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Posts Tagged ‘Casey Pachall’

No. 22: T.C.U.

T.C.U. has won 47 games since 2008, the third-most in college football: Boise State has 50 wins, Alabama 48. T.C.U. has won 50 of its last 55 game overall, with losses to Oklahoma, Utah, Boise State, S.M.U. and Baylor joining wins over… I’m not writing out that list. T.C.U. ended its affiliation with the Mountain West with 24 straight league wins, the longest current conference winning streak in the F.B.S., and with three straight M.W.C. titles — the first team in the league’s history to have done so. T.C.U. has won at least 10 games in each of the last four years, matching the program’s previous tally of double-digit win seasons from its inception through 1997, the year before Gary Patterson’s arrival. Having hit the glass ceiling, having achieved all there is to achieve on the non-B.C.S. conference level, T.C.U. is about to hit the big time. The Horned Frogs are going from AAA to the majors, the Mountain West to the Big 12 — via the Big East — and it’s about time.

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    Who Steps Up for the Horned Frogs?

    Where does T.C.U. go from here? I’m speaking of the Horned Frogs as a football team, mind you, not the university as a whole, which will do a fair amount of soul-searching over the coming weeks and months. Here’s what the program has lost, boiled down to the pertinent facts: an all-American linebacker, a starting strong safety, an all-conference defensive tackle and a reserve offensive lineman. Just on paper, that’s a fairly devastating set of losses. Digging deeper, however, reveals four departures that will hamper the Horned Frogs immensely as the team prepares for life in the Big 12. That’s the offensively-potent Big 12, of course, which contained four of the nation’s most prolific scoring teams in the country a season ago.

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      The Year in Review: T.C.U. (11-2 8-0)

      T.C.U. has won 46 games since 2008, the third-most in college football: Boise State has 49 wins, Alabama 47. T.C.U. has won 37 of its last 40 game overall, with losses to Boise State, S.M.U. and Baylor joining wins over… I’m not writing out that list. T.C.U. has won 24 straight games in Mountain West play, the longest current conference winning streak in the F.B.S., and has won three straight M.W.C. titles — the first team in the league’s history to have done so. T.C.U. has won at least 10 games in each of the last four years, matching the program’s previous tally of double-digit win seasons from its inception through 1997, the year before Gary Patterson’s arrival.

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        Sloppy T.C.U. Moves Onto the Big 12

        Prior to last night, T.C.U. hadn’t faced a current member of the WAC since leaving that conference for the Mountain West in 2001. It’s just a thought, but the Horned Frogs might want to begin a similar streak of WAC-free existence once the program moves to the Big 12 next fall. It was the story of two teams, as every game is, but with a different feel: one team, Louisiana Tech, was clearly looking at the Poinsettia Bowl as an opportunity. T.C.U., on the other hand, seemed less than enthused.

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          T.C.U. Goes From B.C.S. to Poinsettia

          Barely miss out on a B.C.S. bowl? If you’re from a B.C.S. conference, your parachute drops you nicely in, say, the Cotton Bowl: disappointing, but there are worse places to be. Now, if you’re from a non-B.C.S. conference, the drop is significantly more precipitous. Take T.C.U., which finished two B.C.S. spots shy of an automatic B.C.S. bowl; 18th in the final standings, the Horned Frogs needed to finish at least 16th to reach a third straight B.C.S. bowl. But the slide from near-B.C.S. heights is steep if you’re in the Mountain West, for example, where T.C.U. recently closed its final non-B.C.S. regular season in style.

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            P.S.R. Heisman Watch: 2012 Watch List

            Perhaps the only surprising aspect of Robert Griffin III’s Heisman win was that he won the South region, garnering 303 points to Trent Richardson’s 256 in an area easily labeled as SEC country: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. That Griffin won at all is far from surprising, nor is that fact that he won by a fairly comfortable margin. His coronation complete, we can close the book on the race for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. And begin looking towards 2012, as it’s never too soon to handicap an award ceremony 12 months away, right?

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              Baffling. Flabbergasting. Mystifying.

              Many, many people echoed the same point even when Boise State was rolling through the first eight games of 2011 unopposed: at some point, the Broncos’ lack of a kicking game would be the deciding factor in a loss. Extra points are like pulling teeth. Field goals? Not outside of 30 yards. Yet with a perfect record on the line — with everything in the balance — Boise relied on its kicking game to beat T.C.U. and keep the team’s national title hopes alive. This was the worst decision of Chris Petersen’s coaching career.

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                Watching T.C.U. for the Wrong Reason

                Heading into September, I thought the date with Air Force would cause T.C.U. the most trouble: the Horned Frogs are young, as last Friday proved, while the Falcons are as experienced — both in terms of age and experience in Troy Calhoun’s system — as any team in the Mountain West. And no, while I thought Baylor would give T.C.U. some trouble I did not the Bears could actually win the game, which they did in extremely dramatic fashion. Here was where I stood: at worst, T.C.U. would depart its two-game road trip to open 2011 at 1-1; at best, the Horned Frogs would be 2-0 in convincing fashion.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.