Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cut Off The Head Of The Horned Frog Logo?

First of all, holy shit.  84 comments and counting on the new logo thread.  I mean I knew what you wore at TCU was pretty important, but holy spaghetti batman.  We've got commentors coming out of the woodwork that I never knew existed to profess their hatred for this proposed logo (I'm one of them).  But I've personally come to the conclusion that it's not what you wear, it's how you wear it, so I'll be fine with whatever in the long run.

Fellow reader (The Showstopper) made a point in the comments on how the proposed logo might look better with just the head. I was having trouble imagining it, so I used my limited art skills to crop it down and see what it would look like.

After doing this I at least feel like this could grow on me, more than the fully body tumor tail/3rd leg.  I do think the purple would need to be thinned out a bit, but I at least felt that this frog was a little more fierce.

Also in the process I just put the horned frog outline against a purple background to see what it would look like.  Turned out looking more like a psychologist's inkblot card.  Maybe we could really get inside the other team's head with this one?

And beware, once you see this old long-nosed bearded man he can never be unseen.  Your welcome.

I'm Just Gonna Come Out and Say It...

Just picture them like this, Frogs...

The Frogs are totally losing to the Air Forces tonight.

How do I know this? Because TCU plays to their level of competition more blatantly than just about any other team in college basketball. More specifically, TCU plays DOWN to their competition on the road more blatantly than just about any other team in college basketball. It's baffling. Seriously, check the schedule. The Frogs are a ghastly 2-7 in true road games, including outright rapings courtesy of an historically bad USC team (seriously, on pace to be the worst team in school history) by 24 points, MWC Leader New Mexico (who TCU will inexplicably beat this weekend. You watch) by 17 and UNLV (a team the Frogs overcame an 18 point deficit to beat just last weekend) by 23. That stretch also includes a giveaway against a Colorado State (a team the Frogs beat at home a month later), a loss to SMU (a team that put together three straight sub-20 point halves this past week, which I believe was an NCAA first) and the abortion that was the Boise State game this past weekend. Just in case you missed it, the Frogs led by double digits immediately, then gave the game away by playing shoddy defense and missing key free throws down the stretch to a team made up almost entirely of freshmen.

Sure, to the naked eye, TCU should beat Air Force; after all, they already have. The Falcons are 13-11, but are 3-7 in Conference play and sit in the cellar with Boise... you know, the team TCU just lost to on the road. They're highly averse to scoring and rebounding and, with that record, really have nothing going for them except for pride. HOWEVER, look at the schedule. Despite a 1-7 start to Conference play, the Falcons are currently riding a two game win streak, including a stunning upset of San Diego State this past weekend. AF also took UNLV to overtime and only lost by two, which holds merit because UNLV hadn't started their current slide -they followed up the TCU loss by getting drilled by UNM - quite yet. They also beat Boise on the road, something we proved beyond our capabilities.

Furthermore, since the Frogs 59-55 win in Fort Worth back in January, the Falcons have fired their coach and seen an emerging floor leader in Guard Michael Lyons who is averaging 25 points during the current streak. Lyons, who averages 16 points on the season, only had 6 against the Frogs the first go around... if he even gets half his average, combined with the road factor, TCU will lose by double digits.

I suppose having a team labeled as "good at home, unable to win on the road" is better than the team's usual "bad at home, bad on the road" philosophy, but these road losses have completely offset the positive momentum we've been riding from the wins over UVA and UNLV. Another one tonight might be the death knell for post season hopes of any kind. The Frogs have a big chance to wash off that miserable loss in Idaho over the weekend and shake the "road win: DOES NOT COMPUTE" label they've earned throughout the season. I'm not getting my hopes up.

Every pessimistic TCU fan ever.

Top Questions for Spring Practice: #4

For as long as I can remember, Gary Patterson's TCU teams have had one team strength in common through the years: linebacker. From guys like Chad Bayer and LaMarcus McDonald in the early days all the way through a number of NFL tackling machines to Tank Carder, the Frogs have always been able to rely on the "2" in the 4-2-5 to lead the way. In recent years especially, depth at linebacker has never been an issue. But the graduation of Tank and Kris Gardner coupled with the dismissal of Tanner Brock, the middle layer of the TCU defensive scheme has rocketed toward the top of the questions facing this team heading into spring drills.

The good news is that the team's leading tackler from 2011, Kenny Cain, is back to start again this year. A senior originally from the New Orleans area, Cain racked up 72 stops last year- 3 of them for a loss- as well as one sack and one interception. As the oldest and most experience backer on the corps, he'll be looked to for leadership this fall...a role he'll need to start to take over this spring if he hasn't already.

Leading the list of candidates to start alongside Cain is sophomore Deryck Gildon. One of the bright spots of last year's spring practices (he enrolled last January after graduating from Arlington Martin a semester early), he totaled 21 tackles as a true freshman last fall in spot duty on defense and as a special teams star. He is certainly capable of joining the parade of star linebackers at TCU under Patterson, but the role of staring middle backer is a big step up from special teams. Keep your eye on #36 this spring, because big things are expected from him.

Behind Cain & Gildon, though, is the real issue. Directly below the projected starters on the depth chart are walk-ons Danny Heiss, Joel Hasley and David Stoltzman. Now don't get me wrong- I'm not saying these guys can't play. Just the opposite- they've all shown off their abilities on special teams and all came to TCU after stellar careers at powerhouse area high school programs. But when walk-ons are beating out your scholarship recruits on the depth chart, it does raise a few eye-brows about the depth of that particular unit.

The three other guys that will be looked at to step up and provide quality depth this spring are senior Greg Burks, sophomore Marcus Mallet and redshirt freshman Laderice Sanders. Burks has been a star on special teams for years now, but will finally have the chance to prove himself on defense. Mallet played sparingly as a redshirt freshman last fall, and the hard-hitting Sanders should be chomping at the bit to get back into the swing of things after his redshirt season. Two talented true freshmen- AJ Hilliard and James McFarland- join the fold this fall so it behooves all of the current linebackers to sew up their spot in the rotation sooner than later.

What are your thoughts on the linebacker depth? Do you think Gildon has what it takes to step up into a starting job? Who will end up providing the quality depth so needed by this unit, and will any of them fill the role of "third starter" that guys like Robert Henson, Daryl Washington and Cain himself performed so brilliantly in over the years?

Morning Dump




Spring depth chart