Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Daily Discussion: THIS

Before everyone starts flapping their gums, these are NOT any sort of proposed helmet design by the powers that be. These are just something the internet belched up and we thought we'd share. So what do you think, would these be something that interest you? Personally, I'm not so sure. I'd probably want to see the uniform combination and see how it all adds up. But I guess it has potential.

Take a look at the rest of the concepts HERE.

The Ed K Saga - GOAT - Part VI - Center


Now, we’ll take a look at the offense.

With a few notable exceptions – Dutch Meyer’s revolutionary “Meyer Spread,” F.A. Dry’s always-playing-from-behind aerial circus and Jim Wacker’s famous “Veer” -- TCU’s offense has always been secondary to the defense. But from Baugh to Pachall, the Horned Frogs have definitely had their share of firepower, especially in the last half-dozen years.


Quickie quiz: At what position throughout history has TCU ALWAYS been strong? Linebacker? Safety? Quarterback? Try center. TCU’s all-time, top-ten snappers can match up against those from any school in the country.

1 -- Ki Aldrich (’39): Nothing stopped “Ol’ Skinned Beak.” Not a broken nose, broken ribs or torn muscles. Charles “Ki” Aldrich was TOUGH. Consensus All-American on TCU’s 1938 national champions (he was All-American in ’37, too), it’s hard to say whether he was a better center or linebacker. He had no equal at both positions during his playing days. A College Football Hall-of-Famer and a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, he joined Baugh and O’Brien on Sports Illustrated’s “1930s All-Decade Team.”

2 -- Darrell Lester (’36): Besides being a two-time, consensus All-American at center (and linebacker) and leading the Frogs to their first national championship in 1935, “Iron Man” was the center on the basketball team and a pitcher on the baseball team. No. 22 was team captain, three times All-Southwest Conference and a College Football Hall-of-Famer. Not too shabby.

3- Jake Kirkpatrick (’11): Frog fans were worried in the fall of 2009. How was TCU ever going to replace All-MWC center Blake Schlueter? Two All-American seasons and one Rimington Award (as the nation’s outstanding center) later, they got their answer. Kirkpatrick anchored an offensive line in 2010 that paved the way for the most potent offense in school history. School records: 73 touchdowns, 541 points, 327 first downs and 6,199 yards in total offense. Most amazing? He didn’t commit a penalty or allow a sack for the entire 2010 season. Uh-huh.

4 -- Hugh Pitts (’56): The real question is, what did he NOT do? Enormously talented, Pitts was a two-time, All-SWC selection (1954 and 1955), an All-American in ’55, an Academic All-American, excelled on defense as well as offense for Coach Othol “Abe” Martin, played on one SWC champion and in two Cotton Bowls and was briefly in the NFL.

5 -- WC Nix III (’87): Nix, who also played some guard, was selected All-Southwest Conference during his junior and senior campaigns -- the only TCU player named each season. He was also a two-time, Rogers Trophy winner (1985 and 1986) as team MVP, a feat accomplished by only four other players -- Mike Renfro, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jeff Ballard and Jerry Hughes. Pretty good company.

6 -- Ryan Tucker (’97): Although off-the-field distractions took some of the shine off his college career, the 6-5, 285-pound snapper was nonetheless one of TCU’s greatest centers. Named All-SWC in 1995 and All-WAC in 1996, he played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Rams and Browns.

7 -- Blake Schlueter (’09): A three-year starter and three times All-MWC (first team in ’08), Schlueter was the traffic cop – calling the line’s blocking schemes – on some of TCU’s most potent offenses.

8 -- Chase Johnson (’05): “A pure player,” his offensive line coach, Eddie Williamson, called him. Smart, hard-working and physically talented. A two-time, All-C-USA selection, he helped Robert Merrill and Lonta Hobbs log a ton of yardage.

9-- Barret Robbins (’95): Extremely talented on the football field, Robbins was all-conference as a senior on TCU’s last SWC championship in ‘94. At 6-3, 305 pounds, he was a brick wall in the middle of TCU’s front line, starting every game his last two seasons. He won the Rogers Trophy in 1994. His troubled NFL years are well-documented.

10 -- Keith Flowers (’52): Better known for his play at linebacker, No. 34 was an All-American for the Frogs’ 1951 SWC champions. The 6-0, 210-pounder from Perryton was All-SWC that same year, of course.

Honorable Mention –Dale Walker (’59), Stephen Culp (’06)

Frogs Move On... Will Christian do the same?

Well, you have to give it to the TCU Men's Basketball team. They may not make the post season often, but when they do they tend to stick around a little while. After making a run to the quarterfinals of the NIT during their last trip in 2005, the Frogs bullied their way into the vaunted Ehhhhh? Eight of the CBI Tournament with an 83-73 win over the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Panthers. The game was fairly close throughout, but the Frogs pulled away late to seal the deal in front of the faithful 1,062 at the DMC. Remember that number for later.

The most promising thing about the game, to me at least, would be the way everyone was involved. Six players hit double figures, led by Amric Fields and Craig Williams who both had 15. The Frogs shot 50% from the floor, including 48% from beyond the arc, against one of the better defensive teams they've faced all year. They also backed it up on the other end, holding the Panthers to 26% from three and 41% overall. The Frogs also won the rebounding margin, which has been a major key to winning for this team all year. That they did it with Hank Thorns nursing a rib injury - JC tossed off an almost non-sequitur about him falling in the shower in his post game presser, but I cannot confirm that - speaks volumes about how determined these guys are to extend their season, even if its only the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl of NCAA tournaments.

