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The tournament is just a day away and even though SMU couldn’t sneak in, there should still be plenty of activity around the area as DFW gets ready to host the Final Four at Jerry World in a few weeks.

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The Bracket

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The Final Four

The Final Four is in “North Texas” at ATT Stadium in Arlington this year so Im looking forward to all the events that should be happening around the Metroplex over the next few weeks to get ready for the big show in Jerry World.

Frogs O War

You can join the Frogs O War as well.

DSR College Football Top 25 Rankings — Week 1

It was certainly a busy weekend for college football, both on the field and in the rankings. Big wins and upsets, major injuries and breakout performances all had a say in making the weekend great.

FCS Upsets

It has become a running theme that at least one FCS team will upset their FBS opponent in week 1. Pitt became the latest to fall to an “inferior” foe, as they were knocked off, quite handily, by Youngstown State.

Other FBS teams to lose to an FCS opponent:

Memphis (20-17 to Tennessee Martin)

Idaho (20-3 to Eastern Washington)

Middle Tennessee St. (27-21 to McNeese State)

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at how things shifted from our preseason poll.

Dropped Out:

N.C. State

Jumped In:

Baylor

#25 — Rutgers (W, 24-12 vs. Tulane)

Last Week: #24

Trending: Down

#24 — Georgia Tech (L, 20-17 in OT vs. Virginia Tech)

Last Week: #20

Trending: Down

Quick bit: Tevin Washington made everyone forget his solid performance by throwing the worst interception of the weekend.

Nick Florence could have Bears fans forgetting all about Robert Griffin III.

#23 — Baylor (W, 59-24 vs. SMU)

Last Week: NR

Trending: Up

Quick bit: Nick Florence picked up where RG3 left off in throwing for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns. There’s a storyline to watch.

#22 — Washington (W, 21-12 vs. San Diego State)

Last Week: #22

Trending: Level

#21 — BYU (W, 30-6 vs. Washington State)

Last Week: #23

Trending: Up

Quick bit: The Cougars absolutely stifled Washington State’s offense in Mike Leach’s return to coaching.

#20 — Louisville (W, 32-14 vs. Kentucky)

Last Week: 21

Trending: Up

#19 — Michigan State (W, 17-13 vs. Boise State)

Last Week: #19

Trending: Level

Quick Bit: This win would have been more impressive if Kellen Moore was still a Bronco.

#18 — Oklahoma State (W, 84-0 vs. Savannah State)

Last Week: #18

Trending: Level

Quick bit: 84 points is impressive, but Savannah State has won two games in the last two seasons playing in the MEAC.

#17 — Nebraska (W, 49-20 vs. Southern Mississippi)

Last Week: #17

Trending: Level

Losing Brandon Jenkins means guys like Bjoern Werner will have to step it up (Of course, Werner had four sacks on Saturday).

#16 — Florida State (W, 69-3 vs. Murray State)

Last Week: #16

Trending: Level

Quick bit: The ‘Noles suffered a huge loss on Saturday when DE Brandon Jenkins hurt his foot. Jenkins will miss the entire season, as we learned Monday.

#15 — Georgia (W, 45-23 vs. Buffalo)

Last Week: #15

Trending: Level

#14 — Wisconsin (W, 26-21 vs. Northern Iowa)

Last Week: #14

Trending: Down

Quick Bit: It took a 4th-quarter, 4th-down stand for the Badgers to beat the fellas from the MVC.

#13 — TCU (BYE)

Last Week: #13

Trending: Level

#12 — Michigan (L, 41-14 vs. (2) Alabama)

Last Week: #8

Trending: Down

Quick bit: I knew Alabama was good but I didn’t expect the Wolverines to get beaten like this. The Tide plain whooped them.

#11 — Clemson (W, 26-19 vs. Auburn)

Last Week: #12

Trending: Up

#10 — Virginia Tech (W, 20-17 in OT vs. (24) Georgia Tech)

Last Week: #11

Trending: Up

Quick bit: The Hokies benefited greatly from a huge Georgia Tech error. Kicker Cody Journell redeems an earlier FG miss to seal it for Virginia Tech.

