachieving that I thought only the Mavs could bring to me.

But then the Frogs, faced with the possibility of dropping a series at the hands of their main threat to conference supremecy, exploded for 20 runs and 31 hits over the next two days. They also got 7 and 2/3 combined scoreless innings from the bullpen on Saturday and Sunday to go along with the usual strong starting pitching as they stormed back to take down the Rebels.

As the guys at HornedFrogSports.com allude to in their summary of the weekend, it's hard to weed through all of the strong offensive performances to pick one MVP of the series. It may seem redundant because he's been hitting like a maniac all season, but in my mind it's gotta be Brance Rivera. He went 6-for-14 on the weekend with a double, THREE home runs, 5 RBI and a stolen base. Plenty of other guys had stellar weekends at the plate, though- most refreshingly Joe Weik, who went 4-for-5 in Sunday's win.

For the first time this season, Kyle Winkler was not the pitching MVP of the series. He took his first loss of the season Friday night, although he really didn't pitch very poorly at all. He had 11 K's in 8 innings, and even though he had a couple of hiccups, his ERA is still under 1.00. Purke also had 11 K's in his start, but the real MVP of the weekend has to be the collective effort put together by the bullpen. The Frog relievers, who had been somewhat suspect so far this year, allowed just 4 baserunners all weekend- and just two hits. Andrew Mitchell, Kyle Starratt and Teddy Nowell were all perfect in preserving Purke's third win of the season Saturday night.

Next up is Tuesday night home game against Texas State and a weekend series against former TCU assistant Todd Whitting and U of H at Lupton this weekend. The next 13 games will all be played at home, so the Frogs have a couple of weeks to find some rhythm and consistency before they next hit the road for a midweek road test against OU in Norman on April 12th.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU takes baseball series against UNLV
Star-Telegram

TCU wins series with 8-4 victory Sunday
GoFrogs.com

Football:
Five BCS busters to watch this season
Orlando Sentinel

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Golf updates...for those who care

These pics will probably be the only thing mildly amusing about these posts, because hey, it's golf

So I'm not sure if most of the people who read this site have any interest in golf whatsoever, but I have run it by our fearless leader, (thefinch, not Kim Jong-il) and have been given permission to follow TCU's own JJ Henry through the PGA season. I won't bore you with shot by shot details as he goes through his rounds, but I plan on posting his results in each weeks tournament. Like it or hate, I figured it was a good way to show our support for a fellow Frog and add another sport to the mix.

Anyways, JJ shot a 71 to close out the weekend at the Transitions Championship in Tampa Bay, leaving him tied for 20th. This is his 4th best result so far this year, and he is currently sitting 42nd in points in the FedEx cup standings. Next up is the Arnold Palmer Invitational down the road in Orlando, I'll keep yall posted.

Texas tears

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spitblood Psychic: The Future of Rooster.

He loves the 49er

As the most beloved and ballyhooed prospect to come out of TCU since LaDainian Tomlinson, we all have a heightened sense of interest where Red will end up playing football professionally. So rather than make you all dig through the muck and mire that are sports related internet rumors, we will compile them all here, team by team, as they come along. For the sake of brevity, we will only feature team's that have scheduled an interview with Andy, look at their current QB situation and draft picks and make one of our patented hasty assessments from there. We will also give more credence to team's with picks in the 2-4 rounds because we're optimistic and can't see Dalton lasting beyond there.

Today we'll take a look at the only organization to send their head man to TCU's pro day, the San Francisco 49ers.

QB's Currently on Roster: David Carr, Alex Smith, Troy Smith.

Draft Picks: Round 1 (7); Round 2 (13); Round 3 (12); Round 4 (11,18).

Why Rooster Fits: A cursory glance at the current QB roster should spell it out pretty nicely. The fact that Jim Harbaugh himself deemed Dalton worth the trip to Fort Worth when most team's simply send a scout or assistant should make it pretty clear: San Francisco needs a QB as bad as any other team in the league and 14 is in their sights. Former first overall pick Alex Smith has been just shy of a complete bust, although Jim Harbaugh fancies himself a bit of a QB guru and will likely focus his efforts on helping Smith regain his Utah form before completely casting him off. David Carr, another first overall pick, clearly has too much mental damage left from the beatings he took while a Texan and must be in complete shock grasping the downward trajectory his career took. And Troy Smith, bless him, will never be a successful QB in the NFL.

