As you all know, I am a proponent of accuracy and honesty, and with EA's latest game rankings they clearly decided to throw one of those out the window. You see, they couldn't honestly think that they accurately rated TCU in the latest game. But I digress, instead of me rambling on again, I decided to catch up with our very own Frog Liquor to get his feelings on the topic.
Question 1: How do you feel about low TCU's defense was rated (85 out of 100)? If you had to rate last year's defense, what would you have given it and why?
FrogLiquor: Perspective... in real-life last season, we were nationally ranked #16 total D & #30 scoring D (which equate to an EA rating of 90). Instead, the 85 we got puts us tied with 8 teams (inc. such defensive rocks as Boston College and Wake Forest) at #37, which means 45 teams are ranked as good as or better than TCU. No matter what you base ratings on, this is just wrong... very very wrong.
Granted you can't go just by last year's real-life stats, since the game is for 2013-14, but for the life of me I can't see why our defense should decline at all, let alone as much as EA dropped it. Almost our entire defense returns, older/bigger/experienced. Logic predicts we improve, and indeed all the "experts" are saying exactly that. We should be rated 93.
Question 2: TCU's offense is rated an 86, so, Frog Liquor, tell me why it should be higher (or not).
FL: For consistency, compare the numbers the same way I did for defense... with real life NCAA rankings. We were #72 in total O & #66 in scoring (mediocre middle-of-the-pack numbers). EA is a little generous here, as their 86 has us tied with 15 other teams at #36 (though I shudder at being tied with the likes of ECU, Ball St, Illinois, & especially VA who we beat 27-7). BUT, as Jamie Plunkett sez... "that was last year", with a very green team/ crippled RBs/ Boykin at QB.
Looking at this year, with almost the whole offense returning... healthy and experienced, and with Pachall back at QB (or Boykin "vastly improved" [per Patterson])? I fully expect the FROGS to be a whole TD/game better, which would up our rating to about 89. When that happens, EA will look foolish, but until then they get a reluctant "pass" from me.
Question 3: Give us your top impact players on both sides of the ball as well as the freshman that will have the biggest impact.
FL: I'm a numbers guy, but here's where we throw that out and go on instinct (researched, of course).
Offense: Top dog is QB, it's Casey's season to make his mark now and for any NFL future, and he'll shine (but Boykin will play too). RB's and WR's are all good, but they're "by committee." I have a 'feel' that Cam White will be a surprise gift. Key unknown is the O-Line, where five guys are fighting to fill two spots... we must get this right!
Defense: Everyone knows it's Fields and Verrett, but Devonte can't escape double-teaming to be fully effective unless Koontz steps up.
Special Teams: Don't forget these vital guys, with Oberkrom and Perry, we have the best unit in the Big 12.
Freshmen: None...because we (please God) won't have any injuries that require it. But, if any play, it'll be in the LB spots (because GP loves 'em and wants a glimpse of the future.
FrogLiquor also pointed out something: TCU and Boston College are rated exactly the same on offense and defense, but Boston College is an 86 overall and TCU is an 84. Something is amiss...
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Also, check back again, as we may just be doing more of these reader interviews in the future.