Monday, October 31, 2011

2012 or 2014?

I guess while I was out of town over the weekend the Big 12 announced they were indeed inviting West Virginia to join the conference? Welcome aboard then, Jesco White. The only question now is...when will the Mountaineers actually join the league? The Big East seems pretty adamant about holding WVU to the 27-month waiting period that Pitt and Syracuse are apparently also being held to before they can join the ACC. But West Virginia and the Big 12 brass both think they ought to be able to switch conferences immediately, like TCU.

So how will this little dilemma get resolved? If you guessed "by a game of Crossfire" like I did, I'm sad to report that you're wrong. Instead, West Virginia is getting all lawya'd up to take the Big East to court- claiming that:

"The denigration of the Big East Conference is a direct and proximate result of ineffective leadership and breach of fiduciary duties to the football schools by the Big East Conference and its commissioner."

Take that, Marinatto! Does anyone else think the Big 12 might help their newest member kill off their opponents in the court room by just asking Louisville and maybe even Cincinnati to join? The part of me that likes to laugh at SMU hopes that's the case, while the rest of me thinks this case might make for some good TV watchin' in the coming months.

Weekend Roundup.

Given the current, SO CLOSE state of the Frogs re-emergence in rankings, we're going to flip the script as long as that status remains the same. In other words, we're flipping the script for 2 weeks.

Before we begin though, it's worth drawing attention to THIS article from briefly touching on Marcus Cannon's cancer being officially in remission and he is now practicing with the team. A once heartbreaking story keeps getting more and more amazing by the day and I know we all wish Marcus well in his journey. I just wish he played for a more likable organization...

But anyway, as I'm sure most of you noticed that the Frogs are sitting comfortably in 26th place in the Coaches' Poll with 55 points. This is still 67 points shy of 25th ranked Texas, but with LOLTetch going to Austin this weekend, don't be so sure they stay there. Consider that your MOvement Watch teaser for the week. The Frogs are 30th in the current AP Fake poll.

The Good:

#16 aggy 31, Mizzourah 38. See? Didn't I tell you it would be such an aggy thing to do to lose a sure thing at home to Missouri Saturday. You can pretty much give me all the credit in this one. aggy led 28-14 in the second half before performing their now weekly rolling over and playing dead act before losing in Overtime. We knew aggy can't beat the current SEC teams; Now they can't even beat the SEC teams that haven't been invited yet. Thanks for the spot, yo.

The Bad:

None. No one jumped us.

The Meh:

#26 Georgia Tech 31, #6 Clemson 17. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually, but rarely does a game that screams this much upset potential come to fruition. But this one wasn't even close as the Jackets led 24-3 at halftime and racked up 383 yards on the ground. Just Clemson being Clemson, I suppose.

#25 Southern Miss 31, UTEP 13. This one was actually tied at 10 at halftime... then stuff happened.

#24 West Virginia 41, Rutgers 31. Seriously, West Virginia? Paralyzed Rutgers DT Eric LeGrand leads the team onto the field in a wheelchair in a snowstorm and you're gonna ruin his moment with a win? Future conference hate, perhaps. Rutgers actually led this one 31-17 at halftime and 31-24 in the 4th before West Virginia got all West Virginiay. Also, if you haven't seen the highlights from this I strongly recommend a brief look just to see the weather beacuse it looked like the most miserable fan conditions of all time. Seriously, had this been one of our games we would've had a negative attendance.

#21 Georgia 24, Florida 20. Apparently Mark Richt had only beaten Florida THRICE in 11 years at the helm. That's pretty shocking. Florida has now lost 4 in a row for the first time in 20 years. Charlie Weis' offense scored 3 points in the month of October. ESSSEEEEESSSEEEEEE.

The LOL.

This will be a new section each week where we laugh at the misfortunes of those we do not care for. There were TWO winners this week, and three if you count aggy.

#19 LOLTetch 7, Iowa State 41. You read that right. In a game I figured was so in hand I did not even put it in the movement watch, Tech absolutely IMPLODED a week following their toppling of OU. Apparently Tech presumed it was well in hand as well. I did not have the distinct pleasure of watching more than the first quarter of this one, but it was a doozy if you wear red, black and herpes. The Cyclones, who are now only 1-4 in Conference play, held the Raiders to 191 yards passing and 0 TD passes. The last time Tetch was held without a TD pass? YOu guessed it, 2005 at Amon G. Synergy, we has it with the Cyclones. With the loss Tech became the only team in NCAA history to receive no votes one week, be ranked the next, and then no receive no more votes the week following.

Baylor 24, #3 Okie Lite 59. Remember that time RObert Griffin's Heisman candidacy died? Well, it probably happened at Kyle Field, but it officially unofficially ended in Stillwater. Mr. RG3 DID pass for 425 yards, but only one went for a score and he had his first multi-pick game of the year with 2. On the day the Pokes gave up 622!! yards of offense, yet led the game 49-3 in at one point in the fourth quarter. That is some serious dedication to bend but don't break tactics. The Bears had FIVE turnovers. Enjoy the bowl, Wacoites!

SMU 7, Tulsa 38. Seriously, could losing to SMU have been the key to our season? Ever since they classed up the joint in victory at Amon G, they've gone 1-2, getting outscored 65-10 in their 2 losses. You have to understand, too, that this is SMU's most experienced and talented team in over 20 years and was widely expected to go head to head with Houston for the Conference USA title. Whoopsie!! JJ McDermott had 4 INTs to complement his 0 TDs Saturday in Tulsa.

NFL Round up.

Cincy 34, Seattle 12. Helped along by punt and INT returns for scores, the Bengals blew out the Seahawks in what is typically one of the more difficult road environments in the league. Dalton finished a Dalton-esque 18/29 for 168 yards and 2 TDs, as well as 2 picks. Just win, that's all he does.

Indy 10, Tenn 27. I love how much the team has turned on itself, notably Peyton Manning because its clear they're all in for Luck at this point. Hughes had 1 tackle.

Minny 24, Carolina 21. Hopefully Jason Phillips' next tackle will be on Kicker Olindo Mare's right knee because he completely blew this one for the Panthers. It would be good practice because he had 0 tackles. Did he even play? Viking?

Cards 27, Ravens 30. OUCH!! After blasting off to a 24-6 halftime lead, the Cardinals decided to go the CJ Wilson "winning is overrated" route and absolutely laid an egg. D Wash was second on the team with 6 tackles and a pass defensed.

All of a sudden, this weekend becomes big

Old Man Winter will be making an appearance in Laramie

I'll be the first to admit that, until very recently, I viewed the upcoming road game against Wyoming as a gimme win. And why not? TCU has owned Doo-Doo Brown as of late, winning the past three years by a combined score of 144-17.

But then the Cowboys surprised just about everyone by upending San Diego State on the road Saturday, 30-27, to improve to 5-2 for the season. They rolled up 500 yards of total offense, including a career-high 341 through the air by true freshman QB Brett Smith. When you compare that to the 446 yards that the Frogs produced against the Aztecs at Qualcomm, it's kind of like eating at Railhead right before heading to the tailgate: all of a sudden, Doo Doo Brown is a viable threat. We'll get more in-depth on the Cowboys' potent offense (and their verrrry suspect defense) as the week progresses.

Of course, all of those numbers and any scouting reports may have to go out the window because of the weather forecast. The Weather Channel is currently calling for a high on Saturday of 26 degrees, with a 70% chance of snow and winds up to 23 mph. Obviously, we'll be tracking this throughout the week- but if that holds up, the crazy weather combined with the altitude (remember, Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium is the highest in FBS football at 7,215 feet) will make for a formidable test for this young Horned Frog team.

Game 8 Recap: BYU.

Apparently not all Mormons wear ankle length denim dresses.

Six minutes. Six minutes was all it took for TCU to put 14 points on the board and essentially scrawl their name in the win column. Yes, they would need just about all of their final 38 points to make this one official, but a third quick start in a row pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening. Despite lulling themselves into complacency with a late 35-10 lead, the outcome of this game was never really in doubt. You can partially thank the TCU defense for their third impressive performance in a row; You can mostly thank Riley Nelson for playing football just like you'd expect a long haired Mormon that kind of looks like a lesbian to play. Yes, he had a nice night running the ball, but his two interceptions - and nearly a third and fourth - were CRUCIAL in keeping the momentum in TCU's favor. And just in case you think I'm targeting too much blame Nelson's way, you can also give credit to the BYU Punter developing leprosy in pre game because his hands must have literally turned black and rotted off without his knowledge based on his case of the fumbles. As always, if you want the more traditional, fact based, stat filled recap, check out the Star-Telegram or Purple Menace. Here is what I have to offer.