#9 — Kansas State (W, 51-9 vs. Missouri State)

Last Week: #10

Trending: Up

#8 — South Carolina (W, 17-13 vs. Vanderbilt)

Last Week: #9

Trending: Up

Quick Bit: Vanderbilt is a good team, and the Gamecocks should be happy they left Nashville with a win.

Geno Smith is already making Heisman pundits go “Oooooooooo”.

#7 — West Virginia (W, 69-34 vs. Marshall)

Last Week: #8

Trending: Up

Quick Bit: Geno Smith got his Heisman bid off to a great start, throwing for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns, while running for 65 more yards and another score.

#6 — Oregon (W, 57-34 vs. Arkansas State)

Last Week: #6

Trending: Level

#5 — Arkansas (W, 49-24 vs. Jacksonville State)

Last Week: #5

Trending: Level

#4 — LSU (W, 41-14 vs. North Texas)

Last Week: #4

Trending: Level

#3 — Oklahoma (W, 24-7 vs. UTEP)

Last Week: #3

Trending: Level (barely)

Quick bit: It took a strong 4th quarter for the Sooners to put UTEP away. Before that, they struggle mightily on offense.

#2 — Alabama (W, 41-14 vs. (12) Michigan)

If Alabama has another game like they did on Saturday, they’ll be the new #1.

Last Week: #2

Trending: Level

Quick bit: The Tide are for real. That’s all.

#1 — USC (W, 49-10 vs. Hawaii)

Last Week: #1

Trending: Level

Quick bit: Barkley threw for almost 400 yards and four touchdowns.

SMU Hires Larry Brown

What started as a rumor almost a month ago has grown into truth.

Larry Brown, former NCAA and NBA head coach, has been hired by SMU to be the next men’s basketball head coach.

Brown is well known for his time spent with the Detroit Pistons, where he guided them to the 2004 NBA Championship, but he’s coached 12 other teams since his career began in 1972.

He’s also coached the Carolina Cougars (ABA), Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers and, most recently, the Charlotte Bobcats.

Collegiately, Brown has coached at Davidson, UCLA and Kansas.

Brown is the only coach in history to win an NCAA Championship (1988, Kansas) and an NBA Championship.

In his long tenure as a coach, he’s had quite a few successful understudies, including Roy Williams, Bill Self and John Calipari.

SMU’s basketball program is definitely a project.

Over the past five seasons, the Mustangs have had one winning season (in fact, other than 2010-2011, you have to go back to the 2002-2003 season to find a winning record).

A 20-15 record, coupled with a drive to the semifinals of the CIT, had Mustang fans thinking the program had life, but after a 13-19 season in 2011-12 things seemed to return to normal.

It’s not hard to imagine Larry Brown being able to put a good basketball team on the court. After all, he can basically walk into any recruits home in the country and he’ll have to do to get them to commit is talk about how awesome he is.

What is hard to see Brown doing though, is building a lasting program that will succeed when he’s gone.

I mean, he’s already 71. It’s hard to see him coaching longer than four or five seasons, if that. Couple that with the grind of being out on the recruiting trail, he may not even last three.

SMU’s hire of Brown brings the second new college basketball coach to the metroplex in two weeks.

Last week, TCU hired Trent Johnson, formerly the head coach at LSU, to replace Jim Christian.

It’s safe to say that SMU has the bigger name sitting on it’s bench, but the real intrigue will come when their teams step onto the court to face off for the first time.

College Football Weekend Preview, Championship Edition

I don’t have any plans this weekend that don’t revolve around football. This is a great weekend, starting with USF and West Virginia on Thursday before championships kick off with the Pac-12 on Friday night. We’ll look at the championships, but first, let’s hit up the Metroplex.

UNLV at #18 TCU (1:30pm Central, VERSUS)

The Frogs look to cap off their rebuilding season with their third straight MWC championship at home. They should have no problems against a team who earlier this season lost to New Mexico. Expect big numbers from the Pachall-Boyce connection, and maybe even another appearance by resdshirt sophomore Rick Settle. Yes, it will be that bad.

