Saturday, December 31, 2011

Frogs vs. Tulsa tonight

After an eight-day layoff that followed their win over Grambling State on December 22nd, Jim Christian's Horned Frogs hit the hardwood tonight with a home game against Tulsa at 6:00pm. The Frogs are 8-4 on the season, and will be looking to avenge a heart-breaking 3-point road loss against the Golden Hurricane last season.

One of the major challenges for TCU tonight will be finding their rhythm after such a long break. They had an eight day break for final exams earlier in the season, which was punctuated by a 24-point loss to USC that featured a very flat effort by the Frogs. Even for those exhibiting the most patience for Coach Christian, a repeat of that pattern will not be acceptable.

As has been the case much of the year, the Frogs will have their work cut out for them on the boards tonight. Tulsa ranks 61st in the nation in rebounding, while the Frogs are currently tied with Tennessee Tech and Sacramento State at 241st in the country. This predicament is intensified with the fact that Tulsa sports two 6'11" players in their starting line up, so they (like many Frog opponents) will have a size advantage.

Tonight's game, which is the second half of a double-header which will also feature the Lady Frogs taking on Texas Southern at 2:00pm, will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Year

I'm sure a lot of you are making ridiculous promises to yourself about eating healthier, gaining some arbitrary achievement at work or spending more time with your family in 2012, but I really don't care to hear about it. That being said, 2012 is going to be another big year in the lives of TCU fans- so let's make some new year's resolutions specifically for how we'll support the Frogs going forward.

As we did with the Christmas wish list, I'll start us off and then the rest of you can chime in with your two cents in the comments section:

-No more lame fandom. Being in the parking lot while the game is going on is pretty unacceptable. I'm not as severe an offender as most, but I will admit being a bit late to get back to my seat after halftime at a few games this year. It's time for all of us to quit acting like SMU fans.

-Invite non-TCU people to attend TCU events. Things have been getting better in this regard for years now, but there are still SO many sports fans in the Metroplex that haven't been let in on the secret of Horned Frog sports. Buy a few extra tickets and invite that neighbor, co-worker, or brother-in-law to come tailgate and go to the game with you.

-Tell a friend about Spit Blood. We started this site a few years ago with the purpose of keeping conversations about TCU sports going 365 days a year. We had just about a dozen readers at first- but we're easily up to, I don't know, two dozen by now. My guess is you know someone who is as obsessed with the Frogs and being a smart ass as the rest of us, and that they'd be a nice addition to the Spit Blood family. Get them reading and commenting ASAP!

-Expand your fandom beyond football. Like many schools in Texas, TCU has a lot of September to December fans. But depending on your own athletic upbringing, you probably have a passion for at least one other sport in which TCU offers a great spectator experience. Both the soccer and volleyball programs are setting attendance records left and right, and Lupton is fast becoming one of the best venues in all of college baseball. When there is eventually (hopefully) something to cheer for on the hardwood, it doesn't take a whole lot of energy to turn Daniel-Meyer into a hornet's nest for opposing teams. Heck, college tennis- I promise- is actually a lot more fun than you'd think.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of Season Position Grades: Defense/Special Teams

After doing the offensive grades, shockingly enough most of those who commented seemed to agree with me to a certain extent. I think when analyzing the defensive performance this year, there may be a little more dissension since this defense was not what we've come to expect from the Frogs of year's past. Anyways, let's get to it, and again, I encourage the readers to pick apart my grades in the comments section, but like every teacher/professor you ever had, I will not change the grades because I have all the power and I am in charge.

Defensive Line: B-

This grade could be lower, but it was completely saved by the greatness that is sophomore DE Stansly Maponga and the semi-unexpected breakout season of redshirt freshman/ginger successor David Johnson. Maponga had 9 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss and a ridiculous 5 forced fumbles, and for the first couple months of the season it felt like he forced or recovered a fumble in every single game. He was a flat out monster all year, but I think we all kind of knew that was coming. David Johnson, who emerged as a starter in the last 8 games at defensive tackle, had 7 tackles for loss and 3 sacks, good for 2nd and 3rd on the team respectively. Not only that, but he seemed to blow up several plays in the backfield and seems to have that ginger-fire that helped make Andy Dalton a superstar at TCU. Those numbers were good enough to garner 2nd team freshman All-American honors from Yahoo!, so not a bad season at all from David Johnson.

As far as the rest of the D-line goes, it seemed to be a pretty or uninspired season for the rest of the guys. None of the other guys had more than 3 sacks (DJ Yendrey, Johnson), and too often we saw QB's with plenty of time to throw. The breakout season we had all been waiting for from Braylon Broughton for a couple years now failed to materialize again, as he was eventually replaced by Ross Forrest in the starting lineup. The season-ending knee injury to projected starting DE Matt Anderson in fall camp definitely hurt, and hopefully he comes back healthy and provides a pass rushing threat opposite Maponga. True freshmen DT's Jon Lewis and Chucky Hunter showed flashes of playmaking ability at times, especially in the BYU game if I remember correctly. I think it's safe to say that we are going to alright on the defensive line going forward considering how young we are, but I'd like to see a playmaker emerge not named Maponga by next September. Oh, and what the Hell happened to Jeremy Coleman? Yikes...

Linebackers: B

Obviously last season, but totally awesome still.

Man, this group went through a lot this year. From losing Tanner Brock for the season in game 1 to a foot injury, to Tank Carder playing with pins in his hand and whatever else weird injuries he accumulated, to Kenny Cain not making the trip to San Diego and missing 2 games due to injury. This group fought through a lot. Despite what most would consider to be a down year for Tank coming off of that ridiculous Rose Bowl, he still was the MWC Defensive Player of the Year for his 2nd time and even made some All-American teams somehow. He still is one of the better coverage linebackers I've seen in a while, and he showed that ability with 2 more pick-six's this season. He was also 2nd on the team in tackles with 70 despite having to switch positions when Brock went down with an injury. Kenny Cain, who became a starter due to the Brock injury, was quiet early on but came on strong and had arguably the best year out of any of our linebackers. He led the team with 72 tackles despite missing 2 games and is far and away the most athletic linebacker on our squad. Just another GP running back recruit turned defensive stud. Ho hum. Senior Kris Gardner played in all 13 games and ended his career on a high with a pick 6 on Senior Day. He was a more than serviceable backup for his whole career and filled in nicely this season when injuries plagued the other LB's. Freshman Deryk Gildon, the next great TCU linebacker in line, was a standout on special teams and had 21 tackles on the year and also blocked 2 kicks. I look forward to seeing what he'll do next year in what will most likely be the #1 backup behind Brock and Cain. It'll be interesting to see who else emerges next season to shore up the depth at the LB position.

Secondary: C

This was obviously the toughest grade of all, and perhaps I'm being harsh here considering our youth at the back end of our defense, but this unit just didn't get it done this season. Being torched by RGIII in week 1 hurt, but after seeing him do that to every defense he faced certainly eased the pain. The pain that can't be eased nor explained is letting JJ McDermott and a lousy SMU team pass all over us and steal a victory in Fort Worth. I'll try to get through this without being too harsh of a critic of any particular players since I've been accused of that before, but I think we all know who and what I'm referring to when I say I am sick and tired of watching incredibly fast defensive backs get burned on deep balls. I'll leave the negativity alone now and go into positive for all of these guys since most are young and will do nothing but improve in the future, hopefully putting together a tremendous Big 12 secondary in the next few seasons.

Jason Verrett- Rough start, but he definitely came on strong at the end of the year after losing his starting job for a couple of weeks. Seems to be the most sure tackler of all of our corners. Sweet hair as well.

Greg McCoy- Led the team in passes defensed (9) and a huge INT in the Poinsettia Bowl. Has been a productive player in the secondary for years and will be missed. Will get to him more in Special Teams.

Johnny Fobbs- Didn't know what to expect with him taking over for the legendary Tejay Johnson, but man this guy can hit. Forced 3 fumbles mostly from just blasting the shit out of ball carriers. Had a couple bullshit personal foul calls too when he destroy WR's that came across the middle. Sorry you had to suffer from the wussification of football on those.

Tekerrein Cuba- tied for second on the team with 70 tackles and was seemingly always around the ball. We are going to miss him for sure, although I won't miss looking up how to spell "Tekerrein" every time I write about him.

Jonathan Anderson- In my opinion, the next great TCU defensive back. Tackles like Stephen Hodge, but has more of a safety's build than Hodge. Had a great interception against BYU. Let's not forget he forced the fumble against Boise that gave us the opportunity to go down for the winning score. Well done, Jonathan. Also, awesome hair.

Devin Johnson- Where the Hell did you come from?!?! The walk-on was perhaps the bright spot in the secondary this year. Don't think he'll start next year, but he earned it. His 8 tackles for loss was second on the team. If it wasn't for his emergence, we might have been really, really screwed back there.