Casey Pachall did not have an outstanding night passing the ball. Actually, correction - Pachall did not have an outstanding night passing the ball based on what we know he's capable of. 13/23 for 147 yards and 2 Scores. Of course, it doesn't help pad your stats when the opposing team gives you fantastic field position based on their gaffes for a good portion of the game, but it's true his night will not set off any Heisman bells. However, he did exactly what he needed to do when called upon. When Skye Dawson was being covered by a LB on the second play of the game, he took advantage of the matchup and hit him wide open for a score, with a major assist from said LB who fell down on the play, another one of those little favors the Cougars did us. When Ed Wesley made a ballsy play on a punt return to set us up with solid field position right before halftime, Pachall dropped a perfect pass into Josh Boyce's hands to officially put the game out of reach.

But perhaps the biggest thing we should take into account about Pachall? For a guy who came into the season with potential character and maturity issues, he's handling this Matt Brown thing pretty well, wouldn't you say? It's pretty clear that, at least for one snap per goal line possession, Matt Brown is going to get a shot to run the read option and pick up an easy TD. We wondered if it would work as effectively against teams not named New Mexico and, at least for one week, it did. After giving Pachall the chance for half a season, it's clear that Matt Brown is more effective on his feet and that putting him in the game in option situations gives the team a better chance for success.

I wouldn't suggest that Pachall HAS to be on board for this to work, but the fact that he is certainly helps. You have to realize, being pulled in deep red zone situations is going to take away more than a few potential TDs from Pachall's stat line. And I don't think he could care any less. He's pumping his fist on the sidelines. He's one of the first to run out and congratulate Brown when he scores. He's talking to him on the sidelines between possessions, presumably discussing in game strategy, and, perhaps just a little, front row hoes. Pachall has quickly become not only a team leader but one of the more team first guys on the entire roster. Don't underestimate his positive outlook on the success of the team the past few weeks.

After the game, some amongst our fanbase suggested that, based on two games, the QB competition will be WIDE open come spring time. Coincidentally based on this information it has come to Spitblood's attention that after the game some in our fanbase said things that suggested they are complete dumbasses. This is a very VERY rough comparison to make, but would you suggest that Luke Shivers should be our starting RB because he scores on most of his possessions? Because, at present, this is what Matt Brown is to our offense: A talented runner who is going to score lots of a TDs because he only touches the ball in situations where the play is designed for him to score. That's by no means a knock on Brown because he is very good at what he does, but if he was the superior passer, he would be starting our games. It's not ironic that he has not attempted one pass in these goal line situations, although I admit it eventually happens to catch a team off guard. In the meantime, let's just be happy with our riches at the QB position rather than try to make something out of nothing.

Now that that's out of the way and I've buried probably the biggest takeaway from this game... uh... Jonathan Anderson, anyone? I wouldn't go so far as to say his performance came out of nowhere; He's a guy the coaching staff LOVES and he's seen snaps already this year. But with Tekerrin Cuba going down early with an injury, Anderson was unexpectedly thrust into the starting lineup in one of the biggest games of the season. With that kind of pressure, it's hard to know what to expect from a young guy without many meaningful snaps. I'd say a team leading SEVENTEEN tackles and one of the prettiest one handed picks you'll ever see made quite the statement, wouldn't you? And, truthfully, it should've been TWO picks. I can't remember with 100% certainty, but I believe it was the possession immediately before his pick that Anderson let a sure INT go right through his hands almost like he didn't see the ball. Apparently whatever Patterson "suggested" to him on the sidelines immediately following the play got through to him, because he was an absolute monster from then on. His 17 tackles were the most for TCU in 7 years, and one more than his career total coming into the game. With Cuba sitting out practice yesterday nursing that ankle and his status being that of the "gametime" variety, at least we know we're in good hands with Anderson should he need to fill in once again.

However, as I alluded to earlier, a big reason why TCU won this game is because BYU was more than willing to let them have it. The Cougars had 2 botched punt snaps and one blocked punt. All three of those screwups led to TCU points. Seriously, look at all 6 TCU scoring drives from Friday:

  • 2 plays, 61 yards, Pachall to Skye Dawson 48 yard TD pass - 7-0. BYU assistance: 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty on first down.
  • 2 plays, 4 yards, Matt Brown 6 yard TD rush -14-0. BYU assistance: Fumbled punt snap.
  • 3 plays, 37 yards, Matt Brown 2 yard rush - 21-10. BYU assistance: blocked punt by Greg Burks.
  • 2 plays, 45 yards , Pachall to Boyce 33 yard TD pass -28-10. BYU assistance: Allowed Ed Wesley to return a low punt that should've been downed for 19 yards.
  • 4 plays, 38 yards, Waymon James 4 yard D rush - 35-10. BYU assistance: Fumbled punt snap.
  • 13 plays, 54 yards, Ross Evans 35 yard FG - 38-20. BYU assistance: Riley Nelson fumble, recovered by Jon Koontz.

Seriously, other than MAYBE the Ed Wesley return because he mostly just made a great, ballsy play, BYU DIRECTLY contributed to all of our points scored on the evening. I don't think I realized it at the time, but it's interesting that the Kenny Cain and Anderson picks did not lead to points. However, as Cain's was a "right place, right time" catch off a deflection in the back of the end zone which only gave TCU the ball at the 20 and the drive following Anderson's was killed by an illegal block, this makes more sense. Regardless, both of those INTs were HUGE for momentum, especially Cain's because BYU was driving to pull within 4 points during the first of TCU's several defensive nap times.

I don't want you to think that I'm using the above figures to disparage the efforts of TCU. In fact, I just wanted to demonstrate that being opportunistic enough to take advantage of these errors is the sign of a team that is figuring things out. But about those defensive nap times... That's a big thing that should concern us going forward. Don't get me wrong - BYU is a good offensive football team and, for one night in Arlington, TCU was simply better. This isn't the case of a good team finding a way to win and a bad team finding a way to lose - both teams played their asses off and TCU just happened to make more plays and take advantage of BYU mistakes. But look at the final numbers. BYU had more TOP, rushing yards, passing yards, total yards, first downs and converted more third downs and had fewer penalties. And some of these weren't even close. Removing sacks, Riley Nelson rushed for 120 yards. For a good part of the night he was everything that Robert Griffin still wishes he was. This wasn't necessarily a case of TCU being more lucky than good because you have to be good to put yourself in a position to create turnovers. But if Nelson has his same game and the BYU punter has his head on straight, this one could've turned into a severe nailbiter. I feel a lot better about November 12th than I did a month ago, but I'm by no means expecting a victory. We can't expect 3 turnovers and 3 special teams disasters to bail us out on the blue turf.

Enough of that negative BS though because, even though BYU had better overall numbers, they weren't THAT great. TCU came into the game giving up 346 yards of offense per game - 223 pass, 123 rush while the Cougars came in averaging 388- 232 and 156. But when the dust settled? BYU had 354 total yards - 215 passing and 139 rushing. The 24 first downs were a bit jarring, but a near 1:1 TD to first down ratio will be taken by most teams every time. And, as mentioned above, TCU had a short field on quite a few of their possessions thanks to the Cougars, so their offensive numbers were more than likely going to look better than ours. Teams will take winning the scoreboard over winning the stat battle every time.

For the evening, BYU really only had 3 "good" drives. The first was in the first quarter when, on third and 9, the Johnny Fobbs of old returned, getting beat by Ross Apo for a 42 yard completion deep in TCU territory. Fortunately the defense clamped down and held the Cougars to a three and out field goal. The second was on BYU's very next drive where they methodically drove the ball down the field on 9 plays for 76 yards and a score. Nelson did most of the work, completing all three of his pass attempts and rushing for 18 yards. Then things got PRETTY quiet until late in the game when BYU went on a 12 play, 78 yard TD drive with 5 minutes left in the game. After completing the 2 point conversion, BYU kicked the onside attempt out of bounds and TCU was able to run the clock out.

A few more scattered thoughts:

  • Jonathan Anderson was the clear cut MVP on defense, but offensively I'm not quite sure who to single out. Ed Wesley and his 59 rushing yards, including a 28 yard scamper to set up TCU's third score? Matt Brown and his 1:1 TD to rush ratio? Pachall for doing his part on and off the field? I'll think outside the box here and give it to Skye Dawson. You have to give Skye credit for keeping his head on straight after a ROUGH start to the year where he lost rank in the WR pecking order as well as his PR duties. Boyce had the better numbers Friday night, but I like Skye for treating each game as a new opportunity to prove himself and removing any past performances for the second week in a row. Besides, I'm pretty sure Boyce will have a few more opportunities win this award winning, yet arbitrary honor.

  • Not winning player of the game? Anyone on special teams coverage. TCU let Cody Hoffman rack up 167 yards in kick returns, including a 52 yarder that would've led to points had Kenny Cain not picked off the subsequent Nelson pass. And then, of course, there was the JD Falslev punt return for a score that made the game closer than it had any right being. Seriously, JD Falslev? Sounds like an Eastern Bloc - the real one - terrorist posing as a surfer in some crappy teenage action flick.

  • Ross Evans and Ryan DeNucci both action on kickoffs and managed to keep the ball inbounds. No touchbacks, though.

