Monday, August 2, 2010

It's called ""

The Wimple is moving.

Before diving into the new digs, how about a little retrospective?

This all began with my dive into law school in early 2006. Blogging just seemed a cool way to organize my thoughts on this and that, and to store links to articles I liked. Somewhere on the way to classical education and “conservatarian” politics, I started doing a little writeup about each TCU game. Soon enough I was spending as much time blogging about football as politics, and so I started the Purple Wimple.

I shuttered the Thwarth’s Wimple in early 2009, as politics became bad for my blood pressure. The Purple Wimple, however, is not scheduled to terminate. The good folks at Barking Carnival contacted me a few months ago, to see if I would re-cast The Wimple as part of their new blogworld, I agreed, and so the future of The Wimple will be as

It’s a fitting new start, as TCU gears up for its third blockbuster season in a row. Come join the fun, and re-set your internet favorite, to

Friday, July 23, 2010

MWC unit previews: SECONDARIES

The Wimple's ranking of the MWC's secondaries, best to worst:

Air Force's corners are the conference's best returning tandem: Anthony Wright and Reggie Rembert were 1st- and 2nd-team all-MWC. Jon Davis joins returns as safety with them, and the only newcomer is Phil Ohili, who has two years' experience as a backup. Air Force and TCU had the best pass defenses in the MWC last season, holding opposing squads to 154 and 157 ypg, and 57.6% and 47.4% completions. AFA returns 75% of its starters secondary; TCU only 40%-- although new starting cornerback Jason Teague played lots and often in '09. AFA's and TCU's secondaries are the class of the conference in 2010.

See TCU's and the rest of the MWC's secondary ranking after the jump.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MWC unit previews: Special Teams

Preseason practices are just weeks away.  To get you there, the Wimple begins the MWC unit rankings, starting with special teams. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Opponent Preview: SMU

This was supposed to be the (first in a long time) year the Ponies could sit back and relax during the off-season: the depthchart was filled with underclassmen who managed 8 wins in 2009, and there was little reason to expect they couldn't do at least 7 in 2010. Kyle Padron was back, with a good bevy of receivers. Knowing June Jones's offense like they now do, and with a slowly improving defense, hadn't the Mustangs finally found the golden road to repeating bowl eligibility?

And then came the sucker punch.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Opponent Preview: BAYLOR

Baylor has been on the cusp of bowl-eligibility, at least in pre-season writing, for years.  It appears that the Bears are finally going to make good on all that pre-season press, now that the team's best runningback and quarterback return, and get to work behind slightly improved lines.  It does not yet appear that Baylor is so much improved, however, that they may expect to leave Fort Worth with a win. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Opponent Preview: OREGON STATE

Gary Patterson has already begun to raise expectations for Oregon State, reminding audiences that the Beavers were a drive away from the Rose Bowl, and return 21 starters.  While the Wimple hopes CGP's coaching is better than his math, El Bulldog is on to something: Oregon State is the toughest opener the Frogs have lined up since OU in 2005. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trading Utah for Boise State

If pictures really are worth 1,000 words, I need write little more about Boise State than that my impression of them is incurably colored by the mere existence of this fan.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Frogs Omaha-bound

Schloss's crew, following sophomore Kyle Winkler's dominating performance on the mound, knocked Texas out of the baseball post-season, and earned their first trip to Omaha for the college world series. Congrats, Frogs. Florida State awaits.

For a hilarious bit of gamesmanship, hear a Longhorn fan heckle Bryan Holiday ("get in the batter's box and shut up") second before Holiday hits one out of the park (literally) to put the game on ice.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rumor mill spits out the best possible scenario for MWC

Here it is, folks, supposedly from the BYU AD's mouth: the best possible outcome for TCU and the MWC, after the expansion dust settles:

Kansas is in talks with the Mtn West as we speak and has been for a few days now... Kansas State [also]. ... Mizzou also contacted the Mtn West and is gathering information just in case. ...The Mtn West is scheduled to get BCS status (according to the BCS Commissioner) in 2011. The BCS has also informed the Mtn West that if they do get BCS status in 2011 and the Big12 collapses, the Mtn West is "very likely" to take over the BCS Fiesta Bowl auto-bid hosting slot. ...
The Mtn West will be taking 3 teams and only 3 teams [Boise, Kansas, K-State or Missouri]. They currently have 9 teams and the Mtn West Commish says they will halt expansion at 12 because the Mtn West does not have a big TV deal like the PAC10 will have. In 2015-2016 the Mwc Commish said the league would consider adding 2-4 more teams if the TV deal is increased dramatically at that time.
If this is true, and it happens, the MWC would be a better spot than anybody could have imagined even just a week ago. This would make the Mountain West a first-class basketball conference, a BCS autobid football conference, with better than just an at-large affiliation with the big bowls. And a conference poised to garner a vastly superior TV deal than its current one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shock and awe: NCAA to put the hammer on USC?

While we're dealing in explosive imagery, count me as shocked and awed if ESPN's and the LA Times's report that USC is getting substantial sanctions is true. They say USC is getting whacked with a 2-year bowl ban, 20 less scholarships, and forfeitted wins.

So USC's hopes of returning to the Rose Bowl are gone up in smoke, as will its recruiting classes currently in progress, and if the players get penalty-free transfers to other programs, its prospects for winning seasons these next few years...

Perhaps the Wimple shall foreswear chiding the NCAA for treating its banner programs more lightly than its smaller programs. As a lawyer, the Wimple would advise USC to sue Reggie Bush for damages; he's good for 'em, and guilty as sin.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An appropriate interpretive visual

News reports are proliferating that Nebraska will join the Big10 Friday, meaning the Big12 is on ice. For that matter, so is the rest of college football as we know it. Here's ESPN, Chicago WGN/Tribune, Omaha World-Herald. The next big pieces of realignment are outlined here (nothing new, just that it's going to happen) LATimes (saith the Times's source: it's "locked and loaded"). Colorado apparently has already been invited, and has accepted. Here's the Pac10's press release saying as much.

What remains to be seen is how the pieces will fit together once reassembled. One thing's for sure: Baylor is being left out in the cold. Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech are pledging solidarity among themselves as a trio, but not as a Bears-included quartet.

Kansas schools in the MWC? Market numbers.

Now that we all can agree that eyeballs on TV commercials is one of only two relevant matters driving expansion (the other being the yet-unwritten rules regarding double autobids to the BCS), let's examine the numbers of a hypothetical move of Boise and the Big12 leftovers to the Mountain West.

So, what would happen if an expanded MWC included those schools, and this expansion triggered a media deal that included TV coverage in the basic cable in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Waco, St. Louis, San Diego, Las Vegas, and then every other cable market in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and those markets close to Kansas City in Missouri? (This list of markets is in the first comment below this post.)

The MWC, from the outside looking in:

Few glimpses into the psyche of the cartel could have been more revealing than the ESPN news story posted today on the (self-proclaimed) World Leader’s website. The story examined Kansas’s predicament, facing all of the expansion talk as a spectator, with the possible outcome being a retreat to the Mountain West. (The story didn’t name that conference specifically as a destination, but it made clear that this was the species of hell that the school was contemplating, with increasing sweat and seriousness.) “Kansas' status as a major player in college athletics has been placed in [jeopardy]. … strip Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State of the safety and privileges of membership in a Bowl Championship Series conference.” You know: one of those outsider conferences.

What would joining the Mountain West be like?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The pertinent expansion question in three words: double BCS autobid?

Amid the rumors that suddenly jumped to fever pitch Thursday lurks an issue that is yet fully aired: under which circumstances will a super-conference be given two autobids to the BCS? Will a 14-team conference with two divisions get them? Or will only the truly mammoth sixteen-team conference get them?

The Wimple believes this has become the critical issue driving expansion, now that it is settled that humongous TV contracts will follow BCS conferences that are at least 12 teams large. For example, there is no way Texas and OU will join USC in a conference that gets only one measley autobid to the big January bowls. That's just too many big fish in the pond-- who cares how big the pond.

