Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weekend Preview.

Not a bad weekend for the Frogs as they moved up 4 spots in the rankings and sit comfortably at #16.  Not a bad week for the Conference, either, as just about everyone emerged with a non-conference victory (I'm looking at you, Kansas).  I'm sure we'll all be glued to the Frogs first Big 12 game ever against those same Jayhawks, but what are you gonna do from 2PM to midnight, dummies?  Let's have a looksie.

Note:  The "direct importance" games all assume a TCU victory.  I don't want to have to type that everytime.

Game of the Week - Direct Importance, Lurker:  #18 Florida vs. #23 Tennessee.  I'm not sure when the last time these two teams played each other when they were both ranked was, but I'm guessing some of our readers may not have even gone through puberty.  Tennessee opened the year with a convincing win over a North Carolina State team the pundits who clearly do not pay much attention to college football presumed would be an ACC challenger and followed it up last week with a pasting of Georgia Southern.  Florida, after looking SHAKY against Bowling Green in their opener, looked equally as shaky in the first half of their game against aggy lats weekend.  Believe it or not, Florida clamped down  on defense and aggy blew a second half lead.  I can get used to these aggy/Missouri SEC losses where the opponents taunt them with chants of "S-E-C."  Should Tennessee win I'm not so sure they jump TCU, but Florida is SUPER overranked at present and could make a move up should we both keep zeroes in the loss column.  Keep an eye on it.

Game of the Week - Direct Importance, Jumper:  #20 Notre Dame beats #10 Michigan State.  The REAL old man football game of the week.  After blasting Navy in the Mother Country, Notre Dame came back to earth a bit this past weekend, sneaking out of their matchup with Purdon't with a 3 point win and QB controversy.  Michigan State parlayed their takedown of Boise with a win over Central Michigan.  Since the game is being played in Lansing I'd give MSU the edge.  Then again, Notre Dame is almost as overvalued as Florida, so I'd pick them anyway.  Besides that, barring a completely lopsided loss I'm not entirely sure we jump the Spartans anyway... and if that happened, have no doubts the Irish would swap places with us.  Could be a double whammy.  Conflicted, I am.

Game of the Week - Conference Importance:  N/A.  Seeing as how our game is the only one between two Conference teams, it's us by default.  There also aren't any major non-con games of interest involving Big 12 teams unless you count Texas and Ole Miss, and you really shouldn't.

Game of the Week - National Importance:  #1 Alabama at Arkansas.  Yes, the luster has been sand-blasted off of this game with the Hogs complete disaster against Monroe last weekend. but, hear me out anyway.  Since ULM doesn't count as a Conference game, it's STILL the #2 game of the year in the SEC West from a standings perspective, and that's better than the best game in any Conference not called the Big 12.  If Arkansas is as bad as has been advertised these past two weeks, then Bama will be tapping the brakes before halftime as they have been wont to do this year.  But maybe the Hogs, knowing they could survive an out of Conference loss if they went undefeated in Conference play and won the Championship game, threw the game last week to make Bama overconfident?  Nah!  If they threw the game, most likely its because John L Smith was on the take from the bookies to help himself out of his current bankruptcy jam.  This game will be sadface.  Also, if Arky QB Tyler Wilson doesn't play, this choice will default to #2 USC against comically overvalued #21 Stanford.

Game of the Week - Plain 'Ol Hate:  SMU vs. aggy.  In Dallas.  Oh boy.  aggy is substantially more talented than SMU, so they should win this one running away... but what if they're down in the dumps after losing their big debut and SMU shows up in the same mode they show up once a decade for TCU?  I don't think anyone expected the 52-0 pointsplosion from SMU last weekend after their performance against Baylor, especially the nine turnovers they forced.  Whose to say they can't do it again?  Garrett Gilbert still kinda sucks, but Zach Line doesn't, and aggy is by no means a well oiled machine.  It hurts my soul to say it, but go Ponies.

Game of the Week Oops, I Crapped My Pants (Placeholder for UT Chokejob when applicable): #5 Florida State vs. Wake Forest.  They did it last year.  They've done it four of the last six years.  Do not rule it out.

Game of the Week - Sun Belt Extends Their Win Streak Over the SEC to Two:  Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky.  If you watch this, you are officially a college football degenerate, and not in the admirable sense.

Game of the Week - We Lost to Utah State and as a Result Our QB Quit Football for Life:  Utah vs. #25.  Yeah, that all happened.  Utah, the dark horse contender of the Pac-12, lost to Utah State last Friday night in overtime, and then Jordan Wynn - remember him?  Tank Carder does - quit football for good.  This does not figure to increase the odds of the return of the Utah Ultimate Stripper Fan.

I don't know about you guys, but not having to suffer through the Big Ten underest card of the week until the TCU game late afternoon really tickles my fancy.  Should be a glorious to say sit inside and not enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors.