In most of the mock drafts I have seen, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are off the board by the time the 49ers pick at 7, but if one of those guys is to fall, you have to think they'll be at or near the top of their draft board. Depending on how they rate out, Dalton to SF could be completely obsolete early on Thursday night of Draft Weekend. However, assuming Newton and Gabbert are gone, I could very easily see SF giving Dalton a shot with their mid round pick in the 2nd. Dalton has really elevated his league wide perception since before the Rose Bowl and I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that he could go this high. He's still behind Gabbert, Newton, Ryan Mallett and Jake Locker - BAFFLING!!! - but I think he's certainly on par with Christian Ponder, with Ponder rating slightly higher.

Looking at the stats, the way their passing game functioned this past season would certainly fit Dalton well as a young guy learning in the league. The leading receiver was actually TE Vernon Davis, and while clearly TCU's passing game was very TE averse, you can't discount their importance in the NFL. Davis is a major weapon in this offense and to be able to hit in on a quick route and let him do the rest is a stat boost an QB will take. This would be a great way for Dalton, who is not necessarily a great deep passer, to exploit his skills set. Also on this note, the third highest yardage receiver was RB Frank Gore, which directly plays to what AD saw at TCU. Also of note is receiver Michael Trabtree - remember him? - who hasn't exactly made the impact you might have expected based on his hold out and college reputation, but who seems to be coming into his own as a go to guy.

As much as I'd hate to see Rooster in the Bay Area playing for the team that terrified by childhood dreams, I don't think there's any question that he's one of their targets, and is probably higher on their chart than he is on most others around the league. I'm not sure how this situation will look when we bring it all together the week of the draft, but I have to imagine they'll be in the Top 3.

Why Rooster Doesn't Fit: There's really only one reason here and that is the fact that SF doesn't need a QB project - they need a starter. With Carson Palmer whining his way out of Cincinnati, I think the 49ers will make a MAJOR play for him assuming this whole CBA gets ironed out sometime in the near future. In that case, they'd have a starter and would probably keep 2/3 current guys on the roster as backups depending on their contracts which would bump AD out of the pecking order.

However, should Harbaugh decide that none of those guys are worthy of even clipboard holding duties, I suppose there are worse situations for Dalton than to sit for a few years and learn. However, do you really want AD to learn from a whiny bitch failure like Carson Palmer who is threatening to retire from his current team if they don't trade him? Palmer has been a colossal disappointment in Cincinnati given his pedigree and expectations. But, if SF did make a play for him, they'd expect him to start for at least the next 5 seasons which wouldn't give Dalton much space to shine. However, that's completely hypothetical so I can't really use this as my argument.

Truthfully, if the status quo remains, this would still not be a good situation for Andy as he would have no QB of note to learn from and would likely be forced into a starting role much sooner than preferred. This pick is going to come down to how much Harbaugh believes in a QB currently on his staff. If he thinks Alex Smith is the man, I could see him taking Dalton as insurance, which would allow him to develop and compete a couple of years down the line for a starting role. If he doesn't, then he's definitely going to go for something along the lines of the above paragraph because resting the success of your first NFL Head Coaching job on a project rookie QB isn't good for anyone's job status.


TCU-UNLV series preview

Even though a handful of disappointing losses has added a bit of a sour taste to the young season, the 10-6 Horned Frogs need to avoid dwelling on those defeats as they enter the conference season tonight with a 0-0 record. Is there a better place to change your luck than in Vegas? Based on my experiences, yes, but I also figure that our baseball team is better at baseball than I am at guessing my way through the rules at a craps table after 10 beers.

Kyle Winkler, who has been simply dominant so far this year, will again take the mound in the Friday night slot and will be taking on an equally dominant pitcher for the UNLV. Tanner Peters, a sophomore, has the same 4-0 record and perfect 0.00 ERA as Winkler. In 29 innings pitched, Peters has given up just 17 hits, has struck out 32 and walked just 9.

Matt Purke, looking to rebound after his first collegiate loss last weekend, will start Saturday against the Rebels' Joe Robinson (3-0, 4.72) and Steven Maxwell mans his usual Sunday slot against Travis Iodence (3-0, 1.67).

The player to keep an eye on in UNLV's batting order is senior outfielder Rance Roundy. After missing almost all of last year with an injury, Roundy is making up for lost time as he's hitting .461 with 6 home runs and 27 RBI so far this season. Top to bottom, they are raking right now, batting .312 as a team with a total of 26 home runs. By comparison, the Frog order is hitting .289 with 10 homers.