[Side note: Coach Patterson has not made a decision yet as to whether kicker Ross Evans will start this weekend. Evans was arrested for an incident that happened before the Boise State game.]

Prediction: Frogs 59, Runnin’ Rebels 6.

SMU (OFF)

Middle Tennessee State vs. North Texas (3:00 pm Central, Watch online at MeanGreenSports.com)

A Sun-Belt conference foe in Middle Tennessee State comes to Denton to finish off the season. Let’s hope that the Mean Green can end the season on a high note.

Prediction: Mean Green 17, MTSU 9

Now, on to the championships:

PAC-12: #9 Ore (-31.5) vs. UCLA (Friday)

I would almost literally take Oregon -50 as the line for this game. Scratch that – I just sold my car and am betting everything it’s worth on Oregon to cover. This game reeks of gratuitous violence and disrespect on an organizational level for UCLA. Small children are advised not to attend this game. A high octane offense and a defense that told Andrew Luck what to do? UCLA isn’t even sure where the game is this weekend. The Ducks will laugh themselves to a Rose Bowl berth, while thanking their lucky stars that USC is banned from postseason play, and therefore, this game, because they don’t want any more of Matt Barkley and Co.

Prediction: Oregon 47 – UCLA 6

SEC: #14 UGA (+13.5) vs. #1 LSU

Most people expect LSU to put up another blowout. This one will be closer than you expect, for three reasons. 1) UGA is by far the biggest team LSU has played this season. (Yes, Alabama included.) Their offensive line is the biggest in football (pro, college, or otherwise) and protecting the quarterback has been the prominent struggle for the Tigers’ opponents this season. 2) Aaron Murray’s stat line this season: 106.5 Rating, 2698 yards, 32 TDS, 10 INTS, 61% Completion. Arguably the best quarterback in the SEC, and arguably the best LSU has seen so far. 3) LSU is all but guaranteed a spot in the BCS title, and is sitting pretty. No way the Mad Hatter takes a chance on injury/fatigue or any shenanigans to ruin his national title.

Prediction: LSU 34 – Georgia 24

BIG 12 (de facto):  #3 Oklahoma St (-3.5) vs. #10 Oklahoma

This is probably the toughest call this week. Two very similar teams, both with some bad losses on their resumes, and high stakes for the winner. In the end, I think an injured offense and a recent heartbreaking loss to Baylor would be a recipe for a blowout for any other game. Bedlam, though? Expect a close one. Okie State with the narrow cover, and the outright win.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 28 – Oklahoma 23

ACC: #20 Clemson (+7) vs. #5 Virginia Tech

I laugh every time I watch Tajh Boyd play. Lane Kiffin told him, “You can’t play in the SEC.” I beg to differ – Tajh Boyd has a very bright future at Clemson, and could easily go one to be one of the best quarterbacks not only in the ACC, but in the nation.
That being said, this game is a puzzling matchup as well. Va Tech has not played that impressively, and Clemson has serious talent. They’ve had the number one recruiting class for what, the last five years?  I know this pick is going to haunt me, but I’ll stick with it: Boyd shows the world what he can do, and leads Clemson to a season that’s not a disappointment for the first time in a decade.

Prediction: Clemson 21 – Virginia Tech 17

C-USA: #6 HOU (-12.5) vs. #24 USM

I have watched both of these teams play this season, as a native Memphian and a connoisseur of C-USA football, and two forces drive my decision for this pick: 1) Case Keenum can flat out throw the ball, and the Golden Eagles aren’t exactly known for their excellence at the defensive back position. 2) USM lost to UAB. The 3-9 in the C-USA University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers. On the “All Time Bad Losses” meter, that ranks slightly below Houston Nutt’s campaign against the mighty Louisiana Tech Bulldogs this season.

Prediction: Houston 56 – USM 24. This one is going to get ugly.

MAC: N. Illinois (-3.5) vs. Ohio

Northern Illinois: Because, sure, why not?

