From the Annals of the Gridiron – In 1896, Texas Christian University played its first football game. It was an 8-6 victory over Toby’s Business College of Waco. At the time, the school was called the AddRan Male & Female College and was located near Waco. The school changed its name to TCU in 1902 and relocated to Waco in 1910. The storied program has had its ups and downs, but the Horned Frogs are ranked as the 5th best private college football program of all-time behind such notables as Notre Dame, USC and Miami. TCU has won two National Championships (both in the 1930s), numerous conference championships and has played in all of the major bowl games.
“College football is grateful to Iowa State for knocking off TCU.”
Accidentally overheard by Red from Dan Patrick – sports radio and TV giant ego and empty suit. The absolute worst of the worst in the sports broadcasting world. Why anyone listens to this moron is beyond Red. TCU was one of the best stories of the year and just fell short against this season’s giant killers – Iowa State.
From the Annals of College Football – In 2011, Texas Christian University accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference beginning on July 1, 2012. TCU’s Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin on January 1, 2011 had re-established TCU as a worthy program after having been snubbed by the nascent Big 12 following the breakup of the Southwest Conference in 1996. The Frogs were destined to wander among the walking dead of college football for 15 years going from the Western Athletic Conference to Conference USA to the Mountain West. Along the way, the Horned Frogs picked up 7 c0nference championships (2 WAC, 1 C-USA and 4 MWC) to go with their 9 SWC championships. It didn’t take the Frogs long to return to their winning ways among the bigger dogs – winning the B1g-12 in 2014 and capping it off with a 41-3 thumping of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. Since rejoining the Big 12, TCU has played in 3 bowl games only losing a 1 point squeaker to Michigan State in 2012.
From the Annals of Space Objects – In 1946, the Peña Blanca Spring meteorite plunged into a natural springs swimming pool at the headquarters of the Gage ranch in Brewster County in front of twenty-four witnesses – one of whom saw the meteorite in flight. The meteorite was approximately 155 lbs and two major fragments were recovered from the pool – one weighing 104 lbs and another at 29 lbs. The one eyewitness to the fall described the object as “looking like a black bag falling out of the sky.” Local residents recovered part of the space rock, but the major recovery was done by O.E. Monnig and Harrison Morse of Fort Worth who were meteorite enthusiasts. Five pieces of the PBS meteorite can be seen at the Monnig Meteorite Gallery at TCU in Fort Worth.
While Gov. Greg Abbott (TP- Texas) frets over Syrian refugees and boldly states that Texas will accept none (Red wonders exactly how that is going to work), our Poor Idiot Governor is ignoring the real crisis facing our state – the specter of the Stealth Dorm (ominous music plays).
It’s a good thing the Austin and Fort Worth City Councils are on the job, because they have recently passed anti-Stealth Dorm ordinances to deal with problems allegedly created by TCU and UT students cohabitating in willy-nilly fashion. The FW ordinance prohibits more than five unrelated people from occupying a single-family home, no matter how large it is, while the Austin ordinance puts the limit at four for new construction. The ordinances are allegedly justified as an attempt to preserve single family neighborhoods and avoid an end-around of municipal zoning laws. The allegedly awful consequence of allowing people to decide where and how to live include increased traffic, parking problems, noise and “overflowing sewers.” Red can see possible problems with the first three, but fails to see how 5 college students tax the sewer lines any more than a houseful of teenagers who are all related in some form or fashion. The hubbub has caught the attention of the Business Insider which you can peruse if you want to know more.
This week we travel to the South Plains for an interesting matchup between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the TCU Horned Frogs. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is still looking for a signature win in his third season as head coach. He has a prime chance on Saturday afternoon with the somewhat wounded Frogs coming to a sold-out AT&T Stadium Lubbock. The last ranked opponent Tech beat was a rising Arizona State program in the 2013 Holiday Bowl. Last year was a major step in the wrong direction as the Red Raiders went 4-8 and were almost shut out in the Big 12.