At 16-4 overall, the Rebels would appear to be the main threat to TCU's conference crown as New Mexico (3-13) has take a step back this year. The Frogs have certainly had UNLV's number since Schlossnagle left The Strip for Fort Worth, having won 20 of 22 and 11 straight. I'm hesitant to point that out, though, as UTA ended a long losing streak against TCU on Tuesday after I made note of it. But since no one reads this blog, I think we'll be alright.

Game times for this weekend are 8:00pm tonight and tomorrow night and 1:00pm Sunday. This series will not be televised, but all three games will be on KTCU. If you're like me and don't have an iphone to access KTCU's app (they have one, right?), you can listen to KTCU by dialing 682-233-6382 and can get updates via twitter by following @TCU_Baseball or @FollowtheFrogs.

Tournament Talk in Section V

We've received quite a bit of feedback lately from Spit Blood readers saying they wished that the Section V forum was more active. What better time to get more people involved than the NCAA Tournament? The forums are free to use and as loosely-censored as Spit Blood itself, if not even looser.

So click on over there and let us know how fucked your brackets are, or how smart you were to pick Morehead State over Louisiville (even if it was only because your mind was in the gutter) or whatever else you've got to say about the first few days of the Tournament. Oh, and look for some more interactive features of Spit Blood involving Section V in the coming weeks...

Morning Dump

Football:
Dalton scores 29 on Wunderlick
Star-Telegram

WWE beats college football any day
Star-Telegram

Welcome to the other NCAA tournament
ESPN

Baseball:
Frogs open league play at UNLV
GoFrogs.com

Basketball:
TCU basketball recruit LeAntwan Luckett
Sport DFW

Rebounding problems down stretch doom TCU
Star-Telegram

Haters guide part 2
Deadspin

Tournament picture of the day

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another take on the early-season struggles


We've long considered HornedFrogSports.com to be a great companion to what we can offer here, especially during baseball season. That doesn't mean that we always agree on everything, though, and they've got a different take on the baseball team's confusingly mediocre 10-6 start to the season after Sir Wesley's pushing of the panic button yesterday. Unlike a certain TCU-related site, we appreciate different points of view and welcome opposing opinions here.

And since most of you are probably fairly engrossed in college basketball today, let's take yet another look at a TCU hoops video that will never get old:

Pop Quiz, Hotshot

Andy Dalton threw touchdown passes to 17 different receivers during his four years at the helm of the TCU offense. Can you name them all?

You've got 5 minutes to complete this quiz. Then let us know how many you got in the comments section, but don't spoil it for everyone else by telling us which ones you got or didn't.

Morning Dump

Basketball:
To repeat: TCU beat USC in men's basketball
Star-Telegram

For three facing swan song, TCU women have to mute high scoring ORU
Star-Telegram

Since our basketball team sucks here's some hate for everyone that has a decent squad
Thanks Deadspin

Football:
Non-AQ top 25 players: No. 4 Andy Dalton
ESPN

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard GoFrogs.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Activities YOU can Partake in to Avoid the Reality that the TCU Baseball Team is Making the BasketFrogs Look Consistent.

I'm not saying I agree with the feline...
but the fact that he took the time to put on a metaphoric chicken costume tells me he's pretty serious.

Like many of you, I have no idea what to make of the TCU Baseball team in this year of our Lord, 2011. Sure, the increased expectations of last year were bound to make anything other than an absolute Blitzkrieg to Omaha a disappointment... but the fact is we're sitting at 10-6 with an ABYSMAL 2-3 combined record against the dregs of the baseball world that are UT-Almost, Dallas Baptist, with its beautiful campus that resides in lovely South Dallas, and Houston Baptist, a team that none of us even knew existed until our schedule was released is concerning to say the least. As long as geographically pertinent teams like Texas, Oklahoma and LSU keep winning, we're on the outside looking in at hosting a Super Regional, and to be honest, unless we right this ship there's a legitimate chance our entire road to Omaha will be played away from Lupton. Given our home record that might not be a bad thing. We currently sit in 10th in the Spitblood approved Baseball America poll - approved mostly because they were kind enough not to kick us out of the rankings completely after last weekend - but you can bet they'll take notice after last night's humiliation.

