Hope, apparently it looks like this.
Hahahahaha, you actually think I'm going to stir up THAT particular hornets nest again? No, I just wanted to grab your attention as readership and commentary have gone down these past few months and this seems to be the hot topic.
(For the record, though, the unofficial stance is that ChicFila is delicious and even if they have to overcompensate and become "LGBT-Fila" or change their slogan to "Eat Mor Babies," I'll be damned if I'm not going to devour the next nugget tray that comes into my field of vision. If we're going to start boycotting things based on the beliefs of a suit who has 0 to do with your personal enjoyment of the product, then we'd all have to shun modern luxuries and become cavemen again. I'm guessing Bryan Cranston and I do not have similar political views, so I guess I'm done with Breaking Bad. Will you guys tell me how the series ends? Do you like soccer? No? Well, you know what country does? Mexico. JOE T's, YOU'VE BEEN BOYCOTTED! It's OK to be a hypocrite, guys. Steve Jobs was a total dickhead to his employees. I just typed that on my iPad. SEE! These people are worse than the fear mongers who say they're going to move to Canada after every single Presidential election. WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE, ALEC BALDWIN? YOU HAD 8 YEARS! But thx 4 stayin' cuz I luv 30 rock. I don't hate gays, but I DO hate lines, so I didn't go to yesterday's big CFA show of support, but I watched it on the news and had a question. There was a kid holding a sign that said, "I'll take mine with a side of bigotry." Is that some new dipping sauce I'm unfamiliar with?)
Now that you're here, though, let's talk. I believe I made mention last week at the frustration I have as a TCU fan at the media's slurp-a-DERPing of West Virginia and their naysaying of TCU even though neither team played in a major Conference last year. Seriously, Big East, get over it. Like any level headed person, I looked at their record last year and made the assumption, since the media possess the worst kinds of short memory, they were basing their fascination on a lopsided bowl Victory. And while it doesn't look like anyone locally is going to change their tune, at least there's one prominent writer who sees things for what they are. From yesterday's Stewart Mandel Mailbag:
Every year there's at least one team that gets a bump in the preseason rankings from a particularly impressive bowl showing, so it should be no surprise that the first team ever to score 70 is enjoying a particularly hefty spike. Big 12 media members were so deferential to the newcomers that they picked the Mountaineers to finish second to Oklahoma in their preseason poll, making them the only team besides the Sooners to earn multiple first-place votes. Chris is right, though: The Orange Bowl has made everyone forget that West Virginia finished the 2011 regular season 9-3, in a three-way tie for first in the Big East and behind five current Big 12 teams at No. 22 in the final BCS standings.
There's no question Dana Holgorsen's team has the makings of a lethal passing attack; I agree with those same media members' choice of Geno Smith over Landry Jones as the Big 12's top quarterback, and Tavon Austin and Steadman Bailey may be the league's two best receivers. But in the Big 12, unlike in the Big East, WVU is now one of many teams that can zing the ball around and score in a hurry. I'm skeptical of the Mountaineers' ability to stop the others. Last season WVU finished dead last in scoring defense during Big East play (28.9 points per game), in a conference where no team other than WVU averaged 30 points. In the Big 12, six did. And that poor average came before WVU lost longtime coordinator Jeff Casteel and first-round pass-rusher Bruce Irvin.
West Virginia's games should be highly entertaining. But in terms of wins and losses, I have a hard time believing the Mountaineers will post a better record in their first year in a tougher conference than they did in their last year in the lighter one.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/08/01/usc-lane-kiffin-mailbag/index.html#ixzz22P2si1jn
So refreshing. Mandel may look like a total goober and be a fan of Northwestern Football, but he typically has his head on straight on all matters CFB related. Just re-read the parts I highlighted in bold. HOW has no one put this together? Look, I'm over no one giving TCU a fair shake, partly because I agree. We're basically pinning our inaugural Big 12 title hopes on our opening day roster having no significant injuries or other setbacks because we lack depth, and that's a LOT to ask. Even the coaching staff will tell you that. Seriously. I'm cool with being picked middle of the pack; Personally, I prefer it.
But why does West Virginia get the complete benefit of the doubt It's kind of unclear. Is it because WVU can outscore their opponents? Well, bad news, so can just about every other team in the Big 12. Did you know that TCU actually scored more points per contest last year than WVU did? Look it up - TCU 40.8, WVU 37.6. Did you know that TCU allowed fewer points per game last year than WVU did? Look it up - TCU 21.5, WVU 26.8. YET THIS NEVER EVEN GETS MENTIONED!! And last year was, by all accounts, a down year for TCU football as a whole. Last year, TCU's strength of schedule ranking was 51, which is admittedly low, but WVU's was only 40. On average, TCU outscored opponents by 19 points per game. WVU? 11. That's including the 37 point beatdown of Clemson. Should a mid-tier SOS rated 11 slots higher than TCU REALLY mean WVU should have half the margin of victory? Not if they have the explosive offense you keep hearing about.
