Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Frosch and Griffin sign deals

Two more Frogs have been picked up on this busy first day of NFL business. Evan Frosch a reliable three year starter at tight end has reportedly inked a deal with the Cleveland Browns. While NT Kelly Griffin who missed 8 games due to injury as a senior after coming off an outstanding junior year has signed on with the San Diego Chargers. If my math is correct that brings our total to 12.

Tommy Tuberville, The Only Honest Man in Lubbock.

Ears. He's Got 'Em.

For those of you who have not been following, Big 12-2 Meedja Days are going on this week in Dallas. You may have missed it in-between Mack Brown trying to somehow smoke screen everyone into thinking the Longhorn Network could actually be a disadvantage for the Horns and Robert Griffin launching his Heisman Campaign..

Sorry, I was laughing too hard and had to take a break.

But anyway - in between that, Tommy Tuberville said exactly what everyone outside of Lubbock, Texas knew to be true but would never admit. The actual context of what he said is somewhat under dispute, so I will post verbatim what I have seen to be the most accurate depiction:

- "...But the thing about it is we had four nonconference teams scheduled. And because the new conference realignment, one had to go."

-"That's really probably not the type of team we want to play right now. Not that we didn't want to play them. It was obvious that we had somebody had to go in that slot where they were at, you know, pretty much fit what we needed to do.'

- "If they had been in another slot maybe in one of the other non-conference positions, we would have still been playing that game. But somebody had to go. And, again, hopefully we can play -- I think that's a natural game for us. I think we need to play that game. I think it needs to be a home and home game, and I think that it would help both Gary and us to play each year."
Now, I've seen probably 3-4 different takes on this story and each one deconstructs the quote to their liking in order to meet their ends, including Mac Engel who asked the question that prompted the response in the first place. But, all the same, the sentence I bolded above is common to all of them and sticks out above all the rest.

Of course, Tech fans are completely up in arms about this and twisting the meaning of the printed word to make it seem like Tuberville REALLY meant to say they only dropped us because of scheduling. Which is partially true... until you go back and read his DIRECT QUOTE of "THAT'S REALLY PROBABLY NOT THE TYPE OF TEAM WE WANT TO PLAY RIGHT NOW" and it kind of kicks all of those arguments out the window. If he really wanted to keep us on the schedule, he would've tried much harder to make it work.

The whole Tech/TCU scheduling SNAFU of the past two years has created more of a rivalry between our two fan bases than any actual game ever could, and if we choose to have any of their ilk in our lives and choose to coexist with them, we will simply have to agree to disagree. Just a few minutes ago I became indirectly embroiled in an internet cat fight with a Tech fan who I am unfamiliar with, and to take what he said and completely overgeneralize that his attitude reflects that of every Tech fan alive, here is what happened. Basically, his three "shots" at TCU were as follows:

  1. Tech had better attendance than TCU did last year, even though Tech had a down year and TCU had their "best season ever." Therefore, Tech is better.
  2. TCU are bitches because they "backed down" from a rematch with Wisconsin.
  3. TCU torpedoed the game last year because we were afraid to play Oregon State AND Tech in the same season.
My reponses...

1. You're comparing a school with, what, 40000 students at least to a school with 8000 when it comes to attendance? Our stadiums are not comparable in size, with Tech being maybe 10000 bigger, so we will clearly never bridge that gap even if we sell out every game. That's logic. We averaged over 40,000 per game last year... which is about the same number of living alumni the school has. So, I'd say that's pretty positive thing. I realize you're solely citing the 2006 game where Tech fans outnumbered ours 2:1, but things have changed pretty significantly since then. It would be a much, much different story if you guys would come back and play us. And for my money the biggest overall difference is Tech has a natural fan base that covers pretty much everything west of FW, TCU is stuck in UT/aggy/Tech/OU territory which makes it difficult to draw casual fans. We finally bridged that gap last year and I don't see why it would change. Season tickets have reached record numbers the past few years and when our new stadium opens I'd expect few empty seats. And if we're mocking "greatest season ever" I'll take our Rose Bowl year over Tech's 11-2 Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss ye

2. Because our dicks are bigger than theirs since we beat them head to head. They wanted a one off game in Madison without a return. The loser does not get to dictate the terms. And with what we've accomplished under Patterson, we're at the level that we do not need to play one off games. OU is giving us a return game. LSU is giving us a return game. Arkansas is giving us a return game. The only team that hasn't done that in recent memory is Texas, and I don't think we'd settle for that ever again, nor would they ask us to be on their schedule. Same reason you guys use for skipping the game this year, according to your info below.

