Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Late afternoon mini-dump

Separately, neither of these are worthy of their own post. I'm sure we could just include them in tomorrow's dump, but I'm guessing a lot of you have taken that gamble before and lost, so I'll just post them now.

First is what is sadly passing for journalism these days- just a slideshow of pictures with a few comments. Essentially, it's something you'd normally see from Bleacher Report, a publication deemed not worthy of being linked on our own admittedly shitty blog...but it was put together by a paid employee of the Dallas Morning News. We like it when they actually acknowledge the existence of the city of Fort Worth and TCU, so we'll help them out by giving them a modest boost in web traffic: 10 TCU football players you need to know for 2011.

Next is proof that TCU football is popular with the kiddos and has officially gone hip-hop. Jordy, you've met your Horned Frog match:

Taking Inventory: The Offensive Line

If you ever hear someone say "it all starts upfront", they either know their football or they are just repeating what someone else who knows their football had previously said. You might see teams succeed from time to time lacking in certain areas, but offensive line is never one of them. Their control over the line of scrimmage (or lack thereof) sets the tone for the game, they are the force behind a strong running game and the security that enables a strong passing game.

Last season, TCU's stellar offensive front powered the Frogs to nearly 250 rushing yards a game while giving up just 9 sacks all year. Gone from the 2010 squad are full- or part-time starters Marcus Cannon, Jake Kirkpatrick, Josh Vernon and Zach Roth. The relative inexperience of their replacements makes offensive line one of the team's largest question marks heading into the season, but there is still a ton (or more accurately, just short of three tons) of talent left on the roster.


Starting outside, the first-team tackles appear to be senior Jeff Olson (6-4, 300) on the right side and sophomore James Dunbar (6-6, 305) at left tackle. Olson, who originally came to TCU from McKinney North as a tight end, started four games (including the blowout of Utah on the road) in place of Roth at right tackle last year, and is seen as a leader of the OL unit. Dunbar, who played in all 13 games last year, is a member of the "Maud Squad" trio that signed with TCU in 2009. Frogs play-by-play announcer Brian Estridge once picked him as the next major NFL prospect offensive lineman from TCU.

Pushing both Olson and Dunbar for a starting spot will be sophomore Ty Horn (6-5, 320), who is the heaviest Frog offensive lineman. Horn was seen as a major recruiting win at the time of his signing, and he played in 8 games last year as a redshirt freshman. Right now, he's listed as Olson's backup on the right side. Providing further depth will be junior Trevius Jones (6-3, 310) and redshirt freshman Nykiren Wellington (6-6, 275). Jones was a very sought-after recruit coming out of Tyler Lee, but has yet to really make an impact at TCU, appearing in just 4 games so far. Wellington was reportedly very impressive in practice last fall while he redshirted, but he missed most of the spring with an injury. A wild card at tackle may be sophomore Tayo Fabuluje (6-7, 317), who transferred to TCU from BYU during the offseason. He's apparently applying for a waiver from the NCAA to allow him to play immediately instead of waiting a year like most transfers do, and as is almost always the case with the NCAA there's no real expectation of when a decision might be made. The current roster on gofrogs.com lists Tayo as a defensive tackle, but his frame just screams OT and the media guide lists him there as well.

At left guard, senior Kyle Dooley (6-3, 315) is the most experienced on the line, having made 27 career starts dating back to his redshirt freshman season. Starting opposite Dooley on the right side is likely to be junior Blaize Foltz (6-4, 310), who started two games as a redshirt freshman in 2009 and then played in five games a year ago before suffering a season-ending injury from which he is now reportedly 100% recovered. Senior Spencer Thompson (6-5, 305), who has been with the program since he graduated early from high school in 2006, is the most experienced reserve guard, having played in 23 career games including three starts last year. Joining Thompson on the second team is sophomore John Wooldridge (6-5, 310), a product of Houston's Episcopal High who played in six games last year as a redshirt freshman.

The last two starting centers at TCU (Blake Schlueter and Jake Kirkpatrick) have set the expectations pretty high for whoever is in the middle of the Horned Frog line. That job now belongs to junior James Fry (6-3, 290), who won a hotly-contested battle for the position during spring practice. Fry was second string to Kirkpatrick last year as he won the Rimington Award, and appeared in nine games himself. The two other centers pushing Fry for his job are sophomore Eric Tausch (6-3, 295) and redshirt freshman Michael Thompson (6-4, 315). Tausch appeared in six games as a guard last year, and Thompson was specifically singled-out by Patterson as the member of the 2010 signing class that he was most excited to see arrive on campus. One or both of them could probably also provide depth at guard if needed.

Four true freshman will suit up for the Frogs this fall, although it is Patterson's (and most of college football's) strategy to redshirt almost all offensive lineman. Off the top of my head, the last true freshman O-lineman to play for TCU was Marshall Newhouse in 2006. Nevertheless, the optimist in me says lookout for these guys once they put on the purple and white. Brady Foltz (6-4, 300...Blaize's younger brother) and Jamelle Naff (6-4, 311) project as guards, while Bobby Thompson (6-6, 290) and Carter Wall (6-5, 290) look like they'll be tackles in college.

Coach Patterson mentioned at the Dallas Alumni dinner last week that offensive line is one of the areas causing him some concern headed into the fall...how worried are you about it? Who will emerge as stars of this year's line, and which of the younger guys do you see developing into stardom in the years to come? Comments section. Go.

Lessons in SMU Hate: Marketing.

Sorry, TCU, but that ain't Lake Minnetonka/good marketing strategy.