I've made it pretty clear that I qualify as a fair weather fan of baseball in general, but at the same time I'm a ravenous fan of all things TCU, sans womens sports, so this puts me in a bit of a bind. On the one hand, I want to believe we can turn this thing around. I want to believe that the early season jitters are going on a bit longer than normal but that all hope is not lost and that, yes, we will be laughing about our panty-waist reactions as we're hoisting the trophy in Omaha. But, at the same time, I can only accept three of our losses to this point, and the inconsistency of our bats is incredibly jarring. It'd be one thing if, like our basketball team, we could chalk it up to lack of talent, but we clearly know better. To my mind, what makes this situation so ominous is that it stinks of a lack of focus and leadership, and that's not something you can simply change overnight. And the fact that Matt Purke is indeed human and not a Cyborg sent back by a self aware SkyNet to destroy his the mother of his eventual destroyer before she could give birth, or at least another baseball team once a weekend, makes me feel strangely naked as a fan.

Conference play begins this weekend in Las Vegas against current leader, and former Schlossnaglebots, UNLV, they of the 16-4 record. A sweep of the Rebels doesn't guarantee future success, but I know it will help a lot of us sleep easier. And if we drop a game or two? Well... how long until football season again?

But, that's neither here nor there because, in truth, we won't really know this team until at least a month from now once they've put down half a season's worth of games... so in the meantime, here are some ways to distract yourself from the current "sky is falling" situation.

