The Dallas Morning News has taken its lumps over the years, from this site and others, and deservedly so. Besides being the only local newspaper to charge for their content, they still hang their hat glorified hockey columnist Tim Cowlishaw's insight and employed Jean Jacques Taylor for many, many years before ESPNDallas was stupid enough to pluck him away. They're also RAVENOUS sack riders of UT and the Big 12 and, until recently, you'd never have known that a perennial Top 25 program resided within their readership. So when I saw that they had published their BOLD predictions for TCU's 2012 season, I got ready to do some serious eye-rollin'. However, perhaps due to our newly minted status into the Big 12 boys club, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
You can flip through the full thing HERE, but so we aren't foolish enough to give them the pageviews, here is the list:
- TCU will beat OU next season. I like this prediction, although I think it depends strongly on where in the schedule that game happens to fall. Having it at Amon G guarantees a rollicking crowd, but I like our chances if it falls in late October/early November rather than September-early October. The Sooners will be returning QB Landry Jones, as well bring Mike Stoops back into the fold at DC to shore up those issues, and will likely be the pre-season favorite to win the league. I think we should all temper our Conference Champions in Year One aspirations a bit, but if that is to happen, this game will be uber important in that fight.
- Gary Patterson will be the Big 12 Coach of the Year. If Patterson can come in and have a double digit win year the award is his to lose simply because the Big 12 elitists don't think he can keep the train rolling in year one. His main competition will likely be WVU Coach Dana Holgerson, as the Mountaineers expect to have a breakout year, as well as Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder who returns QB/Superflous letter enthusiast Collin Klein. OSU Coach Mike Gundy won the award this year.
- Casey Pachall will rewrite the TCU record book. Well, he almost did it this year, so that's not exactly a CrAzY prediction or anything. Plus, having Josh Boyce, Brandon Carter, David Porter, Cam White and the still unseen LaDarius Brown to run under his passes, Pachall is surely due more than a few "BOMBS AWAY!" type days. Say what you will about the defenses he faced in the MWC, but have you watched Big 12 football lately? Pachall piled up the numbers he did despite more or less being a game manager post-Boise as the OC shifted the focus to our ground game. He won't have many of those types of games next year.
- TCU will set a single season attendance record. Well, duh.
- Stansly Maponga will lead the Big 12 in sacks. The least generic prediction of all, this one could very well happen. Last year, Sean Porter of aggy led the Conference with 9.5; Maponga had 9. Of the top 3 sack leaders in the Conference last year, two played for aggy and will therefore be out of the running, and the third was a Senior from Oklahoma. It would appear the closest competition will come from fellow Junior Jackson Jeffcoat from UT who had 8. This will certainly be a fun race to follow along with.
- TCU will win a share of the Big 12 title. See? They really aren't so bad, are they?
So has the DMN really trimmed the fat - or had the fat trimmed for them by ESPNDallas - to the point that they actually have good, level headed writers? Or is it just that the sports guys are so relieved they have a Big 12 program in their own backyard, and therefore can stop pretending that SMU is in any way relevant, they feel the need to over compensate? I don't know, but at least I won't have to cringe every single time I see Cowlishaw's face on Around the Horn.