I realize there are plenty more players in the secondary, but I don't feel like highlighting those guys.

Kick/Punt Returns- A-

If I left this strictly to kick returns, it'd be an A+ even with that McCoy fumble against SMU. We took 3 back for a touchdown this year, 2 from McCoy, who has been doing this for years, and 1 from Waymon James. Replacing Jeremy Kerley proved to be even tougher than we imagined, with Skye Dawson and Brandon Carter both having their moments, but also their struggles at the position. Dawson got blown up several times, and a few times I didn't think he'd ever get up. Brandon Carter will be a great one back there, but he's got to learn how to hang on to the ball before that can happen. Ed Wesley was back there for a couple of weeks and he also showed flashes, but then somehow lost that spot in favor of Carter for the bowl game.

Greg McCoy will probably go down as the greatest kick returner in TCU football history. He earned some All-American honors at that position as well, and they were well deserved. He was definitely a game-breaker and momentum-swinger from that spot. He was 7th nationally in yards per return at 30.59 and tied for second with his 2 TD's. Did you know he was second on the team in all-purpose yards behind only Waymon James this year? That came as a shock to me.

Punting: B-

This one may get some argument, because for whatever reason Anson Kelton was a very polarizing figure. Kelton avergaged 40.2 yards per punt, which was good for 59th in the country. Not great. However, he did drop 14 of his 47 punts inside the 20, so that's not too shabby. I give him a pass because of the outstanding Rose Bowl he had, even though that's not this season. Also showed up pretty big in the Poinsettia Bowl. He may be harder to replace than we thought.

Kicking/Kickoffs: I

Our best kicker. It was either this, or Ross Evans's mugshot...

I won't touch this grade because I feel like my analysis might be out of bounds. Y'all can have at this in the comments section since the readers don't get hate emails when they go off...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of Season Position Grades

As you all know, football season (at least for the Frogs) is long gone and we really have nothing athletically to look forward to until baseball season. Yes, I know there's basketball, but to steal a line from NFL Primetime- "Come on, man!". Maybe this year will be different, but I'm not betting on it, and I'm currently trying to figure out a way to Austin Powers cryogenically freeze myself until late August and come back without losing my Mojo. I've already started slowly sinking into a deep, dark post-football depression and having my TV flooded with pre-March college basketball games and whatever floptastic Euro-trash soccer league they show on ESPN is about to cause me to toss a plugged in toaster into a bathtub with me. Yeah, there are still the occasional bowl games, but currently I'm watching Purdue and Western Michigan. Who gives a shit about that game? The only thing good to come out of either one of those schools was Drew Brees's birthmark, and I'm pretty sure he carved that off of himself with a Bowie knife a couple years back. I have taken some pleasure in watching the Mavs get their asses blasted by nearly 30 on consecutive nights, but really I don't care about basketball yet and won't until March, and by then I probably won't have a team competing that I have a rooting interest in. So yeah, FML.

So to combat my lack of meaningful football depression, and to kick start the site again after the holidays (thank you to Lyle for literally single-handedly keeping this site going for the past few days), I've decided to give a grade, position by position, to each unit on the team. Keep in mind, these aren't just the starters grades, but the entire unit as a whole. For discussion's sake, please feel free to disagree and give your own grades in the comments section. I'll start with the offense today and get to defense later in the week.

Quarterback: A+

Okay, so I probably lose what little credibility I have by throwing out a complete homer grade in my very first position breakdown, but bear with me here. Just think about all of the offseason tension and paranoia surrounding our quarterback position, most of which obviously centered around our favorite sleeve-tatted bad ass with a tin foil helmet and superman undies. Well I'd say he laid those fears to rest in week 1 with his near heroic performance leading a huge comeback against Baylor despite cramps coursing through his legs seemingly the entire second half. Casey Pachall didn't stop there, though, and his win against Boise State on the Smurf Turf was one of the greatest single game performances by a TCU QB ever. As a first year starter, he broke Andy Dalton's single season records of passing yards (2,921) and completion percentage (66.5%) as well as throwing for 25 TD's to just 7 INT's. He wasn't quite the rushing threat we had imagined, netting only 50 yards and 2 TD's, but without his full extension lay out on the 2 point conversion against Boise State, we probably don't win that game. And who needed him to run anyways? That's what the Matt Brown package was for. Brown amassed 118 yards and 6 TD's on the ground, as well as finishing 3-5 passing for 90 yards. I no longer fear the backup QB situation like I did before the season, especially with the studs we have waiting in the wings in the future.

So assuming you thought Andy Dalton was an A+ QB last season, I think you'd have to give the QB's this year the A+ as well. The passing numbers were pretty much identical, and considering the expectations were way lower I'd say I was thrilled with the outcome.

Running Backs: B+

This grade could've been higher, but I had to knock them down a peg for one reason: fumbles. Ed Wesley, who didn't play much early in the season but accounted for 726 yards and 6 TD's, ended with 6 fumbles. Way too many. Waymon James, our leading rusher with 875 yards, 6 TD's, and a ridiculous 7.2 yards per carry, ended up with 3 fumbles. Matthew Tucker, the red zone beast who scored 12 TD's and had 702 yards, only fumbled twice. I do have to deduct some points from Tucker for trying to leap into the end zone from the 5 only to come up a yard short. Maybe next time, Carl Lewis. Between our 3 leading rushers, a total of 11 fumbles is way more than you should have. Not to mention so many of these fumbles seemed to come at horrible spots on the field and were incredibly untimely (Wyoming comes to mind). I'm pretty sure Trent Richardson has fumble once in like, ever, at Alabama, be more like Trent when handling the ball next season and we will be giving this group an A+ next winter for sure.

Oh, and Luke Shivers. You will be missed. You were loved. Great career for the touchdown machine.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B

This group was 2 Josh Boyce yards away from getting upgraded to a B+, but that 998 total receiving yards kills me. He looked like a lock for 1000 after the first few games, but I wouldn't necessarily blame him for that. The emergence of Brandon Carter mid-season took some catches away from Boyce, and also the bore the shit out of your fans mentality of running the ball into the ground against lowly MWC competition took away from some of his potential production. Shouldn't be an issue next year, and I bet he cruises past the 1000 yard mark. Boyce's 9 TD catches were great and the Pachall/Boyce connection is something we will all enjoy again at least next year, but the play of the year by Boyce was definitely when he made the Boyce DB his bitch, stole his ball, and waltzed in for the go-ahead 2 point conversion. And how can you talk about receivers and Boise without mentioning true freshman/future superstar Brandon Carter? I still think that one cornerback's panties are laying on blue turf after BC shook him right out of his drawers on his way to a 75 yards TD. Seriously, it looked like someone shot that guy in the leg the way he came up limp after getting his ankles broken on that hitch and go. Then later on he outdid himself by leaping over a DB and hauling in the TD that led to the Boyce 2 point conversion.

So after all that gushing, you'd have to wonder how this group gets a B? Simple- it's the drops and the other guys. Carter had a game ending drop against SMU, but the real issue with that game is how we put ourselves in that situation in the first place. Skye Dawson, despite being the bowl game "offensive MVP" dropped a sure 90+ yard TD that Pachall put perfectly into his hands. Obviously he redeemed himself later on in that game and the speedy Junior was 2nd on the team with 500 yards and 5 TD's. Many of us were hoping for a season of redemption from Senior Antoine Hicks, but it wasn't meant to be. He was third on the team with 347 yards, but only had 1 TD and a truly disappointing end to his TCU career by not being able to play in the Poinsettia Bowl. After his Sophomore season I thought we had a superstar in the making. Tight End Logan Brock was a nice red zone threat, hauling in 3 TD's and his blocking helped paved the way for our dominating rushing attack. We also saw a nice glimpse of the future from David Porter III, who caught 2 early season TD's and got his first career start in the Poinsettia Bowl. It'll be exciting to see if he and Cam White can progress and become bigger cogs in next season's offense.

Offensive Line: A

If we thought the panic level was high at QB prior to the season beginning, I'd say it was equally as high if not higher along the offensive line. With the loss of All-American's Jake Kirkpatrick and Marcus Cannon, nobody had incredibly high hopes for this group this fall anyways. Then the drama with projected starting Left Tackle James Dunbar being ineligible came down, and word was that we had a former walk-on Tight End, Robert Deck, moving over to start at Tackle. At this point, the oh-shit meter was through the roof. The lone returning starter on this year's offensive line was Kyle Dooley, a veteran we all knew could be counted on, but the rest was a complete uncertainty to all of us and probably to the coaching staff as well. Well, mad props to OL coach Eddie Williamson and anyone else who works with those guys, because this was without a doubt your finest job yet. Starters Jeff Olson, Kyle Dooley, James Fry, Blaize Foltz and Robert Deck all need to be commended for a job incredibly well done, as well as backups like Brady Foltz, Ty Horn, and Spencer Thompson, just to name a few. This group paved the way for a whopping 2,712 yards rushing (16th in the nation) at a 5.1 yards per carry clip (18th) on the season, 38 rushing TD's (5th) and allowed only 13 sacks in 13 games. Not too shabby for a group of 4 new starters that include 2 former walk-ons.