  • Major props should also go to Tank Carder and Devin Johnson for having big nights. As for Tank, it wasn't necessarily up to Rose Bowl Tank standards, but 9 tackles will do the trick and it's good to see him back in his element after a shaky first half of the season. And Johnson? In the preview I said the TCU defensive improvement couldn't be so simple as inserting him into the lineup, but maybe it is? 8 tackles, with 2.5 going for a loss and a sack is the kind of backfield disruption we'd been missing out of the safety position for much of the season. It's good to have it back.
And that's about all I have to say about that. A win is a win is a win, and it's nice to finish up the time spent with our cult friends on a 4-0 winning streak. Up next is Wyoming and, unlike the past couple of times we've visited Laramie, it looks like this could be played under those wintry conditions you always fear from such a trip. The Pokes shouldn't be a problem even if we played them in Siberia, but never underestimate that little extra home field bonus. For now, the Frogs are 6-2 with a perfect 3-0 Conference record and sit right on the cusp of being ranked again through 2/3 of the season. It should be a delightful finish.

Morning Dump

Patterson says BYU took its best shot at TCU

TCU far from perfect in beating BYU

Bad start at TCU doesn't turn into blowout this time for BYU football
Daily Herald

Fort Worth's Killeen, hear recipient Compton earn PGA tour cards

TCU atop leaderboard at Alamo Invitational

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spit Blood Predictions: TCU vs. BYU.

With lyle's busy schedule casting an ill-timed rainout on his posting duties, you're getting me TWICE today. No reason to beat around the bush - we've got some serious predictions to get to.

Game Predictions:
  • Final Score.
  • Offensive MVP.
  • Defensive MVP.
  • Special Teams MVP.
  • Will Riley Nelson rush for his 60 yard average?
  • Has Riley Nelson ever experienced the love of a good woman?
  • How do you think Harvey Unga is coping with parenthood?
  • Total attendance for TCU fans tonight. Keep in mind we have sold around 25,000 tickets.
  • Will SnK charge the ESPN booth and strangle Rod Gilmore with his Kangol?
Bonus Predictions:
  • Rangers Final Score.
  • WS MVP.
  • Win or lose, how many kilos of cocaine will Ron plow through post-game?
Man/Nurse Up Prediction:
  • Your attendance status for tonight and for those going do you think its acceptable for life long Rangers fans to sit this one out? Seriously, can someone get a hold of that Sports Almanac from Bronco? Because it'd make the decision a LOT easier.

Game 8 Preview: BYU Tom Cruises

Respected BYU Religious Figure, Tom Cruise.

The first thing that came to my mind when thinking about this week's game against BYU was: Didn't this team used to be a MAJOR thorn in our sides? I guess it was because, at the time, we hadn't reached the heights we have now, so we knew our season would always come down to the games against BYU and Utah, but remember how much we used to dread playing BYU? Remember in 2008 when we played them at home on a Thursday night, just how LONG that day was and the absolute frenzy of rage and fear you whipped yourself into over the course of the working day? I can still VIVIDLY remember drinking Provo dry - not as big of a feat as it sounds - two years ago to calm my nerves, although the fact that Gameday chose that as their weekly destination seems a DISTANT memory considering what followed. It's funny what three years and a 101-17 discrepancy in points will do to a supposed "rivalry."

Yes, TCU and BYU have taken two fairly different trajectories ever since "The Quest" was extinguished in October of 2008. While the Frogs went on that year to post an 11-1 record that- the 1 will not be mentioned - BYU would finish 9-3 after dropping back to backs to finish the year, including a loss to Arizona in their bowl. Over the next two seasons, the Cougars would post a 17-9 record, see their biggest rival Utah get a golden ticket into the Pac 12 while they never got a sniff, and then baby their way out of the MWC by declaring their independence, being forever doomed to ESPN Friday night obscurity. Meanwhile, TCU would go on to 2 consecutive undefeated regular seasons, complete with BCS bowl berths and become one of the hottest commodities in college football resulting in not one but TWO invites to BCS Conferences. BYU may have their own network, fan numbers and magic on their side, but I think it's pretty clear who the overall winner in this "rivalry" is. At least they won the war for abstinence, I guess.

It's possible this will be the last time the two teams meet for some time and, wouldn't you know it, the series is tied at 5 wins a piece. Losing Friday night isn't the end of the world, but it sure would be nice to hold those bragging rights as we head to the higher ground of the Big 12.

As for the game itself, well, let's have a looksie:

When BYU has the Ball. Just to clear the air here, the BYU we saw the first month of the season is ENTIRELY different than the one we'll see this evening, and that's for one main reason: QB Riley Nelson has obliterated those stars Rivals gave Jake Heaps coming out of high school. After taking the reins from Heaps in week 5 against Utah State, Nelson has racked up 795 yards, 11 TDs vs. 3 INTs and a 4-0 record. Not one to be one dimensional, Nelson also has rushed an average of 10 times a game for over 60 yards. You might find it surprising, but in just 4 games of serious action, Nelson is the team's second leading rusher. Remember the days of Max Hall sitting in the backfield just waiting to take his punishment from Jerry Hughes and Wayne Daniels? Yeah, it's safe to say those days are gone. Not that BYU is all of a sudden the Oregon Ducks, but it's obvious that Nelson gives the Cougars a two dimensional threat under center that they've lacked ever since... well... forever. A fun stat? Ever since BYU has handed control over to Nelson, the team has had ZERO three and outs and only 2 punts. Yikes. If you look at the overall numbers, the Cougars are decidedly middle of the pack on offense, but things have improved dramatically since Nelson took over. It's safe to say BYU will put up more than 3 points and 147 yards as they did last season with Heaps taking snaps.

So when we think of BYU, we typically think of a big, bruising Samoan running back with breaking tackles in his eye and getting kicked out of school for giving into the most basic of human instincts in his heart. Well, like the QB situation, this has changed as well, although you'll remember the diminutive JJ Di Luigi from years past. The Senior hasn't touched his numbers from last year, only gaining 346 yards from scrimmage with 3 TDs. However, with the emergence of Nelson and a more balanced attack as opposed to their typical air raid style, he hasn't had to.

Speaking of that air raid - it still works when necessary, led by Sophomore Cody Hoffman and Freshman Ross Apo. Both guys have 4 TD grabs a piece and have combined for nearly 800 reception yards. Overall seven BYU receivers have a reception of 20 yards or more. Other players to watch out for are Running Backs Josh Quezada and Michael Alissa as well as receiver McKay Jacobson.

Much like the Cougars offense, the TCU Defense has been a tale of two seasons as well. After being mostly pitiful in games 1-5, the D has really stepped up these past two weeks culminating in last week's shut out against the VASTLY UNDERRATED New Mexico Lobos - right guys? The team has managed to drop their points against ranking to 34th in the nation at 21 points per contest and despite opposing teams averaging 223 yards per game through the air, have only given up 227 in the past 2 weeks combined. Some suggest its the insertion of Devin Johnson into the lineup and, while I'm not naive enough to think it was really that easy all along, he certainly has added a bit of a spark. It also helps that Jason Verrett has become the most consistent member of our secondary since week one, Tank Carder has a pulse and we've found a better consistency across the defensive line. Against a beefy BYU offensive line, same as it ever was, Maponga, Forrest, Burns, Yendrey and co. are going to be uber important in keeping this one under control. Broughton will have to continue performing off the bench as well.

This is a hard matchup to pick because, if I'm giving the Cougars the benefit of the doubt and only focusing on their offense under Nelson, I should do the same and ignore everything the TCU defense did before the SDSU game. This seems pretty fair because we've both played relatively weak schedules in the timeline selected. Riley Nelson is no Robert Griffin, and he might not even be a JJ McDermott, but he's been very, very solid, although this will certainly be his biggest test as a starter this season. He possesses speed our defense have not been used to seeing out of BYU, but the past couple of games our defense has really been swarming to the ball and I wouldn't expect him to get loose too often. Given, Griffin was burning us through the air so much he didn't need to risk running, but when he did the results weren't positive - 10 rushes for 38 yards - and he almost cost his team the game with that fumble. I don't see Nelson getting near his average and I think we do a decent job of keeping him in the pocket.

However, as great as that sounds, do we really trust our secondary to come up with big plays when it matters? The Cougars are only averaging 232 passing yards per game - and its actually less than that with Nelson - which is right about our average. However, he's accurate to the tune of 64% and doesn't get silly with the ball as evidenced by only having 3 picks. Our defense has stepped up, but have they stepped up enough? I guess we'll find out Friday, but until then, the jury is still out.

Edge - BYU, but only slightly.

When the Frogs have the Ball. Now for more positive chatter - the TCU offense was absolutely on FIRE last week and has been for the most part all season. It looks like we've found a perfect balance between Wesley, Waymon and Tucker and the Matt Brown/Casey Pachall switch off has worked nicely as well. I don't care who it is against - when you score a school record 69 points and your stud receiver has 1 catch for 24 yards that wasn't a TD, you're loaded. In fact, do I really even need to regurgitate stats for you without framing them in the context of this game?

