Midweek Musings: The Best and Worst of 2012

Ronald Martinez

A look back at the five best and five worst moments for TCU athletics in 2012.

2013 is upon us which means it's time for the obligatory best/worst of 2012. Let's dive right in.

The Best

1. TCU Comes Home. The Frogs, having accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference in October of 2011, played their first game as a member of the conference when the Lady Frogs soccer team took on New Mexico. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

2. Beating Texas in Austin. This was easily the biggest win of the season for the Frogs. Sure, the win in Morgantown was awesome, and it was nice to reestablish our dominance over Baylor, but there's nothing sweeter than seeing all those shell-shocked Horns fans after the new guys came into your stadium and kicked your teeth in.

Make no mistake about it, that's exactly what happened. The score was close, but it doesn't tell the full story. Devonte Fields, Jason Verrett and the rest of the defense was on full display, and the running game was at its peak.

3. TCU baseball team gets back to Super Regionals vs. UCLA. After a disappointing 2011 campaign the baseball team came back with fewer expectations after the loss of Matt Purke, and several other key guys off of the 2010 CWS team. Instead of succumbing to those expectations, Preston Morrison lead the way as TCU muscled through the College Station Regional as the #2 seed, knocking off Texas A&M and Ole Miss (twice) to clinch the Region. They would fall in two games to the Bruins in the Super Regional, but fans couldn't help but feel good about what the young guns accomplished.

For all the 2013 baseball info you could ever want or need, keep your eyes on Fungo Frog as we progress into February.

4. The emergence of Devonte Fields. Fields, a true freshman out of Arlington Martin, had one of the best seasons for a Horned Frog in recent memory. He finished the season with 53 tackles, including 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles (including one recovered) and an interception. He was the AP's Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was the Defensive Freshman of the Year according to the Big 12.

There's no doubt he'll continue to be a force, and is just the latest in a long line of dominant defensive ends from TCU.

5. Men's Basketball Hires Trent Johnson. In what was a rather unheralded move at the time, Chris Del Conte managed to pull Trent Johnson away from LSU to the not so pretty confines of Daniel-Meyer Colliseum. He instantly instilled a sense of pride about the program, and has worked very hard to get the players away from a "me" mentality to a "team" one.

It has showed so far on defense. They're allowing opposing teams to score only 54.5 points per game on 38.7% shooting from the floor. Offensively, there's still plenty of room for growth, but that will come with time.

Honorable Mention: The opening of the newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium

The Worst

1. The Drug Bust. In February, four TCU football players were arrested as part of a large bust on TCU's campus, that saw a total of 19 people arrested. While many feel the university's handling of the situation was overkill, things happened the way they happened, and there's no changing that. When the dust settled, Tanner Brock, D.J. Yendery, Tyler Horn and Devin Johnson were all separated from the team and removed from school.

It also raised questions about the overall drug use on the team, as one player revealed that over 60 players failed the impromptu February 1st drug test. Further investigation revealed that the reason for the drug test was a recruit telling Gary Patterson that he wouldn't be signing with TCU because of the rampant drug use by members of the team.

2. The DUI. Just when things were returning to normalcy, with TCU off to a 4-0 start and the drug busts in the rearview mirror, Casey Pachall went for a drive one Wednesday evening in October. It wouldn't have been a big deal, had he not been intoxicated. Or had he not run a stop sign and hopped a curb right in front of a police officer.

The stunt landed Pachall in jail overnight, and resulted in him separating himself from the team to enter a rehabilitation facility. It also forced Trevone Boykin into active duty as the starting quarterback. Boykin, who had been practicing at running back earlier in the week, threw three interceptions in a loss to Iowa State.

3. We Did Not Protect This House. In our inaugural season in the Big 12, TCU failed to win a single conference home game, losing to Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Oklahoma by an average margin of 9.25 points.

4. Bowl loss to Michigan State. This one is still fresh, so there's no need to pour salt in the wound. Simply put, it was not the way anyone wanted to end the season.

5. The +4 Fiasco. Visitors. Visitors everywhere. We all knew it was going to be an interesting dynamic in the new stadium, with all of the opponents having close fan bases, but the ability to add four extra tickets to your season ticket purchase had a lot of the Frog fans up in arms. Stub Hub was flush with tickets to TCU home games as folks tried to make their money back off of the extra tickets. Unfortunately, for most of them, it worked.

Honorable Mention: The injury bug bites harder than ever.

Now it's your turn. What were some of your best/worst memories of TCU in 2012?

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