Prediction: N. Illinois 27 – Ohio 15

Game of the Week:

Big Ten: #15 Wisconsin (-9) vs #13 Michigan State [ROUND DEUX]

Monte Ball is a bad man. He’s running much better than he was when these two met earlier this season. He already has 29 rushing touchdowns. With two games left. Barry Sanders’ (aka the Best Running Back Ever) NCAA record at Oklahoma State? 37. Not a shabby year for the junior, and not an unreachable goal.
MSU Senior Kirk Cousins is a great player, don’t forget that. It might, though, be a little imprudent to assume he will be able to repeat his 22-31, 290 yard, 3 TD performance from the first meeting. The Spartans have won against Michigan, Wisconsin, and at Ohio State this season; that’s really all anyone in East Lansing can ask.
As far as gearing up for this game, while the Badgers are running on unleaded revenge for this, Sparty has coasted through the weakest four conference opponents possible, beating Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and Northwestern by a combined score of 154-65. I’m taking ‘Sconnie to play their best game of the season, and for them to be right back where they were last New Year’s Day: Pasedena.

Prediction: Wisconsin 38 – Michigan State 21

Other Games to Watch:

#22 West Virginia at South Florida: USF 21, WVA 13 (I love missed extra points)
Texas @ #19 Baylor: Baylor 38, Texas 24 (They got TCU and OU, it’s the Bears’ year to get theirs.)
Iowa State at #16 Kansas State: A Houston loss makes this a very important game for TCU’s outside shot at a BCS bowl. Don’t laugh; Iowa State has done it before. Iowa State 24, KState 23 (OT)

College Football Weekend Preview

After a few weeks of neglecting this (thank you, Rangers playoff run), it’s time to jump back on the horse. Here are this weekend’s games.

TCU @ Wyoming (1pm CT, Televised on The Mountain)

The Frogs and Cowboys are both undefeated in conference play, with TCU beating Air Force, San Diego State and New Mexico, while Wyoming has beaten San Diego State and UNLV.

It’s supposed to be snowing in Laramie this weekend, which should actually play right into the Frogs hands. TCU’s running game is getting stronger by the week, averaging 207 yards/game. Meanwhile Wyoming’s run defense is shaky at best, allowing 209 yards/game.

Meanwhile, Wyoming’s pass offense should be slowed by the wind and snow, which can help hide TCU’s deficiencies in the secondary.

Prediction: TCU-38, Wyoming-13.

SMU @ Tulane (2pm CT, not televised, listen on AM 1310 The Ticket)

Since defeating the Frogs, SMU has gone 1-2, losing their last two games by a combined 65-10. However, they should turn it around this week against a Tulane team that is currently on a six game slide.

Neither team runs the ball very well, but SMU easily outshines the Green Wave in the passing game, and they should have no trouble getting the ball in the endzone this weekend.

Prediction: SMU-27, Tulane-17

North Texas (BYE)

Other Games to Watch:

#24 West Virginia vs. Louisville (11am CT, Streaming on ESPN 3) Prediction WVU-35, Louisville-31

#6 Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M (2:30pm CT, Televised on ABC) Prediction: Oklahoma-51, A&M-35

#7 Arkansas vs. #9 South Carolina (6:15 CT, Televised on ESPN) Prediction: Arkansas-31, South Carolina-24

#3 Oklahoma State vs. #14 Kansas State (7pm CT, Televised on ABC) Prediction: Oklahoma State-45, Kansas State-21

 

Game of the Week:

#2 Alabama vs. #1 LSU (7pm CT, Televised on CBS)

This game is going to be a hit you in the mouth battle by two extremely talented SEC teams. However, I think Alabama is slightly better, and will take this game at home.

Prediction: Alabama-20, LSU-14

TCU vs. SMU: Iron Skillet Preview

A rivalry that’s often overlooked on a national scale is finally working its way towards the spotlight.

With TCU’s rise to national prominence over the last decade and SMU’s return from the dead to be a Conference USA contender, both teams have a lot to gain by winning this game.

