How is everyone? Let's chat about anything you want. Big game in Fort Worth this weekend as TCU plays Utah in front of a sellout crowd. All the Big 12 South teams are in action. Stars and Mavs on the road.
If Texas and Cincy both happened to lose a game, does TCU (if they win out) get in the National Championship game no questions asked?
They certainly wouldn't go "no questions asked." But they'd certainly have an argument.The only realistic chance TCU has to make its case for that is if they look good in the last three games and Texas loses. If Alabama or Florida get beat by someone in the regular season, but win the SEC title game, I still think they would play in the championship game ahead of TCU.So Texas has to get beat by somebody. That seems highly unlikely. The Aggies would have the best shot on Thanksgiving night.Cincinnati could still pass TCU if they beat West Virginia on Friday and then Pittsburgh at the end of the regular season. That's assuming Pittsburgh keeps winning and they are a highly-ranked team. But if Cincinnati loses and that leaves TCU sitting there, they have an argument. And I think they've played a tougher schedule than Texas. The Longhorns' signature win at this point is Oklahoma State. The Big 12 is down this year and that hurts Texas' strength of schedule. But they are Texas and they'll go to the title game if they keep winning.
What is the key matchup this Saturday in the epic TCU/Utah game?
I think it's the TCU defense vs. Utah true freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn.Wynn looked good in his first collegiate game last week. But that was New Mexico. TCU has the No. 3 overall defense in the country and I'm sure Wynn will see formations and blitzes that he hasn't seen before.Sometimes, freshman can simply ignore big crowds and play without nerves on a big stage. Utah is an underdog, so Wynnn could come in and relax.Or the big crowd and TCU's pressure can hurt his confidence early. The Frogs must get to him or at least rush him and make him get out of the pocket.So I think the biggest key is the TCU defense can confuse and frustrate Wynn. We'll see.
Richard, you seem to cover TCU and do quite a good job doing it. What are your thoughts in regards to why Dalton isnt recieving more Heisman hype?
He isn't flashy. Voters like flashy guys with huge numbers. That's just not Dalton, though it's no excuse. I was stunned he wasn't a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien award. And to think that award is named after a TCU quarterback, for goodness sakes. The great thing about Dalton is that he doesn't care. He has a greater understanding of the offense than he did last year and especially the year before. He's a leader and avoids making huge mistakes. And this season, he's played his best in the biggest games (Clemson and BYU, both on the road). In my mind, he should get some more hype.
How about Tech dodging the TCU game in 2010 when TCU is loaded with returning veterans from this squad? Even if this was worked out before, you have to admit Weber State replacing TCU on Tech's schedule looks bad. Rumor is that TCU is replacing Tech with Cal at the Cowboys Stadium. What is your take?
First of all, we don't have the whole story on that yet. It may not be all Tech avoiding TCU, by the way. Let's wait and see what the TCU football schedule looks like in 2010. I do think you'll see TCU playing a BCS school at a neutral site. We'll see who that is and where. As long as Tech plays TCU in 2011 or at some point soon, I think that's fine. Sure, they could avoid TCU next year when a young team keeps growing up (and Andy Dalton is a senior). But that happens. No big deal. I still definitely want to see TCU play Tech more often. It was a great game in 2006 (TCU held Tech without a touchdown) in Fort Worth and it's good for recruiting.
Is Coach Whitt really going to throw a true-frosh QB out there or will we see Terrance Cain as well?
I think you'll see Wynn to start. I guess anything is subject to change. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton can tell you that it's good to get experience in big road games. Wynn may do just fine. Let's wait and see.
Does TCU need to beat Utah as badly as it beat BYU to remain in the Pasadena conversation and stay ahead of Cincy? Would a simple W against a Utah team that has lost one game in two years suffice?
