Friday, December 28, 2012

TCU vs MSU For All The Wings - Bowl Game Predicitions

Happy holidays to all of you out there in Spit Blood land! The last game of this crazy season is upon us, and it's time for the last prediction post of the year. This was a crazy year for TCU football obviously, and closing it out with a win will be huge for the program going forward. I am sure we are all ready to put 2012 to bed, in light of everything, but looking back, all things considered, not a bad entry into big time college football for the Frogs.

So what can we expect from the boys tomorrow verses Michigan State? The Spartans had a similar year to TCU in a lot of ways, record-wise, new QB (though for different reasons), and a solid defense. They rely on their running game as well, but their lead back stayed healthy, as Le'Veon Bell rushed for 1648 yards and 11 TDs. And by lead back, I mean battering ram, as this is a big boy - who is still capable of some unbelievably athletic plays as you saw if you watched him hurdle a Boise State defender in MSU's opening game of the season. The key to beating Sparty is shutting down Bell, and it's going to fall on Kenny Cain and the rest of the linebackers to contain him to short gains and not force the Frogs to way overload the box and give QB Andrew Maxwell too many easy opportunities, as he improved over the course of the season. MSU doesn't feature the dominating passing game that TCU's secondary saw all season in the Big 12, so Verrett and co can probably handle things if Patterson and Bumpas decide to load the box to shut down the run. Maxwell is a capable thrower, who racked up over 2500 yards, but only 13 TDs vs 9 picks. And with Stansley Maponga healthy, and Devonte Fields having some extra practice time under his belt, he won't want to spend much time dropping back. MSU has a solid offensive line, but Maxwell was sacked 19 times and I would expect that number to be added to tomorrow night, with both our big d-ends getting the job done. I also expect big numbers from Cain, in the 10-12 tackle range.

On offense, the Frogs will go against a formidable MSU defense, one that ranked 9th in the country for points against (16.3) and features an elite linebacking core. The Spartans are great against the pass, but may very well be the best in the country against the run. The exception to their dominance was against Ohio State and Nebraska, where they allowed over 500 yards rushing in those two games. The common factor? A running QB. Enter Trevone Boykin. If "Wheels/Deuce Boogie" can wreak havoc with his legs, he can find some holes in the secondary and let his awesome receiving core make plays. In other words, if we get four quarters of fourth quarter Boykin, it won't matter how great the MSU D is, TCU will put points on the board. Boykin will get a long bomb to Carter, and make up for Boyce getting shutout against OU by hitting him for 5 completions and a TD. I think TCU racks up over 170 yards rushing, despite the stout D, and Boykin adds another 150 through the air. 

As per usual, special teams can make or break a low scoring game, and I trust the Frogs here. I hope we see lots of Deante Gray in the return game, and the return of the confident Oberkrom that dominated the early part of the schedule. Ethan Perry will be counted on to be a weapon and control field position in what should be a game with lots of punts.

Everyone is predicting a low scoring game, which during Bowl season, means it will probably be 49-45. But, I think it lands somewhere in the middle, along the lines of 24-21. I've been predicting an Oberkrom game winner in just about every game, but this time I mean it. Boykin will have another great drive late, and Jaden will boot one through with just seconds left on the board. I think there will be either a defense or a special teams TD that will swing momentum as well. Ultimately, TCU finishes the season on winning note, keeps the Big 12 Bowl winning streak alive, and sets the tone for 2013.

What about your thoughts, Spit Blood nation? Final score? Who puts the TDs on the board? How many wings will you eat during the game? Will Dantonio put in the call for a trick play, something he has been known for? And how many times will Kirk Cousins/that old Baylor QB be brought up during the broadcast? 

Morning Dump: 12/28

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Morning Dump: 12/27

MSU football's outside linebackers will be on the spot against TCU -
TCU Visits Sun Devil Stadium -
TCU Living it up ahead of bowl game in Arizona - Star-Telegram

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Morning Dump: 12/26


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Morning Dump: 12/20

Women's Basketball:
#6 Georgia Capitalizes on mistakes to beat TCU - Star-Telegram
#6 Georgia tops TCU -

Put that Purple Pride to work at these Tempe Hotspots - Star-Telegram

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Morning Dump: 12-18

Film study sheds light on defense - Detroit Free Press

Men's Basketball:
First year coach's impact more than just cosmetic - Star-Telegram

Women's Basketball:
Women beat the Bearkats -
Insiders deliver win - Star-Telegram

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Most Stable Program in Texas.