Both teams come into this game at 3-1. Both teams have lost to a Big 12 opponent this year TCU to Baylor 50-48, SMU to Texas A&M 46-14), and both have had less than impressive victories over some of the worse college football has to offer.

TCU struggled in the first quarter against Louisiana Monroe before pulling away to win 38-17.

Likewise, SMU left the door wide open for UTEP to make a late charge before finally putting them away 28-17.

Now though, everything goes out the window. I’ve seen firsthand for years now how these teams play each other. Take last year for example. The Frogs, then ranked #4 in the country, went into Gerald J. Ford Stadium expecting the Mustangs to roll over.

SMU had different ideas, and they took a lead into the third quarter before TCU finally pulled away to keep their undefeated season, and a shot at the BCS.

Or what about in 2005, my freshman year at TCU. I had just witnessed the Frogs upset victory over Oklahoma in Norman (which, I’d like to note, is still the last time the Sooners lost at home), and it was clear the win was still in the heads of the players.

SMU came out and shut the Frogs down for a 21-10 win.

These teams want to beat each other more than anything. Their fans want it more than anything. It’s for a year of metroplex bragging rights, and while it may fall behind Cowboys-Redskins, Mavericks-Spurs or Rangers-Angels on the list of important DFW rivalries for most people, it’s clearly front and center for those on both campuses.

It’s Cowtown vs. Big D at it’s finest.

Casey Pachall has played outstanding football in his first four games as a starter. He’s throwing at a 69% clip, for 875 yards and 10 touchdowns to this point. He’s thrown only two interceptions, one at the end of the Baylor game, where a receiver was bumped off his route, and one against Portland State where the ball was tipped up in the air. He’ll be facing a relatively soft defense in the Mustangs, and should be able to get passes off without a problem.

He clearly favors throwing to Josh Boyce and Skye Dawson over any of his other receivers, but I have a hunch either David Porter or Brandon Carter will have a huge impact on this game. Keep an eye out for them.

Pachall has also shown that he has the ability to make good reads under pressure, so if SMU does blitz, look for a quick pass to James or Tucker out of the backfield, or maybe even a quick pass to Boyce like we saw last week against Portland State.

Meanwhile on the ground, the Frogs have a two headed threat that doesn’t include Ed Wesley.

Wesley has been sidelined by a variety of injuries so far this season, and in his absence Waymon James has become the (semi) feature back. James has 344 yards rushing on 40 carries with two touchdowns. His backfield counterpart Matthew Tucker has 266 yards rushing with five touchdowns.

Aundre Dean has solidified himself as the third back while Wesley is out, but most of his time has come in mop up duty at the end of games, and his time has been limited.

The TCU running game has been front and center so far this season in an attempt to ease Pachall into games, but they may need to change up that strategy against SMU, especially if the TCU defense comes out flat for a third consecutive game.

The biggest question with TCU still lies within it’s secondary, as well as it’s ability to wrap up and tackle. If Patterson hasn’t found a way to remedy this, it could be a long day for the Frogs.

After getting whupped by Texas A&M to kick off the season, SMU now has all offensive cylinders cranking on full. However, while TCU’s offense has not been good this year, the teams SMU has played have been worse.

Regardless, we can probably expect J.J. McDermott to have a good day throwing the ball, despite the fact that wide receiver Cole Beasley could to miss the game due to an injured right knee. Beasley hasn’t been ruled out yet for the game, but he’s been limited in practices this week. If Beasley is unable to go, McDermott’s main target Darius Johnson will need to have a huge game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see TCU double Johnson some, and force other receivers like Terrance Wilkerson and Der’rikk Thompson to step up and make plays.

When the Mustangs aren’t throwing the ball, their handing it off to Zach Line. Line gave the Horned Frogs fits last year, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He gained the majority of his yards on runs up the gut, so expect TCU to try and clog the middle to force Line to the outside. If they can do that, the Frogs may be able to negate Line’s strength with their speed. Line can also come out of the backfield to receive the ball, so the TCU linebackers are going to have to be focused on him the majority of the night.