If Cincinnati wins out over West Virginia and Pittsburgh, TCU may need an impressive win to stay ahead. The good news for TCU is they are ahead in the polls. So Cincinnati would have to really do something to make people jump them over TCU. That could happen if they win out, including a win at Pittsburgh. But if Notre Dame or someone beats Pittsburgh before they face Cincinnati, that hurts the Bearcats. If I'm TCU, I don't worry about Pasadena. That's such a long shot. Win the game on Saturday and stay ahead of Boise State and make sure you've got the BCS berth. If other stuff happens, fine. I can tell you if TCU gets a chance to put up points, they will. But I can't see Saturday's game going like BYU did. Utah is tough and they find ways to win and hang around.
What kind of pressure do the Utes get on opposing QBs?
They can get some pressure. This is a very good Utah defense. They are No. 18 in the country in total defense and held Oregon's vaunted offense in check. The TCU offensive line has done a nice job of giving Andy Dalton time to go through his progressions.
Can you tell us where the CGD crew will set up in the Campus Commons? What will be in the backdrop? The new student union or the building currently under construction?
I'll know more tomorrow when I go out there, but I think the building under construction may be the back drop. I think someone has painted some pink ribbons for breast cancer on the grass right near where the set will be. It's a good setting with the dorms there were students can hang banners. I would imagine TCU will be very supportive and show up in big numbers on Saturday.
What are the major changes you see in the starting line up for the Rangers in 2010?
Good question. Spring training should answer some of that. I still think Chris Davis will win the job at first base (assuming he isn't traded or anything...not that I'm hearing that, but with Justin Smoak around, you never know). He finished the season better and has the experience. But Smoak will give him a run. If Marlon Byrd isn't back, that opens up some competition in the outfield. Julio Borbon could start in CF. I'll say that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the catcher, but that's up for grabs too. The rotation: Kevin Millwood, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, and plenty of guys, including Neftali Feliz, fighting for the fifth spot.
Is Mark Cuban the best owner in the NBA or the best owner of all 4 major sports?
He's up there. He cares about his team and is willing to spend money to win.
When's Josh Howard coming back?
Hard to say. He tried to play back-to-back games and that didn't work. I'm sure the Mavs want to play it safe. You want him out there, but he needs to get completely healthy.
James Neal gonna play tonight?
He should, yes. Groin injuries are tricky, but he's practiced and should be ready.
Hey Richard, prediction for the Stars-Sharks game tonight?
I have to take the Sharks in this one, in overtime. So I think the Stars get a point. It's a tough place to play and San Jose is hot right now.
No Tony Parker. No Tim Duncan. How do the Mavs lose that game?
They did the same thing last year with a depleted Spurs team. Dirk Nowitzki can't do it all himself.
Is Kurt Thomas considered the best TCU basketball player ever?
Wow. Well, he's a good one. But Lee Nailon still has many of the Frogs' records. Jamie Dixon was a good one and played in some big postseason games. Others: Dick O'Neal, Darrell Browder, Mike Jones, James Cash. I'm sure there are others.
Tech or OSU? Does Sheffield have a chance to play sat? Is Ruffin the most underrated coach in the country?
Should be a great game. Yes, Sheffield has a chance to play, though I wouldn't bet on it. I'm taking Oklahoma State. I think the Cowboys will win this and I expect a good game from Zac Robinson.
Any chance Boise and TCU make the BCS or are they competing for 1 spot?
I still think they are competing for one spot. It's about money and the bowls would want a one-loss or even a two-loss team ahead of Boise State. But if it was going to happen, this could be the year. Boise's chances increase if other teams lose (like Pittsburgh twice or some other Big 10 losses). But I wouldn't think we'll see two non-BCS teams there.
What does it mean to a school like TCU to have College Game Day come into town?
It means a great deal. TCU will have 400 recruits at this game. And to know that GameDay is on campus, pumping TCU and the Mountain West Conference is a big thing. It shows players that TCU is considered a big-time program.
with Tom Hicks seeling the team. Do you think that the deal will get done in time for the Rangers to do something in free agency?
I think we should know who the new owner is by the end of the year. That would allow them to have some time to know the budget is and go out and make some moves. GM Jon Daniels is taking the approach of business as usual right now, though.
Thanks everyone for the questions. I'll be at TCU-Utah this weekend, so please read about that. I'll see you here next week.