In the midst of Tommy Tuberville's "It's baffling only if you've never been to Lubbock, Texas" bolt to Cincinnati, he dropped a bit of knowledge on us that, while true in most instances, doesn't necessarily have to be the rule. In case you missed it, he said something to the effect of Coaches being hired guns, that there is no 'Mr. (insert school name) and that a football Coach doesn't last forever.  Coming from the guy that reportedly bailed on a recruiting dinner the night before bailing on his school, this shouldn't come as any surprise.  Now, I don't disagree with what he's saying in theory.  After all, folks who choose to ply their trades outside of the football realm change jobs to improve their situation each and every day.  And while I may disagree with the WAY Tuberville handled his exit - basically, he didn't tell anyone until he hit the row of liquor stores on the outskirts of town - in the long run, a guy who will treat you the way Tubbs treated Tech probably needs to move on sooner than later and if I'm a Tech fan I say good riddance, Mr. 20-17.

However, where Ears and I's philosophies begin to divulge is where he seemingly suggests that no Coach inhabits the identity of their place of occupation.  Now, if he's speaking in the context of TODAY, then that's mostly true.  College football has become a multi-multi hundreds of millions of dollars business which means that Coaches are given an incredibly short leash.  That, combined with rabid fan behavior, not to mention potential fan apathy when you consider the myriad distractions available to the average American, has made college football the profession of hired guns Tubbs describes.  This is why Mack Brown, perhaps the closest we've got to the "face of a program" in college football, is probably going to be forced into retirement after this season despite playing for 2 national titles within the last 7 years.  This is why Oklahoma fans constantly want to fire Bob Stoops despite his being the most consistently successful Coach of the BCS era.  Everyone wants to find the next Nick Saban juggernaut and, when they don't, they simply kick that Coach to the curb; Ironically, Saban is still overshadowed at his own school by Bear Bryant.  Nobody wins.  So no, the days of Bear Bryant, Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden, Frank Broyles, Darrell Royal, etc roaming the sidelines well into old-er age are probably gone for good... unless you live in Fort Worth, Texas.

I mean, Thank God for Gary Patterson, right?

In an era where Coaches' are always looking for something new and different, he's been about the only one - along with Chris Petersen - to stick it out at his current gig to build a legacy rather than take what, at the time, were better job offers from bigger schools.  Never say never, I suppose, but it's getting more and more difficult to envision a situation where GP skips town outside of a major falling out with the administration.  The same administration that basically answers to him.  So, yeah.  And, while outsiders from inside our state borders will always call Patterson a nutcase for believe TCU is a top tier job - apparently the 9th highest salary in the country and Big 12 status doesn't do much for them - I ask you this:  Name a more stable Division 1 program in the State of Texas at this very moment?

Let's take a look, alphabetically:

Baylor - The fact that Art Briles is still in Waco as of this writing has to lead you to believe that he's planning on sticking around for a little while.  As much as we hate to admit it, based on getting the Bears to their third straight bowl and an impressive recent recruiting tear, the Bears will be passable so long as he is there.  Briles' deep Texas high school football ties pretty much assure he will be able to keep the Bears relevant in the minds of HS coaches.  Despite TCU's American History X'ing of the Bears mid-season, Baylor really got their act together to finish out the year with wins over Kansas State, Tech and OSU, even playing a little defense to boot.  But still... this is Baylor we're talking about, a school whose greatest achievement of the past few decades came in women's basektball.  If Briles is still there making the same strides in 5 years, we'll chat.

Houston - Would be a decent little program were Sumlin still around.  As it stands, though, Sumlin is gone, they just completed a bowlless 5-7 season and are joining a Big East Conference that was just effectively relegated to the equivalent of non-AQ status.  Oh, and the basketball schools - translation:  The reason the Big East receives funding for broadcasts in the first place - are talking about finally making good on their promise to form their own Conference.  So, uh, yeah.

Rice - HA! Don't make me laugh.  "BUT!" you say, "THEY ARE BOWL ELIGIBLE!"  Hahahaha Seriously, STOP!

SMU - See Houston re: Big East.  SMU folk secretly believe they should be in the Big 12.  No seriously, they do, there's a Facebook page and everything.   SMU folk also do lots of drugs.  These two facts are interconnected.  Drugs are a helluva drug.  The front office is also reportedly talking about throwing in the towel on football improvement and attempting to becomes "the basketball school of Texas," so that's not exactly good for local business.  Oh and they kept June Jones around despite him publicly taking the Arizona State gig before having the offer revoked after their donors revolted.  NEXT!

