Saturday, December 6, 2014

One win to get in!

The old saying goes:  “One for the Money, Two for the Show, Three to Get Ready and Four to go."

For the Frogs, it’s One for the Show, if you ask me.

Here we are on the eve of the season finale and, for a moment, just kick back with me and reflect.

Here we have a team that was unranked at the beginning of the season and didn’t hit a poll until the last week of September. The Frogs rang in October with a huge win over Oklahoma and then the season was on.

Lunch-pail game control against Okie State, offensive explosion versus Texas Tech, gutsy, no-panic win at West Virginia. Then came a statement of dominance over a very good Kansas State team that still sits at No. 9 and lurking like the hunting cats that they are.

Finally a just-win-baby game at Kansas and a barrage in all three phases at Texas. Even turkey, dressing and tryptophan couldn’t stop the Frogs Thanksgiving night in Austin.

All of this happened for the Frogs to climb from no ranking to ORV (Others Receiving Votes) to No. 3 in the CFP.

Now, one to Go.

And this one is a beat-up, but pesky bunch of Iowa State Cyclones, whose injury-riddled year could be made with an upset of the Frogs. Coach Paul Rhoads is a good coach and a good man. His teams have given the Frogs fits the last two years, going 1-1 against TCU.

Yes, this year is different, but here at the end of the season, there are lots of distractions.   But these Frogs have come too far to peak ahead.

Speaking of reflecting, look for your 1984 TCUnbeleeevable Bluebonnet Bowl team at halftime today at The Carter. They’ll be there in force. Has it really been 30 years???

See you tomorrow morning. Enjoy the day. I will.

Kick ‘Em High!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The eyes of ...

The Eyes of…..the college football world will be on the Frogs tonight as they try to make a huge statement about who they are with a win over Texas. The Frogs held firm at No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, and the stage is set for a big night in Austin.
The Frogs need to play their best game and they’re due after surviving scary road trips to West Virginia and Kansas.

But this is not the same Texas team that started the year slowly, suffering injuries at almost the same rate as defeats. They’re better and they’ve won three in a row.

How’d  they do it?
They went back the stuff that would make Darrell Royal smile: running the football and playing double-tough defense.

Texas has rebuilt their O-line, and they’re running the ball with authority. Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray both have more than 600 rushing on the year, and the Horns put up 241 on the ground against Texas Tech and 227 against a tough West Virginia defense.

Defensively, Texas has the best scoring defense in the Big 12, allowing 21 points per game. The defensive line, led by another guy named Malcom Brown and defensive end Cedric Reed are big and fast. This game will match the two best defensive line groups in the Big 12.

That being said, it all comes down to how well the offensive lines play and execute.

Trevone Boykin will need to use his speed to stay out of trouble.

By the way, congrats to Trevone for being named one of the three finalists for the Davey O’Brien Award, handed out annually to the best quarterback in the country.

See you in Austin.

We’re on the air at 5:30 p.m. with the pregame show on the TCU Sports Network. You can hear our broadcast of TCU-Texas on:
  • our flagship station, WBAP 820 AM
  • KTCU-FM 88.7
  • In-Stadium you can listen to our feed on 87.7FM
  • Sirius XM 91
  • Tunein radio app

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Kick ‘Em High!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

This week, one of my favorite radio stations switched over to all Christmas music all the time, which made me think of all the things I’ll need to do for Christmas. It also made me think of Christmas things like lights and snow globes.

It occurs to me that the Frogs will play in a snow globe today at Kansas. In a likely snow storm that’s to arrive with breakfast on Mount Oread (the hill on which KU is located) with every fan on the college football globe taking copious notes. Shake it up and watch the Frogs go.

The Frogs will need to warm up the running game today. They can try throwing it, but the weatherman is the 12th Man today, so the Air Raid offense may need to go with boots on the ground. The KU defense gave up 699 total offense to Baylor (oops, I had to bring them up, didn’t’ I?)

The key will be to strike early and keep pouring it on as Kansas is coming off of a win over Iowa State. They think they can win – and that may be the most dangerous thing about Kansas.

Offensively, the Jayhawks are improving. New quarterback Michael Cummings (from Killeen) has thrown for 200 or more yards in each of the last four games.
(By the way ,KU has 25 Texans on its roster.) Wide receivers Nick Harwell and Nigel King are dangerous and can put up huge yards.

Kansas would prefer to run the ball and take some time off the clock. Dual threat running back Tony Pierson is the best all-around player for Kansas, and TCU’s linebackers will need know where he is before each snap.

Let it snow. Only 39 shopping days!

Kick ‘Em High!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Long way from The Bottom Ten

Happy Game Day! Time to black out “The Carter” tonight.

When I was a kid growing up in Dallas, I always looked forward to Fridays in the fall. The Dallas Morning News had a cartoonist named Bill McClanahan, who predicted the outcome of that weekend’s games with his artistry. They were great. I’ve attached one so you can see his fine work.

The Morning News also published the Associated Press’s “Bottom Ten,” ranking the 10 worst college football teams. In the mid-1970’s you could pretty much count on Northwestern, Rice, Miami (Fla.), Washington State, Florida State being there each week ... along with Kansas State and TCU. The rankings would show teams Nos. 1 to 10, with the No. 1 team being honored as the worst in the nation. I used to feel sorry for those teams and I found myself pulling for them each week.

Looking at the list, you can see that many of those teams have changed their football fortunes in the modern day. But none more than TCU and Kansas State. No programs have come farther. Now they’re Nos. 6 and 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings and today’s game in Amon G. Carter is, effectively, the first playoff game of the year. Loser is out. Winner advances and stays alive in the hunt for one of the coveted four playoff spots.

Things to K-now about K-State:
They are the antithesis of the Big 12. On offense, they are in no hurry. The take their time and they execute plays with the precision of a Rolex watch.
They don’t have turnovers. They just don’t.
They’re the best third down team in the nation, mainly because most of their third downs are 3rd and 3 or 3rd and 1.

The Frogs will have to be super-efficient on offense as Kansas State will try to limit possessions by slowing down the game. Both units have to play great on third down and the Frogs defense has to be great on first down while not getting lulled to sleep by the Wildcats ground game. They will take their shots deep. Hello, secondary!

It will be the highest ranked pairing at AGCS since they started ranking teams. A long way from The Bottom Ten.

Kick ‘Em High!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nobody saw this coming

There are a lot of questions and predictions swirling around today's TCU-WVU game, but one thing's for sure: Nobody saw this coming.

Experts and know-it-alls in the Big 12 media corps (yours truly included) voted the Mountaineers and the Frogs in the bottom half of the league in the preseason media polls.   Not a soul had this one circled as a pivotal contest that would have an impact on the Big 12 championship.

Things to know about this one:
  • Both quarterbacks have come light years and are having great years. 
  • WVUs Kevin White is an elite receiver.
The Mountaineer defense is playing very well. After being bulldozed by Oklahoma, they've figured it out. The last two games against Baylor and Oklahoma State, WVU allowed offenses to convert just five of 31 on third downs. That's awesome

They like to blitz too.

The Frogs will need a fast start to take the crowd out of it and a running game to control things. I believe the Frogs can run it on WVU.

We're on the air tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. CT on the TCU Sports Network. Talk to you then from Morgantown!

Kick 'Em High!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

TCU, WVU back where they belong

When TCU and West Virginia entered the Big 12 in 2012, the pundits said the Frogs and Mountaineers didn't belong or they couldn't play in the "big boy" sandbox, especially the Frogs.

And while the first two years in the new league were not a cakewalk for either program, both Gary Patterson and Dana Holgersen took copious notes, assessed where their respective squads were short and made changes to make their teams in order to win, not just be competitive.

Size on the defensive line, depth in the secondary and additional difference-makers at wide receivers were the recipe. A good QB would help, too.

All are now in place for both teams as they prep for their "Showdown in Morgantown" this Saturday.

From 4-8 last year to this week's College Football Playoff initial unveiling, both teams have the right to say, "How do you like me now?"

Even ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit is saying the Frogs can be in his Final 4, and West Virginia is on his list of Top 25 teams. My how things have changed for these teams!

Or returned to where they were.

Many were quick to forget that TCU and West Virginia were among the most successful programs much of the last decade. These schools are back where they belong — on the big stage and banner-carriers for their conference.

Saturday will be fun.

On Another Note

My heart breaks for Brandon Finnegan and the Royals after last night's Game 7. Finny had a great year, becoming the only player to play in the College World Series and Major League Baseball World Series in the same year. He made a name for himself and represented TCU with tremendous pride. Thanks, Finny!

Kick 'Em High!

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's your turn now, Frog fans

Whether you’re a 24/7 fan or just a casual observer, there’s no doubt that TCU Football has gained your attention this season.

It’s the WOW factor.

The new “Air Raid” offense, which I prefer to call the “Meacham Field” offense, has zoomed its way to a spot in the Top 10 in the nation in three important categories: No. 9 in passing offense (340.2 yards per game), No. 7 in total offense (537.7 ypg) and No. 5 in scoring offense (45.2 ppg). The Frogs are putting up huge numbers.

Now it’s your turn.

Home games mean home field advantage. The advantage is based on numbers and noise. The TCU student section should be Exhibit A in how to do it. They’re a non-stop noise-making machine, and the visitors bench area is not a fun place to be. Follow their lead.

TCU is now ranked No. 10 in the nation. This is the best team TCU has had in four seasons and is the best team in Texas right now. Game times reflect the Frogs’ performance, poll ranking and demand by the TV networks. The 11 o’clock kickoff excuse is gone. Get to the stadium.

Opposing teams’ fans are leaving tickets on the table, gobble them up and get your Purple on.

Texas Tech comes to visit with a sputtering offense and a defense that statistically is last in the Big 12 in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense. That's three key categories. Regardless, as they say, you still have to play them and beat them.

That means putting up big numbers for everybody. The Frogs and their fans. That means you.

Kick ‘Em High!