No matter what you think of TCU's current, "Let Purple Reign" marketing strategy, it's what we have and it's what we're going to have to work with for the 2011 football season. Personally, I don't care for it - I mean, Prince is great and all and Purple Rain is a pretty brilliant piece of work, but is that REALLY the image you want to create in the minds of your target audience when they think TCU Football? However, as with other things, it's not necessarily what you have, but what you DO with what you have, and at least in this case, TCU is walking tall and carrying a big stick.

Case in point:

Image

For those of you who aren't familiar with Dallas, the location of this sign is at approximately Mockingbird and I-75, otherwise known as the same exit you take when traveling to SMU. This sign is, at worst, a quarter of a mile from SMU's Football Stadiums. I'm pretty sure TCU didn't do this with the idea that they were going to start pulling folks that would normally be more inclined to attend SMU - the Chris Chris' of the world - because our kind typically doesn't mingle with theirs. No, it's pretty obvious that TCU did this simply to piss off the few SMU types that actually have pride in their athletic department, and to that end it worked like gangbusters. To ponyfans...

"Best thing to do is beat TCU .DON'T. we have enough pockets to buy one next to their stadium? ?"

It's funny that they think their alumni base throws around money so much more than anyone else's. Apparently they missed the whole "$105 million from 20 donors for a new stadium" thing... Do you REALLY think a Fort Worth owned billboard would ever be dumb enough to let that happen? This just further proves that SMU is not and never will be Dallas' team.

"Or after we beat them have it redone with some of our players holding the Iron Skillet next to the words "Purple Reign?".

LOL. ROTFL.

Standup and be proud! TCU finally see litttle ole SMU as a threat...I woundn't give that billboard a chance of making out of September...

SO basically taking out our massive, BCS worthy member and brushing SMU's teeth with it suggests we see them as a threat? I fail to see the logic.

After the literally tens of SMU fans who give a damn about their football team realized they clearly did not have a leg to stand on football smack talk wise, they went down the academics avenue, aka TOTALLY giving up.

fortunately people know that the only prestigious university in DFW is across the street from that billboard

Did anyone get a little stirred up when U of Dallas had that bilboard on 75 "2 Rhodes, Zero Heismans" or something similar?

Can you say - "Insecurity".

SMU has kicked TCU's a... in academics and athletics for most of our living memory.

Sit tight, continue to climb the academic rankings (SMU 56 - TCU 99), win at football and basketball and all will be right.

So not only do SMU fans have the archaic belief that students choose non-Ivy League southern private schools because of their academics and not at least partially because of athletics, they become enraged when the UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS WHICH I'M NOT SURE IS EVEN A REAL SCHOOL puts a billboard near their campus. Seriously, we had 20,000 applicants last year, and I'm betting 15,000 of them were in direct correlation to Gary Patterson. With football success comes demand. With demand comes prestige. With prestige comes University-wide progress. Sorry SMU, you can toot your little academic horn all you want; meantime, we'll continue exponentially raising our standards and remain the hardest admit in the state of Texas. To quote the above, "Can you say - insecurity?" Also, while we're on the topic, Mr. Academic, that period at the end of your comment should be a question mark. Syntax error.

But I saved the best for last as, once they exhausted their Cameron Crazies nerd pillow fighting, one guy just became delusional:

Now that we have decided to pull our head out our a... and assert the natural order - does TCU feel compelled to run the billboard.

And when we once again start beating them in the revenue sports - please let's not run billboards in FW, let's not gloat, because gravity has taken effect and the natural order has been restored.

Texas is to A&M as SMU is to TCU. TCU and A&M each have had their little run - but the competitive balance is eventually returned to its rightful place.

Texas's nonchalance during the 90's dry spell vs A&M drove the aggies crazy. The feeling was that the natural order would soon restore itself and life will get back to normal.
Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Wow. I mean... just, wow. Where to even begin? "Asserting the natural order?" When did that happen? June has cometh and three losses have been the result. TCU still leads the overall head to head record. TCU is going to be ranked top 15 and is moving to a BCS Conference next year. Despite making a bottom of the barrel conference tourney, SMU lost to TCU in basketball this year. BASKETBALL!! So if his definition of "natural order" is for SMU to best TCU, then I would say said order is certainly not "asserted," which, again Mr. Academic, isn't the word you were searching for. That would be "restored."

But, the kicker in the whole thing is suggesting that we are aggy to their UT. REALLY, DUDE?! I suppose in the sense that aggy is on better footing football-wise than UT this year, then yes, he's correct, but I think we all know what he intended with that comment. That is probably the most ignorant thing I've ever heard. So by paying your players and tora-tora-tora-ing your football program in the process to beat TCU, that suggests dominance? Again, failing to see the logic. As I said above, TCU holds the edge in the overall series. TCU has had the upper hand ever since the late-80s. Even in our worst season when we lost 10 games we still beat the Ponies. Seriously, hang your hat on the 2005 game if you like. We'll hang ours too, but only if we can find the space between all of those Conference Championship trophies.

And I'm not even going to address comparing our "nice little run" to aggy's because, what exactly is aggy's nice little run? Getting thunderblasted in the Cotton Bowl the same year we won the Rose Bowl? Apples to apples, yes?

In fairness, I would say at least half of the comments on the board were realistic along the lines of "our marketing department doesn't have the balls to do something that like" and "We're on the way up, but TCU is still a better program at present." So they're not all bad. But, as it is with our own message board only site, for every logical contributor there's an ass clown waiting to destroy whatever good will they might have created. And those are the ones that make it great to be an opposing fan with the upper hand.

And now, in keeping with the subject, here's some bonus Craig James hate.

Morning Dump

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Athletic Department: