Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The SOUR (and NOT so Sour) GRAPES For The Week

Usually SOUR GRAPES is published on Tuesday at lunch time, but as most of you know yesterday at lunch time was also the same moment that Coach Patterson, at his weekly media lunch, was announcing his  decision regarding the future of QB Casey Pachall. 
Since SOUR GRAPES is dedicated to discovering what the rest of the College Football world is saying about our own Horned Frogs, I decided to wait an extra day to find out not just what the Iowa State folks were saying about their surprising outscoring of our beloved Frogs (remember - TCU never loses, but we do very rarely and occasionally get outscored), but also what the larger College Football planet was saying about Coach Patterson's decision regarding a star player with serious personal issues. Both perspectives were interesting!
OK, let's get the less pleasant part over with first. Cyclone Nation was actually pretty complementary about our stadium and our campus, with several folks who attended the game expressing outright jealousy at our new Amon Carter 2.0.- Patterson's Palace Rules! (and someone please remind me to cancel my trial membership - aren't you glad that Spit Blood is free?) pointed out that there was one TCU fan who had posted to Youtube and "was not very happy" about the Frogs being outscored, an understatement similar to "nuclear explosions make a little, tiny bit of noise". Other than the usual "TCU is overrated" nonsense, Iowa State fans seemed to think that their outscoring TCU had a certain, and I will use their word here, sound of "inevitability" to it. Thank you Agent Smith and Mr. Anderson.
Several of them kind of ran with GMFP's quote that appeared in the Dallas Morning News and Bird Cage Liner about "losing being a disease". For the Frogs, being outscored is such a rare occurrence that its more like having a mild seasonal cold, but I have to admit that even I am worried about the rest of this season. Which guy at the Big 12 S&M Department put the second half of the Frog's schedule together?
Most of Iowa State's posters and posts, except for a number of the usual "come on, you know we were going to beat that overrated mid-major" horsepockey, seemed to think that TCU was an honorable opponent who was outscored as much by off-field events (see below) as any acumen on the part of Iowa State.  And they all seemed to think that it was a good game.
THE OFF-FIELD EVENTS (aka Casey & the Too Big Curb on Devitt St.)
The response to Casey Pachall's fate has been much, much more positive than I would have guessed. I did a search through some of the usual pundits (a pundit is someone who watched football in college, took a couple of sports journalism classes, and then interned for a week at ESPN). What I found there was interesting. David Ubben basically reported the story and broke a small piece of news in stating that "Patterson said Pachall may already be at the facility, less than a week after being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated." Rob Rang at also simply reported the story. The Waco Tribune, in true Baylor fashion (the Baylor Sour Grapes next week are going to be fun, fun, fun until our Daddy takes the T-Bird away) ran the headline "TCU QB Pachall To Enter Rehab; Will Not Play Against Baylor" - yeah, because everything is about Baylor after all, isn't it? - and then used the words "suspended", "arrested" and "substance abuse" as much as was humanly and literally possible. Except for that baptist school down south and its minion newspaper, most everyone else seemed to feel that GMFP had once again show a wisdom and discretion rare for an FBS coach. One comment on one of the boards summed up reaction to GMFP's decision nicely - "Coach Patterson had an impossible situation for the second time and once again managed to decide the matter without splitting the baby in two, offering both stern accountability, but  also forgiveness and a real hope of redemption. He has more class than any coach in football and is what other coaches should aspire to". "Too bad Ohio State can't steal him away" (OK, I made up the Ohio State part since we know how completely jealous they are of us, but the rest is verbatim)
Coach Patterson is a truly class act who understands the meaning of the word "team"-and that a college team is made up of young men who make mistakes and have infinite potential-and let's hope,  as the majority of comments seemed to echo, that Casey Pachall will get his demons under control and come back next year and maximize his considerable talents. 
 - Next  SOUR GRAPES - Baylor
 - My Prediction: TCU:Lots of class,  Baylor: No class whatsoever 
 - (oh yeah, TCU 24, Baylor 21 too)

Weekend Preview.

As most of you probably saw, the TCU/Tech game has not yet been announced, but we DO know that it will either be played at 11:00 AM on FX or 2:30 PM on ABC.  I'm no TV executive, but I think I'm safe in assuming that the powers that be are waiting to see how this weekend's games shake out before they make a decision on how they will slot Baylor/Texas and TCU/Tech next weekend;  I think we can draw the conclusion that neither OU/Kansas nor OSU/Iowa State are turning many heads in the boardrooms. There are three games we need to keep an eye on this Saturday:  TCU/Baylor, Texas/Oklahoma and West Virginia/Tech.  So before we begin, let's play a little "If/Then," shall we?

