Friday, April 6, 2012

Goodnight, Sweet Prince.


Do you like non-HD basketball games?  A sports network that fails to regularly televise baseball games from its own Conference in favor of women's basketball and canned programming?  How about a network featuring teams in the Mountainous region of the United States one time dropping its coverage due to snow?  No to all 3?  Well, you're in luck, because it appears that the mtn., our much maligned, never beloved former sports programming provider is going belly up next month.  

Now, in tough economic times we don't want to dance on the graves of the 44 mtn. employees that will be joining the bread lines come June, so of course we're sorry for that impact.  But let's get real - the mtn. was doomed before it began, attempting to wrangle viewers from some of the least densely populated areas of the country as well as some of the least cared about programs.  Sure, they would OCCASIONALLY strike gold when TCU, Utah or BYU were top ten ranked programs, not to mention the one year of juice the mwc squeezed from Boise, but even the few MWC games that qualified as being nationally relevant were usually snatched up by Versus and CBS College Sports, making the mtn a breeding ground of mediocrity with the UNLV/UNM games of the world.  

It's not all doom and gloom for the MWC, however as they recently signed a deal with CBS Sports Network that would put the nation's toughest conference in 45  million homes nationally as opposed to just 14 who had the mtn;  As one of those 14 million, I can say the network will not be missed.  As a friendly reminder, the Big 12 is close to signing a 13 year agreement with ESPN worth $1.3 billion annually to go along with last year's deal with Fox for $1.2 billion.  EdK still thinks we should've stuck it out in the MWC or Big East, though.

The mtn. touts itself as the first of it's kind, the initial network taking the plunge of devoting itself to only one Conference.  Becoming the first to go extinct probably won't make the resume.

Is this TCU's new hoops coach?

CBS Sports is reporting that TCU is targeting LSU's Trent Johnson to be the Horned Frogs' next head basketball coach. Johnson, 55 and a Boise State alum, has 13 years of head coaching experience at Nevada, Stanford and LSU. He has made five appearances in the NCAA Tournament and has had three seasons of 25+ wins. He currently makes $1.3 million at LSU, where he led the Tigers to an 18-14 record this year and a berth in the NIT.

"A bad team playing bad"

Those were Jim Schlossnagle's words to describe the current state of his team last night after TCU's 7-5 loss to UNC-Wilmington in the opener of a three-game non-conference series. In the defeat, the defensively shaky Frogs committed two more errors and managed just four base hits- bringing their team batting average down to .237 for the season. Two of their most reliable pitchers, sophomore starter Stefan Crichton and junior reliever Kevin Allen, both gave up home runs.

The loss drops TCU to 14-13 on the season, and down to #63 in the RPI rankings. To put it flatly- if things aren't turned around, this team may be in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.

It will be interesting to see how Schlossnagle reacts to this latest setback. Star-Telegram reporter Stefan Stevenson hinted on his twitter feed that tonight's starting lineup may look very different from anything we've seen so far this year.

Morning Dump

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