Texas - The flagship!  Except Bryan Harsin just left to take a job at Arkansas State, Manny Diaz - who is TERRIBLE at his job - is reportedly in line to take over at Florida International and Mack might decide to heed the fanbase and bail out at the end of the year rather than face another rebuild.  Not exactly the definition of stability.  SUPPOSEDLY GP made the comment that he wouldn't take the UT job should it come open because, "they are too soft" and "it would take at least 3-4 years to build it back up."  Ouch.  In other news, Bobby Petrino and Manny Diaz could both be Coaches in the Sun Belt come 2013.  That probably wasn't an option on their jump to conclusions mats.

aggy - This is the only one you can argue with me about because, as things stand, with the infrastructure, affiliation, momentum, coaching staff and monetary/fan support they have, the ags are poised to absolutely destroy the State of Texas in recruiting from now to eternity.  HOWEVA, OC Kliff Kingsbury was just announced as the new HC at Texas Tech, which could possibly leave a bit of a play calling/recruiting void.  Truthfully, like GP, Sumlin is the tail that wags that dog, but never underestimate staff turmoil with a young QB.  See:  Fuente, Justin.

Tetch - WAY up in the air right now with the hiring of Kingsbury, but the fact that they ran off the most relevant coach in school history and lost their previous coach to Cincinnati - CINCINNATI!!! A place that Andy Dalton will not even live during the off-season and he is from KATY!!! - I think it's safe to assume things are tenuous at best out on the plains.  Kingsbury is a completely binary hire by anyone's opinion; He is either the next hot shot up and coming Coach, or he's going to be a complete failure.  In Tech's defense they really HAD to hire him to re-juice the fanbase after the Tuberville debacle, so I understand the reasoning, but a 33 year old HC with only 3 total years of Co-Ordinating experience running a multi-million dollar program in a major Conference?  That's the definition of "rolling the dice" there.  It should be an interesting situation to monitor.

Not receving votes re: Sun Belt/Wac/CUSA/Whatever:

North Texas - Too much Denton hipster apathy.
UTSA - Too much Coker.
Texas State - Too much FRAN!  The OG when it comes to positioning yourself for the next job, loyalty be damned.
UTEP - Too much Juarez.

So, I mean... is there really any doubt that TCU is, from a stablity standpoint, the best thing going in Texas Football right now?  Hell, outside of Oklahoma who would you say is more stable in the Big 12?  Bill Snyder, god bless him, has one foot in the grave, Mike Gundy almost left for Arkansas AND Tennessee, Iowa State can't seem to get it together and Paul Rhoads will presumably leave one day if his name keeps getting raised for job openings.  I think Holgorsen is going to be in West Virginia for a while because there's no way that man could politically maneuver his way around a program in a normal state, so there's stability there, or as much stability as you can have in the Wonderful State of West Virginia.  But, when it comes down to it, if the decision is between Holgo and GP, let's be honest about who has the upper hand.

The Frogs may not have the national brand of UT or the up and coming excitement of aggy, but by god we've got a well paid Coach who is as much an integral part of the TCU identity as the City of Fort and the Frog itself.  Doesn't that count for anything?  So no, Tommy Tuberville, I disagree - there IS such a thing as a non-mercenary Head Coach and he resides in Fort Worth, Texas.  Hired guns?  Sounds like the bitter words of a man splitting his pre-retirement years between Lubbock and the Queen City.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Morning Dump: 12/12

Varrett a 3-team AP All-American - College Confidential
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Preview - Yahoo! Sports
Patterson Grows Players on and off the field - TCU360
BWWB going to be a low scoring game - Michigan Live

Armed Forces Bowl:
Coaches love the carter - College Confidential

Crespo prepares for world championships -

News you already Knew:
TCU above average in eating disorders - TCU360

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Morning Dump: 12/11

Women's Basketball:
Frogs down UTSA - TCU360

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mid-Morning Dump: 12/10

Freshman's new role at fullback will geive TCU offense more options - Star-Telegram
DMN honoring Big 12 best - Dallas Morning News

Men's Basketball:
TCU loses at Tulsa - Star-Telegram

Women's Basketball:
TCU loses to Aggie - Star-Telegram

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Great Week For TCU Football

Instead of dwelling on the negative that was the OU game and some of the worst officiating I've seen in years, I thought I'd bring a few positive news nuggets to Spitblood instead with regards to our football program.

On Monday, TCU received its 15th football commitment for the year and arguably the biggest name of the bunch, Arlington Martin RB Kyle Hicks.  He's rated as a 4 star recruit by rivals, the 21st best RB in the country, and the 34th best player in the state of Texas for 2013.  He's also a good friend and former teammate of current TCU great Devonte Fields, so perhaps we have Mr. Fields to thank a little bit for this one as well.  At 5'10 190, he looks to have potential to add bulk to his frame and become a serious force in the TCU backfield in the not so distant future.  He had surgery on a torn ACL Tuesday, so we wish Kyle a speedy recovery and can't wait to see him in purple.