Around the Big 12: Week 3

We all know TCU opens up conference play bright and early Saturday morning, but every week we'd also like to take a look at what the rest of our conference foes are doing this weekend.  Fair warning:  this is an incredibly boring slate of games, but let's get right to it.  All times listed are obviously central time since nothing else matters.

Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0) is off this weekend.  Next game:  9/22 vs. Kansas State (in Norman)

Louisiana Lafayette (2-0) @ Oklahoma State (1-1, 0-0) - Saturday, 11 a.m. 

Oklahoma State, fresh off getting blown off the field by Rich Rodriguez's Arizona Wildcats, try to rebound and get back above .500 early on in the season.  I'm sure they were riding high after blasting a completely overmatched Savannah State team before Arizona brought them back down to Earth.  It will be interesting to see how the Pokes respond against a 2-0 ULL team who has put up 40 and 37 in their first 2 games.  Okie Lite gave up 59 last week, so they better find a defense quick before conference play starts because I'm pretty certain there are quite a few offenses better than Zona's in the Big 12.  I still think they roll here behind Freshman QB Wes Lunt, but the defense will still miss playing Savannah State.  Final score:  OSU 52- ULL 27. 

James Madison (2-0) @ #9 West Virginia (1-0, 0-0) - Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Remember when James Madison shocked the world and took down Virginia Tech a few years back?  Yeah, that's not going to happen here.  West Virginia blasted Marshall and effectively scared the living shit out of every Big 12 defense in week 1 by a score of 69-34.  They had a bye week in their schedule last week so they could efficiently game plan for FCS James Madison who I'm sure they spent most of their practices focusing on.  So yeah, their last 2 games they've scored 70 and 69, but it looks like another Big 12 team with potential holes in there defense that could be an issue later on in the season.  If you haven't seen him yet, QB Geno Smith is a stud.  Too bad he can't play defense for them too.  Another blowout, but the points in the last 2 games show me their offense is regressing.  That trend continues here.  Final Score:  WVU 68- JMU 16.

North Texas (1-1) @ #15 Kansas State (2-0, 0-0) - Saturday 6:00 p.m.

North Texas, clearly a glutton for punishment, heads to Manhattan, KS 2 weeks after getting steamrolled by LSU with their sites set on upsetting the Wildcats.  While things appear to be getting better in artsy fartsy Denton under Dan McCarney and with that brand new hideous stadium they've built, I don't see an upset in this one.  Kansas State struggled for 3 quarters in week 1 before deciding to wake up and blow out Missouri State 51-9.  The next week against a much tougher opponent, the Miami Hurricanes (not to be confused with "Da U" who actually used to beat people and be good when they Nevin Shapiro was pimping out their program), Kansas State wasted no time and there was never any doubt as they won 52-13.  Another Big 12 QB worth watching here, as Colin Klein and his Poor Man's Tim Tebow act continue to impress and give opposing defensive coordinator's headaches.  Also, if you haven't seen this guy yet, he's worth a watch.  Could K State be looking ahead to OU next weekend?  Maybe, but I don't think it matters in the end, but it stays closer than the experts think.  Final Score:  K State 31- UNT 14.

New Mexico (1-1) @ Texas Tech (2-0, 0-0) - Saturday 6:00 p.m.

The Mike Locksley era at UNM has finally mercifully ended and former Notre Dame failure Bob Davie has been made captain of this sinking ship.  Things aren't as bad as they used to be for the Lobos considering they actually already have a win (against Grambling arch rival Southern University) and they appear to have a pretty stout rushing attack (13th nationally).  They were blanked last week in Austin despite being able to run the ball pretty well.  I think they score a couple times against a much less potent Tech defense, but their defense still can't stop anybody.  Tech can still throw it all over the yard despite Mike Leach and his crazy antics having been away from the plains for a few years now, and they quickly squashed any talk of an upset last week by obliterating Texas State 58-10 in the Valtrex Venereal Disease Bowl down in San Marcos last weekend.  Another ho-hum game this weekend, as Tech should roll here as well.  Final Score:  Tech 49- UNM 24.

Sam Houston State (1-0) @ Baylor (1-0, 0-0) - Saturday 7:00 p.m.

Baylor scared the Hell out of me after watching their offense and their receivers in their season opener against SMU in what turned out to be a 59-24 victory.  Then I realized it's SMU and SMU sucks miserably and Garrett Gilbert can only make them suck worse.  So I'm not 100% sold on Baylor yet, but they're clearly still going to be able to score points (sensing a theme developing with all of these Big 12 teams...).  I feel like I'm repeating myself (I am), but I think their defense is vulnerable.  Not this week though, against FCS Sam Houston State.  Could they be looking ahead to Louisiana Monroe next week? Just kidding.  Nice scheduling, Briles.  Was Texas School for the Deaf all booked up this fall?  Final Score:  Baylor 55- SHSU 10.

Western Illinois (2-0) @ Iowa State (2-0, 0-0) - Saturday 7:00 p.m.

