Friday, June 22, 2007

Analyzing the '07 schedule, predicting the outcomes.

9/1 BAYLOR- the Bears will bring a hungry, but sadly under-talented, under-experienced team to Fort Worth for the season opener. Coach Patterson's game-plan will feature running, short passes, and more running, as he breaks Marcus Jackson into the starting role under center, and Andy Dalton takes his first college snaps; Coach P won't want to give anything away for Texas's scout team, either- not that anyone is sure TCU's new QBs could handle difficult plays, anyway. TCU's marquee defense will stifle Baylor; Frogs win with a low score.
9/8 at Texas- Not since Texas Tech came to town early last year has an opponent fired the competitive juices in Fort Worth like the Longhorns. TCU will turn in a tremendous defensive performance, and might pull off an upset. A Frog win would be just that, however: an upset. More likely, Colt McCoy will find just enough room to lead a balanced attack, and will win a close game. Horns win with a close, and probably low, score.
9/13 at Air Force- On four days' rest, the Frogs begin conference play at Colorado Springs, facing their second veteran quarterback of the season, Shawn Carney. Air Force's rebuilt offense won't find any traction against the Frogs' defense, however, which will have Carney on his back time and time again. Either Jackson will cement his starting role with a solid performance, or lose it to Dalton, who will have pressured Jackson in every game so far. In the first case, Frogs will easily. In the second case, Frogs win in another low scoring tilt.
9/22 SMU- As Tech learned last year, nothing motivates TCU like revenge, and the Frogs' kitchen has embarassingly been short one iron skillet for two years too many. SMU will bring a good crowd, but they'll have nothing to cheer about. TCU blasts SMU relentlessly.
9/29 COLORADO STATE- If winning generates momentum, TCU will have plenty of it by now. Sonny Lubick's Rams will come to Amon Carter Stadium for their second time, and their second slaughter in Cowtown. TCU wins in style.
10/6 at Wyoming- TCU will fly to Laramie ranked again, and Wyoming either will be ranked also, or flirting with the polls, having upset Boise State a few weeks earlier. The Frogs win this one, but barely. Jeff Ballard's toughest game as a new starter came in Wyoming; Jackson or Dalton's toughest as a newbie under center will be there, too.
10/13 at Stanford- The bottom-feeder of the PAC 10 will consider breaking its contract for a second game with TCU before this one's over; TCU will decimate the Cardinals.
10/18 UTAH- On a short week, Utah and TCU will square off in a battle to each others' strengths: the Utes will bring a national top-five offense to Fort Worth, facing the Frogs' national top-five defense. If Utah has won two or three of its non-conference games, this will be a clash of titans. The Frogs are likely to win in a close, hard-fought game.
11/3 NEW MEXICO- Like Wyoming, New Mexico may surprise in the Mountain West this year, especially after their re-tooled offense and offensive line gels. They won't be able to surprise the Horned Frogs, however, who will be well rested, and will turn in their first complete game against the a bowl team, winning by a large margin.
11/8 at Brigham Young- The Cougars are in a similar position as TCU and Utah: if they can win most of their non-conference matches, they'll garner a great deal of media attention. If BYU and TCU bring significant winning streaks to this game, the match-up may be the most anticipated game in MWC history. If the game features two unbeaten teams, then a BCS berth, and unbelieving discussion about a national title will echo from the Wasatch Front. Both teams will boast first-season, but very experienced quarterbacks, strong lines, and budding stars. Expect an emotional triumph, but don't expect a score prediction from me this far out from the contest.
11/17 UNLV- TCU wins this one easily, and Mike Sanford's seat begins to get warmer than its Las Vegas surroundings...
11/24 at San Diego State- TCU finishes the regular season with another win, although it may be more difficult to come by than last season's record-setting demolition of the Aztecs.
BOWL- TCU, if 10-2, will tie for first place in the conference, and likely play in the Armed Forced Bowl against Arizona, UCLA, or Oregon. The Frogs will win, and finish the season ranked between 14 and 21.

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