Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Look at Oregon State's First Opponent - TCU Horned Frogs

TCU had one of the greatest seasons by a non-BCS team ever last season (#4 according to this). Ranked #6 at the end of the season and only a Boise St. loss could taint that dominant year.

This season they are ranked about #6 in nearly every preseason poll. They return 54 lettermen and 17 starters. Including their mass of great RBs and their QB who was the MWC offensive player of the year.

The only potential weakness might be on D where they lost All-American DE Jerry Hughes, one of their 2 starting LBs, and 2 starting DBs in their unique 4-2-5 defensive system.

2009 TCU Stats


Their offense was good last year. The passing game was good if not stellar (217 ypg), but the running game is scary. 3100 yards and 35 TDs shared among about 7 guys. 4 of whom are back and as good as ever...

*How Deep is TCU at Running Back?

*TCU logjammed at running back

The O-Line isn't deep, but they return 4 starters so OSU could have a tough go of it if Paea and Henry aren't healthy. They gave up only 12 sacks last season.

They do tend to fumble the ball a little (27, 15 lost) so there's some hope there.

Looks like we need to either have some turnovers go our way or the offense needs to get rolling early to keep them off the field (2008 USC style). I just don't see us stopping this group. Slowing them may be enough if we can score 30+ points.


Chris Dufresne's college football top 25: TCU is No. 5 - LA Times

The Horned Frogs were No. 1 nationally last year in total defense and must replace All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes, and two starting cornerbacks, but there's no reason to think this unit won't again be dominant.
The stats are kinda ridiculous. Maybe that's what a 12-1 season looks like. And their conference is a bit of a walk minus 2 teams. But look at this:

Season Stats Defense:

Points Per Game - 12.8

Rushing Average Per Game - 80.2
TDs Rushing - 8

PAssing Average Per Game - 159.5
TDs Passing - 10

First Downs - 161 (12.4 per game)
3rd-Down Pct - 27%

Doesn't bode well for our rushing game. And with the 5 DB scheme they run I'm guessing any long stuff will be tough to come by. Big Joe Halahuni may be busy and Jaquizz may get most of his yards off the pass.

The Beavers passing game may need to break out in a big way to test the new DBs and prove that Jaquizz isn't our only weapon. That isn't a great plan for keeping their offense off the field, but points are always good.


Related Links:

TCU Horned Frogs - Latest News

No. 6: T.C.U. - Pre-Snap Read
Great run down of the team going into 2010

Inside the TCU 4-2-5 Defense - Shakin the Southland
Intense breakdown and videos

TCU Camp '10: Safeties Look To Anchor Defense - GoFrogs.com

2010 TCU Preview - Defense - Scout.com

CJ Spiller vs TCU 2009 - OSU Beaver Football Blog

Depth Chart For TCU Announced - Building the Dam

OSU Readies for TCU, Trip to Cowboys Stadium - OSUBeavers.com


Monday, August 30, 2010

Why the Beavers need to change the way they schedule

Alright, who made this schedule?

Oregon State plays somewhere between the #1 and #6 toughest schedule this season. In the first three games the Beavers play two top 10 teams in all the preseason polls. Meanwhile, the Beavs rank somewhere from 22 to 36 in those same polls. The Beavs are pushing their own Heisman Hopeful, Jaquizz Rodgers, but some pundits think that Boise State's Kellen Moore is a front-runner (OSU's third opponent).

At this point does anyone realistically think Oregon State will be better than 1-2 going into Pac-10 play? Sure, I have dreams of 3-0 and College Gameday here for the Nov. 20th USC game after we start 9-0. It could happen.

Unfortunately, that just doesn't seem to be the way it goes for OSU. Losses to Fresno St., Louisville, Boise St (twice), Cincinnati (twice), Utah, and Penn St. early in the season always seems to propel those teams to the BCS and top ten seasons. Its almost like teams poised for a break out season have to make sure they schedule the Beavs that season. Again, BSU and TCU loom large this season.

The one magical season we as Beavers fans (Fiesta Bowl, top 5 finish) was fueled by a mediocre to weak preseason schedule. We almost lost to Eastern Washington and didn't exactly pummel New Mexico. If they beat Washington (3pt loss) then they had a good shot at being in the national title game.

Boise St. and TCU have such a weak conference schedule they need to schedule big games out of conference. Anyone who runs the table in a BCS conference will be in the title game. Worst case, they could be third and thus left out. Someday we will have a playoff and it won't matter.

So I ask the question: Why schedule teams as good or better than you out of conference?

I can only come up with these reasons:

* Money
* Prepare for the tough conference games
* Increase chances to be in a BCS game
* To get them back at our house in future years for a big game
* Machismo

If you're the Beavers only #1 and #4 are valid IMO.

2000 taught me that even a weak schedule can prepare you for a tough Pac-10 schedule. Also, most years our early bad starts continued into the early Pac-10 season. Early season losses to Cal, ASU, USC, and UCLA are still burned in my memory. Clearly, the pre-season didn't help prepare us for those games.

#3 doesn't seem to matter in this age of Utah, Hawaii, Cincy, Louisville, Boise St., and TCU all getting to BCS games. You can still get a BCS game even with one loss in conference if you win your OOC games.


Here's the crux of my argument:

The current system doesn't reward tough scheduling.

If the U of O goes 3-0 in OOC (likely) this year with their weak schedule and loses one game in conference, they're going to a BCS game no questions asked. They may even have a shot at the title game.

If there isn't any benefit, then why risk it?

I'm willing to bet the short/long term money for playing in a BCS game is much bigger than one payday game in Death Valley or Dallas, TX.


What do you think? Are these tough schedules worth the money? Do you think they help or hurt us?

Alternative Views and Related Links:

Bold scheduling has made Oregon State central figure in 2010 race - SI.com

Oregon Ducks rundown: The Ducks' nonconference schedule looks like cupcake row - The Oregonian
Is this a bad thing?


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