Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scouting a future foe

I guess Storrs, Connecticut gets new music about as fast as, say, Lubbock...

Basketball Tonight.

Even at his current age and wearing a dress, I'd give Larry Johnson a chance against these Frogs.

After my comically optimistic post following the Air Force game, followed up by handing the reins over to lyle to do the same post- SDSU, what better what to continue this optimism by welcoming in a team team that... beat us by 34 points earlier this season? ::sigh:: It's definitely a bit tougher to muster up enthusiasm for tonight's game based on that knowledge, but the fact that we "hung with San Diego State" on the road despite having nothing to play for certainly has to offer up some sort of positive energy to close this thing out. In fact, if you heard Hank Thorns tell it in the post game, he feels the Frogs SHOULD have come away with the victory which, while a bit of a stretch even for the most optimistic among us, should at least make it known that the team really is still trying and that the now six game losing streak is sure to end before the season concludes.

Will that night be tonight? Well, as I suggested earlier, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would bet on it happening, but I can't imagine you'll see anything resembling the beat down that occurred on the Rebels home floor. For one, despite missing Ronnie Moss, the Frogs seem to be playing more as a team by letting the offense flow through Hank Thorns and trusting him to produce the best result. On top of that, TCU has played a little defense, holding SDSU stud Kawhi Leonard to 11 points and 10 boards last time out. If this trend is to continue, the Frogs are going to have to keep a close eye on UNLV leading scorers Chace Stanback and Tre'Von Willis, two experienced players who know that UNLV hasn't played up to their reputation this year. They lost their last game out against BYU, a sweep of that series for the Cougars, and combined with losses to SDSU and Colorado State in conference play, sit in fourth place in the MWC and on the NCAA bubble. Let's just say, if the Rebels are who they think they are, and if they want any chance of making the tournament, this is a game they must win.

As for the Frogs, they just need to continue to do what they've done in their last two outings - get decent ball movement on offense and don't completely pull their pants down and bend over on the defensive end. I'd like to say that returning to play in front of the home crowd should be a welcome boost to their chances, but the losing streak combined with the weather probably puts the o/u of actual, real live non-band humans in the stands at 100, so that won't have much bearing. But, seeing as how the losing streak should for sure end this weekend in Laramie, perhaps the Frogs pull off a shocker and ride a two game win streak into their back to back games against Colorado State and BYU. I'm not betting the mortgage on it, but stranger things have happened, and if SMU is to be the next TCU, according to reports, then by that logic why can't TCU be the next North Carolina or Duke?

Updating the Spitblood Rumor Mill

Obviously every "rumor" we mention here on spitblood won't come true, but we will try to keep you in the know at least as much as we can by relaying the info we get to the readers. And the most recent info that we have comes from a very knowledgeable source that claims to be "99.9% sure" that the schedule in the fall will go as follows...

Portland State
University of Louisiana Monroe
BYU (Cowboys Stadium)
Baylor (away)

It is also believed that potential games with Cal, UNC, and Lamar are all now dead and will not be on the schedule this fall, but who knows? Once again I'd like to reiterate that we are in no way Chris Del Conte or Gary Patterson (despite what some people might believe based on our facebook page), so what we hear are rumors from people who we presume to be in the know with TCU football. So until we get noticed as an offical entity of TCU and get press passes and all that cool shit, then what we say is based on whatever sources we can find to get our info. But trust me, our sources are thorough and far reaching, because we are all really, really popular, charming and have really trusting eyes so people tell us A LOT.

More info on Verrett

A few weeks ago, I told you the story of Jason Verrett's recruitment to TCU. Unfortunately at the time, all I could show you was his highlights from his senior year of high school. Now we've got his highlight video from this past fall at Santa Rosa JC:

Looking Ahead: Quarterbacks

With so many key figures lost to graduation after the Rose Bowl win, we at thought it'd be good to take some time before spring practice begins on March 5th to look ahead to the Frogs' future at each position. This is a little bit like the "Taking Inventory" series we've done each August (which we plan on doing again this year) and a bit like the "Spitblood Predictions" we've posted every Friday during football season. We want all readers to share their thoughts in the comments section- so don't be shy.

We start at the position that is the biggest question mark- quarterback. Andy Dalton was the starter for just four years, but for a college player that seems like an eternity. He leaves TCU with two conference championships, three bowl MVP awards and just about every school passing record. I'm not sure if they'll retire his #14 jersey, but I can guarantee that the next kid to wear it will feel pretty awkward if they don't. What I'm saying is, Dalton's are pretty big shoes to fill. Also gone is sophomore Yogi Gallegos, who has elected to transfer after playing sparingly during his first two seasons.

Casey Pachall is the Prince Charles of TCU football, in that he's been the heir apparent for quite a while, now. He'll just be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, but he's been viewed as Dalton's successor since he committed to the Frogs in March of 2008. At 6'4" coming out of Brownwood High, Pachall had to decline scholarship offers from schools like Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan and Nebraska (among many, many more) to choose to become a Horned Frog. As the highest-profile QB recruit anyone can remember at TCU, expectations have always been high for Pachall. Heck, that gooff-looking kid from the Skiff even thought he'd supplant Dalton as the starter his true freshman year. He finally got on the field some this fall in relief of Dalton, completing 6 of 9 pass attempts for 78 yards and a score and adding 94 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing in 8 games worth of mop-up duty.

But then last year's recruiting class yielded a last minute surprise- and a challenger to Pachall for the starting job in 2011. Matt Brown, who had a brilliant career at Allen and who had been committed to Arizona, switched his pledge to TCU just before signing day. Just the way that Frog fans looked at Pachall as the next big thing at QB, so had Wildcat fans looked at Brown. He may not have the future NFL star measurables like Pachall, listed by some sources as small as 6'1" 185lbs, but according to some Brown does have all of the intangibles that made Dalton so great. He redshirted the 2010 season, so he'll be a freshman again in 2011, and has apparently been impressive enough in practices that he'll be given a shot at winning the starting job this spring.

Behind Pachall and Brown on the depth chart going into the spring are a pair of redshirt freshmen- Sam Carter and Rick Settle. Carter, who came to TCU after having played for three different high schools in the Houston Area, is so athletic that at 6'0" 205lbs, many believe that he may be moved to receiver or safety in order to get him on the field. Settle is a walk-on who was very well thought-of coming out of Olathe, Kansas.

Three quarterbacks signed on the join the Frogs on Signing Day last week, although none of them will be on campus until at least the summer. Trevone Boykin, Chazten Gonzales and Dominic Merka all had great high school careers but also all possess the athleticism to be able to contribute at a number of different positions. Given Patterson's tendency to recruit high school QBs to play different positions in college (Hodge, Phillips, Bonner, Lutrell, etc...), it stands to reason that at least one of these guys will not end up playing Q.

This is where you, the readers, come in. As we look at the quarterback position at TCU this spring, this fall and beyond- how do you see things shaking out? Will Pachall be the guy, or will Matt Brown (or someone else) fill the void left by Dalton's graduation? Are any of the guys listed above going to end up being an all-conference type signal-caller? Which of them will even end up playing quarterback for their entire careers? Let's get a good dialogue going in the comments section.

Morning Dump

Dalton and Scherer are January's scholar athletes

Five Frogs headed to NFl combine

Five Frogs headed to NFL combine

Third down success translates to wins to wins for TCU, Stanford, others
Sporting News

4-star WR talks junior days

TCU returns home to face UNLV Wednesday

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard