Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spitblood Psychic: The Future of Rooster.

Karma for Attending UT. It's a Bitch.

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

Today we'll take a look at another potential landing spot, one where the potential QB pairing would have every T Shirt fan in the state of Texas creaming themselves, the Cleveland Browns.

QBs Currently on Roster: Jarrett Brown, Jake Delhomme, Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace

Draft Picks: Round 1 (6); Round 2 (5); Round 3 (6).

Why Rooster Fits: To be honest, I have a hard time wrapping my head around this one, but I'll give it a shot anyway. Jake Delhomme is clearly washed up and may not start another game in Cleveland, Seneca Wallace has been in the organization for several years and has never proven himself as much more than a semi-capable backup, and Colt McCoy, despite a decent showing in the few starts he made during his rookie year, has Avarian Bone syndrome. And I'm not even sure what qualifies you as a "Jarrett Brown." So, there's definitely room for improvement there. Dalton could come in and potentially challenge for the #2 role in camp - I think one of the incumbents is the sure fire starter in game 1 - and, depending on how he shows himself, could move into a starting role over time. Plus, GM Mike Holmgren hasn't exactly done too poorly with the QBs who have come up under his watch - Favraro, Matt Hasselback. The man definitely considers himself a QB whisperer and, despite his front office position, supposedly has a pretty hands on role with the team. Not a bad situation to be in.

Why Rooster Doesn't Fit: For one, the draft picks aren't there. I can't see a non-playoff team with other glaring needs taking a QB as high as the 5th pick in round 2. I realize that a lot of teams stick pretty strictly to their draft board rather than drafting for need, so it's possible AD would be a candidate, but considering they took McCoy in the third round last year, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And I think the organization really likes Colt. By taking Dalton with a high dollar pick, they're basically telling Colt thanks, but no thanks, go to the back of the line. With four QBs on the roster, including a high money one like Delhomme, it makes even less sense. If they were a high caliber team with the only glaring weakness being at QB, it'd be worth the risk, but based on their recent string of futility, I'm doubting this is the case. Colt is kind of a fan favorite too, so I think they give him a full year of starts to see what happens and if its an abject disaster, revisit the QB situation next year.

Seriously though, Dalton should count his blessings that Cleveland doesn't look like the landing spot for him. I mean, Cleveland? Can you imagine a worse place to live not named Detroit? Their old team left them to go to BALTIMORE for goddsake. Anything is possible, but I don't think Dalton wears the doo doo Brown of the Browns.

2011 Schedule finalized, mostly

The Mountain West has announced TCU's game times and TV schedule for the 2011 season. The SMU game has been moved to Friday for a CBS Sports broadcast and the lone MWC game still to be set is the Sept 10th conference opener at Air Force. It will either be at 2:30 or 6:30, presumably which ever is worse for TCU. Time and TV for the season opener at Baylor has also yet to be finalized and will function under the Big 12's, or whatever the hell it's called now, TV contract. The Frogs only Saturday night home game comes against the Vikings of Portland state, it is also the only non-televised game of the season.

TCU's 2011 Football Schedule
Sept. 3 - at Baylor, TBA, TBA
Sept. 10 - at Air Force*, 2:30 or 6:30 p.m., VERSUS
Sept. 17 - vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 1 p.m., The Mtn.
Sept. 24 - vs. Portland State, 6 p.m., N/A
Sept. 30 - vs. SMU, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Oct. 8 - at San Diego State*, 9:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Oct. 22 - vs. New Mexico*, 1 p.m., The Mtn.
Oct. 28 - vs. BYU^, 7 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 5 - at Wyoming*, 1 p.m., The Mtn.
Nov. 12 - at Boise State*, 2:30 p.m., VERSUS
Nov. 19 - vs. Colorado State*, 2:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Dec. 3 - vs. UNLV*, 1:30 p.m. VERSUS

*Mountain West Conference game
^Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas
All times Central

Lessons in SMU Hate: Politics.

Aaaah, College kids, alcohol and politics - an absolute recipe for disaster. Have you ever met a college aged student that is interested in politics? I mean, GENUINELY interested, and not, "Well, I'm voting for Bush because my parents are!," or "That Barack Obama sure does have a nice, firm handshake that leaves your palm smelling like nicotene for hours afterwards!" For instance, I interned in Washington, D.C. one summer. This was not because I had any interest in politics; in fact, far from it, because after seeing it firsthand, the political scene is the biggest bunch of tax payer money sucking bullshit you can possibly imagine. No, I went because I missed the boat on studying abroad and wanted to have a parent funded vacation disguised as an academic pursuit and I'd always heard that Washington, D.C. during "intern season" is arguably the greatest concentrated collection of tail in these here United States. Fact: It is, and 90% of said tail congregates in Mississippi Representative Trent Lott's office. The six BS hours of elective credit I earned for giving Capitol tours and sorting mail were just icing on the cake.

But there are definitely those characters who, as soon as they get off the tarmac at Reagan airport, think they're the next big dog in the political arena simply because they're wearing a fresh suit and have a name tag that gives you access to all of the same places on Capitol Hill that tourists are allowed. Except you can go those places unchaperoned! Bonus! And let me tell you - those people are EXCRUTIATING to be around because all they want to talk about is politics. "Hey, did you hear about the new education reform bill sponsored by Senator Byrd from West Virginia? No? Well you should really check it out - I think it's going to be pretty revolutionary!" DIE!!!

Judging by the video above, SMU Student Charles McCaslin is one of these people.

Let's break down the video: Charles McClaskin is the speaker and SMU student in question. Under the guise of some sort of campaign speech, McClaskin talks about how he one time banged a girl on a table while leaving the door open for the possibility that Alex Schriver either watched or joined in the fracas himself. In which case, let's hope they went Eiffel Tower on her and not that weird, both in the same hole kind of thing that you see on the internet. But the best part comes after this anecdote, where he gets down to brass tacks: "I give my full endorsement to Alex Schriver. Let me just tell you, character counts. That's why I go with my gut instinct. I know this is the right man for the job and the best man for the job..." Let's stop there for a second because, even with the clunky girl-getting-banged-on-table intro, McClaskin pulled out of the tailspin nicely and delivered a seemingly heartfelt endorsement. Unfortunately, he didn't stop there, closing with, "You know what? The other team, they're nerds and they're fags..." Yeah, that usually doesn't sit well in more liberal circles.

So when I first watched that video upon lyle's recommendation, I kind of wondered what the big deal was. Drunk, dumbass college student gets caught telling a butt story that probably never happened while on camera. The fact that there were girls giggling in the background suggests that he was probably in the company of a small group of friends who understand he's just a loud mouth wanna be diplomat who takes his position far too seriously. To me, his only crime was giving the worst campaign endorsement speech ever.

Uh, Not so. Homeboy was at the Texas Young Republicans convention when he was firing off about banging a girl on a table, and this has not gone over well with not only SMU, but the nation at large. Did I mention he was not only SMU's representative at the convention, but the Chairman of the whole damn thing? Because he was not only SMU's representative at the convention, but Chairman of the whole damn thing. That's not good for your political future. For his transgressions, McClaskin was more or less forced to resign his post and at last check was on his way to St. Helena to live out the rest of his days with some monkeys and the rotting corpse of Napolean Bonaparte.

For his part, Schriver has mostly distanced himself from the controversy by offering up a statement that McClaskin's comments were, "inappropriate and highly offensive," this despite being caught ON VIDEO raising a toast in acknowledgment of all that was just said. Camera phones, they're a cruel mistress.

To be honest, I'm not even sure where the hate lies here. I just thought it was kind of funny. Really, what's the controversy? A drunk college student said something dumb in a public forum? Are the Texas College Republicans really that threatening to the world at large? Also consider that, perhaps, the opposition couldn't find a suitable candidate and Schriver's opponents are LITERALLY cigarettes, fags in the British sense of the word? Maybe he meant that they are, in fact, highly intelligent homosexuals? It's not out of the realm of possibility. Ok, it is, but I tried to spin it in his favor. Considering SMU isn't exactly the most laudable institution when it comes to the decision making of those in leadership roles - as evidenced by the Death Penalty and THIS - I'm not sure why anyone expected the shit to not roll downhill. But, it's always funny when one of our brothers in red and blue shoots themselves in the foot to the point that the Huffington Post, that bastion of liberal viewpoints, picks up the story in order to cast a foul light on Republicans as a whole. At least when Obama undoubtedly gets a second term, we'll have a scapegoat.

To Charlie!

Frogs Weekday Rotation/Bullpen Taking Shape?