Coming up next, your defensive and special teams grades...

Morning Dump

Former TCU golfer JJ Killen prepares for the PGA WFAA

TCU women headed to take on future Big 12 foe

Patriots sign Williams to the practice squad

Dalton Likely to Play in Pro Bowl.

Yes, Mrs. Dalton, looks like you'll be able to escape beautiful Cincinnati, at least for a weekend.

Not a bad week for Frogs in the NFL, as long as those Frogs don't play for the Jets. Marshall Newhouse, who has been a starter for weeks now, and Marcus Cannon saw extensive action for their Playoff bound teams in wins. Plus, after connecting on one of the most incredible touchdowns you will ever see to Jerome Simpson, Andy Dalton topped it off by being named the first Pro Bowl alternate for the AFC under center - yes, over team Tebow, an upset in itself based on the media slob he receives. It didn't come without its hiccups, though, as Dalton was left off the initial roster pretty unfairly in lieu of Phillip Rivers, the most overrated QB at any level. However, the league saved some face with this move and Dalton is next in line should Tom Brady, Ben Rape or Rivers back out.

So what are the chances of this happening? A few years ago Dalton would've had a slim hope outside of one of those guys just up and deciding they didn't want to spend the last NFL weekend of the year in Hawaii tossing a few passes and sipping Mai Tai's. But now, with the game being moved to the week in between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl and remaining on the mainland, that has all changed. If a selected player is on a Super Bowl team, they will choose to sit out the Pro Bowl. Rivers' Chargers are going to be sitting at home come January, but I'd bet my life either the Patriots of the Steelers make the Super Bowl this year, thus eliminating one of those guys from the roster and moving Dalton into their spot. Sorry, Texans fans. But even if neither of those teams make it, Rape has been insanely banged up this year and it's likely he would choose to sit out the game for the sake of his brain and body. So I'm not just saying there's a chance he'll join teammate and safety net AJ Green in the Pro Bowl, I'm saying it's gonna happen.

So I think we should all give Red a standing ovation at our desks this morning on doing something that would've been deemed absolutely had you posed the question last off season. A rookie QB playing for the BENGALS of all teams in the Pro Bowl? Hell, frozen over, it has. That probably won't help Frogs recruiting in the slightest bit. It's likely Cam Newton is going to get the nod for Rookie of the Year - and, as first alternate for the NFC, perhaps he'll get to face Dalton to settle the matter one way or another - but if Dalton is to get the once hapless Bengals into the playoffs AND make the Pro Bowl? There will have been worse award season crimes, but, statistics be damned, I can't think of any off the top of my head. So congratulations to Andy and thanks for giving us all a reason to care about the NFL this weekend, since the Cowboys are going to lose, and to care about the Pro Bowl for the first time ever.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

All I want for Frog Christmas...

I'm not certain of the naughty or nice status of most of us here at Spit Blood- but nevertheless, it's Christmas Eve so we're going to set out some cookies and milk and let Santa know what we as Frog fans are hoping to find under the tree tomorrow morning...or in the next year or so. I'll start us off:

1. A strong finish to the basketball season. It's been a while since the Frogs were competetive all the way through the conference season, oh what I'd give for just one big, meaningful Saturday night conference game in a packed Daniel-Meyer. TCU is still the only team that has defeated Virginia this year, but they've also had some really ugly double-digit defeats. Hopefully we see more efforts like the one against UVA as the season goes on.

2. More quality football recruiting. GP & his staff have been assembling better classes every year, and this year's is certainly no different. With the few spots they have open for the Class of 2012, I hope they're able to go out and get a few top-notch future superstars.

3. Football season tickets that don't cost and arm and a leg. We've all been impressed with the renovations of Amon G. Carter Stadium, but have also been quietly concerned about the potential price increase once they are complete. I realize success comes at a price- figuratively and literally- but I'm also not made of money. I'd hate to see some passionate Frog fans be priced out of going to games next year.

4. A bounce-back year for the baseball team. It does sound kind of silly to say this after a year in which the Frogs won 43 games, another conference title and hosted an NCAA Regional for the third consecutive season...but last year's baseball season was a bit of a let-down based on the enormous potential of the team. I'd like to see the 2012 squad get back to the over-achieving ways of the 2010 team.

5. A time machine to take us to July 1st. Being future Big 12 members is pretty cool, but I'm about ready for this thing to be official!

Now it's your turn, person who is reading this blog instead of spending time with their family on Christmas Eve. Fill up the comments section with what's on your TCU sports wish-list.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last-minute shopping?

If you're like me and never get your Christmas shopping done until the last minute, you can probably get a good chunk of it done with our friends (and paid sponsors) at The Varsity. They've got all kinds of TCU gear and other purple stuff in their shop on Bluebonnet Circle like shirts (the one above being my favorite), hats, jackets, ties, YETI coolers and even women's apparel. I don't know what their holiday hours are, but even if you can't make it to the store you can always order online through The Varsity's website.

Gracious Winner/Sore Winner: Poinsettia Bowl edition

"I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir"

This was a feature that we debuted, to a mixed response, after the Boise game. I had originally planned on getting this posted the day after the game. But I, much like Sir Wesley, got a little rambunctious watching the game and was thus not feeling 100% yesterday.

The gracious winner says:

Whew. I think that was just about every TCU fan's reaction to the Frogs' 31-24 victory over the Bulldogs out in San Diego. We do not like losing bowl games, but that looked like it was a distinct possibility for much of Wednesday evening. Louisiana Tech was definitely a worthy adversary.

As much as we complain about the casual fan in our state not appreciating the achievements of teams outside of the big state schools that sell millions of T-shirts, it is definitely worse in Louisiana. In a state where a majority of the public don't support anything but LSU, Louisiana Tech has a pretty steep uphill climb to respectability in the football world. Add in the fact that they are still marooned in the far-flung WAC, and you get the sense that Ruston might be the most difficult place in America to field a winning football program. And yet, Louisiana Tech does it. As fans of a team that has succeeded despite the cards being stacked against us, we here at Spit Blood definitely respect what Sonny Dykes and his Bulldogs have accomplished.

In the game out in San Diego, the Bulldogs gave the Frogs all they could handle- and for much of the night, looked as if they might just pull off the upset. Colby Cameron kept the chains moving with the help of a tremendous offensive line that kept his jersey clean for most of the night and opened up hole after hole for the over-achieving walk-on tailback Hunter Lee. As any team bidding for an upset must do, they took advantage of every Horned Frog error.

Despite the loss, the future looks bright for the Louisiana Tech program. Sonny Dykes is an outstanding coach, and his Texas connections should pay off in recruiting for years to come. Much like Patterson's influence has helped the Frogs gain promotion to better conferences over the years, you can envision Dykes (with some help from the La Tech administration) gaining the Bulldogs a spot at the CUSA table now that SMU and Houston are departing. Beyond that, who knows...

The sore winner says:

Give me a break. You are still Louisiana Tech. Athletically, you are known for having a good women's basketball team before anyone else even halfway cared about doing so, a bumbling quarterback who appeared nude in a movie in which he played Kathy Bates' husband and a ringless power forward who once impregnated a 13 year-old while a sophomore at your school! Academically, well, let's just say Louisiana Tech would be a nice place to go to college for someone who didn't get into Texas Tech, and even the densest of the empty-headed mouth-breathers at my high school were able to do that.

As for the game, congratulations on coming up short in your Super Bowl against a team that barely even attempted to sound motivated for the leering press. The Frogs lacked energy, they lacked focus. They fumbled the ball and threw interceptions and missed tackles and racked up the kind of penalties that generally signal to an observer that they're just going to the motions. And yet, they simply flipped the switch in the fourth quarter and won the game. I'm the youngest in my family, so I played the part in many a 1-on-1 basketball game with the same dynamic as the Poinsettia Bowl. As I got older, though, I realized that celebrating moral victories is something that losers do.

Enjoy your time with Sonny Dykes, because it's not going to last. Once Tubberville finishes running the Red Raiders into the ground- which probably won't be long- Sonny is on the first flight home to Lubbock. Which is an upgrade on Ruston. Can you even fly out of Ruston? Much like the Horned Frogs have recently alligned with a more geographically-fitting conference, I suggest the Bulldogs do the same. I'm sure Sun Belt commissioner Wright Waters would take your call.

