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Tag:Rose Bowl
Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: TCU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at TCU , who began practice over the weekend.

Spring Practice Question: Do the Horned Frogs have the offensive firepower to slam the door in the Mountain West's face on their way out?

Remember how when NBA legends like Julius Erving would announce their retirement, their final season would be a long series of tearful goodbyes as the legend-in-question would be showered at each road venue with gifts and well-wishes? And you know how this is TCU's final season in the Mountain West, the conference it's won three times and helped shape into a national power on the cusp of an automatic BCS bid? Yeah, that season is going to be the complete opposite of that NBA thing.

Because the Mountain West has done all it can to skip the bouquets and send the Horned Frogs off to the Big East with a giant kick in the pants. Not only did the league unilaterally force TCU to forgo their biggest home game of the year in exchange for a brutal road game at Boise State, they ignored the Frogs' choice for a bye week in favor of giving them weeks off before New Mexico and UNLV ... two miserable teams the Frogs could have swept in a doubleheader the week after going to Boise if they had to. It's safe to say there's nothing the MWC wants more than to see TCU flail their way out of a league that spent the year proving it didn't need them; it's equally safe to say there's nothing Gary Patterson would like more than to say good-bye with the raised middle finger of a third straight conference championship.

But entering spring practice, the odds look much longer than they did in either 2009 or 2010. While part of that is the enhanced schedule -- even the Frogs' undefeated showdowns with Utah the past two seasons won't present nearly the challenge of taking on the Broncos on the blue turf -- the much larger part is facing down that schedule with so much lost on offense. Eight starters are gone from the unit that helped bring home a Rose Bowl title, a group headlined by four-year quarterback starter and career 10,000-yard passer Andy Dalton.

But the losses go much deeper than that. The Frogs' second-, third- and fourth-leading receivers are all departed, including top go-to possession wideout Jeremy Kerley and the reliable Jimmy Young. Bookend 6'6" tackles Marcus Cannon and Zach Roth have both graduated. In the interior of the line, the Frogs must replace 300-pound guard Josh Vernon and 308-pound All-American center Jake Kirkpatrick, only the 2010 Rimington Trophy winner.

The good news for TCU is that particularly at the skill positions, they seem positioned to weather the storm. Quarterbacking heir-to-the-throne Casey Pachall was one of Patterson's most highly-regarded recruits, has drawn rave reviews in practice, and should be more than ready as a redshirt sophomore. The tailback tag-team of juniors Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker -- who combined for 1,787 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns in 2010 -- returns intact. Top receiver Josh Boyce is back after a breakout redshirt freshman season that saw him average an eye-popping 19 yards per reception.

But there's only so much all that skill-position talent can do if the four new starters up front aren't up to the task. Spring camp should give Patterson and the TCU fans an excellent chance to gauge their progress across from one of the perennially best-coached defensive fronts in the country (not to mention Tank Carder). If the line shows potential, Pachall lives up to the hype, and some member of the Frog receiving corps steps up to provide some measure of balance across from Boyce, it won't be too early to start dreaming about yet another BCS season.

But if not? Boise's going to start licking their chops (to say nothing of teams like BYU, San Diego State, Baylor, etc.), and the MWC bigwigs can start their dreaming about having the last laugh.


Posted on: March 3, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 8:34 pm
 

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In college football, more than any other sport, the stadiums can be just as memorable as the games played within them. So as CBS Sports takes a look at the best stadiums that college football has to offer, the bloggers here at Eye On College Football share their three favorite stadiums in the country.




1. Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif., capacity 92, 452). It's simple: if College Football Nation ever decided to name one stadium its Capitol building, there would really be only one choice. No venue boasts more college football history, reflects more college football history (remember that the Rose Bowl is the most famous of many imitators of the original Yale Bowl, arguably the most architecturally-influential stadium in all of football), or is more immediately synonymous with the college game. There's a reason that Super Bowls and World Cup finals stop by from time to time to borrow what the Rose Bowl gives college football on the regular.

If you'd agree with the statement that college football's biggest games are the ones played in its biggest bowls -- and why wouldn't you? -- the importance of the Rose Bowl becomes even more obvious. Because as great a game as the Sugar Bowl is, how much, really, does the Superdome add to it? The University of Phoenix Stadium to the Fiesta? The Orange Bowl isn't even played in the Orange Bowl any more. The Rose Bowl, on the other hand, is the Rose Bowl in very large part because it's played at the Rose Bowl. It's a stadium that deserves to host national championships, rather than one that simply does. And what higher compliment can you pay a college football venue than that?




2. Sanford Stadium (University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., capacity 92,746). It's impossible to make a list of college football's greatest stadiums without relying heavily on candidates from the SEC; it doesn't get any louder than in Florida Field or Jordan-Hare, there's no atmosphere more intense than at Bryant-Denny or Tiger Stadium, there's no venue more exhilarating than Neyland or the underrated Williams-Brice. 

But for this blogger's money, there's no more unique SEC stadium experience than that at Sanford. Whereas most of the classic SEC stadiums tower like concrete monoliths over their surrounding campuses, Sanford -- nestled into a former creek bed between gentle slopes on either side -- feels more integrated with what's already one of the most picturesque campuses in the South. Add in the mystique of the Hedges and the perennially rabid Dawg fans, and walking down to Sanford with 92,000 other fans for an evening kickoff is one of the special atmospheres in college football. It's splitting hairs picking one SEC stadium -- ask em again tomorrow and you'll get a different answer -- but this hair is split in Athen's favor.




3. Michigan Stadium (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., capacity 109,901). "The Big House" is, hands-down, the greatest optical illusion in football; viewed from the outside (particularly for those raised on the above-mentioned SEC sky-scrapers, and particularly before the recent renovations), the deep-set stadium appears nondescript, unintimidating even. But then you enter, and the rows and rows and rows just keep going and going and going. You look from one corner to its opposite and realize that even as the proverbial crow flies, it's a long, long way. You know you are in the largest football stadium ever built in America. And you are impressed.

Of course, that size has had its drawbacks; with that much wide-open space and a crowd whose less-than-rowdy reputation isn't entirely undeserved, the Big House hasn't always been the loudest venue for opposing teams. But the new luxury suite/press box structure has helped that problem, and a lively student section (silly third-down key waving excepted) does its part as well. The bottom line is that if you come away disappointed in a stadium that's as quintessentially college football as it is big -- and the Big House is both -- that's your problem.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 7:49 pm
 

Illinois gives Ron Zook a raise

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Illinois finished its season with a 7-6 mark thanks to a win over Baylor in the Texas Bowl, which wouldn't ordinarily be something to be incredibly proud of. Sure, it's nothing to be ashamed of, but winning one more game than you lose, and taking home a December bowl game isn't exactly the type of performance you build your program on.

However, this is Illinois. The Texas Bowl victory was the school's first bowl win since the MicronPC Bowl in 1999, and only it's third bowl victory since 1991. So in Champaign, when you pick up a bowl win, that means that Ron Zook and a couple of assistants are getting raises.
Illini Athletic Director Ron Guenther said Wednesday that Zook's annual salary will be increased from $1.5 million to $1.75 million once approved by university trustees.
Guenther said Zook's staff will get raises, too. That includes offensive coordinator Paul Petrino and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. Petrino will get a $50,000 raise to $525,000 a year and Koenning will be paid $342,000, a $17,000 bump. 
Guenther also said that Illinois' bowl win over Baylor is the school's first step towards regular bowl appearances, though I'm sure he felt the same way after Zook and the Illini went to the Rose Bowl 2008. After being trounced by USC in that game, the Illini only won eight games over the next two seasons. Which led to the staff overhaul that saw Petrino and Koenning come to town.

So while there may be reasons to be optimistic about the direction the Illinois football team is taking, I'm just saying that if I were running things, I think I might wait until I made back-to-back postseason appearances before proclaiming things have been turned around.
Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:27 am
 

TCU doesn't want a Wisconsin rematch

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TCU put a nice bow on their undefeated season with a victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, but it seems that one victory over the Badgers is enough for the Horned Frogs for now. Apparently UNLV wants out of its season-opening date with Wisconsin on September 3rd, and an unknown third-party then contacted both Wisconsin and TCU with the prospect of the two schools kicking off 2011 against one another.

It was a matchup that Bret Bielema was all to eager to rekindle.

"I was contacted a week and half after the bowl game about the opportunity to play TCU in our opener," Bielema told The Big 1070 in Madison. "It was something that was going to be broadcast and made a big deal, it took me all of about point five seconds to say yes."

Unfortunately for Bielema and the Badgers, TCU wasn't as excited about the idea. Though not because they feared playing Wisconsin. TCU AD Chris Del Conte confirmed that he was contacted about the rematch as well, but turned it down since there would be only one game and it would be played at Wisconsin.

"We already have Baylor for our opening game," Del Conte said. "A team supposedly Wisconsin played last year doesn't want to go back there. A third party was shopping the game around to other teams. I have no interest in playing a one-[time] game."

Considering that TCU has already had its game against Boise State moved to Boise, I can understand why it wouldn't want to add a trip to Wisconsin to its schedule. Those would be two incredibly tough games to start and finish your season with, and if TCU can't get consideration for a national title when it goes undefeated, it isn't going to a BCS game with two losses either.

Though Del Conte did say that he'd make an exception for Ohio State. Seems he's still a bit sore about E. Gordon Gee's "Little Sisters of the Poor" comment.
Posted on: February 7, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 2:51 pm
 

What TCU fans can expect from the post-Dalton era

Posted by Chip Patterson

Gary Patterson
has the TCU football program moving forward with some serious momentum.  The Horned Frogs are fresh off a 14-0 season that ended in a thrilling 21-19 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, they are one season away from joining the Big East and becoming eligible for an automatic spot to the Bowl Championship Series, and to top it all off they just broke ground on a $130 million fundraising effort for a new stadium and facilities.

Things are looking good for the future of TCU football, but enough talk about the forest - let's look at some trees.  For the last two years, TCU's offense has been led by quarterback Andy Dalton.  The two-time MWC Offensive Player of the Year leaves the Horned Frogs as the school's winningest quarterback with 42 wins as a starter.  So what does future look like at the quarterback position?

According to Stefan Stevenson, of the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, the future will likely look very different on the surface.

Stevenson recently profiled Casey Pachall, the backup freshman quarterback who appears to be next-in-line for the starting job.  Pachall looks very different than Dalton is several ways.  The 6-foot-4 208 pound signal caller stands much taller than Dalton, and Horned Frogs fans will have to forget Dalton's clean-cut look and get used to Pachall's tattoo-heavy torso.  

But on the field, Pachall will be able to provide many of the same talents that made Dalton so effective in his four-year career.  Pachall has been given limited playing time, but has already shown in practice a speed and elusiveness that will make him a dangerous threat on the ground in 2011.  Dalton's ability to scramble for first down's killed defenses this past season, and some believe that Pachall could be even better.  

Pachall has reportedly improved his arm strength and accuracy, but will need to show it in action from day one.  The expectations in Fort-Worth will not be lowered because of the Rose Bowl victory, if anything fans are more title-hungry than ever.  In order to have a shot at that goal, the Horned Frogs cannot make mistakes.  Regardless of how his numbers stack up to Dalton, Pachall should only be focused on the category that matters most: wins.

Related: Dennis Dodd takes a look at TCU's progress, and the effects of "The Rose Bowl Bounce"
Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:05 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 11:08 am
 

Patterson takes high road after schedule change

Posted by Chip Patterson

When the Mountain West Conference made moves to begin boosting it's BCS resume by plucking Boise State from the WAC, they imagined a in-conference rivalry between TCU and the Broncos would certainly draw some of the attention (ahem, revenue opportunities) that the BCS big-wigs value so highly.  I imagine that conference commissioner Craig Thompson was not too happy when he first learned of TCU's exit to the Big East in 2012.

But TCU still has to play 2011 in the Mountain West, and that will include a single conference game against the Broncos.  In the initial arrangements, the game was to be played in Fort Worth.  But the Mountain West Conference Board of Directors decided to switch that game to a home game for Boise State, leaving TCU with a pretty brutal road schedule.

“I wish they had balanced it out a little,” Patterson told Sporting News in a recent telephone interview. “The other two teams that are going to be picked high, Air Force and San Diego State, we’ve got to go on the road there, also. But if you want to win a championship, you’ve got to be able to go on the road and win.”