Is there an upset in the making? Well Red likes both of these teams, but has picked TCU to make it to the 4 team playoff – so Red is not completely disinterested here. Normally, Red wouldn’t bet against the Frogs, but things have not gone smoothly for the Frogs in losing some key defensive starters and Coach Gary Patterson has had distractions aplenty this week.
Tech has already improved from last season when the Red Raiders were 119th in turnover margin (minus-13) and dead last in the country in penalty yards per game (89.2). The Red Raiders lead the Big 12 with the fewest penalty yards per game (46) and are tied for second with a plus-5 turnover margin. The ability to put points on the board was also in doubt at times last season, but Tech is averaging a spanking 54.3 points and an astounding 590 yards per game so far against admittedly second-rate competition when compared to TCU.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the Horned Frogs will be playing several new defensive starters. But Coach Patterson has consistently put together excellent defenses and will be ready to throw the book at Tech to disrupt KK’s game plan.
Ultimately, Red thinks this game will turn on the quarterbacks. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is Red’s favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Meanwhile, Tech seems to have finally found a signal caller after a few years in the wilderness. Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes actually has more passing yards than Boykin (1,029 to 985), a better completion percentage (66.4 to 65.7) and is almost even with Boykin in yards per attempt and touchdown passes.
In the end, Red thinks that experience will out and Boykin will make the key plays in the stretch to win a game that will be a lot closer than expected. But it will be an exciting affair, so get someone else to take the nachos out of the oven; you don’t want to miss a minute of this one. The oddsmakers think so too as the line has dropped considerably with Tech now a 6.5 point dog at home. Red likes Tech to cover and the over at 80.5. TCU 45 Tech 42.
In most cases, pretty darn worthless it turns out. The Count of Wall Street Journal fame has run the numbers of the coaches at the major football schools. Rather than looking at won-loss records or conference championships, the Count analyzes exactly how well each coach did against opposing teams that were ranked in the Top 25 at game time. This eliminates stacking of the records against lower division opponents, perennial doormats and the intra-conference weak sisters.
Who is the best college football coach? Not surprisingly, it is the coach of defending National Champions Ohio State – Urban Meyer with a .707 mark. The highly regarded Nick Saban is a piker by comparison with a .597 career average against quality competition. So who is number two? Jimbo Fisher at Florida State has racked up a .666 winning percentage in his 18 games against ranked competition. But really, the oft-maligned Bob Stoops is likely the better coach – coming in batting .649 when going against the big boys in 77 games.
In Texas Gary Patterson at TCU is at the top of the heap with .559 winning percentage in 34 such contests. A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is a respectable second with a .500 mark in his 20 top tier tests. UT’s Charlie Strong (3-6) and Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury (2-7) don’t have enough games (at least 15) to make Red’s list – but neither is trending in the right direction. And you have to wonder at UT’s hiring of Strong when he had an all-time 2-1 record in games against real teams before joining the Longhorns.
Who looks really bad? Wunderkind Mike Leach is a pathetic .236 in 55 games against ranked competition and is fading fast having gone 1-11 at Washington State. Kansas State’s legendary Bill Snyder is more legend than reality with a .278 record in 79 games. Flavor of the Month Art Briles is on similar ground at .286 with all 10 of his wins over Top 25 opponents coming at Baylor. And at the bottom of the heap is Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre who has yet to get on base (.000 in 15 games).
Who is coming on strong? Mark Richt at Georgia racks up considerable numbers by virtue of playing in the SEC and is looking respectable at .535 in 71 games against the Beasts of the Southeast and others. David Shaw sports an impressive .625 mark in his 24 games – all at Stanford. The only other coaches above the .500 mark are Gus Malzahn (Auburn), Les Miles (LSU), Brian Kelly (Notre Mama). Jim Mora (UCLA) and Steve Spurrier (S. Carolina).