Posts Tagged ‘UNLV Rebels’

TCU 2011 Outlook– Schedule

Posted by    |    June 7th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Seventh time’s a charm; TCU tours the Mountain West one last time in 2011.

The Frogs open 2011 with a pair of very similar road games.  Both come against familiar foes—Baylor has played TCU three times since 2006, including last year’s “game” in Fort Worth.  Air Force has been a conference opponent for seven years running.  Both opponents feature senior quarterbacks, experienced skill players, and aggressive defenses, and both teams need to recover some dignity after suffering thorough beatdowns in Fort Worth last season.  TCU cannot afford a loss at either opponent if it wishes to play in a meaningful bowl, and needs to settle a lot of first-time starting jitters—without the benefit of a cupcake opponent at home.

The Frogs’ success in Waco and in Colorado Springs, perhaps more than its other opponents in the first half of the season, will hinge on how successfully Casey Pachall can leverage success on the ground into success in the air.  This was the formula by which Andy Dalton led TCU to the fore of the Mountain West, and will be the key to Pachall continuing the Frogs’ dominance in that conference for a final year.  So the question on this first pair of road games is going to be, after the threshold questions of basic competence about which Frogs fans have every reason to be confident, how well will the offensive line keep Baylor’s and Air Force’s pass-rush out of the pocket, and how well will the line blow open holes for TCU’s parade of talented tailbacks? (more…)

UNLV 2011 Outlook

Posted by    |    May 16th, 2011 at 10:48 am

UNLV is a year into the head coach Bobby Hauck rebuilding project; the show began with a rash of injuries in spring—as many as 17 out of one practice at a time.  That did not happen this year—perhaps the first sign of progress.  Hauck credited the players’ work in the weightroom for their improved health.  ”Now we’re probably lucky to a degree, but we’re also in better shape,” Hauck said.  Similarly, after a long scrimmage: “You’d love to go out and all spring have hundreds and hundreds of plays, but you can’t hold up physically. We held up physically, which is probably a byproduct of the weight room, being 15 months into the plan here.”
Improved conditioning in his Rebels has Bobby Hauck smiling. (more…)

2010 Mountain West Restrospective: Bottom Feeders

Posted by    |    February 8th, 2011 at 11:44 am

In many ways, 2010 was set up to be the Mountain West’s coming-out year.  Its champion had claimed the non-cartel autobid two years running, and its Big Three were bigger and better than ever (BYU’s rebuild notwithstanding).  And then the other feet (yes, that’s plural) began to fall, and suddenly the Mountain West began acquiring a certain wacishness, a “haven’t we seen this somewhere else” look.  Out went Utah, in came Boise.  BYU tried to upstage its rival, first by trying to blow up the Mountain West, then fleeing it.  Somehow Nevada and Fresno State were suddenly sitting at the MWC table, and the WAC was feverishly trying to douse the fuse.  

So by the time kickoff finally came around, the Mountain West no longer looked at 2010 as its coming-out party.  The cartel had, again, won.  Peeling off Utah and BYU, the cartel outflanked the MWC’s challenge to widen access to lucrative BCS money and bowls by an entire conference.  A couple top teams?  Sure, there’s wiggle room for that change; but an entire conference?  Not a chance.  Boise State and TCU were left dangling in the breeze, their conference still safely outside the cartel.  TCU won ascendence into the cartel later, but only after the threat of a seventh conference claiming a seat at the cartel’s table by right had fizzled.  (more…)

Recruiting snippits: TCU and its foes

Posted by    |    February 8th, 2011 at 11:35 am

Kibbles and bits about the freshly inked classes of recruits of TCU and its opponents:

Air Force is an out-of-state school that flexes the Texas connection better than most of the others.  Its 13 Texan signees (caveat: because AFA signees must jump through more than the usual number of hoops actually to enroll at the Academy, its incoming freshman class is not known until fall) are tied with OU for the second biggest class of Texans enrolling elsewhere.  Oklahoma State inked 24 Texans.  The Falcons also signed six quarterbacks (quite to Gary Patterson’s tastes).  Tim Jefferson and Connor Dietz are a senior and a junior, respectively, so expect at least a couple of these freshmen to remain quarterbacks in college.  Many of the Falcons’ commits would have attracted a lot more offers if they had a couple more inches on them.  The classic case: QB Dano Graves is a MaxPreps national player of the year, accounting for 85 touchdowns last seasons (good grief!).  And he’s 5’9″ and got one 1A offer.  He took it. (more…)

TCU Football Year in Review

Posted by    |    January 10th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Way back on September 2nd (only in football does three months a few days seem way back) the Wimple offered, as a public service, five reasons to curb our collective enthusiasm for the newborn football season.  Relax, was the message: 2009 rocked, and there’re a lot of good reasons to expect 2010, while good, not to exceed ’09.   Injuries might raise their ugly heads, and this year’s weakest link is backup quarterback.

“So pray for Andy Dalton’s durability, if you want the Frogs to top 2009 this year.  An inexperienced Pachall… isn’t going to best the Utes in Salt Lake City, or manhandle SDSU’s much-improved six-man secondary… in his first year.  So let’s hope he doesn’t have to.”

TCU’s ginger-headed gunslinger was one of the Frogs’ constants in 2010.

And, perhaps remarkably, the redshirt freshmen never had to take a snap with the outcome of the game in doubt.  Neither did the Frogs cave under the pressure to be perfect (another potential landmine noted in September), nor were the Frogs’ efforts in vain because Boise was more perfect than TCU.  In fact, speaking of Boise, perhaps it was a gift that this sentiment was true in September:

“Remember, Boise State put that monkey named You’re Still Not All That right back onto the Horned Frogs’ back in Glendale, and if history, including 2009, proves anything about TCU, it’s that the Frogs never—ever—get the monkey off their collective back.”  

And since 1938, that had been true, with exactly zero exceptions.  Andy Dalton and other Frogs said, over and over, how focused they were on returning to the BCS in 2010 and playing well; on purging the taste of the F-Bowl from their mouths.  It was Boise that, by besting the Frogs in Glendale, gave TCU the necessary motivation for success in Pasadena.

That success was a culmination of factors that were visible in September.  Two days following the article quoted above, your humble Wimple offered these five reasons to expect 2010 to exceed the heights of ’09.  (1) Andy Dalton and his receivers were all back; (2) Jake Kirkpatrick and his brethren in the trenches would dictate, not react; (3) the “ohmygawd backfield;” (4) a favorable schedule in which all the good teams came to Fort Worth (or Arlington), except Utah, and for that game Dalton’s greater experience than Utah’s Wynn’s would be the difference; and (5) with such a high starting ranking, TCU wouldn’t be passed by one-loss cartel teams.  

  Rimington winner Jake Kirkpatrick anchored the Frogs’ offensive line.

The story of TCU’s tremendous 2010 season is no less than the coming-true of every one of those good predictions, and (somehow!) the coming-false of every one of the bad predictions.  It is hard to fathom a more perfect season.  Dalton and his receivers indeed had a stellar year; Jake Kirkpatrick won the Rimington, and led a line that generally paved over opponents; the d-line was nearly as dominant; the backfield was outstanding; only one team registered a threat at Amon Carter Stadium, and the Utes’ poor quarterback was so thunderingly confused by TCU’s defense while Dalton had one of the best games of his career; and to top it off, the one-loss cartel teams in fact did not outrank TCU. (more…)