Why Boise and the MWC are better apart

The Wimple has advocated a ten-team MWC (Boise being the 10th) for years– but today admits the fault of that advocacy. Boise being in the WAC for as long as possible before joining the MWC is a brilliant move, even if the brilliance results from an unintended result. While Boise and the MWC champ are in different conferences, both can (and frequently do) go undefeated, and in years like 2009, both can land a BCS berth. This is an unqualified good, for both teams, conferences, and indeed, for all of college football.

However, when Boise is a MWC-member, the chances of a MWC team going undefeated shrink substantially. From TCU’s perspective, running the Utah-BYU-AFA guantlet every year is hard enough. So hard, in fact, that only twice have the Horned Frogs done it unscathed. TCU has run the Utah-BYU-AFA-Boise gauntlet each of the last two seasons, and emerged 3-1 from it both times.

The Wimple thinks that the addition of Boise State to the MWC is a good idea only if a one-loss MWC champion is guaranteed a BCS berth.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The decade's most dominant programs

Last in this series about the most dominant teams from 2000 to 2009 are the top ten. There is a qualitative difference in this group, compared to the others in the posts below. Here, bad years are those during which a team falls out of the top 40 in the Dominance Ranking-- and for the Texas, Boise, Oklahoma, and Virginia Tech, "bad" means below the top 20 (there are only three such years between them!).

Of these ten programs, only Boise State, Virginia Tech, and Georgia lack a first-place finish in the Dominance Ranking any year this decade, and only Georgia lacks also a runner-up finish (its highest finish was sixth, in 2002).

1. Texas- 7.50
2. Boise State- 9.90
3. Oklahoma- 10.20
4. Virginia Tech- 10.70
5. Florida- 14.90
6. USC- 17.80
7. Ohio State- 20.40
8. TCU- 21.90
9. LSU- 22.00
10. Georgia- 24.60

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Decade's Pretty-Dang-Dominants

Here is a list of stout programs, when measured in a wide scale. Some of them are coasting on laurels earned during President Bush's first term (Miami, Florida State, Nebraska, Michigan), while others have felt their oats recently (Clemson, Alabama, West Virginia). The mid-decade strongmen were Texas Tech, Auburn, and Louisville.

Very remarkably, two of the teams on this part of the Dominance Ranking have not played D-1A football for all of the decade. South Florida and Connecticut have eight and nine years of top-level experience to their names, respectively, and only three years ranked lower than 40th between them.

11., Miami (FL), 25.70
12., Utah, 26.60
13., Boston College, 28.60
14., Clemson, 30.10
15., Florida St., 30.40
16., Texas Tech, 31.00
17., Michigan, 32.50
18., West Virginia, 33.20
19., Alabama, 33.60
20., Auburn, 34.40

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2009 Attendance relative to enrollment

Developing the Wimple's notion that college football attendance figures ought to be filtered through the lens of enrollment size, here're 2009's attendance ranks, as percentages of each school's enrollment.

A few notes:

(1) Those schools that averaged 100% of capacity are listed below, and fit into a blessed and separate category, perhaps called Those Who May Charge More For Football Tickets.

(2) Of the eight D-1A schools with enrollments smaller than 10k (Tulsa, Navy, Army, Air Force, Rice, Wake Forest, La.-Monroe, and TCU) only Rice and La-Monroe failed to make the top eight in these attendance rankings. Rice is 32nd, and La-Monroe is all the way down at 61st. So having a small enrollment doesn't guarantee a high ranking; outdrawing one's enrollment by three or four times does.

Here're the top 10. (11 through 120 are after the jump)
[school, percentage of enrollment at an average home game]
1. Air Force 792.36%
2. Navy 721.09%
3. Notre Dame 688.61%
4. Army 623.96%
5. Tulsa 540.26%
6. Wake Forest 465.46%
7. TCU 439.13%
8. Clemson 388.35%
9. LSU 368.12%
10. Tennessee 366.03%