While we know pretty much what kind of outings we will see every weekend from Winkler, Purke and Maxwell, pretty much every other aspect of the Frogs pitching staff has been a complete crap shoot up to this point in the season. Once Erik Millier started to mimic the DisAstros bullpen and decided to stop trying to get people out in the 9th inning, I really think it threw Coach Schloss's plans for this pitching staff coming into the season into complete disarray (Kaleb Merck's Tommy John surgery didn't help either). However, over the course of the last 6 games which included a loss to juggernaut SFA (thanks, Miller), last weekend's series sweep against the vaunted Air Force Falcons and the two game sweep over perennial powerhouse UT Pan American on Tuesday and Wednesday, things finally seem to be coming into form with the pitching staff.

To begin with, the Erik Miller experiment at closer seems to finally be over. With Miller at the back of the bullpen, the Frogs were 0-4 when tied after 8, 0-7 in one-run games, and 0-1 in extra innings. Since Miller was moved into what seems to be his new home, the Tuesday starter, TCU has already had one come from behind win in the 9th. Now while it's unfair to blame all of that on Miller (he's not the guy leaving runners stranded everywhere), he hadn't been helping the cause at all. Before being moved out of the bullpen, his ERA was somewhere north of 6. Since his 2 starts, the last of which was a dominating 0 run performance Tuesday night against an overmatched UTPA team, his ERA has dipped down to 4.38. Miller leads the team with 5 losses with 4 of those coming at the end of ballgames. Let's just keep him near the end of the bench when the late innings come around. Honestly I think Miller is more suited to be a starter or long reliever, because he doesn't have a dominating strikeout pitch like freshman Andrew Mitchell, our new closer does, who can crank it up around 95 and blow hitters away. His .53 ERA, 34 K's in 34 innings, and .157 opponents batting average speak for themselves. By comparison, Miller has a 4.38 ERA, 18 K's in 24.2 innings, and a whopping opponents BA of .274. Translation: he wasn't getting people out down the stretch, and it was time to make a change. Mitchell, although only a freshman, clearly has the talent and the makeup to be a closer for this team right now. We will see how he handles the nerves when postseason play gets going, but for now, he's definitely our best option.

Another young player who has emerged and could possibly save the disaster that has been the Frogs bullpen is freshman Stefan Crichton. Crichton (2-1, 1.12 ERA, 1 save) has been very versatile for the Frogs with 2 starts, and appearances out of the bullpen at pretty much any time needed, and as you can see by the numbers, he's succeeded. Crichton's value is visible now, but he could become a HUGE asset in the postseason when we really need some guys to eat innings in order to save our big 3 of Winkler, Purke, and Maxwell. If there's such thing as a set up man in college baseball (which there really isn't), then I guess Crichton would be our guy, but he's also got the ability to step into a postseason starting role if need be.

Finally, last night marked the TCU debut of freshman Nick Frey, who learned hours earlier that he would be making his debut, and went 4 solid innings allowing no runs and just 3 hits. If he can be a productive arm for TCU down the stretch as well, things might not be as dire as they once looked. It should also be noted that Kyle Starratt, another struggling arm out of our bullpen, has been diagnosed with a sprained elbow, but they don't think it's serious. What is serious, however, is Starratt's inability to get batters out of late, so maybe a couple weeks off will do the guy some good as we work these young arms into the mix more. Starratt is from Boise, but I don't think he's intentionally trying to Kyle Brotzman our baseball team, although that conspiracy theory should be watched closely.

So Coach Schloss seems to be settling upon a bullpen pecking order which will be crucial to this team's success down the stretch, and the weekday starter, for now, appears to be Erik Miller. However, I think every time Miller pitches going forward, he might be pitching for his life in this rotation. There's more pressure on him than anyone else on the staff right now, so let's hope he responds accordingly. There are a few other guys who have logged innings this year, such as Appleby, who has been a solid contributor for about the 7th straight season. There are also a few guys who have pitched who haven't faired very well, but since I doubt they will sniff the field come postseason, I won't bother mentioning them until they do it when it matters.

Rooster Talk - Dan Patrick Show

Very positive talk.

Morning Dump

TCU freshman Nick Frey makes winning debut as starter

Baseball stretches winning streak to five games

Andy Dalton gets an invitation to New York, and to New Orleans
Pro Football Talk

Gruden goes head-to-head with quarterbacks

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard