Thursday, October 6, 2011

SMU is the Premier Team of Dallas, right?

I don't see no pony

This Weekend's Games of Interest

Boise State (4-0) at Fresno State (2-3) ~ 8:00pm Friday on ESPN
-I feel like I've spent every Friday night for the past four years occasionally checking the score of a bar TV while Boise State played (and beat) Fresno State on ESPN, so it's nice to not really have to care anymore. And at least it'll be played on green grass, right?

Air Force (3-1) at Notre Dame (3-2) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on NBC
-Notre Dame sure did a good jump of taking a dump all over TCU's biggest regular season win of 2010, so hopefully that will not become a pattern. Beware a letdown performance by the Falcons, who put themselves in the driver's seat for this year's Commander in Chief's Trophy by beating Navy in overtime in Annapolis last week.

Wyoming (3-1) at Utah State (1-3) ~ 7:00pm Saturday on
-The 3-0 start by the Cowboys came to a screeching halt last week with a 38-14 loss to Nebraska in Laramie. The Huskers ran for 333 yards in that one, and the Aggies are averaging just over 300 ground yards a game, so Doo-Doo Brown needs to improve along the defensive front if they want to reach 4-1.

UNLV (1-3) at Nevada (1-3) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on
-Bobby Hauck and his Rebels had last weekend off to think about their 41-16 loss to Southern Utah. Raise your hand if you knew Southern Utah existed....ok, didn't think so. Anyway, they'll now try to beat in-state rival Nevada for the first time in seven tries in what will become a conference rivalry next season.

Colorado State (3-2) and New Mexico (0-5) are idle this week.

TCU non-conference opponents:

Baylor (3-1) vs. Iowa State (3-1) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on FSN
-Robert Griffin is human after all, having thrown a crucial interception that allowed Kansas State to come back to beat the Bears in Manhattan last Saturday. In their attempt to show they belong near the top of the Big 12, they'll try to match UT's blow out of ISU when the Cyclones travel to Waco...which I assume is a pretty exciting place if you're from Iowa.

BYU (3-2) vs. San Jose State (2-3) ~ 9:15pm Saturday on ESPN U
-Ruh roh, is that the smell of a QB controversy in Provo? Much-heralded sophomore Jake Heaps had led the Cougars to a 2-2 record and a slow start last Friday against Utah State before Riley Nelson came in to lead them to a comeback win in the final seconds. San Jose State is coming off back-to-back wins over New Mexico State and Colorado State.

Louisiana-Monroe (1-3) vs. Arkansas State (3-2) ~ 6:00pm Saturday
-A treacherous non-conference schedule that included trips to play at Florida State, TCU and Iowa is finally behind the Warhawks, who can now focus on their Sun Belt schedule. That starts this week against Arkansas State, who is 1-0 in conference play after coming back to beat Western Kentucky in the last minute on the road last week.

Portland State (3-1) vs. Montana State (4-1) ~ 3:00pm Saturday
-Pretty big game for the Vikings, who'll be playing for sole possession of first place in the Big Sky Conference a week after a thrilling 42-35 road win over Idaho State last week. Montana State's only loss of the year was a 27-10 setback at Utah in the season opener.

SMU (4-1)
is idle this weekend.

Hahaha, yeah right!

Big 12 with a Bullet! (points).

Welp, it's official, TCU has been invited to join the Big 12 Conference. It's not a done deal until the Frogs accept the offer - which, I mean, no brainer, right? RIGHT??? - but for all intents and purposes, I'd expect TCU to have that numerically incorrect logo on their field this time next season. We've thrown a lot of muck at the Big 12, criticized the way it kowtows to Texas and wished for its demise over and over and over again. But what we were thinking? We LOVE the Big 12!!!! The Big 12 Rocks!!!!

Some initial thoughts:

  • How phenomenal is the timing of this? SMU beats TCU for the first time since 2005 and absolutely runs with it by offering the "Iron Skillet ticket package" for remaining home games and even making the Iron Skillet available for pictures to its students. This comes hot on the heels of SMU inviting themselves to the Big 12 and SMU fans were even giggling post game about how Saturday was going to put a serious kink into the Big 12's expansion plans. So how perfect is it that during the SAME WEEK they beat us, the Big 12 gives them a high five and says, "Great game SMU... Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut we <3 TCU and not you." BURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRN!!!!!! It makes it all go away. It really does. Enjoy your piece of metal, Ponies, while we eat caviar and sip Dom with the big boys.
  • Yesterday on Menace there was a thread discussing Patterson's comments in the presser, and in the midst of everyone making excuses someone suggested something along the lines of, "Isn't it weird that Gary Patterson, one of the more calculated coaches in the game, said something like that THREE FULL DAYS after the game ended? If it was immediately after the game you can blame being caught in the moment, but three days later suggests he has a plan" Could his comments that, "They won't get any more help from us about a ballgame," mean that the Frogs are giving the Iron Skillet its walking papers? Wouldn't that be endlessly fantastic? Seriously, have fun in CUSA, Ponies.
  • A lot of naysayers are coming out with stuff along the lines of, "HOW DARE TCU!?!? WHERE'S THE LOYALTY?!?" to which I say, "Where's your brain, asshat?" The Big 12 may not be the most stable Conference, but my goodness its absolutely ironclad compared to the Big East!! No one threw a big fit when we left the MWC because it, "wasn't the Conference we joined in the first place." How is this any different? Haters gon' hate, I suppose.
  • The two questions facing TCU in this move are, "Will Missouri still be around and what happens if they leave?" and "Is the Big 12 REALLY that secure?" As for the first one, clearly keeping the Tigers around is preferable; they have strong athletics, academics and are a core member. But would their loss kill the Conference or make us rethink our strategy? NO and HELL NO. BYU or Louisville aren't Missouri, but they work and besides, the Big 12 could lose anyone not named Texas or Oklahoma and survive. They just lost aggy and may wind up in a better position than they were before. Imagine! As for the second, from what I understand, the Big 12 is secure for six years at minimum due to television agreements which, as I understand it, work as such: All schools are signing away their Tier I and Tier II television rights which include agreements with ESPN, Fox, etc. for six years. What this means is that, if anyone decided to jump ship in that window they would be able to, but they would forfeit TV rights for six years, a figure that could reach over $100 million in that time. On top of that, the rights are being renegotiated so that everyone gets their fair shake; in the past, payouts have been dished out based on how often a team is on television. Those two things are intended to keep everyone on board and, to be honest, it's hard to see them not, sans Mizzou who has yet to sign. It's certainly an Obama Socialist approach, but really it was the only way the Conference was going to survive. Of course, those rights do NOT include a Third Tier network such as the LHN, so Texas will still be the biggest fish in the pond... but they were going to be anyway and you're kidding yourself if you thought that was going to change. And you know what's just damned weird about this whole thing? In a roundabout way the LHN IS the reason we're in the Big 12 in the first place. Without it, aggy probably doesn't leave the Big 12 when they did and Mizzou isn't showing leg to the SEC. The aggy move opened the door but I think Mizzou trying to jump ship really put the B12 into "NOW" mode. It feels weird to say, but thanks LHN and thanks aggy.
  • Of course, the Big 12's TV situation raises the question of, "Well, should CDC be thinking of 2018 and beyond already?" Clearly this will be an issue, and I certainly think Texas explores independence at that point if they haven't already, but as long as we don't turn into Vanderbilt overnight, we're going to be in a fine position when the shuffling inevitably happens again.
  • How does this pertain to Daje Johnson's status at TCU? All signs point to him jumping ship if Texas offers and personally I think they do. Wouldn't it be such a typical Texas move to be like, "Welcome to the Big 12 TCU... now I drink YOUR milkshake!!!" They totally do it if only as a power move, although the kid being legit certainly helps.
  • Is there anyone happier about this move than Jim Christian? Despite his initial recruiting success, the way that whole process played out with eligibility issues, he was probably spending more time editing his resume than preparing for the season. Because we were seriously going to be road kill in the BEast. But now? I'm not trying to suggest that the B12 isn't a good basketball Conference, but it's no Big East. At least in the sense that, "I can pick 3-4 teams in the B12 that we can beat each year; I could pick 0 in the BEast." I'm not sure how this helps recruiting because we had a direct competitive advantage when selling the BEast, but it should still be a nice way to entice local recruits to stay home and play big boy basketball. Regardless, our basketball team at least has a shot at double digit wins in the B12; in the BEast we were looking at MAYBE 2 wins in Conference max.
  • You should probably invest in futures of the blood pressure medicine of your choice, because with Texas, Tech, Baylor and, possibly, SMU on the slate year in, year out things could get ugly for your cardiovascular system.
Get your season tickets yesterday, cause they won't exist. We just need to make sure casual fans or those from other schools don't get there first. Here's how the schedule would look, assuming Mizzou stays and we just slip into aggys spot, although we've learned the hard way how that isn't always the case, right Boise?

at Oklahoma State
TX Tech
at Baylor
Iowa St.
at Missouri
Kansas State
at Kansas

at Texas

Not too bad, eh? Things would certainly start off with a bang, at the very least, and could TCU end up replacing aggy as the annual Thanksgiving rival for the Longhorns? IMAGINE. Again, suggesting that TCU will simply slide into aggy's schedule is far easier said than done but the possibilities are pretty fun to imagine.

Of course, as I stated above, none of this Big 12 stuff is official - remember how long it took for aggy to finally get into the SEC? Oh, that's right, they still aren't - but, I mean, it's as close to official as it can be. The Athletic Department has to clean up the Big East mess they've made for themselves, but if all it takes is a $5 million check, I'd imagine there'a a courier knocking on John Marinatto's door as I write this.

Regardless of what we think of Texas and the B12 in general, this is perhaps the biggest moment in TCU Football history, unless you count National Titles and Heisman's from a century ago. Fifty years in the wilderness to the Rose Bowl to the Big 12 probably seemed beyond impossible for outside observers not so long ago. Like, last year not so long ago.

I feel like we're going to hit a wall eventually, but my god it's good to be a Frogs fan right now.

Boschini releases statement...

I was just forwarded an email that originated from Mark Cohen, TCU's Sports Information Director. It includes a statement from Chancellor Boschini and also states that "TCU will have no further comment today". Below is Boschini's statement, read into it whatever you may:

"These discussions with the Big 12 have huge implications for TCU. It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for many years. As always, we must consider what’s best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12."

New TCU Blog

Okay, so before BigXII talk drowns us in posts and commenting, I just wanted to show a little love to one of our readers who just started his own TCU Blog. Galen Morrison made his first post to "Horned Frogs, Hangovers, and Hackers" about why GP had a meltdown (in his opinion).

Good luck on future posts, Galen... although, we will have to kick you in the shins if you start beating us out for awards.

Is this real life?

We've speculated about it for oh, about sixteen years now. Could TCU be joining the Big 12? CBS' Brett McMurphy is reporting that the league has invited TCU and the school is expected to join in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

Blog Exchange SDSU Part Deux

Alright, so I sent a few questions back to our friends over at the SDSU blog for the guy to answer. He seems like a good dude and he took my shitty attitude and sarcasm in stride, so I guess SDSU is on our good side, unless of course they beat us this year (don't count that out, folks). I didn't supply 11 questions to him like he did to me, because I'm still sports depressed and quite frankly, SDSU doesn't intrigue me enough to create a whole bunch of questions. Also, I've mailed it in this week and am counting this as players to watch as well, since he mentions some players to watch. Hope everyone is okay with that. Anyways, I'm really sidetracked right now listening to Cartman talk about Asperger's on the new South Park, so I'll just go ahead and post round 2 of the Q&A, mmk (Mr. Mackey)?

1) Who replaces Vincent Brown and Demarco Sampson? Glad those guys are gone. If they faced our secondary this year, they'd be Co-Biletnikoff award winners.
Vincent and DeMarco have been replaced seamlessly by dropped passes and poorly-run routes. It's been kind of maddening actually; Ryan Lindley is never going to make anyone forget Drew Brees in terms of accuracy, but his 51.5 completion percentage is ridiculous. He has no rhythm with his receivers. Converted corner Colin Lockett has shown promise as a big-play threat, but his learning curve has been steep. Dylan Denso has looked like a steady possession receiver at times, and disappeared at others. And the tight ends, who are supposed to be a huge strength, have been inconsistent. At some point, I expect these guys to all get on the same page. Probably against UNLV or New Mexico or one of the turd teams we'd beat down either way.

2) Did Brady Hoke really leave SDSU because he thought he could be more successful at Michigan, or was he afraid that Tony Gwynn was trying to fatten him up to inevitably eat him?
I don't think Brady needed anybody's help to fatten him up. Dude had that covered. My sources tell me Brady decided to skip town after overflowing a toilet at a local Buca di Beppo.

3) Ronnie Hillman is pretty good. It's not too soon to say he's better than Marshall Faulk, is it?

I was ready to anoint him Our Lord and Savior before he put the ball on the ground twice in huge spots against Michigan. But yeah, he's a freak and we're legitimately worried that he's going to test the NFL waters after this season (While he's a sophomore, he will be three years out of high school). I'll just call him the MF2 for now. True fact: Ronnie was born on the same day that Faulk broke an NCAA record with 386 yards rushing against Pacific. (Cue the X-Files theme)

4) Rocky Long? Really?? You know he got replaced at New Mexico by Mike Locksley, right?
Oh come on, now. Rocky went 65-69 at New Mexico. That's like going 105-29 at a university that actually gives a crap about its football program. Locks, by the way, went 2-26. Nice upgrade, Lobos. Fact is, Long could always coach his guys up, he just couldn't recruit top athletes to Albuquerque. Apparently the promise of "all the meth they could eat" wasn't enough to attract the blue-chippers. Recruiting has never been our problem, though, toughness has been. In that regard, I think Rocky is the right man for the job.

5) Keys to victory Saturday for the Aztecs?
If Lindley completes more than 60 percent of his passes, you guys are toast. I think that gives us about a 12 percent chance at victory.

6) So SDSU has like 30K students is in a large market and an awesome climate. Why do BCS conferences hate you so much? Surely you can't be as dirty as the schools in Arizona...

Well, we are pretty dirty, but I don't think that's why. The Pac-12 will never take us because of the other California schools. Cal and Stanford are snobs who don't want to eat off the same china as a Cal State school. USC and UCLA don't want any AQ competition in Southern California. So unless the Big XII wants a foothold on the coast—or the MWC gets an AQ (LOL)—we're basically boned forever and ever. Feel better about you situation now?

7) I was searching for famous SDSU Alumni and came across this guy- Anwar al-Awlaki, Islamic Terrorist, leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Is it safe to assume that your university is a safe haven for terrorism in the United States?

Oh for sure. It's well known that SDSU was founded as a training ground for international terrorists of every stripe. It's a little known fact that our first president was Gavrilo Princip of the Serbian Black Hand. My minor at State was Underwear Bombing Studies, which has proven about as useful to me as my history major. True story!

Morning Dump

Patterson wraps up SMU rap, but has no regrets

TCU defense under fire

Dan Jenkins shares his thoughts on TCU football and its future
TCU 360

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard

Calhoun and Shelley named scholar athletes of the month

TCU helps DFW earn No. 1 sports city ranking
-pretty sure DFW isn't a city