Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas thoughts

As Christmas approaches and TCU students are finishing up final exams, study up and ponder these holiday thoughts:

  • 10, 9, 8, 7…..Counting today, you have 10 shopping days left. Plenty of time to get it all done.
  • I don’t look at Christmas cards as a chore. I look at them as an opportunity to work on my penmanship.
  • High school football fans, Cowboys Stadium is your Mecca this weekend. Starting Thursday and running through Saturday, there are three state championship games per day. Check your local listings for teams and times.
  • Speaking of championships, here’s my Top 5 favorite Christmas carols:
  1. "Silent Night" – I always tear-up.
  2. "The Christmas Song" – Nat King Cole. What a voice.
  3. "O Come, All Ye Faithful" – I call it the Christmas fight song. I can hear the TCU marching band playing it!
  4. Any Christmas song by Mitch Miller – sing along with Mitch!
  5. "Jingle Bells" – strong finish to my five-song set!
  • Have I told you how last year my Christmas lights knocked out the breaker that also feeds the refrigerator in the garage? It happened while I was at the Rose Bowl. You should have seen the mess when I got back from Pasadena!
  • Speaking of Christmas lights, I’ve not gone LED yet. I’m an old-fashioned C9 big bulb fan.
  • Frog fans, start getting ready. We are six days away from the Poinsettia Bowl. This is the biggest game of the year, if you care about how TCU will launch into the Big 12 Conference. Check out Louisiana Tech. They’re good.

Finally, just a reminder that while the Christmas season tends to put us all in a rush, it’s important to slow down and take time to reach out to those most important to you and tell them how you feel about them. I know I get in a rush trying to get “things” done. Instead of concentrating on “things,” I’m trying to concentrate on “people.” I hope you’ll do the same.

Also, it’s our own responsibility to be happy at this “joyful” time of year, so whatever or whoever gets you to that place, go there!

Merry Christmas!

Kick ‘Em High!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Post-season moves and bowl games

Post-Season Moves

Congratulations to TCU co-offensive coordinator Justin Fuente. Today, he was introduced as the new head coach of the Memphis Tigers. Having worked with Justin, I can tell you that he’s a sharp, young football mind who’s on the fast track. He came to TCU through a connection with former quarterbacks coach Dick Winder (another great offensive mind). That should tell you all you need to know. Frankly, I’m surprised that TCU was able to hang onto him this long. Good luck to Justin.

Strange state in Arizona

What a weird situation yesterday at Arizona State? First, they offer June Jones the job and then later pull the offer because a few well-placed alums didn’t care for the choice. Do they know what they just did to their search effort? How does the AD feel? Hiring a head coach is hard enough without the perception that a program’s support base is divided and really doesn’t know what it wants. Who wants to walk into a situation like that? Good luck to the Sun Devils as they compete with several other programs for a coach while dealing with the “now you’re our guy, now you’re NOT” syndrome.

Cancelling Bowl Games

Forgive me for picking and choosing among the 35 bowl games on the docket, but let’s get real here. If you have 35 games, that means 70 teams go to post-season play. With only 120 FBS teams, that means 50 teams must stay home. Keeping in mind that I’m using the old-school “7 wins = Bowl Bid theory." Here are some others who should stay at home as well along with complete wipeouts:

  • Marshall (6-6) – Thundering?? Really?
  • Arizona State (6-6) – They don’t even have a head coach and just bungled a hiring. Study Hall should be the holiday destination for this program.
  • Purdue (6-6) – Simmering, definitely not boiling.
  • Iowa State (6-6) – Should the Oklahoma State win count as two? If so, then let the Pinstripe Bowl (George Steinbrenner is laughing somewhere) go on.
  • Music City Bowl – CANCELLED due to lack of wins. Mississippi A&M and Wake Forest have 12 losses between them. Geez.
  • Texas Bowl – CANCELLED – Coachless Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College faces Northwestern – they both have 6-shooters full of losses, too!
  • Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – CANCELLED. How about fight losses? UCLA has 7, Illinois has 6. This could be called the No Coach Bowl as both teams are looking.
  • Vanderbilt (6-6) – OK, they were only 5 games worse in the win column than Alabama, which didn’t make it to the SEC Championship game, either.
  • Gator Bowl – CANCELLED. Another Dirty Dozen Losses matchup in Jacksonville with losses equaling wins. Winner takes on the Jags.
  • Pitt (6-6)—Thank goodness, it’s basketball season. Maybe Jamie Dixon can help ease the pain.

Kick ‘Em High!

Monday, December 5, 2011

No heartache here

For many schools and fans, the college football season is over…at least for their team. Before you get too worked up over the Frogs not reaching a BCS Bowl, consider these nuggets:
  • You can’t get there by losing to SMU.
  • I remember (and so can many) when TCU’s bowl appearances post-1960 could be counted on three fingers – 1965 Sun, 1984 Bluebonnet and 1994 Independence. Count ‘em! Three in 30 seasons. All losses by the way.
  • TCU is one of just 12 programs nationally to play in a bowl game in 13 of the last 14 seasons.
  • TCU (10-2) has reached the 10-win mark for the fourth straight year and eighth time in the last 10 seasons under Patterson. Prior to his arrival on campus in 1998, the Horned Frogs had just four 10-win seasons in their history.
While the Sugar Bowl was tantalizingly close, and Frog fans have become accustomed to their bowl flight “upgrades” to Tempe and Pasadena the last two seasons, one must remember that this 2011 TCU team overcame and over-delivered. The Frogs had lost 27 seniors off a Rose Bowl championship team, the secondary was untested and Andy Dalton was living in Cincinnati. This team sat at 3-2 on October 1st. “Dead-in-the-water” was the description many uttered.

Meanwhile, Coach P and staff kept pushing and probably did their best job of coaching in the Patterson era.

My advice to all: Don’t take any bowl for granted. As my dad says, “It’s a short trip from the penthouse to the outhouse.”

And if you haven’t lifted a glass to the 2011 Horned Frogs, today would be a good day.

Kick ‘Em High!

Friday, December 2, 2011

UNLV and the coaching carousel

Coaching Carousel
Well, it’s that special time of the year, again, coaches getting fired and athletics directors hurrying to fill vacancies. Hurry, only 23 shopping days! Most want to have their guy hired before bowl season is over. It’s good PR to announce the new hire during bowl season, and it gives the new staff a head start on recruiting and trying to salvage whatever commitments the former staff had. So far, Bob Davie (New Mexico), Rich Rodriguez (Arizona), Urban Meyer (Ohio State) and Mike Leach (Washington State) are winners in “The New Best Coach” contest and there are more to come. Those interested should send resumes to Arizona State, UCLA, Kansas, Illinois, UAB, Memphis, Ole Miss, oops, and I nearly forgot Penn State. Must have own tools.

Sherman’s March is Over
Oh, wait….this just in: Believe it or not, the Aggies are not satisfied and fired Coach Mike Sherman. As Santa would say, “On Dasher, On RC, on Fran and on Sherman!”
As Roger Daltry would ask, “Who’s Next?”

Allow me to share with you all my soul-searching analysis on the NBA ending its labor dispute and starting the shortened season………………(add toner)

Season-Ending Trivia
Did you know that tomorrow’s season finale against UNLV is the second latest home game date since 1934. Only the 1963 final home game vs. Rice, on December 7, was played later.

The Rebels are the only thing standing between the Frogs and their third straight MWC title. While I look for the Frogs to open it up on the Rebels and win big, here’s what you need to know about this team from the “Bright Light City:”

  • UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck is a good coach. He took Montana to the FCS playoffs seven straight years.
  • UNLV likes to run the ball and they are physical. Look for running backs Tim Cornett and Dionza Bradford. They give the Rebels a real running threat.
  • UNLV has won two games this year and has a 15-game road losing streak.
  • The offensive line is an issue when UNLV tries to pass. They’ve given up 32 sacks. Hello, Stansly Maponga!
  • The Rebels have started three different quarterbacks this year.
  • Pass defense is not a strong suit – the Rebels give up 253 yards per game through the air, good for No. 97 in the nation and dead-last in the MWC.

Seniors 2011
Regardless of weather, make sure you’re at Amon G. Carter Stadium tomorrow to say goodbye to a TCU senior class that with a win Saturday will notch victory No. 46. Nineteen Frogs will make the run out of the tunnel for the last time tomorrow and let me assure you, there will be tears. It’s a very emotional time.

Bowl Vibes
TCU’s bowl destination is still up in the air. IF you have BCS desires, the cheer hard this weekend for Southern Miss, LSU, Texas and Michigan State. If any of those four lose, then it’s Vegas or San Diego. I like the beach.

Hoops goes for 3
The TCU Men’s Basketball team heads to Evansville Saturday to try to make it three wins in a row and the women’s team smoked Houston, 80-35, yesterday while holding the Lady Cougs without a field goal for a 9-minute stretch!

Enjoy Championship Weekend!

Kick ‘Em High!