Perhaps the most exciting part about this get for TCU, however, is the fact that he decommitted from Texas to join the Frogs.  Beating them on the field is always priority #1, but after the crotch kick that was the Daje Johnson recruitment last year and amongst several other high profile recruiting battles we've lost to that mediocre squad in Austin, this one sure feels good.  Hicks, perhaps smarter than many of his fellow former future teammates, may see the writing on the wall in Austin and would rather spend 4-5 years winning and around a stable program.  Great call, Kyle.  Here are some highlights for y'all to drool over now.

In other news, there's been plenty of speculation as well that Coach Patterson is in talks to extend his contract and undoubtedly receive a hefty pay bump.  Not only is this much deserved, but it should put a muzzle on all the silly rumors flying around about him going to Austin.  Mack Brown will probably coach that team into the ground for at least one more season anyways, so there really was nothing to fear that at all.  Stefan Stevenson broke the news via the twitter and said raises and extensions are expected for the staff, but nothing has been finalized yet.

Also, of those 3 remaining middle tier SEC jobs that had Frog fans uneasy, only one remains.  Arkansas made a big splash today, albeit not as big of a splash as they wanted to make, by stealing former super butt hurt crybaby TCU opponent and all-around cocky asshole Midwesterner Bret Bielema away from a very average Wisconsin team.  From Rose Bowl bound with 5 losses to boarding a sinking ship in Arkansas, I'd say he made a pretty lateral move with the exception of the substantial pay raise he'll get at Arky.  After hearing the names Gary Patterson, Les Miles, Chris Petersen, and Mike Gundy as potential candidates for that job, I think it's safe to say Arky didn't get their top choice there.  They tried to get the 2011 Rose Bowl champion coach, but had to settle for the runner up.  Tough break there.  Also, Auburn hired former OC Gus Malzahn, so they're clearly intent on going back to their spread offense/pay the hell out of our QB ways that led them to a national title with sCam Newton.  The only job left now is Tennessee, and if I had to guess I'd bet Charlie Strong heads that way pretty soon.

Finally, there could be potentially good (or bad) recruiting news coming within the next couple of days as well.  With all due respect for those pay sites out there, that's all I'll say on the topic until info either does or does not become public.  It's already been a great week for TCU, and it could possibly get better.  Stay tuned...

Frogs in the NFL - Week 13

Andy Dalton - QB Bengals - Defeated the Chargers 20-13 - Dalton was solid outside of an ugly pick 6 Sunday, as he threw for 211 yards and a touchdown on 25/39 passing. Not spectacular, but an important win for Cincy as they try and keep pace in the Wild Card race.

Jeremy Kerley - WR Jets - Beat the Cardinals 7-6 - The Sanchize was finally benched for... Greg McElroy? The former Bama QB started the second half and immediately led NY to the winning score. Kerley had 3 catches for 37 yards and 2 punt returns for 17 yards.

David Hawthorne - LB Saints - lost to Atlanta 23-13 - So coaching does matter in the NFL apparently.  Hawthorne had three tackles in the loss.

Jerry Hughes - LB Colts - Defeated the Lions 35-33 - Hughes had two tackles as Andrew Luck let Indy on a furious comeback late and threw the game winning TD as time expired. The surprising Colts have 8 wins and a shot at the playoffs.

Marcus Cannon - OT Patriots - Defeated the Dolphins 23-16-  Brady was sacked 4 times as the NE offense was somewhat pedestrian, but good enough to win on the road.

Colin Jones - S Panthers- Lost to KC 27-21 - no stats.

Jason Phillips - LB Panthers Lost to KC 27-21 - Phillips had 3 tackles in the loss, as the Chiefs rallied together after the devastating events that occurred the day before to defeat the Panthers.

Clint Gresham - LS Seahawks - Defeated the Bears 23-17- I still can't figure the 'Hawks out, but nice win on the road in Chicago.

Tank Carder - LB Browns - beat Oakland 20-17 - Tank had a tackle in the win and apparently didn't say anything dumb on Twitter this week, so that's a successful week I guess!

Daryl Washington - LB Cardinals - lost to the Jets 7-6 - Hawthorne had nine tackles in the loss, but Arizona can no longer score apparently, and he and his defense might be in for a rough couple of weeks. Washington has already eclipsed the 100 tackle mark on the season.

Marshall Newhouse - OT Packers - Defeated the Vikings 23-14 - The Pack got back in the win column and the o-line performed much better, as Rodgers was only sacked twice for -3 yards and GB rushed for 152 yards.