Friday, October 12, 2012

Spit Blood College Football Pick 'em: Week 6

The story of the week is WFP92Frog having a terrible week last week with 8, but this week they came storming back to win the week and take a firm hold on the lead by three.

The game I can't figure out who to take this week is OU a +3.5 favorite over Texas.  It's probably the Oklahoma kid in me that knows better than to make an emotional bet.

Also, VT a 10-point favorite over Duke. Am I crazy for thinking Duke is money in the bank?

The Baylor v. TCU line started at Baylor +7 on Monday rose a half-point on Tuesday and Wednesday and then fell back to 7 on Thursday.

Have a good week, the spreads are set.

Last week's top 5
Rank Pick Set Name Wk 6
1 WFP92Frog 16
2 Who-Dat Frog 16
3 Middle Man 16
4 HorneyCowboy 15
4 Pachall of Shame 15
4 Leon 15

Here's the overall top 10
Rank Pick Set Name Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Total Pts
1 WFP92Frog 15 16 16 12 8 16 83
2 Lonta's Locks 13 13 17 13 11 13 80
2 Buzzard11 13 13 17 14 12 11 80
2 The Tairy Greene Machine 18 10 16 13 13 10 80
5 tannerbrock4heisman 15 11 18 10 13 12 79
5 Malagha 17 13 14 11 13 11 79
7 Who-Dat Frog 14 14 12 13 9 16 78
8 Killer Sea Urchin 11 14 16 13 10 13 77
9 TCU2010 16 15 15 12 9 9 76
10 Pachall of Shame 15 14 14 7 10 15 75
10 NICKTCU-14 16 12 15 9 12 11 75
10 Three Man Weave 14 10 18 14 8 11 75
10 Joe Bob 14 14 15 8 13 11 75

Baylor Preview, Five Facts.

An Ode to Nick Florence's Beard.

Ugh, Baylor.

I just hate them so much.  Well, actually, hate isn't necessarily the word... I guess it's more of a relationship of condescension, sort of like the whole UT/aggy thing.  I mean, aren't they just so cute with their enthusiasm and brief flirtation with success?  Their excitement over a 10 win season and those flimsy mesh jerseys their students opt to wear just make them a little too adorable to truly hate.  Plus, we've mostly owned the Bears the four times we've played them in my years as a TCU fan.  That lack of familiarity certainly makes it impossible to replicate the learned hate I have for SMU;  Add in the variable that I've lived 2 miles away from SMU's campus for the past 5 years, and you get the picture:  I don't like Baylor, but I HATE SMU.  Plus, SMU is a dirty also-ran in a non-BCS Conference, and who could ever love THAT?  All that goes to say, it's not you Baylor, it's me.  I promise.  But from this point forward there's a LOT of time to learn and I promise to do better.

Saturday is the biggest mystery game on TCU's schedule this season, by far.  Heck, even Vegas isn't sure what to do with it as I've seen the line move from 7 to 9 and back to 7 again.  All of those lines are in Baylor's favor, but I don't think I'm alone in being at least a LITTLE cautiously optimistic about the Frog's chances.  Unfortunately, its these times where I am then confronted with the facts, and that sends me into a bit of a tailspin.

Fact 1:  Baylor has really good receivers.  I think Gary Patterson summed it up best when he said something along the lines of, "Baylor has receivers with Skye Dawson's speed, but they're all 6'2" instead of 5'11"" Terrence Williams, you might remember him - African American gentleman, last seen piling up a school record 314 yards against West Virginia.  (Ironic, because I presumed he was still running loose through TCU's secondary and under Robert Griffin passes from last September, but I digress).  For the season, Williams has 34 catches for 667 yards and 6 scores. a gaudy 20 yard average per reception.

But it doesn't stop there - Tevin Reese and Lanear Sampson are back in the fold as well.  Neither of those gentlemen played too much of a hand in the outcome of last year's game, although Sampson did have 1 catch for a long score, but they've both caught the ball 20+ times this season and will be targeted Saturday.  Fortunately, RB Terrance Ganaway is gone and Baylor hasn't been overly impressive in the ground game, but they really haven't had to be with the nation's #1 ranked passing offense.  This makes me sad.  Sad because Baylor's WR speed is what murdered us last year.  Sad because this is the last thing Kevin White needs after getting torched last week.  But mostly it makes me sad because I want Baylor to be bad again.