Frogs roll past Grambling

Jim Christian and the TCU men's basketball team began the process of shaking off the disappointing losses against Nebraska and at USC by dominating Grambling State last night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 85-53. Senior Craig Williams had a career-high of 25 points, while junior Garlon Green had a career-high 24. At 8-4, the Frogs now have eight days off before facing Tulsa at home on New Year's Eve.

Read all about last night's win:

Star-Telegram game story game story

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Annual Spit Blood Live Blog Morning After Round Up.

Well that certainly escalated every bit as intoxicatingly useless as I imagined it would. Sorry guys, that's likely the first and last alcohol infused spitblood live blog that will ever grace these interwebs as I'm pretty sure my marriage and my liver can't handle another one. Also, I went back and did a TEENCY bit of editing to a few of the postings; adults who know my mother read this site, after all. Plus, just a little reward for those who followed this thing live. You know who you are.

From what I can tell, though? I was puuuuuuurdy angry and had some interesting insight on the coach/player relationship between Sonny Dykes and Colby Cameron, a sentiment that was necessarily redacted this morning. Oh, and apparently I completely turned against my own race in the fight to stop Hunter Lee. Reverse Xenophobia... it happens. One of the commenters suggested that this was the ugliest TCU win of all time... and I can't disagree. Partly because it's true, but mostly because I don't really remember a whole lot, if you couldn't tell by the lack of lucidity in my later posts.

But, a win is still a win, right? And I think we can all agree that Louisiana Tech was a much better team that we gave them credit for. Despite my incoherent rantings, I always internally maintained we were going to win the game, and it really never felt out of our grasp... but WHOO they made it a little too interesting, didn't they?

Statistically, it was EXTREMELY even outside of TOP, which we dominated, and penalty yardage, which we also, unfortunately, dominated. Casey Pachall did not dominate, but would've done more had his receivers made a few more catches, although he short armed some throws as well. When all was said and he done he set the school records for completion percentage and yardage and his game winning pass to Skye Dawson helped redeem an early drop that potentially would've gone for another 6.

Can't say I'll be sad to see our graduating members of the secondary go. Colby Cameron tossed for 264 yards, but would've had significantly more was he not in the habit of throwing 10 yards over the heads of his receivers for most of the night. I'm not sure if losing Chad Glasgow had anything to do with the decline, but if there's even the slightest chance BRING HIM BACK! I hear he's looking.

I'll be honest - a recap is not in me right now, by any means, as my soul is circling a toilet bowl right now. The bottom line is we gutted out a win in a game we probably didn't deserve and made just enough plays to enter the Big 12 on an 8 game win streak. It's all we could really ask for. Plus, I took Louisiana Tech and 10.5 points! Wins all around!

You guys recap it in the comments.

Bowl Victory Dump

Frogs tune up for Big 12 with another fourth-quarter comeback Star-Telegram

TCU wakes up in time to smell the Poinsettia after stinky start Star-Telegram

Breaking down TCU's Poinsettia Bowl victory Star-Telegram

TCU fights off pesky Louisiana Tech in Poinsettia Bowl ESPN

TCU not sharp, but good enough to win CBS Sports

Let sleeping Frogs lie

TCU wins Poinsettia Bowl, 31-24



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Frogs win 31-14

tell me about it. im xfunk

Poinsettila bwl

discussion. vicotrry




KJ i AO SUAWE SEUKNK YOIU SUFYA Xn por o youe oqn,





ThirD Wuarer, Part 2.

  • Ryan denuccii kicks like a girl. Tere, a isaid it.
  • how did i miss lt stealing our signals? power to them.
  • zck gailifriankis was so much beter before he was n the naogover
  • the av lu said louei was the best hw on tv. they wer wrong.
  • gp looks like hes put onweight since unlv. prestigue?
  • does anyone else see how awesome my durnk spelling is? about as awesome as colby camerons passing
  • wh doesnt the referree get a hat tha fits? cause hes fat?
  • HUNTER LEE IS WHITE!! WHITW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 HES WASPY AS F!!!!!!!!!! DIE!!!!!!!!! YAEGH!!!!!!!!!!1

Third Quarter, Part 1.

  • Stand up, Josh Boyce!!!!!!!!!
  • THese flags are INSANE!! how can they all be legit???
  • YARRGHHH!!!!
  • seriously, the craigs thomspon and james are fisting us right now
  • tough catch for a tight end. not fullers fault. we will score here, for REAL.
  • Casey pachall runs like imagine kate upton poops... slow an dcaluculated.
  • GREAT call. lke shivers. all he does is catch first downs.
  • TD TUCK!!!!! that's back on track. it will be a runaway from this point. 17-10.


  • GERG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CUE THE CARS "JUST WHAT I NEEDED"
halftime... what does everyone think? 10-10. What changes need to be made? other than hrign an entirely new secondary? personally, we just need to stop playing like feces. frogs get ball first to start the sedcond half. go them.

Second Quarter, Part 2.

  • Seriously, we are getting gashed by a walk on RB from FLOWER MOUND!!!!! Again, i hate everything. So much that i'm not even capitalizing proper pronouns.

Second Quarter, Part 1.

  • Whoops! Was there a banana peel in the backfield?
  • Ugh, Kriminal Kicker... I want to root against him. 3-3. So much for my all TDs prediction.
  • Toby Keith commercial????????? Is that what America thinks of us? Hopefully that was directed towards Ruston...
  • Levander Liggins is clearly Tim Riggins Chinese cousin.
  • Phenomenal catch... I don't even know what to say. McCoy had the coverage. Also, Tessitore just called McCoy our best CB... is he testing me?~??!
  • I love Colby Cmaeron... cause he's not gud.
  • F, he totes caught that... phenomenal catch by Patton. Earning his reputation. 10-3 Bulldogs.
  • My wife is watching Kardashian reruns instead of the game. WHERE DID I GO WRONG?
  • UNREAL! HOW DO YOU NOT JUMP ON THAT BALL!! I hate everything right now. Nursefrog, back me up.
  • Remember when I said that the refs didn't really decide the SMU game and it wouldn't happen again. I WAS WRONG!!!!!! Shitty calls.
  • Is anyone else yelling "KILL HIM, HE'S WHITE!!" everytime LT runs the ball?

First Quarter, Part 3.

  • Soft coverage...we has it. my tum tum hurts right now.
  • FOBBS!!!!!! PERFECT!!!! We really needed that, and it was a long time coming for a walk on white RB. Huge momentum shift.
  • SO MANY FLAGS!! UUGGGHHHH!!!! I haven't seen this many flags since Justin Battle was in SMUs backfield.. oh wait, that Flag is missing a letter.
  • BOYCE! Lou Holtz said that was a tremendoush catsh.
End of first quarter. Not inspiring, but Fobbs saved our asses there. Pachall looks great but needs his receivers to bail him out. Run game looks like it is going to go a lot smoother than initially anticipated. Defensive secondary is as bad as ever. How is everyone liking the live blog format? Should we just have one long running post per quarter? ADVICE!!!

First Quarter, Part 2.

Casey Pachall... Stylin'.

  • Think he's saying bad words about Skye Dawson? I probably said enough for him.
  • Pretty sure I prefer our white unis to our home. Can we flip the system like the Cowboys do and make them our home whites?
  • The bad news? Greg McCoy still plays like a geriatric without their daily dose of Ensure. The good? Colby Cameron looks SHAKY!
  • WHAT? Who was that on?
  • COLBY CAMERON IS FAIL! Also, great coverage by TCU in the red zone. FG is fine there.
  • Lou Holtz is adorably simple minded. Did anyone else hear that phone booth comment?
  • I'm just saying... I called the first score being a LT field goal. TCU will score a TD on this possession. YOU WATCH!
  • Pachall... shades of Colby Cameron with that dying bird fling pass.
  • Kyle Dooley... thanks, bud. We will still score here.
  • JK!!!!
  • Tough possession... we are going to get it going, but can't give yards back with penalties. Dr. Lou Saysh penaltish are bad.
  • Kelton is rising to the occasion. He needs to play against award winners more often.

First Quarter, Part 1.

  • Kickoff... almost broke it
  • TRICKERATION!!!!!! F, we're gonna lose
  • TANK!!! He's ALIVE!!!!!! Was kinda worried bout him. Bummer that wasn't a fumble tho.
  • Is Ichiro Suzuki playing wideout for the Bulldogs?
  • First look at the magical punter...UNREAL!!! 1 yard line. Give him the trophy... wait, they already have? Ok, acceptable.
  • I realize Lou Holtz is a well respected coach.. but can you imagine a fiery halftime speech from him? LOLz abound.
  • First test for the LT run defense after the penalty... a 2 yard loss. Yikes!
  • Kelton answers! Who's the champion?
  • Colby Cameron is the most brotastic socal name since Brody Jenner
  • Fear the white running back... except when he's 4 feet tall and gets tripped at the line.
  • Phenomenal coverage there by Devin Johnson. No arguments from La Tech. Kid has a future.