  1. Pander Alert! Take part in the Spitblood March Madness Bracket. In case you didn't realize - and seriously, if it weren't specifically called MARCH Madness I'm not sure I would've either with the way the NFL bleeds into early February these days - the NCAA Tournament is currently underway with the first half of First Four games being played last night. And what better way to stick it to the man and torpedo your office's productivity for the week than to join a March Madness pool? Better yet, THE March Madness pool to end all March Madness pools headed by our own dear leader, TheFinch? The Final Four isn't until the first weekend in April, so by that time we'll have faced UNLV, Air Force, Stephen F Austin, Texas State and dreaded UT-Pan American, so if things aren't looking improved by then, you can probably go ahead and stick a fork in the season.
  2. Order your copy of the Rose Bowl on DVD. Really, why haven't you done this by now? The greatest moment in TCU Football history not involving leather helmets and white positional players! The Wisconsin fans with constipated expressions on their faces post game, shockingly not caused by cheese intake! Paula Deen deep frying the coin toss! This DVD really has it all! And apparently due to a clerical error, a lot of you received DUAL copies of said disc-like media so put one on your TV and one in your lap top on a slight delay so you can watch all the big plays twice without having to rewind! Seriously. It works. It's brilliant. And, best of all, if you're watching the DVD on your laptop, then you can't logon to D1Baseball.com and follow the scoretracker live, so you'll never know that the Frogs are blowing it with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 9th at the same time Tank Carder is eating Scott Tolzien's soul.
  3. Follow the NFL Lockout & Side with the Owners so that College Football Will Be the New NFL. With all the cheating and pay for play schemes dominating the sport at present, it was bound the happen anyway, but with the lockout looking like it won't be coming to a close anytime too soon, this possibility ramps the process up in a HUGE way. Imagine it: The NFL lockout goes into the regular season. Entire networks are getting fisted because of lost ad revenue due to the loss of entire afternoons and prime time slots of programming. Meantime, America LOVES football, can't live without it and the married men of the world are going to absolutely riot once they realize that their Sunday afternoon getting out of housework excuse is kaput. So the best solution for all involved? COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEVEN DAYS A WEEK! Think about it - college football already regularly schedules games Tues-Saturday. We should definitely know this due to our time in CUSA purgatory, and we'll have to get even more acclimated to it once we join the Big East as they have at least a Friday game every single week. And rather than succumb to a woman's wishes and simply let the vacated Sunday and Monday NFL slots lay dormant, don't you think the networks would KILL to have college games fill those slots? Monday night TCU game? Don't mind if I do! Sunday afternoon SEC double header? Yes please! And seriously, this isn't that far fetched from happening. Ok, to be fair, in all likelihood some sort of resolution will be reached between the league and the players before actual games are missed... but I for one am certainly holding out hope that they don't. Jerral Jones approves.
  4. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen. Ha! JK! I needed some filler.
  5. Follow David Peterson over at Horned Frog Sports. Ok, now that the list is half over, I'm assuming there are those of you who can't COMPLETELY take your mind off of following TCU on the diamond, and I'd be lying if I said I'm not going to at least check every box score from now until the season ends. And while we do the best we can with what we have over here as far as baseball coverage with lyle and shortnkerleys being genuine baseball fans with legitimate knowledge and understanding of the game, Peterson is and always will be TCU's Baseball Jesus and your best source for all things of that nature. Like, he crunches numbers and shit. He's kind of like the Futureman in Bottle Rocket of the TCU Baseball blogger world, except not an asshole. But, since this is supposed to be a list of ways to AVOID the early season troubles, let's continue on.
  6. Follow a European Soccer team and pretend you're a well-cultured hipster. Think of it - you step into an American Apparel store this weekend in your worn down Chucks, extra skinny jeans, 3 day scruff of beard and striped T shirt complete with scarf even though it's 85 degrees outside, fedora precisely skewed atop your unkempt wig, and ask the cute girl behind the counter, with her ironic slogan t shirt and not so ironic camel toe protruding from her undersized leggings, if she happened to catch the score of the Stoke/Everton match in the Carling Cup? She may not know what you're talking about, but just querying her on such an obscure fixture will certainly get her attention! But, to be truthful for a bit, soccer is a sneaky good way to pass the time between the Super Bowl and the NCAA Tournament and then the NCAA Tournament and the annual Mavericks playoff collapse - by that timeline, you really only need it for a couple of months max. Sure, it's basically Barack Obama's ideology in sport form, and if you think a 3-2 Tuesday night offensively anemic loss to a would-be junior college is boring, just wait until you watch two lower level English clubs go at it in a 0-0 contest with only a smattering of shots on goal, but it's also the most corrupt sport in the world with the most violent rivalries around. Other than the fact that the American version is hopelessly pathetic, I think the intensity of the rivalries is what has kept Americans at bay for so long; If we're seriously that enraged about the herbicide in Auburn, then there's no chance that typical Joe USA could handle Rangers/Celtic in Glasgow which is basically just a religion war framed as a sporting competition, complete with racism, death threats and lots and lots of over consumption. The game itself is pretty much secondary. After you read up a bit about the things that go on over there, my Lessons in SMU Hate will seem extremely pussified by comparison.
  7. Illegally Recruit Johnathan Gray. I'm like most of you - getting Johnathan Gray in a Frogs uniform has become a bit of an unhealthy obsession of mine. Not just because of his talent, although his performance in last year's state title game is still just SHOCKING to behold, and not just because he'd be the highest rated recruit to ever set foot in Fort Worth. No, I want him because it would mean aggy and Texas didn't get him, and while we've gotten recruits they had offered before, the fact that this is one guy that they are both absolutely gunning for would be an incredible feat. Think about it - aggy is on their highest cloud since the late 90s, possibly ever, and certainly since they joined the Big 12. Mack Brown just had to admit failure and overhaul his entire staff, he doesn't have a starting QB or an offensive line, and is coming off of a year where his team had the worst downfall of a title game participant ever. And now they're both competing with little ole TCU for one of the hottest prospects in the nation AND COULD LOSE. For aggy, the initial effect wouldn't be devastating - they still think they're winning the Big 12 like they do every year, and Gray has already cooled a bit on them anyway if what I read is true, so they'd spin it as if they didn't want him anyway. But don't think it wouldn't hurt and hurt BAD. As for Texas? They already have Malcolm Brown on campus, but I have a feeling losing a commit head to head with TCU before the defining season of Mack Brown's career kicks off would be borderline catastrophic from a perception standpoint. Can you imagine the bitch fit Mack will throw and the vitriol that UT fans will hurl our way? It'll be the most heated rivalry in college football where one side refuses to actually participate on the field. It would make for a hate fest of epic proportions and drive the most loathsomely fair weather fanbase in the nation back into their holes until Wal Mart product placement assures them that their team is back on top. So what can we do? Well, I'm not going to give you any ideas - ok, just one: hoez. - but if you'll give Cecil Newton a call I'm sure he can lead you in the right direction. Just know that Mack is already way ahead of you. On that note...
  8. Poop in a Box and Mail it to Mack Brown. An oldie but a goodie, and one that should always be on the table.
  9. Go on a Bender until the Regional Sites are Announced. That's one surefire way to avoid anything to do with TCU baseball, as well as your family, friends, job, hygiene and cardiovascular health.
  10. Watch this video on repeat, because it's never not funny:

Your suggestions in the comments.