Fact 2:  Nick Florence and his beard might be better than Robert Griffin at running Art Briles' Offense: Now, before you start calling me an idiot and such because not only is that not a fact, its an opinion and a sketchy one at that, I'm not saying Florence is a better QB than Griffin, and I'm most certainly not saying he's going to win a Heisman - I just think he's better in this system than Griffin was.  Do the numbers support this?  KIND OF - Through 4 games last year, Griffin had thrown for 1308 yards, 18 TDs and 1 pick while Florence's numbers are 1585/16/5 through the same stretch.  However, keep in mind that Griffin had Terrance Ganaway as an outlet last year and all Florence has is Jarred Salubi and this old Lache Seastrunk someone left lying around.  Clearly the biggest difference between the two QBs is that Griffin was insanely accurate - 72% completions and 37 TDs against just 6 picks for the year;  Florence has almost hit that number of picks already playing against SMU, Sam Houston, Louisiana-Monroe and West Virginia, otherwise known as "air."  So, I probably overstated the whole "Nick Florence is better in Briles' system than Griffin" thing.  Is it possible I just really don't like Griffin and am inflating my perception of Nick Florence to downplay his accomplishments?  Most Soitainly.  Regardless, Art Briles clearly has a way with the QB's and, just as important, has a way with the QBs that involves them not taking sacks.  By all accounts Baylor's offensive line isn't much better than TCU's, yet they've only given up 6 sacks this year; TCU has given up 7, but keep in mind Treebeard wasn't playing QB last week.  This is because Baylor plays a hurry up, quick release type of football that doesn't give defenses much time to crash down on the QB, so if Devonte Fields is going to go on his usual murderin' spree, he's going to have to be very quick about it.  The biggest issue with the Bears offense, though?  Little huddlin' involved.  That wasn't a big problem for TCU last week or anything... Overall, Baylor has scored 45 points in 8 straight games and put up over 500 yards of offense in 10 straight.  :(

So those are the bad facts, and they are quite bad for our defense.  However, there are a couple of more facts that may actually work in our favor.  To wit:

Fact 3:  Baylor has NO defense whatsoever.  They gave up 70 points to West Virginia.  Keeping in mind that TCU has been guilty of said violation,  no team should EVER allow 70 points to another team.  That year for TCU, of course, was 2004 - the last time TCU did not make a bowl game.  I'm not saying Baylor won't make a bowl game with that defense, but when they eventually run up against a team with a not only an offense that can scorea  few points, but at least a halfway decent D, there will be issues.  I'm not sure TCU is that team, but I'm not ruling it out.

It's here that we come to the obligatory, "some of you jerks aren't giving Trevone Boykin enough credit" part of the preview.  Yes, he threw the picks.  But, he still led TCU to the third highest offensive output - 455 yards - on the season against the best defense we have faced this year BY FAR.  Iowa State is only allowing 338 yards and 16 points a game, numbers that the Boykin led offense eclipsed with ease despite the turnovers.  Am I crazy to think that he can't put up 500 yards and 5 TDs against a Baylor defense giving up 571 yards and 40 points each week?  That 571 is dead last in the country by 40 whole yards.  Phil Bennett Fail, apparently NOT confined to Dallas.  Oh, and Baylor is missing one of their best CBs for the game, so there's that.  On top of that, Baylor has a defensive line that our undermanned unit might finally be able to stand up to, allowing 173 yards per game and only generating 6 sacks.  TCU won't score 70 points, but hopefully they won't need to.

Fact 4:  Baylor struggled with Louisiana-Monroe and Sam Houston State.  ULM has been getting a lot of credit for beating Arkansas and hanging tough with Auburn and Baylor in close losses, and they should should.  However, those three teams all rank fairly low in total defense - each give up over 400 yards per game - so it's possible ULM picked a pretty great year to play those 3 BCS teams out of Conference and are reaping the benefits of their defensive misfortunes.  Oh, and SHSU isn't even division one.  Baylor actually trailed SHSU 20-10 at halftime of that game before taking care of business in the last 30.  Bear in mind Baylor was coming off of a bye week just as they are now, so perhaps they have a tendency to lose focus?  The issue with this particular bye week is that the Bears likely feel they could've won the game against WVU and that has been festering for 2 weeks, so if they have any pride at all they'll want to come out firing.  Let's just pretend this isn't the case...

Fact 5:  TCU doesn't lose two in a row under Patterson often.  Coming off a loss, GP teams are something like 21-6, with the last double dipper coming in 2007, also known as 1 AD.  As much as any coach in any sport hates to lose, you have to think GP is at or near the top.  In the past he hated losing because, quite frankly, it was a RARE occurrence.  Nowadays he hates losing because of the regionalism of our opponents.  Now, I'm not naive enough to suggest that the latter part of that record won't increase going forward, but I'm not so sure it happens this week.

So what do I think will happen?  I honestly have no expectations for this game, but I do think karma has to be in our favor.  Don't they say the day is darkest right before dawn?  Think about it all the crap that has happened to this program recently.  Including Tucker, you have 21 players out.  TWENTY ONE.  You're down to a makeshift offensive line, second string QB, third string TRUE FRESHMAN running back and a patchwork LB group.  You have a former 5A Player of the Year RB on your roster that can barely get on the field.  You have EIGHT turnovers inside the 20 through 5 games, a couple of which last week that, had they not happened, probably would've had you sitting at 5-0.  Then you officially lose your starting QB for the year the same week you face your oldest rival.  What gives?  Doesn't the cosmos have to reset eventually?  I think Baylor is going to score early and probably jump out to a couple TD lead.  There's just too much fire power there for that not to happen to our defense.  But, they're going to settle in.  Gary Patterson is not going to be embarrassed by Baylor two years in a row.  There will have to be some adjustments made, and TCU will probably enter the locker room at halftime   with the scoreboard against them.  Then Boykin will take over.  One thing we're not accounting for here is the fact that Baylor had a full week of preparation for Pachall, then had to prepare for both, then had to start over again once Pachall was officially dismissed.  Our offensive failure against Iowa State was of our own making, and that's despite ISU having a great D.  Baylor is bad at defense.  Throw injuries and scheme uncertainty into the mix and, well, that's not exactly going to help.  Yes, TCU could easily lose this game, and I'm placing a lot of hope in an offense that has yet to perform well in the red zone, but with the holes that have opened up in the Baylor secondary all year, hopefully the RZ won't come into play.  Calling it.

The Pick:  TCU 45, Baylor 42.  Jaden Oberkrom, remember 2011.

TCU - Baylor Preview: "The Avengers"

How great is it going to feel to avenge last year's epic defeat at the hands of the mighty Baylor (Tarp) Bear(ers)? Especially with our backup QB? Pretty damn good, if you ask me. We all remember (though I have tried to forget) opening night a little over a year ago, where our D got torched early by the goofy sock wearing QB down in Wac(k)o, only to see the mighty Case will the team back to an almost improbable victory that was a couple of Ross Evans doinks away from coming to pass. Well, a bit has changed since last year, and we will be counting on a different result from a different quarterback on Saturday night.
Iron Man Stansley Maponga, Captain All American Brandon Carter, Trevone Hulk Smash Boykin, Coach Thor Patterson, and RGIII looks like a girl.

By now, you know the story - our program is bigger than any one player and any one season, and our Coach is a decent human being who values the lives of his kids more than the notches on his belt. Pachall is off to get the help he needs, and the team has been handed over to Boykin and Brown, for better or for worse, for 2012. So how will the team respond, now that they have had a week to prepare for the new guy(s) under center?

I think we were all hoping that the D would rally behind Boykin last week and carry the Frogs to a victory over Iowa State. That didn't really happen. Though they weren't a total mess, our secondary got burned for a few long pass completions and TCU wasn't able to consistently pressure the QB. They look unsettled and maybe a little unfocused, which isn't hard to understand after the shakeup they endured Thursday night/Friday morning. Now that the dust has settled and the decisions have been made, I expect to see the circling of the wagons that I hoped for a week ago. The Baylor offense is potent, but certainly hasn't gone up against a defensive unit that is capable of dominating the way the Frogs are. Baylor is going to put points on the board, but this ain't West Virginia, Bears. I have been waiting for Stansley Maponga to break out, and this seems like the game that the leader will step up and take over. Nick Florence is going to end up on his backside more than a couple times at the hands of Maponga and Fields. I also think Bumpas will be more aggressive with his unit, as he and Patterson try and find ways to change momentum and field position.

This is a game that could easily come down to special teams, and I am making the call for a punt block Saturday. It's time, TCU. As much as I would love to see Deante Gray returning punts, it's probably still Skye Dawson back there primarily, but this is a team he can break a big return or two on. Jaden Oberkrom has been a revelation, and his solid season continues as he knocks in a pair of big kicks late.

Offensively... well, Boykin did some really great things last week. He also made more than a few of the type of mistakes you expect a young kid put in an impossible situation at the last minute to make. He broke some big runs, made some nice passes, and had the team in a position to tie late. He and BJ Catalon both had some very untimely turnovers, but showed flashes of brilliance that should excite Frog Fans for the future. I think we have our first turnover free game of the season tomorrow - wishful thinking much? Boykin accounts for 350 yards of total offense and three TD's between the air and ground. Matt Brown gets at least 10 snaps and is effective. Carter and Boyce take over against Baylor's non-existent D and both have big scoring grabs. BJ Catalon will be big on the ground, with 75 yards rushing and no fumbles.

Final Score: TCU 34, Baylor 31. Good guys win.

Time for your predictions in the comments. Does TCU bounce back and avoid one of those... what are they called? Losing streaks I think? It's been so long I can't hardly remember. Will the Frogs HOLD ON TO THE FOOTBALL? How many tarps will the Bears have out? Two? Three? The entire upper bowl? Let's also hear your guesses for total yards of offense, mocking DUI signs, and of course final score.

Baylor Hate

David Koresh- The Face of Waco.

If you're familiar with this blog at all, you'd know I usually reserve this time in the week to give you some sort of players to watch, both offensively and defensively.  This week, for several reasons, I'm choosing not to do that.  After reading Sir Wesley's previous post with some of my old links in there, I thought I'd give it a throwback to my old, hateful ways.  Pretty sure the readership has grown immensely since then and some of you might frown upon the things I say in the coming paragraphs, but I don't care.  Consider this your warning.  I fucking hate Baylor and by the end of this tirade you're going to know it.  You want players to watch?  Watch WR Terrance Williams, as well as the rest of their uber-talented receiving corps.  Their offense goes as they go.  Defensively, Baylor sucks worse than anyone in the country and has for years now, so I honestly couldn't come up with a defensive player to watch who is decent enough to crack the 2-deep at any other Big 12 school (yes, even Kansas).  I think Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett must know that Art Briles is Petrino-ing his secretary or something because there's no way that such an incompetent hack like that should even be employed at the high school level.  The other reason I didn't feel like doing a players to watch this week is because I'd rather focus my attention elsewhere, and in case my tone thus far hasn't indicated what my intentions are somehow, then let me just tell you.  I'm going to hate on Baylor for a few paragraphs.  I plan on making fun of their football team, their culture, the fact that they get caught women's basketball, their stadium, etc, etc, etc.  Nothing is off limits.

I'll start simple.  Baylor football.  Seriously Baylor?  You win one Alamo Bowl and get a whopping 10 wins and suddenly you think you're God's gift to football?  As mentioned before, your defense is more helpless than Jerry Sandusky's.  I'd be willing to bet that Ray Charles could complete a deep ball to Stevie Wonder while Christopher Reeve picked up the blitz against your defense.  Phil Bennett.  Waco hasn't seen a leader of men as terrible as you since David Koresh.  Seriously though, Art Briles has to have at least considered Janet Reno-ing you all and locking you in the film room and torching it.  It would be an upgrade over the current product you're putting on the field.  Oh, but you're offense is just the greatest thing ever, right?  Yeah, you can score with anybody!  Guess what, when you barely beat Louisiana Monroe and West Virginia scores 70 on you, it doesn't matter how much you score because any team that can make a couple of stops is going to win.  I fully expect TCU, injury/rehab depleted TCU, to drop 50 on you (assuming we protect the ball).  Try to keep up Baylor, because it's the only way you're going to win any games going forward this season.  Not impressed.

Now let's get to that Crap-factory they call a stadium.  Man, the old Amon G. Carter was not nice.  Not nice by any stretch of the imagination, but Floyd Casey Stadium made it look like the Taj Mahal.  Who was the brilliant crew of Baptists that thought to themselves "yeah, let's build this wretched piece of shit stadium about 5 miles south of campus in the most low rent area we can possibly find.  Oh, and just to really spice things up, let's build it smack dab in the middle of a grassy field that reeks of cow shit and becomes a mud pit when enough people walk on it".  If you think our attendance is bad, always remember this:  BAYLOR HAS TO TARP OFF THEIR ENDZONE SEATS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T FILL THEIR STADIUM.  If you're foolish enough to be friends with anyone from Baylor, don't ever, EVER let them talk attendance shit to you.  They can't fill their stadium up either, and we don't hide our shame behind a big purple tarp that screams mediocrity.

So let's say you actually have traipsed through the shitty dirt field and into the atrocity that is Floyd Casey stadium for the game or plan on doing so Saturday evening.  What can you expect?  You can expect the understaffed, underprepared concessions to run out of water towards the end of the first quarter and then try to sell you a fucking Pizza Hut personal pizza instead (no, seriously, this actually happened).  As far as the game time experience?  Well you know how TCU does that very charitable, community friendly thing where it let's the Purple People Seaters or whatever it is run out on the field with the team? Well, Baylor does something similar to that, except they let ALL THE FRESHMEN RUN ON THE FIELD WITH THE TEAM!  Baylor, the only place in the world where being a Freshman is celebrated?  If it's not embarrassing enough that those pizza faced twerps run out there with finely tuned athletes (the opposing team at least), they put them all in these ridiculous and hideous yellow jerseys to make them stand out like the bunch of assholes that they are...

I mean seriously, is there anything more intimidating than a bunch of acne-faced virgins in baby shit yellow jerseys locking arms and screaming until their voices crack?  The answer is yes, and it's everything.  And lastly, since the plethora of celibate straight edges can't make enough authentic crowd noise to make it hard on the opponents, they pipe in "Black Betty" at full blast over the loud speakers while the opposing offense attempts to run their offense.  I mean I'm sure it's not illegal, but it sure seems like a pretty bush league tactic to me to have to artificially pipe in noise.  

Basketball.  A point of pride at Baylor.  

Alright, enough with the football team.  Remember when Baylor basketball had a murder scandal and tried to make it out to be a drug deal gone bad?  People don't forget, Baylor.  So the logical thing to do would be to clean up your program and start on the straight and narrow path, right?  Well, not Baylor.  First, Lacedarius Dunn, their star shooting guard, decided to beat his girlfriend's face in, literally, and break her jaw, so that's classy.  So surely he had a pretty hearty suspension coming, right?  No, try 3 games.  3 GAMES FOR BREAKING HIS GIRLFRIEND'S JAW!  Say what you will about CGP and the Pachall situation, but I guarantee if any of our players break a girl's jaw we will not see them on the field again for TCU.  Apparently it was a "team rules violation" that earned him his suspension, not the fact that he's a horrible piece of shit human being suspension.

If that wasn't bad enough, less than 10 years after Dave Bliss and Baylor hoops told the country they were pro-murder, they're right back on probation in basketball for 3 years for impermissible text messages and phone calls.  So if someone is ridiculous enough to try and tout Baylor's Elite 8 appearances or even their women's hoops title, just remind them that it'll probably all get Memphis'd here soon enough.  I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.  So congrats to Baylor on winnings a women's basketball national championship with Robert Griffin's overgrown clone as your center.  Congratulations, even though the whole world knows you cheated at fringe sports which is probably the most embarrassing aspect of that whole ordeal.  At least SMU cheated in something that mattered.  Baylor is so miserable that they even suck at cheating.

At this point I'm pretty tired of making fun of Baylor athletics, although I'll remind you that their baseball team did have some infamous kitten murderers on their roster back in the early 2000's.  I'd like to spend a little more time making fun of the Baylor culture for a little while.  Actually, I don't even have to say much.  I'll just share a couple YouTube Baylor sensations with you and let you make your own assessments about the way of life in Waco.

Yes, those are Baylor fraternity members.  FIJI's to be exact.  Don't make judgments on the FIJI's alone though.  A quick YouTube search shows me that several, if not all fraternities participate in this incredible joint coming out of the closet session known as "Baylor Sing".  If I were forced to dress like a sailor and parade around in front of a paper mache submarine in order to be in a fraternity at TCU, I think I'd pass.  

You know who was undoubtedly a star of his classes "Baylor Sing" production?  This fucking guy...

I'm tired of hating on Baylor.  I don't know what the outcome of Saturday's game will be but I have high hopes that this team will rally around Trevone Boykin and make things happen, especially against a defense as inept as Baylor's.  Regardless of the result though, just always know that at the end of the day, you support a program that has won national championships, a BCS bowl, doesn't get busted for cheating twice in a decade, doesn't condone the breaking of women's jaws, doesn't force their males into performing showtunes, hasn't covered up a murder and portrayed it as a drug deal gone bad, and most importantly, you didn't spend the peak years of your life living in Waco, TX, the asshole of the state.  Go Frogs, and Baylor will always be the laughing stock of the state of Texas and the Big 12.

Morning Dump: 10/12

In Big 12, TCU's defense must weather storms - Gil Lebreton
TCU move to Big 12 has become more difficult - Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
TCU v. Baylor: What you need to know -
Art Briles: We're fighting for respect and relevancy in the Big 12 -
Who to watch: Baylor, TCU -
Screwing up is what kids do, so spare TCU QB Casey Pachall your self-righteous hypocrisy - Dallas Observer
John Werner's College Predictions: Bears' offense too much for Horned Frogs - Waco Tribune
How the Bears matchup with TCU - Waco Tribune

Men's Basketball:
TCU unanimous last place pick in coaches poll -

Women's Basketball:
Big 12 Women's Basketball Previcew: TCU - Through the Phog

TCU volleyball looks to take next Big 12 step -

TCU Recovery Support Group to expand program with Patterson's gift -