Pre-Game Discussion.

I'll go ahead and get this started for those of you watching the post game, but here are my early observations

  • The stadjium - it's empty
  • Wendy Nix... kinda hot? Is it the whiskey talking? ESPN overload? You tell me
  • I don't know about you guys, but I feel a LOT better with Lennon Creer being out. Apparently I am not alone.
  • ESPN just showed the highlights of the Boise game. I'm not saying I forgot about Pachall's big day... but my GOD he went off.
  • Boo Kellen Moore
  • Why didn't we beat Baylor?
  • McShay reporting that Lennon Creer will play? What gives?
  • Frogs are reportedly missing four players, Antoine Hicks being one. Anyone know the others? Cam White just tweeted... could it be him?

First Annual Spit Blood Live Blog.

Come one, come all to the first annual Spitblood in-game live blog. Typically we wouldn't do such things because we'd be too busy admonishing you for not being at the game in person. However, based on the circumstances, we'll make an exception. Considering we are poor blogger relying on the aptly named Blogger interface, we are unable to bring you a true live journal like the big money types. Instead, except a long series of separate postings with snarky commentary intermixed with REAL TIME analysis. We considered having one post and just updating it as the game wore on, but that doesn't drive enough pageviews, nor ding your spitblood app quite enough. So sit back, grab a handful of your favorite beverages and join us in the comments.

Follow the Game with the Spit Blood Crew

Share Spit Blood with your grandparents- they'll love it!

Wherever you are watching the Poinsettia Bowl tonight, we want to cordially invite you to enhance your game-watching experience by taking in the possibly-sober commentary of our own Sir Wesley Willis and shortnkerleys while the Frogs are battling Louisiana Tech on the field out in San Diego.

Sir Wesley will be holding things down here at the nurturing biosphere of our homebase with a live blog. If you don't already have the Spit Blood iphone or ipad app, now would be a good time to download one or both. If you're like me and don't have iphone money, you can always just log on to on your desktop/laptop/shittyblackberry to take in SWW's ongoing, most likely rambling thoughts on the game as it happens.

Our in-house hate-spitter, shortnkerleys, will be spewing his game commentary and other, likely off-color remarks on our twitter feed. So if you're into that whole thing, follow him @spitbloodtcu. I can't promise you won't be offended, especially if you're sympathetic to public crying incidents.

This is our first fully (read: somewhat) coordinated interactive experiment, so be sure to let us know how we can improve things in the future. If we ever try it again. There's not a lot of structure to what we're doing here, if you couldn't already tell.

Go Frogs!

Spit Blood Predictions: TCU vs. Louisiana Tech

One last time for the 2011 football season, it's time to roll out the official predictions for tonight's game. Fill up our comments section with your predictions on:

-The final score

-MVPs for offense, defense and special teams

-Reported attendance

-Actual attendance

-Number of TCU fans present

-Pertaining to my post yesterday about TCU records, which marks does Casey Pachall meet and/or surpass?

-Which records does Josh Boyce reach and/or surpass?

Poinsettia Bowl Preview.

Dear Jonathan Anderson. Do THAT.

Buckle your seatbelts kids because it's the final gameday of the 2011 football season. No reason to rehash the winding avenue we took to get to this point; the bottom line is we made our bed in September and now we're finally getting to take a nice, hearty nap in it. Or, hopefully not a nap because we're talking about a game and if we took a nap in the middle of a game then we'd have a pretty hard time winning, now wouldn't we? But, that still begs the question: What team is going to show up? Is it going to be the squad that strolled into Boise, Idaho and stole a victory despite the odds being completely stacked against them? The squad without their backs against the BCS wall that played carefree football? The squad with little on the line - at that particular moment in time - with nothing to lose and everything to gain? Or it will be the over-confident, lackadaisical bunch that was taken to the woodshed by a supremely mediocre SMU team that absolutely collapsed from that moment on?

What attitude will they take? Will it be the one of, "I'm kind of ready for it to be over with," espoused by Senior leaders Tank Carder and Jeff Olson? Or will it be the one of the younger crew that has to live with the result, best expressed by Stansly Maponga on twitter this week when he said he's "ready to smash some heads in?" That's the reality of this game that might be lost on the older players. It's not so much how we finish this season, more how we begin the next one that rides on the outcome. Next year will begin the biggest, most anticipated TCU football season, I would argue, in the entire history of the program. A win tonight likely guarantees a Top 15 ranking, and I think that's a cautious estimate. The win not only gives TCU some leeway next season where the win/loss column and how it affects rankings is concerned, but gives a growing team confidence to work with as they head into the Big 12.

The 2011 Poinsettia Bowl isn't going to make anyone's Top 10, or maybe even 20, TCU games of all time, but it could go a long way in shaping how we look at some of our games next season. It's VERY important we come out fired up and ready to play after a lengthy lay off- unlike another program not to be named from our school that recently played a game in SOuthern California - because a poor outing will effect far more than our final ranking this year. It could set back the 2012 season before it even starts. I don't say this for doom and gloom, TCU is going to lose effect; I say it because it's true.

But enough of that - what about the ACTUAL game being played? If you missed our postings on the topic last week, you can check them out HERE, HERE and HERE because, for the most part, I'll be doing a lot of pilfering from those.

To begin, a frame of reference we can all relate to is TCU being a 10 point favorite in the game, down from 10.5. To the homer in us all, I think we can look at this and think, "TEN POINTS? TO A WAC TEAM? THANKS FOR THE FREE MONEY, BILL BELLAGIO!" However, at this juncture I'd like for you all to reflect back on all of those gambling related sure things that burned a hole in your pocketbook - PACKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - recently and begrudingly agree that 10 points is probably a pretty fair assesment when you take all things into account. On the surface, all things being equal and TCU/LT play their best game without any outside influences, TCU should win by 3 TDs. But, factoring in LT's far more advanced appreciation of the bowl destination, plus TCU potentially writing off the Bulldogs should make even the most aggressive of homers think twice before calling this a pregame blowout.

On the one hand, TCU comes into the game with a few distractions - the Antoine Hicks suspension (shouldn't matter on the field TOO much, and David Porter sounds ready to play, but he's, at the very least, a big body that takes some pressure off of Boyce), Ross Evans (apparently GP himself said Evans WILL be kicking tonight, but can we trust that headcase if the game somehow comes down to kicks?) as well as a severe lack of O Line depth with the injuries suffered late in the season.

And on the other hand? Lousiana Tech is better than we would ever want to give them credit for. Again, re-read the three posts linked above because I have no desire to completely regurgitate the facts. Just know that the Bulldogs have a very capable QB in Colby Cameron, a receiver who could start for a handful of AQ teams in Quinton Patton and... a really good punter? Ok, so I really do want to give this an honest shot before pouring on the homer juice, so just stick with me for a paragraph or two before the good stuff.

So where was I? Yes... Colby Cameron and Quinton Patton. Colby Cameron started the year on the second string but was forced into action midway through the season when starter Nick Isham was injured. The Bulldogs haven't lost a game since. Cameron offers a slighty more mobile dimension to this Bulldogs offense, which has come in real handy when you consider their mostly porous offensive line that has given up 24 sacks. We'll talk more about them in the already described "Homer juice" section.

Cameron has benefitted from Patton's presence, what with his 1135 yards receiving and 10 TDs. He could make a lot of fair QB's look good, but with someone like Cameron with actual talent, he hasn't had to force himself into overdrive too often. The passing game is how LT would prefer to beat TCU, which is a pretty sound strategy when you consider the things Baylor, SMU and Boise did to those guys this season. However, those three teams also featured a legitimate running threat, which is not one of Louisiana Tech's specialities. Cameron is a very responsible QB, having only turned the ball over via an interception twice this season. Can a Horned Frogs secondary that hasn't feasted on their opponents miscues often, picking only 9 passes in 12 games, rise to the occasion and make the Bulldogs resort to their less than exciting ground attack? Let's hope so. I don't necessarily see Cameron picking us apart the way Robert Griffin did, mostly because he doesn't have the speedy receivers. But I'd rather pick him off early, rattle his confidence and take it out of the equation.

So what happens when the Frogs have the ball? Let's just say it won't exactly be smooth sailing if the Bulldogs play to their average. For the season they only give up 22 points and 122 yards on the ground per game. They recorded 32 sacks, including 8.5 from defensive end Christian Lacey and picked off a wildly impressive 20 passes, good for third in the nation. Of those 20, five were returned for scores. Thems are pretty good numbers. They'll give up some yards - nearly 375 per game and the 31 total TDs they've given up as a defense don't rank too high - by contrast, TCU has given up 27 - but don't let that fool you. The Bulldogs are opportunistic, aggressive, and you can bet they'll be fired up to demonstrate their skills in front of a national audience.

So that we have that out of the way, is it Homer Juice time? Yeah, it's totes Homer Juice Time. Master Ralph Parker had his award winning theme in a Christmas Story, so here's mine.


There aren't as many reasons as I want there to be, and I don't anticipate a major runaway on TCUs part, but we should win and win by double digits. The problem with bowl games is that talent almost never plays a role until late in the contest. If it was as easy as Team A is more talented than Team B so Team A will win, bowl pools would cease to exist because everyone would win. It would be like a youth soccer game. This is the only thing that worries me about tonight's game. LT will unquestionably be more excited about this game. They haven't gone to a bowl in 3 years, they come in how, having won their Conference in exciting fashion by reeling off 7 straight league games and, coming from the WAC, they have a lot more to prove. TCU, on the other hand, comes in a bit deflated and likely feels above this game having played in consecutive BCS bowl games and being on the cusp of a third. Considering the Big 12 ticket has already been punched, a lot of these guys may feel like its mission accomplished and this season is more or less a placeholder anyway.

That being said...

I can't REALLY pick against us, can I? For one, it was recently announced that Louisiana Tech starting RB Lennon Creer is out for the game after being deemed too dumb to perform. True, he didn't play in their past two games, both victories, but he's a player they fully expected to perform all year and he will be missed. If the TCU secondary is able to keep Quinton Patton in their sights, he will be violently missed. Walk on Hunter Lee is going to be expected to fill the void left by Creer's absence as he has the past couple of weeks in which he's rushed for 178 yards and 3 TDs. However, the bulk of those yards came in the season ender against New Mexico State, a team that is circling the bowl in that statistic, giving up 218 ground yards per game. Against a more talented Nevada defense, he only rushed for 30 yards and no scores. TCU is infinitely more talented up front than either of those teams, so I wouldn't expect a big night from young Hunter.

No, I fully expect this one to come down to whether or not TCU can stop the LT passing game, most notably Quinton Patton. Patton is definitely a "field stretcher" as they say; In his most prolific games he has averaged well over 20 yards per catch and averages 15 in any given game. Those numbers should be a little unsettling considering Greg McCoy's habit of getting torched deep. But, the thing with Patton is, when he has a big game it's usually the result of being protected by the ground game, notably Lennon Creer who, as we said, will not be playing. In the 4 games that Patton had 100 yards receiving this season, three of them had LT rushers putting up over 250 yards on their own. The only game where they didn't - Hawaii, which held them to 63 - the Bulldogs lost by nearly 20 points. Think GP and Bump have watched that game film a time or ten? Besides that, as I said earlier, LT has given up 24 sacks this season, the exact same number that TCU has recorded. Cameron can't throw when he's running for his life or buried in the turf. Think the front six have had that drilled into their brains for the past few weeks? Think Tank Carder and Kenny Cain, not to mention Maponga, Jonathan Anderson and Yendrey, are a LITTLE bit excited knowing their performance will directly impact the outcome of this game? I like our chances from that angle.

Where I really like our chances, though, is from the Casey Pachall perspective, because he comes at it from the opposite side. Whereas LT clearly is a "run to set up the pass" type team, Pachall rises to the occasion when the run game falters. Look at Boise. Look at SMU. By yardage, those were his two best games of the year as he combined for 777 yards and 8 TDs with 1 pick. You remember that. What you may not remember is that he only got 183 yards combined from his backs in those two games. Baylor was a similar situation as well, as was BYU, although Pachall didn't have a superior performance statistically in that one. Of course, the major elephant here is that of the four games mentioned, we lost two of them, but I think it's fair to suggest that Baylor is pretty durn good, and our defense has improved dramatically since, and we gave away SMU. LT is a far superior team to SMU, so dropped gimme passes in OT, poor officiating and fumbling kickoffs into the end zone for scores will sink us just as fast, but that's the case against almost anyone. Besides that, I don't see it happening. Casey will have to be particularly careful against that opportunistic defense, but as long an offensive line that has only given up 13 sacks all year can keep him upright, I predict a bit of a coming out party for La Manga this evening against a secondary that gives up 252 yards week in, week out.

It's true that Louisiana Tech has a top 25 ranked run defense, led by All Conference LB Adrien Cole and AC DE Matt Broha. But it's also true that TCU has a top 20 ranked rushing offense with three backs that can carve you up in a variety of ways. So... guess we'd better go to the stats. The closest teams we've played from a run yards allowed standpoint are BYU, Boise and SMU. Unironically, those have been our three worst outputs of the year on the ground, as highlighted a few paragraphs ago. Apples to oranges, the best rushing team LT has faced this year was Nevada, and they gave up 253 yards. That's a chunk, but it's right at the Wolfpack's average. Surprisingly enough, they were able to keep Nevada to 60 yards below their season average passing, so to be honest I'm not quite sure what to think about that. Louisiana Tech has a solid defensive line that, while not the biggest, uses their speed to get into the backfield and disrupt runners. Sound familiar? I don't see a huge day from any of our backs, but I think they should be capable of doing just enough to make life easier for Pachall, even without Antoine Hicks.

Of course, maybe the biggest factor in this one is, presuming TCU gets some holds, how will they respond to the poor field position Ray Guy award winning punter Ryan Allen puts them in? That will likely be one of the biggest stories of the game and Pachall better be ready to work with a long field from time to time. He's fully capable of leading a long drive, and this offense is built to do just that.

Well this has certainly be meandering, repetitive and probably not all that informative, but by this point in the season I kind of run out of investigative steam. I think LT comes out fired up early and puts the first points on the board, probably via field goal. I think it's close at halftime, and low scoring. But after a patented Gary Patterson fire and brimstone halftime speech, the game is on. Pachall passes for 275 yards and 3 TDs - 2 to Boyce, and one to spot starter David Porter, improving on his 5:2 catch to TD ratio. The ground game doesn't have an explosive day, but everyone gets their touches and Tucker bangs home a short TD. I think Evans sits on the bench the entire game outside of PATs with DeNucci handling kickoffs and the offense only relying on TDs. The Bulldogs don't touch 100 yards rushing, but Colby Cameron has a solid evening, tossing 1 TD and rushing for another. And as the moon rises over the Pacific Ocean, the Frogs leave with a comfortable victory, an 11 win season and fuel for 2012. Go Frogs.

The Pick: TCU 28, LT 17.

The plan tonight is going to be a little different. Since I will be traveling the next couple of days, a complete recap is unlikely to come... so why not write the recap as the game goes on with a little help from the commenters? Yes, I'm planning to have a good old fashioned live blog, and you guys are welcome to join in in REAL TIME. This should be fun and exciting because I presume quite a few of you will be watching it at home, thus having regular access to Spitblood. I also plan on drinking heavily throughout, so by the time the second half rolls around things should get REALLY interesting. So, barring a last minute scheduling snafu, be here for pregame around 630 and we'll take it away.

Game Day Dump


Antoine Hicks to sit out bowl after violation Star-Telegram

Gil Lebreton: San Diego's nice, but TCU deserved better from MWC Star-Telegram

TCU hopes Poinsettia Bowl is launch party into Big 12 Star-Telegram

Ten TCU football players awarded degrees in San Diego

Poinsettia Bowl Preview Dave Campbell's Texas Football

Winner of Poinsettia Bowl will have momentum going into 2012 Washington Post

Poinsettia Bowl Preview Blog ESPN

Lady Frogs take down Tulsa, 60-43

Elander named 3rd Team Preseason All-American

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Watch out, TCU record book!

The potential for records to fall is there any time a team takes the field, but a number of high-profile TCU football records look like they may be broken- or at least equalled- in tomorrow night's Poinsettia Bowl against Louisiana Tech. The three guys to watch are sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall, sophomore wide receiver Josh Boyce and head coach Gary Patterson.

I'll start by detailing the records that Pachall has a chance to break, since they were set so recently by Andy Dalton and we didn't really expect The Sleeve to come in and knock them down in year one as a starter. Most likely to be his by the end of tomorrow night is the TCU single-season record for completion percentage. Dalton's immaculate 66.1% rate from last year look like it would stand for a while, but Pachall ended the regular season with a completion percentage of 67.8%. Knock on wood, but even if Pachall matched his worst game of the season (13 of 23 against BYU), he would still break Dalton's record. Also very likely to fall is the single-season completion record, which currently stands at 222- set by Dalton in his freshman season of 2007. Pachall sits at 213 for the season currently, so with 10 complete passes tomorrow night that record will also be his.

Dalton's single-season mark of 2,857 passing yards is also in jeopardy, as Pachall traveled out to San Diego with 2,715 already in his pocket. He'll break the record with 142 yards against Louisiana Tech, and has a decent chance of becoming the first TCU quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards in a season. With three touchdown passes (a feat he reached four times in 2010), Pachall will match Dalton's record of 27- set last year. I'd say that is the least likely of his potential records, unless you include the single-season attempts record- which he would need 58 (16 more than his career high) in tomorrow's game to break.

With a touchdown reception in the bowl game, Josh Boyce would tie Jeremy Kerley (2010) and Mike Renfro (1977) for the school record of 10 in a single season. And with a big game, he has a chance to break two more receiving records as well. With 9 receptions, he would break the single-season receptions record of 64, set by All-American TE Kelly Blackwell in both 1990 and 1991. With 68 yards, he would become just the second player in TCU history to record 1,000 receiving yards in one season. With 81, he'd break Reggie Harrell's 2003 record of 1,012.

Last but certainly not least, GP has a chance to tie a school record that for generations looked as though it would never even be approached. Dutch Meyer accumulated 109 wins at TCU from 1934 until 1952, claiming three Southwest Conference titles and two National Championships. His successor, Abe Martin, won 76 games from 1953 until 1966. After those two and until Patterson, the highest win total by a TCU head coach was produced by Jim Wacker, who won 40 games from 1983-1991. Now in his 11th full year as the head coach of the Horned Frogs, Gary Patterson stands at 108 victories- one shy of Dutch Meyer's record. A win tomorrow night would tie the record, and give Patterson a chance to break it next year as part of the Big 12.

Hicks out for Poinsettia Bowl

Stefan Stevenson of the Star-Telegram is reporting that Antoine Hicks will miss the Poinsettia Bowl due to an unspecified violation of school policy. Hicks was the Frogs' third leading receiver as a senior this year, meaning his TCU career is now over with 1,069 total receiving yards on 76 catches. He also scored 17 touchdowns in his time as a Horned Frog. True freshman David Porter (5 catches, 87 yards, 2 TDs) is expected to take Hicks' place in the starting line up.

Did Craig James Kill 5 Hookers While At SMU?

Craig James rigged the BCS, now he's rigging the internet.

Seems as though Craig James is using his new found run in the senate to battle some skeletons in his closet. When Googling Craig James I'm no longer presented with Google's guess that he may have killed 5 hookers while at SMU.

Did he manage to buy out the almighty Google?

Did Al Gore give Craig James behind the scenes access to the internet so he could hide the evidence?

Either way, we must right this ship. My guess is as good as yours if Craig James Killed 5 Hookers While at SMU.

Do you think Craig James killed 5 hookers while at SMU?

It's probably worth a lengthy discussion on this board. I mean, he is running for a seat in the senate. If Craig James did in fact kill 5 hookers while at SMU, I think it's something we should know about.

TCU Hoops Get Their Setback On.

Hint: TCU is the janitor.

Welp, so much for all that optimism. Nine days after coming up short against Nebraska for the billionth year in a row, the Frogs came out flat in Southern California and were ultimately run off the floor by a final score of 83-59. The Frogs never held a lead in the game and were at one point trailing by 27 before cutting it to the final 24 point margin. Hank Thorns and Craig Williams were the only Frogs in double figures and they turned the ball over 20 times as a team while only forcing 4 of their own. That last figure right there is the recipe for total and complete basketFAIL.

Seeing as how TCU games haven't quite become the national television draw of, say, Duke or Kansas, like all of you I wasn't able to watch it, forced to follow along with sporadic Sportacular updates on my phone until I went to bed sometime in the first half. But, considering the Frogs were never able to pull within 10 after the half, I think I can safely say I have no regrets for getting a good night's rest.

But even though this was clearly a one sided affair - USC won the turnover and assist battles and had 4 players score in double figures led by Maurice Jones' 25 - let's try and sugarcoat this thing just a bit. What the hell, I'm feeling generous.

Despite the discrepancy in the final score, TCU actually DID win the rebounding margin 30-28. They also... umm... ok, that's about the only happy thing.

Every team is due a game where they come out flat, nothing improves and they leave the gym with a severe beating by a superior squad. But should USC have really been 24 points better than TCU? Keep in mind, the Pac 12 is basically the Big East of the AQ Conferences in a basketball sense. In fact, it's possible to argue that the MWC could actually be stronger top to bottom. And USC is firmly at the bottom, not just of their conference, but of the entire NCAA. They came into the game averaging 56 points, 29 boards, 9.5 rebounds and an overall FG % of 42. Those first three numbers put them above 300 in the overall stat rankings. The Frogs came in averaging 14 more points, 4 more rebounds and 4 more assists per game. TCU has scored 70 or more points 7 times this season; USC lost to Cal Poly 42-36. FORTY TWO TO THIRTY SIX!! IN AN ENTIRE GAME!! The most points they'd scored all year was 66 against something called Cal State-Northridge. TCU didn't come into the game with impressive numbers on defense, but my GOD, man!! One blocked shot? ZERO steals?? That's not good for business. That's not good for anyone.

Admittedly, USC entered the game with one of the better defenses in the country, ranking 11th in allowing 55 points per game, but that's hardly an excuse for JR Cadot and Garlon Green, two of TCU's most dangerous scorers, combining for 11 points. Once again, the PGs didn't distribute - Thorns and Kyan Anderson combined for 7 - so that certainly played a role and it looks like if they want to be clutch they're going to have to create their own shots. Green is capable, but I'm not sure Cadot is. This makes me pretty nervous going forward. However, the most abject failure is certainly the inability of TCU to stop an anemic offense like the one USC ran out last night, and that does not bode well for the season going forward.

Hopefully this is just what I referred to it in the title - a setback. Not an implosion. Not a season ender. Just a setback. The Frogs have a favorable schedule coming up over the next month and have the potential to enter Conference play on a high note. But still... even a sub par TCU team should've beaten this particular squad of Trojans by double figures. Just an absolutely disastrous outing. The general consensus is that Jim Christian is "The Guy" for our program. If that's the case, he's really got his work cut out for him after this one. Check the MWC standings - UNLV is ranked, SDSU is on the cusp and Wyoming has already won 11 games. Heck, New Mexico is expected to challenge and they're in fourth! Even presumed cellar dweller Boise is only one game away from double figures in wins, something TCU BARELY saw at all last year. I hate to take a 2 game slide and turn it into a doomsday scenario, but unless the Frogs can run off four straight against Grambling, Tulsa, Rice and Pan American to build some confidence, it could be another in an illustrious line of long seasons at Daniel Meyer.

East Side Demolition

I want to give credit where credit is due: all of these photographs were taken by photographer Brandon Wade and stolen from the Star-Telegram website. Enjoy:

Morning Dump


Greg McCoy finds success through family and hard work Star-Telegram

TCU, Louisiana Tech players visit Make A Wish Foundation event Star-Telegram

TCU takes in Tuesday of Poinsettia Bowl Week


USC thumps TCU, 83-59 Star-Telegram

Lady Frogs (5-5) host Tulsa (3-5) tonight


Frogs ranked #10 in preseason poll

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lessons in SMU Hate: Bowl History Schmystery

Are those drills or coked up dance moves?

SMU addicts will try and make the argument that they are somehow more relevant/richer tradition/better known/more awesome/etc than TCU. Granted, both schools have a national championship that dates prior to the US entering WWII, and each school has a Heisman winner, but that's pretty much where the "tradition" sharing ends. Despite this year's upset at AGC, SMU hasn't been anywhere near TCU's weight class in forever. Really, you don't storm the field after a win over a heated rival if it isn't a rare and special thing (that goes for you too, Baylor).

But it's one thing to be delusional enough to try and convince other fans that your paltry accomplishments are worthy of lengthy discussions... that's what fans do. But how would you feel as a fan when your dumb, "looks like a frat boy friend character on a sitcom" Quarterback goes on TV and shows that he is A) trying to make the recent mediocre accomplishments of the team sound like this is the greatest SMU team ever and B) is completely ignorant of his own school's history?

Truthfully, I really only needed to reprint JJ McDERmott's quote, but quite honestly, I was captivated by whatever the hell #17 (Jeremy Johnson?) is doing in the end zone just before JJ starts blathering. Anyway, JJ sez:
"I think it's the first time in history that we've been to three bowl games in a row and, uh, we we're certainly looking forward to it. I think, uh, I don't think SMU has ever won two out of three either, so, uh, we're looking forward to that opportunity"

Then June does his best "Excited to be in Highland Park" imitation and says something, but I was too busy at that point thinking JJ McD couldn't possibly have any idea what he was talking about. SMU has been playing football for almost a century and this can't POSSIBLY be the first time that SMU has been to bowls in 3 consecutive years. So I went and looked it up. 