As a whole, BYU possesses the 31st ranked scoring defense in the country at 21.5 points for game, slightly better than TCU at 21.9. The Cougars are stacked right underneath the Frogs in rushing defense, giving up a mirror image 123 yards per game and aren't much better against the pass at 217. In other words, we're sort of facing ourselves here. The main differences are BYU's 11 interceptions against TCU's paltry 5 and the way opposing teams score TD against them. Clearly we're more susceptible to giving them up through the air, which the numbers reflect - 3 ground, 15 air - while BYU trends opposite, having given up 11 scores on the ground and only 5 through the air. I guess you could say that plays to the strengths of our 18th ranked rushing unit. With our offensive line jelling, as well as the addition of James Dunbar, we're catching the Cougars at a favorable time.

I really see no reason why running the ball shouldn't be the gameplan here. The Cougars secondary is very opportunistic against the pass - only 9 teams have more picks in the NCAA - and while Pachall has protected the ball well, this might not be a very good time to test his mettle. Running the ball plays to our strengths, plays against theirs and has the added bonus of keeping the dangerous Nelson off the field. Then again, going back thru past box scores, with the exception of last year our approach has been pretty much the opposite with out receivers running wild in the Cougars Big Ten speed secondary. So what the heck do I know? Honestly though, if we can get the ground game going just enough, we'll be set up nicely for a win.

Edge - Frogs.

Special Teams. It's a lot more even than you would think. BYU averages 9.4 yards per punt return; TCU 9.5. BYU has returned one kick for a score; TCU has returned 2. TCU is 9/12 on FGs; BYU is 10/14. BYU wins the PAT battle. TCU wins the special teams coverage battles, both in kicks and punts. However, a big difference is TCU's average kick return numbers of 27.8 versus BYUs 22. It's a hard one to call, but the return tandem of McCoy and Waymon, plus our superior coverage team makes me lean towards the good guys.

Edge - Frogs, but only slightly.

Conclusions. Well, the Rangers certainly didn't do our attendance figures any favors. I personally blame Michael Young and Neftali. For those of you on the fence about your attendance, I would personally suggest giving reality a hard look in the face about what transpired last night: The Rangers were one strike away from winning the World Series. TWICE. Josh Hamilton hit his only post season home run. The Cardinals had three of the most inexplicable errors I've ever witnessed in a game of that magnitude. Albert Pujols was mostly quiet, even when he was pitched to. Beltre and Cruz hit back to back bombs that were insane nut punches. Ron survived the decision to allow Colby Lewis to bat with the bases loaded and 2 outs. AND THEY STILL LOST. Between that, the Cruz injury, the fact that Young will be a nightmare headcase after his night in the field and the way Ron pretty much threw in the towel in the 11th by bringing in Mark Lowe, making it pretty clear he was playing for Game 7. Well, let's just say all of those things likely trump the whole, "haven't lost back to back games in months" mojo. I'm not guaranteeing a Rangers loss; I'm just saying, you're likely not going to regret the decision to skip watching the game in lieu of going to Jerry World.

Sorry for the detour - tonight's game. I'll be honest, I really have no idea what to expect other than I think it will be closer than the experts predict. BYU is much better than in years past, but they haven't really been tested this year. Do wins against San Jose State, Idaho State, Oregon State and Utah State really tell us what we need to know about Riley Nelson? Our defense may not be up to the usual standard, but they've improved and I don't think BYU is speedy enough to truly exploit our deficiencies. As for the J World factor, The Frogs looked a little rusty last year against Oregon State but pulled out a win. The Cougars had one of the marquee victories in the history of their program when they ended Sam Bradford's OU career and National title hopes. Seriously, I think there are still shards from Bradford's shoulder buried in the turf. However, I think this one looks a lot more like our game than theirs. I think BYU loads the box to make Pachall beat them with his arm. He will.

The Pick: TCU 30, BYU 21.

As you can see, I think it looks a LOT like last year's game.

Discussion Question: BYU was founded by a man, Brigham Young, who was a very visible polygamist, notching wives to his belt by the dozen. Men like Warren Jeffs have publicly founded baby raping convents in the name of Mormonism for years and years. But BYU kicks a player off of their football team and another off their basketball team in back to back years for having monogamous, consensual sex with another human being? Ironic, or hypocritical?

Morning Dump

Frogs vs BYU, the edge Star-Telegram

Recovery of injured lineman became a rallying point

Will TCU game define Cougars season?
Salt Lake Tribune

BYU seeks redemtion against TCU
Deseret News

BYU's own Tim Tebow?
Deseret News

Cougars should compete but will come up short
Deseret News

Cougars have to defend the 'unconventional' when playing Horned Frogs
Deseret News

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unique Opportunity For Original Frog Art

hanging on thefinch's wall

A close family friend and artist Delton Gerdes came up with this concept and wants to offer it to our following. It's a unique opportunity for some fine original Frog Art. Yes, that is thefinch. So much for anonymity. Disappointed? So is my mother. But the artwork is phenomenal.

How does it work?
I sent Delton several photos of myself in "riding position" (ha) as well as some close ups of my grill and told him a few details I wanted included. He then sent me a sketch like the one below for approval.

After approval Delton will complete your original watercolor art, then mat, frame, box, and ship to anywhere in the country. These portraits are typically 8x10 but other sizes are available upon request. A great gift idea for yourself or a fellow frog fanatic.

What if I'm interested?
email with Frog Art as the subject and I'll get you rolling on you're very own Riding Frog Original Art.

This Weekend's Games of Interest

Wyoming (4-2) at San Diego State (4-2) ~ 9:00pm Saturday on The Mtn
-These two teams were both idle last weekend, and the Aztecs will actually go 16 days between their road win against Air Force and this home game against Doo-Doo Brown. SDSU still has a couple of gimme games left on their schedule that should easily get them to bowl eligibility for a second straight year, but Wyoming (with TCU and Boise still looming) needs every W they can get.

Air Force (3-4) at New Mexico (0-7) ~ 1:00pm Saturday on The Mtn
-The Falcons actually played pretty well against Boise State on the smurf turf last Saturday, racking up 408 total yards (264 of them on the ground) and forcing the Broncos to try for a style-points touchdown at the end- though they settled for a field goal and ended up winning, 37-26. It may be surprising to see them under .500 right now, but Air Force could win the rest of their games to end the regular season 8-4.

Colorado State (3-4) at UNLV (1-5) ~ 5:00pm Saturday on The Mtn
-It looked like the Rams might be making some progress this season when they started the year 3-1 after pulling off a dramatic double-overtime victory at Utah State. Since then, they got brutalized by Boise State (63-13) and lost to lowly San Jose State and UTEP. Any chance they have left for a bowl game probably hinges on winning this game.

Boise State (7-0) is idle this week.

TCU non-conference opponents:

SMU (5-2) at Tulsa (4-3) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on FSN
-Following their wins against TCU and Central Florida, SMU had designs on a Top 25 ranking, a CUSA title and perhaps more. Then they went to Hattiesburg and had their dreams dashed...something TCU fans can definitely understand. Their offense was completely shut down by Southern Miss in the 27-3 loss, and now they'll be without starting linebacker Taylor Reed (suspended) as they try to corrall the dangerous Tulsa offensive attack.

Louisiana-Monroe (2-5) vs. Western Kentucky (3-4) ~ 2:30pm Saturday
-Wanna know why you felt so poopy when ULM was beating TCU after the first quarter? BECAUSE THEY JUST LOST TO NORTH TEXAS! This week they host a Western Kentucky team that, after an 0-4 start, has surged to three straight wins including a surprisingly easy victory over conference favorite Louisiana-Lafayette.

Portland State (4-3) at Eastern Washington (4-4) ~ 3:00pm Saturday
-Playing a D-II school is a good way to end a two-game skid, and that's exactly what the Vikings did last week when they beat something called Williamette, 36-10. Need a reason to root against Eastern Washington? How about the fact that they are quarterbacked by none other than Bo Levi Mitchell! Also, if you hate Boise's blue turf, check out EWU's red migraine-maker.

Baylor (4-2) at Oklahoma State (7-0) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on ABC
-I've made the executive decision to permanently move Baylor into the Big 12 section from the non-conference opponents. The Bears were idle this week, so they've had plenty of time to think about what went wrong in their 55-28 loss against A&M as well as how to slow down the Cowboys' offense. OSU wide receiver Justin Blackmon is questionable for this game after being injured against Missouri, so his possible absence would be huge for Baylor's chances in this one.

Oklahoma (6-1) at Kansas State (7-0) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on ESPN
-You'd have to think that the Sooners would bounce back after their loss to Tech last weekend and re-assert their authority, right? But I don't know- Tech made Landry Jones look absolutely pedestrian and K-State is playing out of their minds right now. This'll be a fun game to watch, because you know the Wildcat crowd will be rocking.