Speaking of, Geno Smith, Steadman Bailey and Tavon Austin - the QB and his top 2 receivers, respectively - are all you are going to hear about this season, and not without good reason: Smith passed for over 4000 yards, 31 TDs and completed 66% of his passes, and both Bailey and Austin went over 1000 yards and combined for 20 TDs. Those numbers MIGHT be a little skewed, though, as 25% of those came during the Orange Bowl when Clemson got on the buses at halftime and suited up fans for the second half, but I'll leave it up to you to decide how to judge. That said, though, they're it. The WVU ground game tallied 1595 total yards and 25 scores. By comparison, TCU put up over 2700 and 38. Even if you remove Ed Wesley, you've got over 2000 and 30 scores. Pachall, a FIRST YEAR STARTER, MIND YOU, may not have matched Smith's numbers, but he didn't have to. Not to mention he only had one great receiver, a handful of boners, and still tossed 25 TDs and completed the same 66%. With Josh Boyce (998 yards, 9 TDs) and Brandon Carter (352, 3) a year older, plus the regular addition of David Porter, Cam White, Ladarius Brown and even Skye Dawson, you'd be crazy to think those numbers won't increase. Even without Wesley, opposing teams aren't going to be able to simply drop back in coverage and try to force Pachall into mistakes because Waymon James and Matthew Tucker will knock off 8 yards every run. Smith isn't going to have that luxury.
So if the big selling point on WVU is that they will succeed because they have an explosive offense, shouldn't TCU receive the same? What am I missing here? Is it really JUST the bowl game? Where WVU scored 70 against the 81st ranked defense in the country while TCU "only" scored 31 against the 42nd? WVU had a bowl for the ages, yes, but it was maybe a BIT of an aberration when you look at the rest of the schedule? I'm not saying that WVU won't be good, I'm just saying that it's unfair for them to be credited for the exact same things - big stats against a shit schedule - TCU is being discredited for - big games against a shit schedule.
To piggyback on SnK's well-done hate piece on Chip Brown and UT, the worst kept secret in the Big 12 was let out last week during the Conference Media Days when it was announced TCU and UT would indeed play on Thanksgiving Day in Austin, continuing that tradition for the Longhorns. Naturally this was met with skepticism, especially from the Tech Elite who feel that the spot should've gone to them based on their similar long history of not beating Texas. Believe it or not, TCU actually has a better winning percentage against Texas than Tech, despite having played them 18 more times, although both are abysmally in Mendoza range and will never be mentioned again.
However, ESPNDallas' resident Kansas State slurper David Ubben had perhaps my favorite reaction, which was as follows.
My preference? Leave Thanksgiving alone, Longhorns. Let it be, and if the Longhorns' real in-state rivalry is ever renewed, move it back to Turkey Day.
So, basically, the Texas/aggy Thanksgiving Day spot is SO sacred that they should only be able to play a game on that day against one another. This makes a lot of sense for several reasons. You mean the game that is apparently SO sacred that aggy left the Conference because they hated Texas and neither team opted to pursue continuing the rivalry. The game that is apparently SO sacred that aggy is actively pursuing scheduling their game against LSU on the very same day on an annual basis. The game that is apparently SO sacred that it WASN'T EVEN ALWAYS PLAYED ON THANKSGIVING DAY!
Even better, Ubben gave this gem:
Still, back in Texas, I agree that TCU and Texas could be a great rivalry.
It's just not Texas-Texas A&M.
Is it because we don't wear overalls and perform acts of bestiality as a show of team spirit?
It surely can't be because aggy and Texas were so evenly matched. Sure, it's not as lopsided
as our history with UT, but it's not much better. Since 1902, the two schools have met 111
times. Ready for it? Of those 111 meetings, Texas won 69 of them, or roughly 64%, which is only 10% fewer than they have won against TCU. But because Texas and aggy have played more times - a number that would be MUCH closer had they not left us in the dirt in forming the Big 12 - this automatically makes the rivarly, "more sacred." So I guess Texas should just say to hell with it and play 12 straight weeks in hopes that aggy will change their tampon and agree to continue playing Texas? . Basically we're being punished for opting to play a game in a CUSHY time slot that opened up when aggy left the Big 12, a decision we were COMPLETELY un-involved in but were smart enough to reap the benefits of. That makes sense. Come on, Dave.
Clearly college football fears change - see: freshly implemented playoff system, 100 years in the making - but why is some change viewed as positive, some negative or, in this instance, both? Playoff: GOOD! Makes the product better! Teams eschewing traditional rivalries in order to put themselves in a financially superior situation in new conferences so that they can make their own product better and CFB more watchable? BAD! I want my rivalry games that no one on the field gives a shit about in this day and age of football mercenaries! Texas potentially beginning a new annual series with an old rival who is actually better at football than the recent rival which improves the product for the viewer, all in order to keep your Turkey Day football viewing schedule operational? (Heads explode).
As long as we have guys like Ubben and Chip Brown being given a national voice, college football will never be perfect. But sometimes I honestly believe these guys are using that knowledge in order to justify their inferior product, and that's just unacceptable. BOYCOTT!!