Now, I had actually forgotten just how few bowl games SMU has been to since 1915 (Total: 13), so the odds that McD was actually right went up. But nope... McDope was wrong. There it was. Starting with the final year of the Pony Express, the Mustangs went to bowl games following the 1982, 1983, & 1984 seasons. Sure, these were before any of the current players were even alive, but hey, don't humiliate your alumni by completely forgetting that brief period in the early 1980's when SMU football was relevant, Dale Hansen hadn't caused the Death Penalty, and the bodies of those 5 hookers Craig James allegedly killed while at SMU were still warm. I mean, seriously JJ... back then, the Ponies were in National Championship talk. Your three crappy bowl games and two shared conference championships are like home runs in the over-40 church softball league... big friggin deal. 
And he digs himself in deeper by saying that SMU has never won 2 out 3 bowls either (which makes sense if they hadn't been to a series of three before... nice job boy genius)... except that of those three bowl games in from 1982-84 (the 1982 season had them in the Cotton Bowl on Jan 1, 1983, however), SMU won 2 of them... which means that JJ is wrong again.

So way to go there, bonehead. You have to wonder about those stories where June Jones gets mad because SMU doesn't let him sign the recruits that the Ivy League wanted because they don't meet SMU's standards. JJ McD doesn't quite seem like Cougar High material, much less Harvard of the South.

Here's my ultimate point... I don't expect any player to have an encyclopedic knowledge of his team's complete history. I'm sure I'd be disappointed about some of the things that I take for granted as basic Horned Frog info that our current squad doesn't know anything about. But if you are going to go on TV and say things that make your accomplishments sound unprecedented and astounding, perhaps you should double check your information before you go looking like a moron. Have that much respect for your school and the guys that came before you. Really. It takes less time to find out SMU's bowl record and results than it does to save a bunch of money on your booster paid for Trans-Am car insurance (was that reference lost on you as well, Mr. McDermott?)

Seriously, why does SMU even have a football team? It doesn't sound like anybody, even their own players, really give a rat's ass about SMU football.

Friday, December 16, 2011

1st Allotment: Sold Out

Hey Vegass Bowl, we already sold out our first allotment. But hey, we don't travel well or anything.

Getting to Know La Tech: Defense and Special Teams.

I posted a picture of the punter so you'd be less intimidated.

If you look at Louisiana Tech's 8-4 record this season, you'll notice a couple of things. One, they had some TOUGH losses to start the year - by 2 at CUSA Champ Southern Miss, by one vs. Houston after a furious Cougars comeback, by 6 @ Mississippi State in OT. But if you look closer, other than an uncharacteristic blowout vs Hawaii and the 4th quarter brain fart against Houston, the Bulldogs defense is certainly not to blame. Overall the Bulldogs give up 22 points per game, good for 34th in the nation and just right below TCU at 30th. However, those numbers are semi- skewed because over their last seven games, they only gave up more than their average one time - 28 points against San Jose State. Unsurprisingly, they won every game in that stretch.
lyle already hit you with some impressive statistics, but just for impact, I'll reiterate a few here and compare them to TCU. The Bulldogs recorded 32 sacks this season; TCU had 24. Their leading sack man, Senior Defensive End Christian Lacey led the team with 8.5; TCU did them one better as leading sack man was Defensive End Stansly Maponga with 9.0. The Bulldogs forced 29 turnovers, picking 20 passes and recovering 9 fumbles; the Frogs picked 9 passes and recovered 12 fumbles for a total of 21. La Tech has the country's 25th ranked rushing D in the country at 122 yards per game; TCU is 29th at 126. The Bulldogs have allowed 8 rushing TDs this year; TCU has allowed 6. You see where I'm going here with these arbitrary stats? The Bulldogs are pretty solid up front on defense and if you're thinking the Hydra is just going to walk in and bulldoze them for 300 yards on the ground, you may want to reconsider your expectations.

Christian Lacey got his name mentioned above, but even as the team leader in sacks, he's by no means the best defensive player on the team. In fact, he didn't even make All Conference. LB Adrien Cole did though, mostly on the basis of his team leading 120 tackles this season. TCU's leader - Kenny Cain - barely had half that. Of course, some of that has to do with the fact that TCU opponents ran about 130 fewer plays than those of the Bulldogs, but when you can put up numbers that impressive, you clearly have a nose for the ball. This is where we SEVERELY missed Tanner Brock this year and hope he comes back healthy and better than ever next. Another guy making an impact up front is Lacey's bookend Matt Broha, an All Conference selection who recorded 7.5 sacks this season and hurried the QB 8 times. He also has a Brody Jenner approved Brotastic last name. Both ends are seniors and clearly use their experience to their advantage. Look for them to try and make Casey Pachall's night as uncomfortable as possible.

However, if there is one area where the Bulldogs are lacking, and one the Frogs can exploit, it's a secondary unit that's allowing 252 yards a week. As lyle pointed out, as much as we have ripped our secondary this year, they give up over 30 fewer yards per game, although the Frogs have given up one more TD - 21,20 - and that unquestionably counts more. Looking at their losses, they were almost always done in by the opposing QB. They let Case Keenum drop 351 and 3 TDs on them in the midst of a late game 28 point comeback. Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz went for 410 yards and 4. Heck, in an early season win against Central Arkansas, they had to go to double OT for the W thanks to a 372 yard, 4 TD performance from former Arkansas enrollee Nathan Dick. Admittedly, the Southern Miss and Mississippi State losses had as much to do with the Bulldogs struggles on offense as it did with the passing D, but letting MSU QB Chris Relf toss even one TD over your head is grounds for failure.

However, knocking the passing D comes with a caveat, that being their nationally third ranked interception total of 20 led by LB Jay Dudley and DB Chad Boyd with 4 and 3, respectively. In other words, the Bulldogs may let you fling it around a little, but don't get too comfortable because they'll attack any little QB mistake. All Conference DB Terry Carter has also gotten his hands on one pass, but is known mostly for being a shut down corner having defensed 21 passes total this year. Josh Boyce probably can't count on Boise-esque coverage failures for easy scoers as long as Carter is lined up over him.

For the season La Tech has allowed opponents to complete an average of 24 passes against them per game, among the bottom ten in the country. Casey Pachall completes around 18 per game on average. I know the coaching staff has neutered him a bit since the Boise game - mostly because there was no reason to be winging it around all over CSU and UNLV - so you have to think he's ready to give that inked manga a workout. He's not going to attempt 55 passes like Moniz or even 40 like Keenum but I see no reason why the coaching staff would not allow him to attempt his usual 26 or so.

And yet... and I realize I'm completely going back on what I said above, if TCU is going to win this game, they are going to have to get the ground game going to open things for Pachall. If you want proof, Pachall attempted his highest number of passes against SMU - 42 - and his lowest against New Mexico - 17. SMU was our third lowest scoring game of the year, UNM our highest. Pachall's second highest attempts total? 39 at Baylor, another loss. Naysayers will point to his 37 against Boise and suggest it worked swell that time, but most TCU fans realize that as goes our ground game, typically so goes the outcome. We played two teams this year who had a better run defense than La Tech. One was BYU, where we were only able to grind out 136 yards on the ground. We very well may have lost that game had we not forced 3 turnovers or faced BYU's punt fail attack. The other team is Boise; that 126 yard ground performance was only saved by an absolutely heroic performance by Casey Pachall that transcended anything else we saw out of him the rest of the season. Do you really want to take those odds for a third time this season in a bowl game against a team that will be undoubtedly more fired up than our own? Didn't think so. Please don't take that as a knock on Pachall but more as a compliment to our rushers. I don't expect an earthquake, 100 yard rushing performance by man or anything, but they're going to have to do a lot more than they did the past two times they've faced a run D of this caliber.

On special teams, we've all been well introduced to Ray Guy award winning punter Ryan Allen and his deadly accuracy inside the 20. Yeah... but does he weight more than most college defensive ends? Didn't think so! lyle also pointed out the discrepancy between our punt coverage team and their punt return team. Refresher: They win that matchup on paper. They also have a kicker who focuses more on his in game kicking rather than his extracurricular, making 14-19 attempts and 96% of his PATs. Angry Ross is 13/16 and 95%, but will he even play?

But what you really need to know about Louisiana Tech on special teams is the punting situation, because as LSU has shown this year, a good punter is valuable beyond words. We hope the Frogs defense is going to force some stops in this one, but even if they do, the offense is almost always going to have their work cut out for them driving the ball down the field thanks to Allen. Pachall should be able to catch a few open lanes in the passing game, but as I said, things are going to run a lot more smoothly if we can get near our 210 yard average on the ground. I haven't seen an o/u for this one, but based on the Bulldogs run defense and punting game, plus our much improved D, I'd be shocked if this one wasn't a lower scoring defensive struggle.

We'll be back next week with a wrap up style preview and predictions. Enjoy the New Mexico Bowl, if you dare.