IF TCU, Texas and WVU Win, THEN TCU/Tech early, Baylor/Texas late.

IF TCU, Texas and Tech Win, THEN Baylor/Texas early, TCU/Tech late.  

IF TCU, OU and Tech Win, THEN Baylor/Texas early, TCU/Tech late.

IF TCU, OU and WVU win, THEN Baylor/Texas early, TCU/Tech late.

IF Baylor, Texas and WVU Win, THEN TCU/Tech early, Baylor/Texas late.

IF Baylor, Texas and Tech Win, THEN TCU/Tech early, Baylor/Texas late.

IF Baylor, OU and WVU Win, THEN TCU/Tech early, Baylor/Texas late.

IF Baylor, OU and Tech Win, THEN TCU/Tech early, Baylor/Texas late.  This is probably the hardest scenario to predict as Tech and Baylor would have one loss and TCU and Texas would both have two. Going with Texas here because they are the bigger national draw.

I think that covers them all?  By my math, the odds are looking like we'll wind up with the early game, but who knows?  Maybe the Frogs bounce back from last week's loss and WVU reads too many of their press clippings and runs into a Tech team angry after getting drop kicked by OU last week?  Truthfully, our game with Baylor is probably the wild card as most expect OU and WVU to win their games.  So there's a lot at stake Saturday night in Waco.  Do the faithful get up with the roosters and mix morning dranks while the majority of our fans drag in after halftime after Tech has already taken over the stadium?  Or do the faithful get to ride in hot at 2:30, while the majority of our fans complain that each seat at AGCS doesn't come equipped with its own personal thermostat after Tech has already taken over half the stadium?  No pressure, Frogs.

To the rest of the weekend:

Game of the Week, Direct Impact - Lurker:  #24 Louisiana Tech vs #21 aggy.  Perhaps lost a little bit in the shuffle of last week's loss was that TCU managed to stay alive in the latest edition of the Coaches' Poll at #23.  In previous editions of the preview I've referenced the AP poll, mostly because when I check out the schedule on ESPN that is how the games are displayed.  However, in order to spin the cirucumstances to our favor, I will have to reference the Coaches Poll when picking games, at least for this week.  This is probably as it should be anyway as it is the only poll that counts towards the BCS.  Oh, and also, aggy probably won't lose to Louisiana Tech, but it would be REAL cool if they did, although truth be told we probably wouldn't lose any ground as LT would jump us and aggy would fall behind.  Honorable Mentions:  #25 Iowa State vs. #6 KSU.

Game of the Week, Direct Impact - Leaper:  #18 Mississippi State vs. Tennessee.  The game above would also qualify, but this one seems more likely to  happen.  I'm solely basing this on the fact that, in a world where ESPN rushes to fluff any seemingly good SEC team, MSU is 5-0 and only ranked 18th, so surely there are some flaws there, no?  Tennessee has been their usual lol selves, but if they want to save Derek Dooley's career, they might want to start in Starkville.  Honorable Mentions:  #17 Stanford @ #7 Notre Dame, #16 Louisville vs. Pitt.

Game of the Week, Conference Impact:  #15 Texas vs. #10 OU.  SnK went over it a below post, so I won't step on any toes here.  I think this one will be a lot better than folks expect.  Texas' defense is SHAKY in the nine positions not named Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat, but it's possible they're being judged a little harshly after playing the two best offenses in the Conference two weeks in a row.  As for Oklahoma, they rolled Tech, but that doesn't make the injuries, lack of WR depth and the general stink of the first month of the season magically go away.  OU is certainly better coached and probably the better team, but this one is almost always a tossup.  I vote OU because I don't want to play at 11:00 AM next week.  Oh, and also, die Texas!

Game of the Week, National Impact:  #3 South Carolina @ #8 LSU.  This one lost a little bit of luster due to LSU's woefully incompetent offensive showing against Florida this past weekend, but don't tell that to the Fightin' Spurriers after their destruction of division rival Georgia.  USC/Fla can't get here soon enough for SECphiles.  Outside of a shaky performance against Vandy to open the season, USC has looked brutally effective on both sides of the ball, especially on defense where they rank 4th nationally.  However, despite LSU's flops against Auburn and Florida, they have also put on quite a defensive show, ranking 8th.  So far this year Carolina has looked a little rough on the road, ekeing out that 4 pointer against Vandy and then falling behind Kentucky before a second half comeback, so a 7:00PM game in Death Valley MIGHT pose some issues.  HUGE trap game for the Cocks, here.  Should be a fun one to watch presuming my wife allows me to drag TV #2 into the living room.

Game of the Week, Plain 'Ol Hate:  N/A.  Much like TCU/SMU, our own game is the Hate Bowl of the week, so all other hate is null and void.  If I HAD to pick, you'd have to default it to Tulane and SMU, but WOO BOY is Tulane bad.  Like, worse than SMU if you can believe that, so no expectations there.

Game of the Week Oops, I Crapped My Pants (Placeholder for UT Chokejob, when applicable): #4 WVU @ Texas Tech.  Since UT/OU isn't really a chokejob, and aggy vs. LT doesn't qualify either, due to ranking, I had to think outside the box a little.  Truthfully, I think WVU wins this game and wins healthily, but I can't take my mind off of that line which began the week at 4.5 and is now 3.5 and ticking down.  What am I missing that Vegas isn't?  Did they not see the box score for last week's game against OU?  I guess it makes sense if you think about how WVU had a rough time getting past Baylor and when you consider Tech has a better defense and about an equal offense to that of the Bears.   I realize this SCREAMS trap game for them after UT and making 2 near-cross country flights in back to back weeks doesn't help, either.  Maybe we're all just too caught up in the media hype about the Mountaineers and they're due a fall?  Actually, I'm kind of talking myself into a Tech upset now that I think about it.  So I guess the question is, should we go against all of our instincts and root for Tech in hopes that they roll into Cowtown vastly overconfident next weekend?  It'd sure make the Conference race a little more interesting.  

Game of the Week - Culture Clash:  UTSA @ Rice.  Well, it's not Iowa State and Kansas State, that's for sure, although "Farmageddon" has to be the greatest rivalry name in sports, no?  The matchups were thin this week, but commuter school in America's butthole kids vs. the guys that will one day run the companies where they are employed for minimum wage?  That'll work.  Sadly, now that we're mostly in Conference play, the culture clash may have to be retired due to the regionalism of the matchups going forward.  We'll keep it alive one more week just to be sure, though.

Newly Minted SpitBlood Inspired Gear at The Varsity.

So they're more inspired by the ACT of a horned frog spitting blood than our fair wesbite, but we can embellish in this instance, no?  Anyway, these are some new pullovers our pals over at The Varsity got in store JUST TODAY, so get them while they're still available.  Seriously, get one - No more excuses about it being "too cold" outside to go watch a football game.  Pansies.

Around the Big 12: Week 7

Well, obviously last week did not go as planned for the Frogs, but really it was a failure for the entire state of Texas football-wise as well.  Yeah, Aggy, you won and celebrated like you just won the SEC, but it was Ole Miss and the game was handed to you, so really there's nothing to celebrate there either.  Texas fell in a thriller to West Virginia, 48-45, which is awesome.  I guess the vaunted UT defense has just decided to conform to ways of the rest of the conference and not tackle.  I knew WVU could pass, but they didn't have near that much success running the ball against Baylor.  I smell trouble in Austin.  Tech got reminded in a harsh way by OU (41-20 in Lubbock) that they are still just Tech and were knocked back down to reality.  Everyone else that plays football in the state of Texas does not matter at all, so who really cares what they did?  In the only other Big 12 game of the weekend, Kansas hung with Kansas State shockingly for about a half, and then they were beaten into submission by Collin Klein and his ugly passes and poor man's Tim Tebow running game, 56-16.  This week we have the Red River Rivalry between Texas and OU, obviously, but there are some other oddly named "rivalry" games as well this week as well.  Iowa State and Kansas State battle in Ames in what has been dubbed the "Who Lives in the Shittest Big 12 Town Bowl".  Tech and West Virginia duke it out in the "Battle For the White-Trashiest Fanbase".  Kansas and Oklahoma State in Lawrence promises to be a one-sided affair in the weekly "Take Your Turn Beating the Shit Out of KU Before Basketball Season Starts Showdown".  And last but not least, of course, TCU takes on Baylor in the "Everyone Knows Baylor is Nothing But a Bunch of Bitches, Just Ask Robert Griffin - Oh Wait He Can't Remember Because His Head Got Bounced Off The Turf Shootout".  We don't need Pachall.  Boykin's got this.  On a side note: I think TCU and Casey made the right decisions and this will work out for the better for everyone in the long run.  Best of luck to Casey with his rehab stint, and I think we'd all be glad to welcome you back here in the spring with a clear head and ready to watch you compete again.  Anyways, on to this week's games.

#15 Texas (4-1, 1-1) vs. #13 Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1) - Dallas, TX - Saturday, 11am, ABC

Texas's defense continued to show it has has holes so wide it would make the Kardashian sisters blush, and OU got back on the right track last week by blowing out Tech.  I still think the Sooners throw too much with Landry Jones, the most overrated QB in the country, and if they're going to beat Texas they'd be smart to try and establish a running game.  The precedent has been set against the UT defense each of the last 2 weeks.  They can be run on, and I think Stoops is smart enough to take advantage of that.  OU's defense is obviously better than Oklahoma State and West Virginia's, so I think you see David Ash truly struggle for the first time this year.  OU wins the Red River Rivalry.  Final Score:  OU 34 - UT 24.  

#6 Kansas State (5-0, 2-0) @ Iowa State (4-1, 1-1) - Saturday, 11am, FX

Unfortunately for Iowa State they don't run into a team dealing with as much turmoil as the Frogs were last week.  In fact, they are probably facing the most stable team in this entire conference in Kansas State.  It's looking more and more each week like Kansas State and West Virginia will battle to see who wins this conference.  However, if there's one thing I took away from Iowa State last week (other than that we got owned by a white WR who probably runs a 4.8) it's that they are a very disciplined and well coached football team under Paul Rhoads.  Don't expect many mistakes from them, so don't expect K State to be able to run away with this one, especially in the crapfactory that is Ames, Iowa.  Final Score:  K State 27 - Iowa State 14.

Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1) @ Kansas (1-4, 0-2) - Saturday, 2:30, FSN

In what promises to be the worst game of the weekend in the Big 12, Oklahoma State and Kansas will battle for their first conference win in Lawrence.  Oklahoma State has proven all along what I thought to be true before the start of the season:  they are the most overrated team in the Big 12.  Hurts a little when you lose Blackmon and Weeden and still don't field a defense, doesn't it?  Luckily for the Cowboys they get Kansas, and everyone knows the only reason to watch KU football is to see if Charlie Weis will in fact get so hungry on the sidelines that he starts to chew his own arm off.  Since we've played Kansas and it was the most boring game I've seen maybe ever, I'm putting myself on a no-Kansas diet and will not indulge in another Jayhawk game for the rest of the year.  Final Score:  OSU 56 - Kansas 24.

#5 West Virginia (5-0, 2-0) @ Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1) - Saturday, 2:30, ABC

So this is on at the same time as KU/OSU?  You must really suck at life if you choose to watch KU/OSU over this treat.  Somehow WVU is only a 3.5 point favorite here.  Is Vegas REALLY that smart or did they completely miss something here?  I've said all along I'm not impressed by Tech and they proved why I wasn't last week.  If OU is blowing them away at home, why wouldn't you expect WVU to do much of the same?  It's a better, more well rounded offense going against a Tech defense that was exposed last week for what they really are - not that good.  Give me WVU and the points here by a long shot.  Geno Smith hasn't thrown an interception yet, and it's not going to start in Lubbock.  Admittedly Lubbock is a tough place to play, but it's really only tough if Tech is good.  They're not, and WVU is.  It's that simple.  Final Score:  WVU 59 - Tech 42. 

Morning Dump: 10/10

TCU vs. Baylor: Bears favored by a TD -
QB Casey Pachall to leave TCU -
Breaking: Casey Pachall disenrolls from TCU, but can return - Big Mac Blog
Casey Pachall hits rock bottom, but the door's still ajar - Star-Telegram Gil Lebreton
Loss of Casey Pachall might serve as rallying point for TCU -
Gary Patterson Press Conference - Frogs O' War
TCU v. Baylor TV Schedule, live stream, radio, etc - Bleacher Report

Swimming and Diving:
TCU wins first meet of season -

Men's Golf:
TCU trio finished strong at world amateur -