Thursday, November 14, 2013

Can One Guy Make That Much Difference? - Exhibit B

A couple of weeks ago, I asked the question, “Can one guy make that much difference?”

The answer is yes.

If it pleases the court, I’d like to offer Exhibit B in the form of Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. At the ripe young age of 73, Snyder is in his second tour of duty at the helm at K-State.

In his first stint, he took Kansas State University of Agriculture and Applied Science from being the laughing stock of college football to a feared power.

Sidebar on Kansas State: K-State used to appear in the AP’s Bottom 10 rankings every week back in the 1970s with Rice, TCU and Northwestern. They were a joke. In 1984, I played against KSU, and we beat them in the home opener 42-10 and it wasn’t THAT close.

After winning just one game in 1989, Snyder got the PowerCats to 11 wins in 1997 and again in ’98, ’99 and 2000. He retired a Kansas State legend in 2005.

Then Kansas State Football suffered.

So they talked him in to coming back in 2009 and the Wildcats showed life at 6-6. They’ve improved every year since Snyder came back, with win totals the last three years of 7, 10 and 11.

Today, I say they’re the hottest team in the Big 12 right now, having won three in a row and rolling up 49 on Texas Tech last week.

Yes, one guy can make that much difference.

BUT, I like the Frogs chances in The Little Apple on Saturday.  Why?
  • Kansas State wants to run the football and grind it out. TCU rolls into Aggieville with the best rushing defense in the Big 12.
  • The Frogs found a way to win last week for the first time in a month when they weren’t their best. I see a spark.
  • TCU can sell out, play loose and they have two weeks to heal up for Baylor. K-State, on the other hand, has Oklahoma next week.

Here’s to a big Frog road win Saturday and the perfect setup for a big game with Baylor at the end of the month.

Kick ‘Em High!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Can One Guy Make That Much Difference?

College football is a team game.  One hundred guys sticking together as a group, playing for each other.   You’ve heard it 1,000 times from Gary Patterson:  Each player doing his 1/11th.

As we say hello to the 11th month of the year and Thanksgiving looms just 27 days away, we get into the wheelhouse of college football.  Players lost for the year to injury and some coming back from injury. Some teams up, some teams down. Surprise teams and a few team buses with flat tires along the side of the college football road looking for help.

Speaking of help, I ask the question, “Can one guy make THAT much difference?” The answer is yes. One example is Texas new Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson. Nowhere mentioned in relation to UTex football at the beginning of the year. Mack Brown when to the bullpen phone and brought Robinson out of the shadows to revamp Bevo’s defense and fix the leaks, while standing in waist deep water, extension cords dangerously close to the surface. Robinson grabbed a wrench and fixed the leaks, went back to the basics.  He has done more than fix the defense at UT. He has reinstalled attitude and swagger throughout the UT program. And saved Mack Brown.
The Texas defense I saw last Saturday night has come light years since BYU made hamburger out of them earlier in the year.

Here’s another guy. Casey Pachall. With a presence and an arm to go with it, Pachall is now the difference maker for this TCU team. What a story if he can lead the Frogs to three more wins, get them to a bowl and leave TCU on the upswing. Pachall adds another gear to the TCU offense and gets rid of the ball in a hurry. His arm is strong and accurate. So strong, in fact, that TCU’s wideouts didn’t look ready for the delivery velocity that No. 4 gave them last week. Casey also delivered a heartfelt assessment of the offense in the wee hours postgame media session, basically saying that the offense needs to look inside and get it fixed. Casey Pachall can make THE DIFFERENCE. I’m pulling for him and you should be, too.

West Virginia comes to town with the same record as the Frogs — 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12. Look for a lot of motion and screens from the Mountaineers. They are last in the Big 12 in total defense, so the Frog offense should have some room to work. Both teams are missing their big offensive weapons from 2012, WVU's Tavon Austin and TCU’s Josh Boyce. Both of those guys put on a show last year in TCU’s 39-38 overtime win. Each team needs someone to step up as a playmaker. It’s time.

Brian and I are on the air tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on the TCU Sports Network. It’s Frogs For The Cure Day at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

And, Trent Johnson’s new, young Frogs open their season tonight with an exhibition game with Arkansas-Fort Smith at 7 p.m. at DMC.  This is an athletic and talented group that features some of the best scoring talent that TCU has put on the floor in a while. Catch them in action tonight and next week at the AAC in Dallas against SMU.

Kick Em High!