In the next twelve weeks, Frogs o' War will focus each week on TCU's 2012 football opponents, in schedule order. (Wait, you protest-- but there are only eleven weeks remaining this offseason, right? Breathe easy, Frog fan; time travel has not taken you unawares. There are eleven weeks remaining in the offseason generally, but TCU begins the season with a bye (think 2009) so there are twelve weeks remaining in our offseason.)
First in the lineup is TCU's non-conference creampuff, the Grambling State Tigers. These wannabe Georgia Bulldogs (logos don't lie, bro) are the 2A team in Rustin, Louisiana,* which is where the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs play. It's back to the future for TCU fans-- LaTech has the warmest scalp in TCU's collection; barring alien intervention, Grambling's pate will usurp that role in September.
A first-look preview follows, below the jump.
*To get technical about it, GSU is located in Grambling, Louisiana, a couple of exits closer to Texas on I-20. Metroplex-conditioned humans won't notice a difference between the metropoli of Rustin and Grambling. I doubt jumbalaya-conditioned humans notice it, either.
Grambling State is a mid-level SWAC team, entering its second season under head coach Doug Williams (who has had some weird contract issues with GSU, described here). Williams is coaching the team for the second time.
For a school known more for its marching band (see embedded video above), GSU had a great year on the football field between the whistles in 2011, as well, winning the SWAC championship game, and beating the SWAC's dominant team, Jackson State, in the regular season.
The team's QBs in 2011 were D.J. Williams (the coach's son, then a freshman, 50.7% completion, 1102 yards, 14-7 TD-INT) and Frank Rivers (then a sophomore, 48.2% completion, 967 yards, 10-10 TD-INT). The rushing and receiving were done almost exclusively by RB Dawrence Roberts (then a sophomore, 199 carries, 1102 yards, 8 TDs) and Mario Louis (then a senior, 51 receptions, 1129 yards, 18 TDs). Of that quartet of skill players, only receiver Mario Louis does not return.
The o-line was under-classmen heavy, so we expect GSU to be proficient again in 2012.
The Tigers' defensive front was senior-heavy in 2011, and not very good anyway (141 rush yards per game, 6th in the SWAC). The new line is going to get manhandled in Fort Worth. Probably there isn't more you need to know, in order to predict the outcome of the game. TCU offense + opponent's new, not-awesome defensive line = TCU suffocates the Tigers, and let's get the film study started for Kansas.
Finally, in this inaugural Grambling Week post, allow me to get this off my chest: cross-divisional games shouldn't be allowed. But if they're allowed, they shouldn't count towards bowl eligibility, and the stats shouldn't be included in season totals. Unfair competition dishonors its participants; surely one of North Texas, Rice, UTEP, Texas State, and UTSA could fill the creampuff role in the schedule, and at least bring the same number of scholarship players to the field.