3. This argument is completely he said/she said and we're going to disagree until the end of time. SO let's do this chronologically

Nov 11, 2009 - tech site announces the schedule, leaving off TCU http://www.texastech.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/111109aab.html

December 15, 2009 - Oregon paper rumoring the game... so it had not been settled quite yet. That's a month later and there was no contract. http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=126088489493742500

So, at best, Tech got a chance to move the UT game to national television and TCU had the chance to play a national game at Jerry World and both teams agreed to drop the game. At worst, Tech back out and TCU filled the hole with ESPN's help as they had been the ones to cause the game to be cancelled in the first place. I suppose we will agree to disagree on this one.

So I like to think I handled myself with dignity there, no? But seriously, this argument is so worthless because neither side is ever going to admit that the other was in the right. Tuberville tried to cover his tracks a little, and I am sure if he could go back he would completely reword his response. But that's the thing - he DID say it. And when you consider that Tommy comes from the vaunted SEC school of out of conference scheduling, he's a natural fit in Lubbock where they share similar ideas on out of conference play. I'm not suggesting that TCU doesn't toss in a few cupcakes now and then, but the last time Tech actually took a chance out of Conference was when they played us... in 2006. In the 5 years since, they played or will play: SMU and New Mexico thrice, Rice, Nevada, Houston and New Mexico Twice, and then a smattering of UTEP, Northwestern State, Eastern Washington, UMASS, North Dakota, Weber State, Texas State. That's 0 BCS teams, two, at the time they played them, bottom feeding CUSA teams, Non-Boise destroying Nevada teams, the worst MWC team and perhaps worst college football team in the nation and seis Division II schools. The only game they lost was against Houston, but you'll recall that Houston came on a LOT stronger that year than anyone expected. So I'm doubting Tech scheduled Cougar High as a challenge. Not exactly a murderers row of non-con scheduling. So the fact that they say WE were scared is kind of laughable, especially when you consider that, in that same time frame, we have played 10 of those teams and beaten all but 2 of them.

If Tuberville means it, I really hope he does push for a regular series with the Frogs a couple of times a decade. I mean, he won't do it, but it'd be nice if he did. But until then, let the Techies have their fun and toot the horn of being in a Conference they've never won. Meantime, we'll fondle our Conference and Bowl rings and look forward to our upcoming decade of dominance in the East Coast spotlight. Guns up.

A little Clarification

As most readers know by now, if you are any sort of TCU fan, Tech backed out on TCU for their scheduled game during this upcoming season. The initial reasoning from Tech was "we have to work around the new conference realignment", which I for one called total BS on. They decided to cancel our game but stay with the Texas State and New Mexico games, which screamed cowards. Now, old coach Tuberville is backing off that excuse and basically said what Mack Brown doesn't have the balls to say, "We're scared to play them." Thank you coach Tubs for putting a smile on my face today and saying what all of your counterparts didn't want to admit to in the past. Here is the link to the story on ESPN Dallas.

Taking Inventory: Cornerbacks

When you watch the 4-2-5 defense in action, you see that a lot of the time linebackers end up doing some of the work of the safeties and safeties end up doing some of the work of the linebackers. It's that kind of collaboration of talent that sometimes makes it seem as if the Frogs have 12 or 13 defenders on the field at any given time. That's not really the case with the cornerbacks, however, who are often left "out on an island" (if I may borrow some coaching jargon) to fend for themselves. Because of the tough demands the system puts on the corners and TCU's relative lack of depth at the position over the years, corner has often been near the top of the annual list of question marks for the team. But this year, even after losing a starter (Jason Teague- to graduation) and a backup (Elisha Olabode- who moved to safety), the Frogs do have a solid group of corners heading into the fall.

Senior Greg McCoy is the oldest and most experienced of the Horned Frog corners, having started all 13 games a year ago and 15 for his career. He did get beat a few times early in the season, but rebounded to post 10 tackles, pick off two passes and break up four more. Being that he is one of the fastest players on the team, even if he does get beat at first he's shown that he can close on the receiver while the ball is in the air.

Starting opposite McCoy will likely be one of a pair of sophomores- Travaras Battle or Jason Verrett. Battle played in all 13 games last year as a true freshman out of San Antonio's John Jay High School, recording 18 tackles and forcing a fumble. His most memorable play of the year might've been in the Rose Bowl, when he downed an Anson Kelton punt inside the five while serving on special teams. Verrett is a JUCO transfer that illustrated his dedication to the game by taking the rare step of redshirting while at Santa Rosa JC in order to learn the cornerback position after having originally been planning on playing receiver. He was able to enroll at TCU last January, and had an impressive spring practice.

