Blog Entry

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:54 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 7:16 pm

Posted by Bryan Fischer

I started a new feature on the blog last week called The Monday Mailbag. I have now changed it to The Tuesday Tweetbag because can and because I like alliteration. I'm here to answer questions tweeted to me so make sure you follow me on Twitter at @BryanDFischer. So without further ado, let the smorgasbord of questions commence.
To be honest, I think both will have no issues transitioning to the Big 12. In 2012, both should have teams that will be very competitive and are likely dark horse picks to win the conference. Had TCU not had their issues, you would have seen plenty of people go out on a limb and put the Horned Frogs atop their preseason ballots. West Virginia returns their starting quarterback, Heisman candidate Geno Smith, and 14 other starters from a team that turned in one of the most impressive bowl performances in history. There are several holes they need to fill but a solid recruiting class should complement who is already on the roster. Both teams fit stylistically into the Big 12 and Dana Holgorsen knows the league well from his days as an assistant.

What really helps the two newcomers is the fact that the Big 12 has never really been this open. The Red River Rivalry might determine the eventual winner but neither Texas or Oklahoma will dominate like they have in the past. Last year Oklahoma State won the whole thing and Baylor - Baylor! - overcame a really bad defense to turn in a historic season. From top to bottom there was more parity than just about every other BCS league. I think TCU stands to benefit more than anybody going forward beyond 2012 as they're now the only BCS-level program in the talent-rich Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex and have upgraded facilities to the point that they come into the conference as equals. It's going to be a little more difficult for Holgorsen but he's proven he can turn unheralded recruits into big time offensive players and win at multiple levels. Of all the programs that have changed conferences, I would put all the money in my wallet on TCU and West Virginia being the most successful.
I've heard several good things about Beckman and think he's done a good job getting things going early on but faces an uphill climb. While Zook was known as a good recruiter (both at Illinois and Florida before that), his teams lacked consistency and, outside of when the Illini went 9-4 in 2007, never could break through into the top half of the conference. He had a few surprising gets on the recruiting trail but there were never enough good players on Zook's teams to make a difference. Anytime you upgrade in the coaching department, it's good for the program. How much Beckman elevates Illinois remains to be seen but it's a solid hire. Little things - ok major things - like not knowing the score, probably won't happen with the new staff. While it should mean the team is better on the field in terms of "the little things," I'm not sure that will translate into a huge number of wins.
I've seen Burfict since high school and there's no question that he is a talented linebacker. In his star-crossed career however, it has always come down to what the heck is going on between his ears. There was a point where most people had him pegged as a possible top 10 pick, now he'll be lucky to go on the first two days of the draft. I think there were plenty of issues with him and Dennis Erickson at Arizona State so I wonder if getting out of that environment and into the NFL will be a positive for Burfict. Perhaps the jolt of teams treating him like an adult rather than a kid that a coach's job is depending on will, in turn, make him a better player.

He is a good football player who will be drafted. How good and how high depends on how hard he wants to work and how serious he is about controlling his emotions and playing the right way. If he's still known for picking up personal fouls in two years, I'd say he's going to be looking for a new line of work much quicker than he first thought. Bruce Feldman has plenty more on Burfict and the draft on his blog.
This is such an interesting draft because the drop off from the first two quarterbacks (Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III) to the number three guy is huge. But because so many teams need a signal-caller, Tannehill has the potential to go as high as the top 10 during the draft. If you look at the quarterback rankings, he has a first round projection but if I were an NFL GM, he would simply be too much of a risk to draft that high. Unlike most of the other guys, Tannehill doesn't have as many reps at the position because he played wide receiver - and was pretty good at it - for a while when in College Station. I think there is a lot to like about him, starting with his size and mobility, but I just can't see how the upside is worth a first round pick when you consider the caliber of players available.

If I had a need at quarterback, I think I would wait things out if I couldn't grab Luck or RG3. There are options on the free agent market (including, likely, some guy named Manning) and several guys who I think could be solid NFL guys in the 2nd round like Kirk Cousins or Brandon Weeden. Don't forget, there should be another strong group of QBs coming out next year like Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson.

Our draft guys also tackled the Tannehill debtate and went into detail on what they saw from the tape.


Since: Jul 31, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:31 am

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

It might be a good time to become a fan of either of the new members.  Tired of the entitlement and harsh judgemant of the coaches at UT.  Always have pulled against OU.  Who wouldn't pull against Barry Switzer?

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 3:49 am

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

Without a doubt, Illinois should be feeling some relief and excitement now that the Zooker is gone.  People need to remember that Zook was Florida's third choice to take over for Steve Spurrier.  The fireronzooknow movement got started because Jeremmy Foley hired a coach who had been fired by the legendary spurrier.  Whatever recruiting skills Zook had, they could never translate into anything but mediocrity in terms of coaching.  I predict that Illinois will get an uptick in its program by Zook being gone and Beckman being in charge.  It happened at Florida and it can happen at Illinois.

Since: Oct 21, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 3:16 am

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

I think its open for anyone to win the Big 12. I think OU is the favorite bringing back a lot of weapons and Stoops to my knowledge is a fantastic coach. OSU should still be on top, what a year last year which not only helped their recruiting but most importantly helped their confidence. UT gets all the best recruits in Texas before all teams and that RB Gray is going to bring their running game to a whole new level. TCU has never played a lot of these teams and anyone coming into a new conference will be adjustments. Luckly TCU has been through many of these conference moves and this is what we have always wanted to be back with the "big boy" conference, so TCU will be ready. Playing in front of huge away game crowd will be difficult. I'm curious how these refs are going to be to TCU...they usually favor UT/OU, something OSU has had to deal with getting to the top I imagine. Rival games every game will be an adjustment since these kids will be playing against high school buddies and that is new for TCU. Emotional wear and tear over the season will be a factor and we will have to see how TCU handles their focus and drive. I believe in Gary Patterson and this is not the old TCU of SWC days. TCU will be proactive and stubborn to be the best and I believe Gary Patterson and crew can do it. Having Glasgow leave TCU, go to Texas Tech, and then come back to TCU I think will help us in his knowledge preparing us to be able to take a long season. TCU wlll adjust in strength and success, no doubt in my mind. Go Frogs!

Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:47 am

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more


Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:43 am

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more


Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:42 am

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more


Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:38 pm

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

We WVU and Geno Smith Threw for over 550 yards against LSU.Like i said look every place Dana Has Been.I would of loved to see OK.State play Bama or LSU.But The SEC people who right now OWN ESPN and CBS.didn't want some else come in there and Beat there Boys AT HOME TO BEAT.You Remeber about 3 years ago when Utah played Bama in The Sugar Bowl,and Pounded them,and i mean pounded them.Utah lined up that Big Full Back in The back field,and Ran over them.When The Game was over,Saban couldn't run off the field fast enough.The Rose Bowl 2 years ago didn't like TCU beating The Badgers either.This years NC game was the worest game i have ever seen.So i don't want to hear about Defense.Your Best Defense is a Good Offense.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:34 pm

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

Welcome to the Big 12 wvufan, you will find out who plays defense soon enough.

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:14 pm

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

I think the bigger question is...Can anyone play defense? 

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:38 pm

Tuesday Tweetbag: TCU/WVU to the Big 12 and more

I have found that it's typically not Big XII folks that doubt TCU and WVU will compete.  Typically it's everyone else, those who wish to detract from either TCU, WVU, the Big XII or just every team or conference but their own. (Yes, I'm looking at you SEC)  WVU and TCU can stack up next to anyone with their starting lineups.  The question is, once we're 6 games in will they have the depth to maintain their level of play?

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