Kansas (2-5) at Texas (4-2) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on The Longhorn Network
-Wow, Longhorn Network. You're really going to gain leverage against the cable providers with this must-watch gem. My guess: Texas rolls, as they should because Kansas is turrrrrible, and ESPN pumps up the highlights making David Ash seem like he's Aaron Rodgers. Oh, and they shoot up to about #9 in the polls.

Missouri (3-4) at Texas A&M (5-2) ~ 11:00am Saturday on FX
-As the Aggies need to excorcise the demons of their two early-season losses, they'll need to get rid of one from last season, as well. Mizzou strolled in College Station last October 16th and waltzed all over the Ags to the tune of 30-9. Say hello to your future Thanksgiving weekend rival, A&M!

Iowa State (3-4) at Texas Tech (5-2) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on FSN
-So do the Red Raiders use their win in Norman last weekend as a springboard to a great late-season surge, or do they fall back to earth and lose to (or barely beat) Iowa State? I'm not sure, and to be honest, Game 6 of the World Series starts in just over 2 hours so I'm getting the fuck out of here. Go Rangers!

Biff Tannen talks TCU-BYU

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who just got his car out of the shop after crashing into a manure truck, recently talked to the Salt Lake City-area media to discuss the Cougars' upcoming game against TCU as well as his hope to take Lorraine Baines to the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance:

Also, don't forget that we're raising money for Purple People Seaters by asking you to pledge $10 per Horned Frog victory this season. We could get greedy and claim that you owe PPS $20 for a 69-0 victory, but we know that times be tough. If you haven't settled up after the win over UNM, you can do so by clicking here. Even if you can't go $10 for every win, every little bit helps Purple People Seaters create opportunities for under-privileged kids.

Weekend Preview.

That's just disturbing.

Sorry for the lack of a recap Monday, but I'm assuming if Dalton didn't play, most of you probably don't care. It's the path we choose. Onward...

Game of the Week.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks. 3:15PM. CBS. After a well deserved off week following a 4-2 start, Dalton and the not-so-Bungals look to continue their hot streak against Hawthorne and the lowly Seahawks. And I mean lowly like, "getting beat 3-6 by the Browns" lowly. How they managed to upend the Giants, we may never know... and it's a good lesson in why you should never bet on sports. The Seahawks are on the lower end of the pass defense spectrum, giving up 250 yards per game, so Dalton should've have TOO much resistance. However, how interesting will it be the first time Hawthorne gets in the backfield and has a chance to lay a lick on him? Or has a chance to pick one of his passes? D Hawth has been a bit of a machine on tackles this year, leading the team with 40, including a sack, and also recorded a pick last week against Colt McCoy. Dalton hasn't been lighting the world on fire through the air, but he's done as much as you'd expect a first year starting rookie to do, and you can't argue with the results. Given that Seattle plays the run a lot better than they do the pass, it might be up to Dalton to come up with a late save.

Other Games.

Jacksonville @ Houston. Sunday. Noon. CBS. After grinding out perhaps the most boring, depressing, offense destroying football game in history against Baltimore, Drew Coleman and the Jags look to make it two in a row against the suddenly hot Houston Texans. I say suddenly hot because, let's be honest, without Mario Williams and Andre Johnson, there wasn't anyone in the country that expected them to go on the road and whip Tennessee as they did last Sunday. If the Texans can win this one, they should have a near cake-walk to the division title and their first playoff berth. Let's hope Coleman and the league's sixth ranked passing D can stop this from happening because Houston should never experience happiness.

Indianapolis @ Tennessee. Sunday. Noon. CBS. Yeesh. Has a team not coached by Avery Johnson ever quit on their coach like the Colts are currently doing? YOWZA. Fortunately, Jerry Hughes hasn't played much and can't have much blame pinned on him. Unfortunately he can't break the lineup for a defense that just gave up 62 points to New Orleans.

Carolina vs. Minnesota. Sunday. Noon. Fox. Despite having the league's 5th highest rated passing game, 8th rated ground game and 12th rated rush defense, the Panthers are still a pretty solid failure of a team at 2-6. However, is it a coincidence that they played their best game of the year this past week against Washington in a 33-20 win after inserting Jason Phillips into the starting lineup. NO! The answer is no. Phillips contributed 2 tackles in the win and has 4 for the year. Minnesota is REALLY bad and Carolina is at home, so look for the Panthers to make it two in a row before falling back to earf.

Arizona @ Bodymore, Murdaland. Sunday. Noon. Fox. This is truly a matchup FOR THE BIRDS. Umm.. that's all I have. Sorry, D Wash - at least you play football in a community teeming with porn stars.

And now... so not to be a tease... here's a BONUS bebe Movement Watch!!!! Clearly we're only looking at the Coaches Poll, per usual, because it's the only one that counts towards the BCS, and it's the only one we're getting super votes in. As a reminder, TCU has 33 votes this week, putting them in 28th place and a pretty fair pace behind 25th ranked Southern Brett Favre University, who has 128.

Game to Keep Two Eyes on.

#21 Georgia vs. Florida. Saturday, 2:30PM. CBS. Remember those days when the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party used to be near must see television? Ehhhh, not so much anymore. These are definitely two teams headed in different directions at present with the Bulldogs winning 5 in a row after dropping their opening two; the Gators have lost three in a row after winning their opening four. Florida QB John Brantley is expected to return but how effective will he be with an injured ankle? With South Carolina losing QB Stephen Garcia and RB Marcus Lattimore, the winner of this one could wind up in the drivers seat for being slaughtered in the SEC Championship by Alabama or LSU. Georgia is the favorite, but if the Gators can win this one for the fourth straight year, that's one less team we have to look at ahead of us in the standings.

#24 West Virginia @ Rutgers. Saturday, 2:30PM. ABC. After that humiliation at the hands of Syracuse last Friday evening, West Virginia looks to regroup on the road against a surprisingly potent Rutgers team, who are also coming off a loss. Both teams sit at 5-2 and a game in the loss column behind BEast Leader Cincy in the Conference standings, so this one is pretty pivotal for remaining in the race to get massacred in the Fiesta Bowl come January. Do we pull for our potential future Conference mate the Mountaineers? Nah, let's take their spot.

#25 Southern Miss @ UTEP. Saturday. 7:00PM. SHOCKINGLY untelevised. Probably a lot to ask, but could be a comedown game for the Golden Eagles after their bitch slapping of SMU. Seriously Eagles, only WE can treat SMU like that! ...except for this year. sad face. Also, curious things happen in El Paso on gameday. Things like this:

#26 Georgia Tech @ #6 Clemson. Saturday. 7:00PM. ABC. After opening the season as the most overrated team in the country thanks to a CAKE schedule, the Yellowjackets have come back to earth a little bit following consecutive losses to Virginia and Miami. Clemson comes into this one having taken the opposite approach to success, parlaying an early season squeaker against Wofford into 50 point explosions against their last two ACC foes. The smart money is on Clemson, but then again, this IS Clemson we're talking about, a team that often races out to hot starts only to falter down the stretch. Regardless, we want them to win so GT can go away for a while.

Game to Keep One Eye on.

Missouri @ #16 aggy. Saturday. 11:00AM. FX. With two losses on the year to top ten ranked foes, aggy remains the highest multiple loss team in the standings. It's hard to say if a third loss would completely drop them out of the rankings, but I just think it'd be a VERY aggy thing to do to lose a sure thing at home against Missouri. Cause it happened last year.

Andy Dalton! Carson Who?

Just saw this on the front page of Yahoo Sports and since SB readers love them some Andy Dalton news, thought I'd share.

Dalton meets Bengals' hopes after Palmer quits

Return of the Mailsack

Joseph Smith- he's either reading imaginary tablets out of a hat or puking his guts out watching BYU's football team.

Sir Wesley and I were discussing earlier this week how over the past few years of dealing with BYU, including a raucous trip to Provo 2 years ago that was documented in detail last year during BYU hate week, we feel like we've pretty much exhausted every hate avenue available for our silly little sober Mormon friends nestled comfortably in the mountains in Utah. I know it sounds lame and a bit like a cop-out for no hate posts, but man, how many times can we regurgitate how Joseph Smith is probably a closet demon Satan spawn and how long will it be funny to make mention of their cute belief in underwear or the fact that you need a "beard exception" to have facial hair at Diet Caffeine Free Coca Cola University? Seriously, we thought last year was the LAST time we would be able to relentlessly belittle and demean these step-above scientologists, so we went all out. I'm sorry, but I'm at a loss this year. If you want the hate really bad, just search "BYU" and "hate" or "sober" and you'll find plenty of old material on this here blog, but sorry newer readers, I'm not rehashing it any further. Been there, done that. To death. I will, however, supply you with the newest addition of one of my new favorite segments, the mailsack, and I'll give you a brief rundown of players to watch later, although I can't promise to steer clear of some Mormon bashing in that segment, so you've been warned.