Perhaps the most telling part of the game was a 2 minute sequence in the second half with the Frogs leading by 7 after a Nate Butler 3, one of his three total for the evening, which the Panthers immediately answered to cut the lead back to 4. After Amric Fields and Garlon Green hit a couple of shots to push the lead back to 8, Milwaukee hit another three, dropping the lead back to five and making everyone shift in their seats a little. Amric Fields and the Panthers Paris Gulley would immediately trade threes to hold that lead at 5, but the Frogs never let the lead get any closer than that the rest of the way. My point being, with UWM hitting three 3's in that short of a span, TCU could've collapsed and let them steal the game. Instead, they came up with some big shots of their own, played solid defense and won by a decisive margin.

The Frogs now await the winner of tonight's Oregon State-Western Illinois game in Corvallis. Once that game is decided, the CBI will apparently reseed the tournament and decide the home team from there. This is confusing and runs counter to what I surmised yesterday about the home game decision making. This is why the CBI is probably not long for this world, so we better win it while it's available to us. All we know is that, no matter the opponent, said game will be played next Monday evening, giving Thorns nearly a full week to rest his ribs.

However, the long wait comes with a bit of a disclaimer due to the biggest development from last evening. Rhode Island - Christian's alma mater - has made him the leading candidate in their coaching search after firing long term coach Jim Baron. Before the season we were discussing who would succeed Christian at TCU at the end of the year after last year's embarrassment of a season, which would surely not improve this year. How the tables have turned...

Of course, being a football school, our first instinct is to think, "We're about to join the Big 12 and finally have a team that's worth at least half a damn - why on EARTH would Christian consider taking what amounts to a downward move?" I mean, if Patterson didn't leave TCU for HIS alma mater which was a perceivable step up at the time, why would Christian do the same for a "lesser" job? On the contrary, Christian has multiple reasons to leave TCU, and it all starts with that 1,062 number I alluded to earlier.

Just step back for a second and take a look at it. Seriously, I'll wait.

Yes, I realize why the number is so skewed compared to announced crowds all year - those take into account season ticket holders, seats that, if you've been paying attention, went mostly unfilled. So when the S-T reports an announced crowd of 4500, it's probably 1/2 of that. Everyone that attended last night's game had to buy a ticket, including the students, so it'd be hard to expect a sell out. But barely 1000? And, like I said, everyone that walked into the arena last night had to buy a ticket, so that is a legit number. For a post season game? That's enough to take the wind out of anyone's sails. And when you can go back to your roots and Coach your alma mater, a team that has been to three NCAA tournaments since TCU has been to one at a school where basketball comes first? I mean, makes you think twice, right?

The biggest reason to leave, though, is clearly the way the NCAA post season works. In the Big 12 TCU will have to compete against Baylor, Texas, Kansas and Kansas State every year. On top of that, West Virginia is on board for next season and there are rumors of Louisville and Cincinnati joining the Conference in the next round of expansion. Heck, even Iowa State made the tourney this year! And that's not even counting Texas Tech where Billy Gillespie has nowhere to go but up, and Oklahoma State, a school that takes their basketball VERY seriously and who was a perennial contender before Eddie Sutton drank his way into retirement. So, uh, yeah, you're pretty much playing catch-up against the entire conference. Unless we plan on hiring a sleaze like Scott Drew to cheat our way into a high tournament seed, the odds of making a huge impact are mediocre at best.

To continue, since 1997 when they began the Big 12 Conference Tourney, only 5 different teams have cut down the nets. So in a given year only 42% of the Conference has a realistic shot at getting an auto bid. The Atlantic 10 - Rhode Island's Conference - is a legit group, don't get me wrong there. But in that same span, EIGHT teams have won, and it jumps to nine if you count back one year. If my math serves me correctly, 90%!!! of the teams have won the tournament since 1996. U mad, Duquesne? Let's just say that thing is WIDE open.

On top of that, perennial contender Temple is moving back to the Big East, UMASS hasn't done much since Calipari cheated his way into a Final Four appearance and it was won this year by ST. BONAVENTURE! Seriously, WIDE OPEN. After Xavier, second place is open to the highest bidder, and second place in the A-10 will get you a dance invitation quite a bit of the time. And in a job where an NCAA bid is what pays the bills, that's a lot better for job security.

I'm not calling Christian a coward. Not by any stretch of the imagination. He has said all the right things amidst this chatter and says he wants to keep turning TCU around. But next year's TCU job is not the job he signed up for. We said that last year when we LOLjoined the Big East, and we can say it again now. Christian was perfect for Kent State, a small time team in a middle of the road Conference that was ripe for the taking every year. Had we remained in the MWC, I think Christian had us on the right track, if not to compete for the title, at least be in the tournament discussion late in the year. But moving into the Big 12 with the kind of support our basketball team gets is a job no one should covet. I hate it say it, but I think Christian has taken this thing as far as anyone outside of John Wooden is capable. It may be time to go back home.

Morning Dump




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