Three other Frog CBs that were on the roster but didn't play in a game in 2010 are redshirt freshman Kevin White and junior walk-ons Devin Johnson and Brian Alexis. White was a well thought-of, do-everything recruit out of Round Rock Stony Point who redshirted a year ago because, frankly, the Frogs didn't need him to burn a year of eligibility. Johnson and Alexis didn't play last year, but were forced into action by the injury bug at the end of the 2009 season- including some crunch-time action in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State.

Two very talented true freshmen, Kolby Griffin and Travosky Garrett, will be looking to crack the rotation this fall. Griffin, who has already been identified as a potential future leader for TCU because of the intelligence and team-first attitude displayed in the blog postings he wrote for purplemenace.com, turned down offers from Arkansas, Baylor and Texas Tech when he committed to TCU very early in the process. Garrett, at 6-1 186 and with freak athleticism that led him to concentrate more on track than football earlier in his high school career in Lufkin, could be seen as the second coming of Teague...a comparison that will be amplified because he's been assigned Teague's jersey #27.

Now's the time for me to offer you a figurative penny for your thoughts. Who do you think claims the second starting position at corner- Battle, Verrett, or someone else alltogether? Who will be the most trusted back-ups? Will either of the true freshmen play this fall? Let's hear it in the comments section...

Bart Johnson to Join Dalton in Cincy

Bart Johnson and his mini-mullet will be headed to Cincy to join his QB and buddy, Andy Dalton. Bart is the 3rd slot receiver from the state of Texas to make it to the Bengals in the past 3 years, following UT's Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby, who I'm sure he will be competing with for a spot on the roster. Best of luck to Bart, and that now makes 10, yes 10, TCU players from last years team to be picked up by an NFL team. That's a tremendous number and shows you how far this program has come. Congrats to all, and I'll keep you posted if any more are picked up, but I'm guessing we are finished.

Teague To Texans

Congrats, Houston fans. You now have a Frog to root for, which is good because when you perpetually underachieve, you'll need something to hang your hat on. Jason Teague is now a Houston Texan, at least according to the almost indecipherable code of Josh Boyce's twitter account (he has replaced the "th" sound in the English language with strictly the letter "d". I think it's pretty progressive thinking, actually.) Congrats Jason. Now somebody please take Bart.

Scouting the 2011 opponents: Wyoming

Over the past three seasons, TCU has beaten Wyoming three times by a combined score of 144-17. However, the Frogs will be making the trip to Laramie with a new quarterback this year- just as they did in 2007, when then-freshman Andy Dalton' s comeback effort fell short as Chris Manfredini's last-second, potentially game-tying field goal attempt clanged off the right upright and the Cowboys prevailed, 24-21.

But like TCU, Wyoming will also be using a new QB this fall. They thought they had found their QB of the future in Austyn Carta-Samuels, who's name makes him sound like the adopted son of two lesbian sociology professors. But he chose to leave the program, as did his main backup. That leaves two true freshmen, Adam Pittsner and Brett Smith, to battle for the starting job. Junior running back Alvester Alexander had 792 rushing yards last year, but will have just one returning starter among the offensive linemen clearing the way in front of him.

The good news for Wyoming on defense is that all four starters return on the defensive line. The bad news? It wasn't a good defensive line. The Cowboys couldn't stop the run and barely put any pressure on the quarterback. Aside from the front four, only two other starters return.

Mother Nature could be a major variable with this game, since the Frogs will be heading to Laramie in November, when the average high temperature is 40 degrees and the average low is 14. On their last trip to War Memorial Stadium, the Frogs beat Wyoming 45-10 on November 21, 2009 with a game-time temperature of 30 degrees.

Frog Rookies Going Fast in NFL Free Agency

Jimmy Young Wide receivr Walter Bryant #1 of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates a touchdown with Jimmy Young #88 during play against the BYU Cougars in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 16, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas.

As I mentioned in the comments section last night, reports surfaced that Jake Kirkpatrick will be headed to Indianapolis, hopefully to one day replace the great Jeff Saturday at Center there for years to come. Also, just learned that Jimmy Young will be headed to the Bears to play with the NFL head douche Jay Cutler. Maybe JY will start slamming Kristen Cavilari to get back at Cutler for not being able throw a decent pass.

So that leaves us with a few more potential free agent signings, but those first few sure went off the board quick. Where will former Frogs Wayne Daniels, Jason Teague and Bart Johnson wind up, if anywhere? Or will there be any surprises taken? Stay tuned to spitblood and we'll keep you up to date.

*Had to edit this post because the info regarding Wayne Daniels was incorrect. Apparently he has not come to terms with the Jets, and this is a perfect example of why you shouldn't post everything you see on twitter without confirming it. Thanks a lot, @nfldraftinsider...

Morning Dump


2011 TCU football factbook

-video and slideshow also from TCU Magazine