We actually had a couple pretty insightful mailsack questions this go 'round, so I'll get to them.

"HornyFrog" asks...

Still no link to the mailsack?

1st, how on earth did you know your reader here is wild and from El Paso?

2nd, you know more about football than me, so correct me if I am wrong. The 4-2-5 is a very difficult scheme to run, and GMFP has been able to pull it off where most coaches fail. It relies on smart decisions from the secondary to be able to stop the run and the pass - which is why trick plays really screw us. Do you think that is why we can go from being #1 defense to bottom half - because it is harder to learn? The last time our defense sucked, it sucked real hard too. I know defenses are usually less consistent than offenses, but swinging from 1 to 100 is quite drastic, isnt it? Also, in a down year like this one, what do you think our record would be in the Big 12?

HornyFrog- If you don't see a link to the mailsack, it's probably not there. It'll get up one day, but until then, it's good to know that you can still find the sack. For anyone else who's still curious, it's

As for your El Paso question, I am not sure what you're referencing as far as how we knew you are wild and from El Paso, but if someone knew you were from El Paso then it's safe to assume you're fucking insane and probably own several firearms, a crowbar, a bowie knife, and some sort of prison murder weapon fashioned out of a spork and duct tape. In all seriousness though, it's probably just safe to assume that we know everything about you and every other reader that gets on this site. Spitblood is your government watchdog. Be good.

As for your real question, it's a pretty damn good one and you make a great point. I hadn't really thought too hard about that because thinking about our defense is enough to make me want to vomit (even after the shutout), but I agree with you on those points. A young, inexperienced secondary+an NFL complicated scheme=a recipe for disaster, as we've seen so far this season. I'm sure it's something we will grow in to as time goes on and we've seen improvements already this year, but I don't expect to see it improve greatly this year. Notice how walk on Junior Devin Johnson has emerged as a starting strong safety over younger, pretty highly touted recruits such as Jonathan Anderson, Trent Thomas and Sam Carter. It's not because he's more talented, but more likely because he knows the system better.

Our record in the Big 12 this year? Losses to OU, Ok. State, mayyybe K. State (not sold there yet), Aggy, and obviously Baylor. I'll say 7-5 because I think we could get one of those previously listed teams at home and win.

ctbeecherl asks...

We are obviously just right outside of the top 25. If we win against both BYU and Wyoming (soundly, lets say by at least 14) what do you think we could be ranked with the showdown in Boise? My thinking is it will hopefully be a #5 vs #20 and we might get a chance of Gameday crew showing up in Idaho that morning or are there other big games that weekend that will precede our match up?

I'd say a top 5 vs. top 20 matchup isn't far-fetched at all, but I think both BYU and obviously Wyoming suck terribly so I don't know how much respect that will get us. We'd need some guys ahead of us to drop, which of course will happen. Gameday is out of the question unfortunately- Oregon takes all of their stolen TCU recruits down to Palo Alto that Saturday to play Stanford, K-State hosts the Aggies in the Little Apple, Tech is hosting Okie Lite, and there are several other top 25 matchups, so fuggettaboutit.

anonymous writes...

Hey spitblood. never commented but I (very creepy like) have been always checking in. So I had to email the last comment I left on Frogfaceblog known by someone. Don't hate on me too bad since I want more BYU hate.

To Frogfaceblog:
Officially removing you as a favorite. Why do you operate a site when you don't post anything in almost a month. Today is Oct 25 and your last post was on the smew loss Oct 2. I realize you probably have a job as a TCU alumni but really, thanks for the great context. By the way please tell the bloggers at spitblood they won even before "that site" opened. Hate on me! Hate like its smew or baylor; maybe even byu but we all know that is not much now. Thanks for wasting my time. That "6th site" posts at least 4 things a day. Thank you spitblood... well how do I end? - (and I end saying I edited as I sometime submit without proofread. my bad!)

Out of my control, I know, but would you leave the email address out if you use it? I need to get a good frog name on your site. Love what yall are doing.
Sorry about the lack of BYU hate. See above. It is a little uncomforting that you read spitblood "very creepy like". Now I picture some guy in his parents's dark basement flipping between spitblood, various porn sites, and googling pipe bombs all while staring at a bulletin board full of up close photos of Jody Foster. Please help me shake this image of you.

As for the hatred towards Frogfaceblog- I appreciate it. I think we all do. I don't know if it matters though, because I am coming out with the official spitblood blog rankings right now...

1) purplemenace (and people think we're cocky...)
2) spitblood
3) hornedfrog sports
4) spitblood
5) spitblood
6) various others

For the record, that site doesn't make the "various others" group at #6. I really didn't even know they existed anymore. As for leaving your name and email address out of this- of course I will. You've established yourself as way too creepy to expose to the world. I now dub you the spitblood alias "CreeperFrog". Please use it.

The SEC writes...

Dear Mizzou,

We would like to welcome your 0 titles and 0 BCS appearances to the SEC. We took the time to set you up on a blind date with Vandy and Kentucky. We think you should all get along swell.


The Sec

Not quite sure what the appeal of Mizzou is either. However, I don't think I'll really miss them in the Big 12. West Virginia and Missouri- 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other athletically as far as I'm concerned. You're wrong about one thing though. They're going to fuck up Vandy and Kentucky like everyone else, and add Ole Miss and soon the Aggies to that list.

Ok, so that's it for this rendition of the mailsack. Please continue to send in your emails full of whatever you can think of to Thanks again.

Morning Dump

Rest gives TCU defense needed boost

TCU defense ready for BYU QB

McKay Jacobson never tires of Texas trips
Salt Lake Tribune

Bronco insists Patterson's group as strong as last year
Daily Herald

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TCU/Boise Game Watching Party.

Are you one of the folks NOT kicking yourself for NOT spending money on a trip to beautiful, cosmopolitan Boise, Idaho for a good ole fashion butt kickin'? Well then here's an option that will not only have you watching the the game, but contributing to a good cause as well! The good folks at Edwards Ranch have put together a watch party benefitting Friends of Spitblood the Purple People Seaters. Tickets are only $25 in advance which includes food AND beer and, for those who like to get their roll on south of the border, margarita machines will be on site as well.

I'll be honest - I wasn't sure what Edwards Ranch was before this event came up, but it sounds like a very cool place. Basically, it's an outdoor events venue along the Trinity River west of Hulen, right behind the shopping center with Tom Thumb, Chipotle, Red Hot and Blue, Charleston's etc. At least for the game it will have a large jumbo screen and several smaller, less-jumbo screens showing the match. There will also be segregated areas for children and adults, so no worries about the multiple F bombs you will ultimately drop to coincide with the perfect passes Kellen Moore drops over the heads of our secondary.

The folks there are planning to use this game watching party as a measuring stick of sorts for the venue's potential going forward. If a lot of folks show up and love it, I have a feeling there could be more events of this sort going forward. If not, well, they'll probably still keep fighting the good fight, but who knows! YOUR attendance could be the difference between commercial success or failure. So no pressure or anything. From the folks I've talked to about this event, only a few were familiar with Edwards Ranch at all, so regardless this would be a great opportunity to check the place out. So if you're a fan of food, booze, being outside and TCU football, come on down. And if you're not a fan of progress, commercialism and good time havin', go join the 99%.

I realize the tendency most of us will have to watch this one alone in a dark room in the fetal position with only a bottle of Jack Daniels to comfort us, but we aren't allowed to turn into nauseatingly pessimistic hipster fans until we join the Big 12, so come on out. For the kids.

P.S. - They're also looking for volunteers to help set up the event, so if you're interested shoot an email to the mailsack or TheFinch and we can get your information to the appropriate source.

I Hate Everyone Except For About 15 People.

Probably writes for the DMN.

You may be aware, but just in case you aren't, TCU is playing a "home" game this weekend against BYU at Cowboys Stadium. I say a "home" game because the Frogs have 7 true home games this season at Amon Carter Stadium and BYU has 7 true home games in Provo, which suggests 7 true home games is a reasonable expectation unless you're in the SEC and play like 9. The way I look at it, this weekend is not a true home game for TCU because, while Jerry World is a mere 20 minutes from campus, the tickets will be split evenly. Given our small footprint and BYUs roving hordes of baby rapists, it's likely to expect, of the 50,000 tickets sold thusfar, 25K TCU fans and 25K BYU fans Friday evening. This is truly a "neutral site" game because the fact that BYU fans have greater, nationwide numbers and a distinct recruiting motive cancels out the proximity of TCU. Again, most teams play 7 home games a year - if TCU was only playing 6 and BYU 7, you could make the point. But, as things are, you can't.

Unfortunately though, the local media -read: Big 12 centric - doesn't it see that way and is already launching the "TCU should play its home games at Arlington" campaign. Or, that's probably not fair. They're not DIRECTLY launching it, but if you check your recent morning dumps, you'll find a fair number of, "Patterson says NO to Big 12 games in Arlington" articles, with the writers using the BYU "home" game as a crutch as to why he might consider it. Fortunately for the DMN, they have the most ignorant grouping of commenters on these here internets. So while the articles dance around flat out calling for it, the commenters and their "THEY TOOK ERRR JEERRRRRBBBSSSS/TICKETS" mentality drive the point home.

And I'm seriously going to kill the next person who agrees with this.

So let's back it up a little, all the way to last September when we opened the season against Oregon State in Arlington. Again, not a true home game, nor did we give up a true game for it to happen because the conversations only started once Tech backed out the first time and we needed to fill a slot on the schedule. Once that happened I suppose we COULD have filled a slot on the home schedule with a Portland State or South Central Mississippi State Community College at Jackson, but we opted to ramp up our schedule. Since the Tech game was cancelled so late, we were fortunate to have anyone to schedule at all and, even though we all hate ESPN, they gave us a big boost in arranging this game. We didn't give up a home game because the Tech game was in Lubbock and it was never a home game we were going to play anyway. But, the Big 12 folks don't see it that way; they see it as TCU being a pushover, willing to reschedule home games at an outside venue for a quick buck.

And it's the same situation with the BYU game. The Big 12 folks don't look at it as, "Well, one of our own - Tech - dropped them from their schedule AGAIN and two members of their Conference left, which put them in a bit of a bind. Combined with the fact that their stadium is under major construction, I suppose it makes sense for the Frogs to grab the best game possible to fill the slate, that being BYU." I'm not defending our decision to play the game at Jerry World because clearly I'd rather play all local games in FW. But I'm logical enough to understand that this is a very unique year for TCU football and it brings a set of challenges not facing any other team in the country. I'm not sure this game even happens without ESPN brokering the deal and setting it up at Jerry World, and if my choices are between that, playing the game in Provo or playing another direction Louisiana school in front of 15000 people with 10,000 in the parking lot, I'll take it everytime.

But I've quickly learned that Big 12 folk don't have synapses that fire that way. Rather, they take the approach that, "TCU IS A BUNCH OF PUSSIES AND THEIR STADIUM SUCKS AND THEIR FANS ARE TERRIBLE BLAH BLAH BLAH HERPES." To a UT fan, it's absolutely unfathomable that they would "allow us into their Conference" without a stipulation in place that we play all of OUR home games against them in Arlington. A friend of SB actually had a conversation with people associated with the UT Athletic Department who asked, "Well, if they keep the games in Fort Worth, where are all the UT fans going to sit?" Yes. This ACTUALLY happened. Last time I checked it's not our responsibility to accommodate the fans of the visiting team. (Well, I say that, considering our own fans are often treated FAR worse by stadium personnel than those of the visiting team, but that's an entirely different conversation for a different post.) Do you think DeLoss Dodds or Joe Castiglione or whatever mental midget runs the show in Lubbock give two shits about opposing fans? Do you ever think DeLoss Dodds has thought to himself, "Hmmm, we COULD make more tickets available to our students... but then where would all the Oklahoma State fans sit in our stadium?" Heck, without NCAA and Conference stipulations, no team in the country would make seats directly available to opposing fans at all. So why on earth would anyone expect a school to move their own home CONFERENCE game to a bigger stadium to accommodate the opposing team? It's ludicrous.

But apparently TCU is different. Apparently TCU is supposed to feel blessed and fortunate to even be in the Big 12 at all. And that is some serious bullsh. I don't feel fortunate at all to have been invited to a Conference that has blocked our entrance for nearly 20 years; the fact that we're in now just shows how far we've come without them and how much they need us more than we need them. But no, we're supposed to bend down and kiss the rings of DeLoss and Mack because they were just SO generous. Give me a break.

No, I mean literally give me a break from this rant. Here are some of the opinions I alluded to earlier, courtesy of the Dallas Morning News.

Wow! You would expect a coach who really believed in his team would be willing to play any team, any place. Guess he thinks he needs a home-field advantage (even if he is within miles of it at Cowboys Stadium)- but maybe that is just against Big 12 opponents that he thinks may be a little more competitive than he is used to in his conference now.

wow, hasn't even played one b-12 game, and is already laying out his rules? what a set this guy has.

little man for a little stadium

See what I'm talking about? Aside from the new wrinkle the last commenter tossed in about Patterson being little - something no opposing fan before him has ever accused the man of being - this is the same tired, trite stuff you're going to find on every message board of every Big 12 team. Why on EARTH would Gary Patterson, a man who is almost entirely responsible for raising the $150+ million needed to renovate Amon Carter Stadium, agree to move all of his home games to the cavernous Jerry World? In what realm of logic does this even begin to scratch the surface of being reasonable? Because we should only be concerned with the alumni of other Universities having easy access to a ROAD game? Baylor has an old, small stadium. Perhaps they should move all of their home games to Jerry World? It's only a little over an hour up the road? Even better, maybe they should play half at Jerry World and the other half in Reliant to REALLY give the UT and Tech alums an even shot? Best yet - 2 home games in Arlington, 2 home games in Houston, 2 home games in Austin and 2 home games in San Antonio - now EVERYONE gets a fair shake!

But perhaps my favorite sentiment is that now that we're in the Big 12, Patterson doesn't feel as confident about his team and would prefer to have a home field advantage on his side in HOME games. Well no, effing, DUH!!! Not the confidence part, the latter half of that equation. Isn't that what HOME games are about? Isn't that why teams not called the Miami Dolphins typically have better overall records at home than on the road? Isn't that why, in most sports, teams try to win as many games as possible so they're have home field advantage in the playoffs? Isn't that why they invented the term HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE in the first place?! "That Gary Patterson, how DARE he want to play scheduled Conference home games on campus!!! Who the hell does he think he is?!?" Now I remember why I've hated this Conference all these years.

Sadly, attendance dumbassery it's not just limited to other schools. Worried about future attendance issues, one commenter over on the Eastern Bloc suggested TCU increase enrollment to 25,000!!!!!!!!!!!!! in order to fill our stadium to the brim for every game with our own fans. That'd be a fun conversation for CDC and Boschini to have.

"Hey Victor, I know we just completed massive renovations on our campus to provide more housing and classroom space for students, but what do you say we put 4 students to a room and have students sit in each others laps in class so we can double our enrollment and beat those greedy UT fans out of a ticket!?!?"

How about, "stop bitching about the sun shining and come support your team?" or stop taking the, "HOW DARE TCU MOVE MY SEAT TO ACCOMMODATE A FAN WHO GAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAN I DID TO MAKE THE STADIUM RENOVATIONS POSSIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!" approach? Again though, that's a post that has been written countless times already.

But we also have fans going the other way - fans that worry that the new stadium will not provide ENOUGH seating and that we should rethink the plans for expansion and add MORE seats. Guys, we've sold 25,000 season tickets to this point and we can hardly get all of those folks to come. Who the heck do you think is going to snatch up the remaining 20 when UT or Tech plays. I'll give you a hint: The most common phrase they hear on a day to day basis is, "Attention, Wal Mart Shoppers." Yes, we're going to add new season ticket buyers due to the Big 12, but not anywhere near 45,000. Get real.

Now I'm not even sure what I'm ultimately trying to convey here. One the one hand, fans of other teams are arrogant to the point of idiocy about their expectations for TCU joining the Big 12 and I hope we destroy them all. On the other, our own fans are pretty dumb with their expectations as well. Seriously, I hate everyone except for about 15 people. You know who you are.

2012 TCU Baseball schedule is out

The 2012 TCU Baseball schedule was released this week, featuring a fantastic home slate at Lupton Stadium. Some of the highlights include:

-A season-opening three-game home series against Ole Miss on February 17-19.

-An eight-game homestand stretching from February 28 to March 11 that will feature three games against Texas Tech, three games against Oklahoma State, one game against Baylor and one against Texas State.

-Late season mid-week home games against Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Louisiana-Lafayette.

-A regular season-ending home series against Tony Gwynn and San Diego State.

-An early-season road series against Cal State Fullerton on February 24-26.

-Mid-week road games that Frog fans around the region can attend: Baylor, UTSA, Texas State, UTA and Oklahoma.

Morning Dump

Horned Frogs say there's no place like home Star-Telegram

TCU & BYU no longer share a conference, but they do share history Dallas Morning News

Patterson doesn't want Big 12 games at Cowboys Stadium Dallas Morning News

Will TCU's reign of terror continue over Cougars? Salt Lake Tribune

TCU knows BYU will come prepared Deseret News

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TCU-BYU youtube fun

Here are a few videos of BYU players and Salt Lake-area media discussing this Friday's game at Jerry World:

West Virginia to the Big 12?

Maybe TCU and West Virginia will end up as conference rivals after all? Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports is reporting that the Mountaineers will take Missouri's spot in the Big 12 if (or more likely, when) the Tigers depart for the SEC. This would be another big blow for the Big East, who was hoping to rope in Boise State, Air Force, Houston and some other schools.

What do you think- would this be a good move for the Big 12? How do you think this affects the Big East's moves?

Mother Nature + Rangers = TCU attendance FAIL?

Thank goodness the Frogs have already been invited to the Big 12, because there's a chance that a national television audience may get a lesson in the attendance struggles of a small private school in a large metropolitan area on Friday night.

Tomorrow's World Series Game 6 is in jeopardy of being postponed because of the forecast for rain in St. Louis- 80% during the day and 70% at night. If the game is pushed back to Thursday night, that would mean a potential Game 7 would be pushed to Friday night- at the exact time that the Frogs are facing BYU on ESPN. I'm sure we've got a lot of fans that don't care about the Rangers at all, and plenty more that would put the Frogs before the Rangers no matter what...but I really hope we don't have to find out exactly how many.

All the more reason for Colby to get it done in Game 6, huh?

Morning Dump

Graves receives MW weekly honor

TCU to face BYU in Friday match-up at Cowboy stadium

Plan on a full Nelson at QB for TCU
Salt Lake Tribune

Cougars last three loses to TCU have been ugly
Deseret News

TCU duo punches ticket to ITA regional finals

Monday, October 24, 2011

Game 7 Wrap Up: Murder Death Kill.

Yeah, that's basically what happened.

Well NOW what are we supposed to think? I think we were are reeling a little - no strike that, a LOTTA - bit after the SMU game and while the Frogs performance against SDSU eased the pain some, I'm not sure what we all really expected. Don't get me wrong - clearly we expected to handle New Mexico and handle them easily... but THAT? A history making performance, the first of 3 in the DFW sports realm this weekend? Pretty remarkable. 69-0 should probably never happen between two Division 1 programs even in an SEC/Sun Belt situation; double that for an in-Conference matchup where the winner is a team clearly in a learning year. We knew New Mexico had issues, but yeesh. They're like pre-SMU Jones bad, which is a bad I wasn't sure we'd ever see again in our lifetimes. At some point during a rout like that you actually start to feel a little bad for your opponent, but even when we let up - which was EARLY - they couldn't catch a break. Perfect example: Our third string QB turned third string Safety turned back to third string QB Rick Settle scored on a run play that was not designed to score a TD, at least according to his Coach. It was just that kind of day.

But while the Coaching staff openly admitted that they were pretty much just going to burn these game tapes and dive headfirst into BYU, I have a duty to you, the readers, so let's take one last brief look at Saturday's feeding frenzy.

  • Welcome back, Johnny Fobbs! TWO forced fumbles, both of which set up the Frogs first two scores, and it was never close from there. Fobbs has taken a lot of grief this year for not always playing his best, but for at least one afternoon he was on top of things, although it should be noted he also played well against SDSU.
  • In Game Experience. lyle informed me earlier that every non-injured/non-redshirting player on our roster got experience Saturday afternoon, and I'm not going to try to dispute that. Quickly running through the highlights - Aundre Dean and Jercell Fort 5 carries, Cam White 1 reception, Rick Settle 1 TD, and lots of guys on defense, including Jon Koontz, Jon Lewis, David Stoltzman, Chris Scott and Ray Burns. Heck, we even got a backup kicker into the game! One major contributor who stuck out was Left Tackle James Dunbar who has been so neglected this year that there were rumors suggesting he was no longer on the team at all. Jeff Olson has been a fine addition at Left Tackle, but having offensive line depth is what separates many good teams from bad ones. Dunbar's activation could be very important given our next point...
  • Braylon Broughton and Michael Thompson. I missed the Broughton injury - certain issues had me leaving the game at halftime and catching mid-3rd Qtr on at home - but the radio broadcast said his X rays were negative and he could have potentially played in the second half. However, Michael Thompson's injury looked serious on the field and, sure enough, will have him sitting the rest of the year. While Thompson wasn't necessarily an integral part of the rotation, he had seen solid playing time all season and added to that whole "offensive line depth" thing I mentioned above. I don't think his absence will be the difference between 10-2 or 9-3, but you never want to lose a young guy who is hungry for minutes. Hopefully we will heal nicely and be ready for spring drills.
  • Unis of Death. I'm not sure the exact math, but it seems like we play our best games when busting out the black tops and purple pants. Of course, I recognize the caveat here that this particular combination didn't really come of age until the Dalton years, so of course the results are skewed, but its worth noting. However, the biggest factor here - other than New Mexico being comically incompetent, of course - is the re-addition of the Horned Frog to our helmets. It was hard to tell at first, but yes, those are the new matte finish helmets we've been wearing all year with the different logo. A lot of people were pleased with the new, all letters look, but there was something reassuring about seeing the little critter back in the fold. We'll see if these hold going forward.
  • Deryck Gildon and Antonio Graves. Clearly Deryck Gildon is THE next great linebacker under Gary Patterson at TCU, but perhaps his special teams work has gone a little under the radar. Or, at least under the radar by everyone not named that SMU receiver still seeing double from the ear-holing Gildon laid on him. But Saturday's blocked punt/recovery was great to see, not only because it was our first of the year and led to points, but because it was created and recovered by two freshmen. The future, it's bright.
  • Devin Johnson. Ok, so I was wrong. There have been times this season where I see Devin Johnson on the field and, after first racking my brain to remember his name, get disgruntled at the fact that he's out there at all. It's not really anything personal, it's just that I'm entirely old fashioned in that I have a hard time trusting under the radar guys whom I'm unfamiliar with. I'm super fickle like that. But Devin Johnson has earned his starting role at SS, beating out Trent Thomas, and the defense has been better for it. Saturday he led the team with 6 tackles, including 3 for a loss and contributed on 2 sacks. Not bad for a converted CB buried on the depth chart when the season started. He's not the biggest guy - 5'10", 188 - but he has clearly added some sort of spark to a secondary that has looked half dead most weeks. Speaking of that secondary...
  • Secondary Steps up. Yes, pumping up a win against New Mexico is similar to what the Cowboys are doing after beating a TERRIBLE Rams team yesterday. Yes, the hyping up of UNM's receivers may have been a product of the GP hype machine intended to inspire his team to play hard. But still... 21 yards total yards, 11 of them coming on one play? I mean.. what? That'll do, pig.
  • Early Start. Clearly one of, if not THE, biggest complaints about the team this year were the slow starts out of the gate. And while it likely wouldn't have made a difference against Baylor, you can't help but wonder, "what if?" about the SMU game. No matter who you are playing, a slow start can doom even the best teams, something Oklahoma learned the hard way Saturday night. But at least for 2 games, TCU has taken that out of the equation. After jumping to a 14-0 lead that was imperative in holding off SDSU two weeks ago, the Frogs jumped out 14-0 with only 6 minutes off the clock and led 20-0 after one on the way to a 41-0 half time margin. I'm not expecting THAT kind of explosion the next 5 games, but it goes without saying that against BYU and Boise we better put up early points if we want to have a chance. For the day the Lobos had 85 yards of total offense.
  • Matt Brown. We've seen what Matt Brown can do with his legs on a handful of occasions this season, but it was nice for him to get the opportunity to air a few out, which he did to the tune of 2/4 for 76 yards. 54 of those came on a nice post route to freshman Cam White. However, Brown's current role in the offense is pretty clear: the read option. For whatever reason, Pachall just doesn't have Brown's quick reaction and first step, which I think was a shock to us all early but also something we've come to accept. The only issue I see with this going forward is that, when playing a defense like BYU or Boise's that will not only know what is coming but know how to stop it, it might not be as effective. But, Brown is a dangerous weapon on his feet, rushing 9 times for 52 yards and 2 scores. Like I said, it may not always work, but it's a nice OPTION to have. Speaking of that run game...
  • Running Backs. Well, it wasn't as lofty as the three 100 yard rushers suggestion I had in the preview, but 7 rushing TD's was nice, as was Ed Wesley's Jeremy Kerley impression early in the third quarter. There was also a nice, even distribution of carries between all the backs.
  • Poll Climbing. Finally, you may not have noticed it, but TCU got some SERIOUS love in the Coaches' Poll Sunday, climbing from 1 total vote to 33 and sitts at 28th. With BYU also getting votes, it's not completely unrealistic to think that a win Friday could move us back into the Top 25, although it would need to be convincing and we'd need some help. Could the Movement Watch make an early return this week?
I dont' think there's a whole lot more to say about this one. It was the performance we expected against ULM and Portland State but didn't get. Better late than never? Despite all the words I've wasted, I don't think we should read too much into this one. A convincing win against the worst team in Division 1. I'll leave you with the most fun stats: First downs - 22-5; Total yards - 515-85; Total plays - 65-48; Kickoffs - 1-11; Third down conversion - 8/11 - 1/12; Red zone chances - 9/9-0/0.

Now, prepare your minds, bodies and souls for Hate Week, part 3.