Fresh of a nail-biting victory on the road against rival Iowa in what had to be a thrill-a-minute 9-6 shootout, the Cyclones head back home turn their attention to an FCS opponent as well.  Paul Rhoads always manages to win some he's probably not supposed to and maybe last week was one of those.  Western Illinois has won 2 close ones against other junk schools including back to back Final Four darlings the Butler Bulldogs.  Somehow I don't think close games against Butler and Indianapolis translate to an upset of a Big 12 team, albeit a mediocre one.  Nothing about Iowa State impresses me ever.  Actually, nothing about the state of Iowa impresses me period.  Iowa State wins this one unimpressively as well.  Final Score:  Iowa State 31- Western Illinois 6

#14 Texas (2-0, 0-0) @ Ole Miss (2-0) - Saturday 8:15 p.m. 

Texas joins TCU as the only Big 12 teams on the road this weekend, which I found as a shock since I was pretty certain DeLoss Dodds had structured some deal with the NCAA that didn't require UT to ever play out of conference road games ever again.  I say road game lightly because I'm pretty sure about 40,000 people in that stadium will be from the state of Texas (not necessarily cheering for UT though).  The Grove is sure to be a happenin' place this Saturday when the Longhorns come to town, and I'm sure the wealth of smokin' hot girls all over that campus would make even Hugh Hefner blush.  UT is 2-0 this year against perennial MWC cellar dwellers Wyoming and UNM and quite frankly they haven't been that impressive.  There's still work to be done for Mack Brown and his staff, like finding a viable QB, but the rushing attack looks very potent.  The defense shut out the Lobos last week but allowed over 200 yards rushing.  They may be the most talented and highly touted defense in the conference and they probably should be, but there are some holes there that can be exploited.  This will be the public's first chance to watch the Longhorns this season since their first 2 games were on The Longhorn Network, so I'll be excited to wind my football night down with this one.  Ole Miss is off to a 2-0 start, but wins over Central Arkansas and UTEP don't exactly impress, although maybe UTEP has something after that scare they gave OU.  I doubt it though.  Dual threat sophomore QB Bo Wallace may be able to move the ball on the Horns and turn it into some points, and I think this one stays interesting late into the night in Oxford.  However, I think the Rebels fall just short and the Big 12's lone defeat on the day is the thrashing we hand KU.  Final Score (and I hope I'm wrong):  Texas 27- Ole Miss 20.  

Catching Up With The Frogs - NFL Edition

To get us past those mid-week mid-week blues, I am going to try and get y'all caught up on what some former Frogs are doing in the pros now that the NFL season is in full swing. There are currently 11 TCU players on NFL rosters:

Marcus Cannon - OT - Patriots (beat the Titans 31-13)

Tank Carder - LB - Browns (lost to the Eagles 17-16)

Andy Dalton - QB - Bengals (lost 44-13 to the Ravens) Dalton got roughed up in the Monday night opener against the Ravens, but went 22-37 for 221 yards, no TDs and a pick that Ed Reed took to the house. The Red Rifle started strong, driving Cincinnati to the Baltimore 1 on the first drive of the game, but couldn't punch it in and things quickly went down from there. No reason to give up on Dalton, but he's going to need a little help from his D if he wants to be in the playoffs again this season.

Clint Gresham - LS - Seahawks (lost 20-16 to the Cardinals) He's a long snapper and didn't mess anything up. Good day.

David Hawthorne - LB - Saints (lost 40-32 to the Redskins) Hawthorne had five tackles in his first game as a Saint, but New Orleans got owned by that rookie QB from Baylor which makes me all kinds of angry. Just what we need, more hype for the initials.

Jerry Hughes - DE - Colts (lost 41-21 to Da Bears) Jerry Hughes actually looks like he has a chance to do something this year, with a new coach and new system, but recorded no stats in his opening game, despite getting quite a few snaps when Freeney went down with injury.

Colin Jones - S - Panthers (lost 16-10 to the Bucs) Jones recorded no stats in his first game for the Fighting Cam Newton's in his first game after being traded from the Niners in the off-season. He is expected to be a big contributor on special teams as he was on the other coast for SF.

Jeremy Kerley - WR - Jets (won 48-28 over the Bills) Jeremy Kerley had a solid game for the suddenly potent Jets, pulling down four catches for 45 yards and a nifty TD catch from the Sanchize. Kerley also returned his only punt of the game 68 yards for a score, and seems to have all but locked up the slot receiver role in NY/NJ.

Marshall Newhouse - OT - Packers (lost 30-22 to the Niners)

Jason Phillips - LB - Panthers (lost 16-10 to the Bucs) Jason Phillips recored one tackle.

Daryl Washington - LB - Cardinals (beat the Seahawks 20-16) Daryl Washington had a great game for Arizona, with 10 tackles and a sack in his team's mild upset at home over Clint Gresham's 'Hawks.

Would love to hear your predictions in the comments: what former Frog will have Week 2's best performance? Will Dalton bounce back and lead the Bengals to a win? Will Hughes and Carder make an impact?

Morning Dump: 09/12

TCU vs. Kansas Preview - Yahoo Sports