I expect this game to be a back and forth shootout, until Gary Patterson is able to make the necessary adjustments on defense. The Frogs will win this one, but SMU is inching closer to taking back the Skillet.

Prediction: TCU-42, SMU-31

College Football Weekend Preview — Week 4

DFW teams went 2-1 again last week, with the Frogs and Mustangs both winning, while North Texas lost. This week, expect more of the same.

#20 TCU vs. Portland State (1pm CST Saturday 9/24, not televised)

Gary Patterson’s typically vaunted defense has yet to show up for a game. TCU allowed 17 points in the first quarter last week against Louisiana Monroe before bearing down.

Portland State won’t win this game, but it will be interested to see if TCU’s defense comes ready to play. The Vikings bring the best running game in the country with them to Fort Worth, averaging over 320 yards per game on the ground.

Prediction: TCU-42, Portland State-10

SMU @ Memphis (11am CST Saturday 9/24, Televised on FSN)

SMU got off to a good start in conference with a win over UTEP. They’ll win again this week. Memphis has yet to beat an FBS team this season, and those woes will continue.

Prediction: SMU-35, Memphis-17

North Texas vs. Indiana (6pm CST Saturday 9/24, Streaming on ESPN 3)

North Texas is 0-3, and the chances of winning their first game this week are better, but still unlikely.

Prediction: Indiana-31, North Texas-24

Other games to watch:

#3 Alabama vs. #14 Arkansas (2:30pm CST Saturday 9/24, Televised on CBS) Prediction: Alabama-27, Arkansas-21

#8 Texas A&M vs. #7 Oklahoma State (2:30 CST Saturday 9/24, Televised on ABC/ESPN 2) Prediction: Texas A&M-45, Oklahoma State-38

#21 Clemson vs. #11 Florida State (2:30 CST Saturday 9/24, Televised on ESPN) Prediction: Clemson-24, Florida State-13

#1 Oklahoma vs. Missouri (7pm CST Saturday 9/24, Televised on FX) Prediction: Oklahoma-41, Missouri-27

#16 West Virginia vs. #2 LSU (7pm CST Saturday 9/24, Televised on ABC) Prediction: LSU-30, West Virginia-20

Arizona State vs. #23 USC (9:15pm CST Saturday 9/24, Televised on ESPN) Prediction: Arizona State-27, USC-24

As the Big East dies, TCU’s AQ Dreams Start to Change

The Frogs thought they had it made.

Finally, 17 years after Baylor shoved them out of the way for a seat at the big kids’ table, TCU was getting its shot.

After accepting an invitation to the Big East, TCU was no longer on the outside looking in. Everything was right with the world, and TCU in the Big East looked like a perfect fit.

That lasted for about 8 seconds.

In all of the conference shuffle, the Big East was always teetering on the brink of a breakup. Now, one seems inevitable. Pittsburgh and Syracuse are both going to the ACC, and it looks like UConn, and possibly Rutgers, aren’t very far behind.

This is, essentially, the death of the Big East. I’m of the school of thought that ESPN has more to do with all the conference realignment than anyone is giving them “credit” for, but that’s neither here nor there.

As a TCU fan, it’s frustrating. I’m looking several places to lay blame. Big East commissioner John Marianatto. TCU AD Chris Del Conte. Pitt and Syracuse.

But in the end, laying blame doesn’t solve anything. Instead, let’s try to work through what’s going to happen next.

First, a quick recap of where everything stands right now.

The ACC now has 14 members with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. They look primed and ready to become the first superconference, with the possibility of adding UConn and Rutgers.

The SEC seemingly has no plans to add a 14th team to the conference, after last month’s addition of Texas A&M as the 13th team. That could change very quickly if they see other conferences approaching the realm of superconference.

The Pac-12 is once again courting Texas and Oklahoma, and by association Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. It seems like this time around commissioner Larry Scott is more willing to work around the Longhorn Network. These additions would push the Pac-12 to 16 teams.

The remaining Big East schools are West Virginia, South Florida, Cincinnati, Louisville and, for the purpose of this conversation, TCU.