The official statement from the conference cited "best interests of the conference," which of course reads a lot like: "because TCU decided to bolt."  Patterson could have easily lashed out at the conference, but the 2009 Coach of the Year has clearly decided to take the high road.  TCU is fresh off arguably the biggest win in program history, finishing an undefeated season with a 21-19 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin.

The Horned Frogs have their eyes set on a national championship now, hoping to use the momentum from the bowl victory to keep them in the voters' good favor come August/September.  It is a very similar plan that Boise State had coming into 2010, the challenge will be not to replicate the regular season loss that knocked them from title contention.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:19 pm
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Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Big Ten spending shows Wolverines lagging

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Forbes
magazine writer Kristi Dosh has continued a series on college football spending that started with the SEC with a closer look at the Big Ten's revenues and profits , and though some of her findings and conclusions aren't surprising -- Ohio State spends more on football than any other member of the league, the average SEC team generates more revenue and spends more money than the average Big Ten team, etc. -- some of them are legitimately eyebrow-raising.

Perhaps the most intriguing number is the difference between the revenue generated by the Michigan  football program and how much the university re-invests in those same Wolverines. These are the figures for how much gross revenue each Big Ten team creates:
Penn State Univ. $70,208,584.00
Ohio State Univ. $63,750,000.00
Univ. of Michigan $63,189,417.00
Univ. of Iowa $45,854,764.00
Michigan State Univ. $44,462,659.00
Univ. of Wisconsin $38,662,971.00
Univ. of Minnesota $32,322,688.00
Univ. of Illinois $25,301,783.00
Northwestern Univ. $22,704,959.00
Indiana Univ. $21,783,185.00
Purdue Univ. $18,118,898.00
And here's how much each team spends:
Ohio State Univ. $31,763,036.00
Univ. of Wisconsin $22,041,491.00
Penn State Univ. $19,780,939.00
Univ. of Iowa $18,468,732.00
Univ. of Michigan $18,328,233.00
Michigan State Univ. $17,468,458.00
Univ. of Minnesota $17,433,699.00
Northwestern Univ. $15,733,548.00
Indiana Univ. $12,822,779.00
Purdue Univ. $11,821,265.00
Univ. of Illinois $11,092,122.00
Note that when it comes to revenue, Michigan is a solid No. 3, only narrowly behind their rivals in Columbus and nearly $18 million ahead of fourth-place Iowa. But when it comes to expenses, Michigan drops back to No. 5, and a distant No. 5 at that; they spend less than 60 percent of what the league-leading Buckeyes do, and despite their massive revenue advantage barely outspend even their in-state enemies at Michigan State.

Contrast the Wolverines' approach with that of Wisconsin. The Badgers come in just sixth in the league in revenue, but (as Dosh points out) reinvest an incredible 57 percent of that money back into the football program, a number that exceeds even the percentages in the SEC and puts the Badgers' raw investment well ahead of not only Michigan but even revenue leaders Penn State. It's hard to argue the Badgers aren't getting a return on that investment, either, when they've posted nine or more wins six of the past seven years and are coming off of a surprise Rose Bowl appearance.

Michigan's troubles go deeper than just spending money, of course, and it has to be pointed out that there are institution-wide advantages to hogging so much of the football team's revenue as (the Big Ten's second-largest pile of) profit; the athletic department sponsors a wide variety of varsity sports programs (no, there's no scholarship field hockey at, say, Tennessee) and does so without financial support from the university.

But if the Wolverines are serious about competing for not only conference championships against the likes of the Buckeyes but Rose Bowl championships against the likes of Oregon or USC, or national titles against the likes of the Big 12 or SEC, they're going to have to start putting more of their football money to use in football (particularly in the area of coaching salaries ). Greg Mattison is a nice start, but he's only a start.

(One other note worth noting: thanks to the Big Ten Network, a revenue stream that according to Dosh's figures falls outside of the football-only numbers, the average Big Ten athletic department remains more profitable overall than the average SEC athletic department by some $2.5 million. The Big Ten has the money to spend. They just spend more of it, it appears, on things that aren't football.)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com