The remaining Big-12 schools, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri, are in almost as bad a position as the remaining Big East schools. It has long been rumored that the Kansas schools and either Missouri or Iowa State would apply for the Big East should Texas and OU leave the conference.

The Big Ten is quiet, but something other than dust has to be rattling around in those old fogeys heads.

Keeping all of that in mind, what happens next? Does TCU still have a chance to make it into a superconference?

The likely scenario is that the  Big East and Big-12 leftovers merge and form a revamped Big East, and that’s what’s being reported by ESPN as of this afternoon. The merge would create a 10 team conference. It would make sense after that to give Boise State, SMU and Houston calls to bid on becoming the 11th and 12th members. They would be able to keep their AQ status for at least the next two years, until the current BCS contract was up. It would then be up to those schools to prove to the BCS that they deserve to keep their status.

Meanwhile the SEC could take West Virginia, Missouri and South Florida, making it a 16-team superconference. If the SEC didn’t want to expand to 16, they could at least add either WVU or Missouri to even out the divisions.

The real question is, what will the Big Ten do? If they decide to expand, who will they approach?

It’s pretty common knowledge that Pittsburgh was on the Big Ten’s list for teams they would consider for expansion. That’s obviously out of the question now.

It’s pretty safe to say that the Big Ten would throw the kitchen sink at Notre Dame in an attempt to get them to join. Also on the list would have to be Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State. If either or both of the Kansas schools were to join the Big Ten, the merger between the Big-12 and Big East would need to find even more teams to add. That could lead to invitations for Central Florida, East Carolina or Air Force.

It’ll be interesting to see how the conferences split up teams once we reach 16 teams in a conference. The projection for the Pac-16 would be four, four team pods. A team would play all three teams in its pod, as well as two teams from each of the other three pods, giving them a nine game conference schedule.

I like that idea, because it would allow for three non-conference games, giving teams the opportunity to preserve rivalries that may have been lost (i.e. Texas vs. Texas A&M).

I thought we were still at least two or three years away from superconferences, and we still may be, but now it’s looking more and more imminent.

Either way, TCU better be prepared for a roller coaster. It’s not going to be an easy ride from here on out.

College Football Preview — Week 3

Metroplex teams were 2-1 in week 2, with only the Mean Green dropping their game. This week, they’ll probably go 2-1 again, with UNT losing.

There are several other big games around the country this week, as big name schools have gotten most of their powderpuff games over with.

#23 TCU vs. Louisiana Monroe (1pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on the Mountain)

TCU righted the ship last week with a 35-19 victory over Air Force. They’ll look to continue the trend against an athletic, but most likely overmatched, Louisiana Monroe team. Look for the Warhawks to take some shots downfield against a pretty weak TCU secondary.

Tanner Brock and Ed Wesley will once again be out for the Frogs, but Kenny Cain and Matthew tucker filled in admirably last week, and should be able to do so again.

Prediction: TCU-42, Louisiana Monroe-17

North Texas @ #2 Alabama (6:30pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on FSN)

Uhm. Yeah.

Prediction: Alabama-56, North Texas-3

SMU vs. Northwestern State (7pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on FSN)

SMU hung on to beat UTEP in a game that shouldn’t have been as close as it was. Three Mustang turnovers kept the Miners in the game until late, when SMU returned a UTEP fumble for a touchdown.

This week, the Mustangs should be able to score early and often.

Prediction: SMU-41, Northwestern State-10

Other games to watch:

#3 LSU vs. #25 Mississippi State (7pm Thursday 9/15, Televised on ESPN) Prediction: LSU-31, Mississippi State-20

#21 Auburn @ Clemson (11am Saturday 9/17, Televised on ABC) Prediction: Auburn-23, Clemson-20

#15 Michigan State @ Notre Dame (2:30pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on NBC) Prediction: Michigan State-35, Notre Dame-27

#16 Florida vs. Tennessee (2:30pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on CBS) Prediction: Tennessee-24, Florida-17

Syracuse @ USC (7pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on FX) Prediction: USC-27, Syracuse-17

Utah @ BYU (8:15pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on ESPN 2) Prediction: Utah-28, BYU-27

Game of the Week:

#5 Florida State vs. #1 Oklahoma (7pm Saturday 9/17, Televised on ABC)

Florida State has two things going for them in this game against the Sooners.

1. They’re playing at home. The crowd (and the players) remember the beatdown OU handed them last year in Norman. Revenge is at the front of everyone’s mind.

2. They’ve played two games to OU’s one. Granted, both were against incredibly inferior opponents, but that’s just one more game the ‘Noles have had to tune up on both sides of the ball.

I expect a few quick turnovers by OU along with an unstoppable FSU offense to help the Seminoles seal the deal.

Prediction: Florida State-30, Oklahoma 23

 

College Football Weekend Preview — Week 2

DFW area teams went 0-3 in week 1, but are coming back in week 2 looking to rebound.

#24 TCU @ Air Force (2:30 CST Saturday 9/10, Televised on Versus)

The fact that the Frogs lost to Baylor isn’t as stunning as the way in which it happened. The TCU defense, ranked #1 in the country three years running, allowed over 500 yards of offense and 50 points in a 50-48 loss.

Robert Griffin put himself on the map with over 350 passing yards and six touchdowns.

In week 2, the Frogs will look to get back to their winning ways against Air Force. The Falcons won their season opener with relative ease against South Dakota, but they allowed 13 unanswered fourth quarter points. Their defense will have to tighten the screws if they’ll want to shut down Casey Pachall and a surprisingly efficient TCU offense.

Meanwhile the Frogs defense faces a whole new task this week. Having failed against the spread in week 1, the Frogs now face a bludgeoning triple option threat. Gary Patterson is always so concerned about stopping the triple option, that he starts preparing his team for it in the spring.

If the Frogs defense continues to miss tackles and give up big plays, this game could be another shootout.

Prediction: TCU-35, Air Force-31

SMU vs. UTEP (6 CST Saturday 9/10, Televised on FSN)

The Mustangs had high hopes going into College Station last Sunday, but after two quick interceptions earned Kyle Padron a spot on the bench, backup J.J. McDermott was thrust into the action. After two quick drives for touchdowns brought the Mustangs to within six points, an ill-advised onside kick gave all the momentum back to the Aggies.

The final score of 46-14 was reflective of the beatdown in every way.

Now, however, SMU must hit the reset button. With McDermott now named as the starter, the Mustangs head into their home opener against a conference foe. UTEP beat the Mustangs 28-14 last year in El Paso, and SMU is looking for a measure of revenge.

The Miners lose nine starters on offense, but return two of their three leading rushers, along with their leading receiver from a year ago. Their defense returns nine starters that held the Mustangs to 14 points in 2010.

Prediction: SMU-24, UTEP-17

North Texas vs. Houston (6 CST Saturday 9/10, Streaming on ESPN 3)

The Mean Green allowed over 400 yards of offense and 41 points to Florida International in week one, and they face an infinitely more potent offense this week in the Cougars.

While the UNT offense only had one turnover last week, they failed to move the ball consistently, and only managed 14 points (the other two came on a safety with 40 seconds left in the game) in the blowout.

I don’t expect it to be any different this week. On the bright side, North Texas will be playing its first game in the new Apogee Stadium.

Prediction: Houston-48, North Texas-10

Other games to watch:

#23 Penn State vs. #3 Alabama (2:30 CST Saturday 9/10, Televised on ABC) Prediction: Alabama-30, Penn State-23

Georgia vs. #12 South Carolina (3:30 CST Saturday 9/10, Televised on ESPN) Prediction: South Carolina-31, Georgia-17

#24 Texas vs. BYU (6 CST Saturday 9/10, Televised on ESPN 2) Prediction: BYU-21, Texas-14

USC vs. Utah (6 CST Saturday 9/10, Televised on Versus) Prediction: Utah-28, USC-17

Michigan vs. Notre Dame (7 CST Saturday 9/10, Televised on ESPN) Prediction: Michigan-35, Notre Dame-21