I'm going to be really honest with you Frog fans, it's just before 10am, and it's hard to focus on what is behind us with some many questions about what's ahead... but I'm going to do my best to recognize some of the best and worst of yesterday's tromp over the Cyclones.
UP: TRICK PLAYS - Ok, who didn't freak out when David Porter made that pass to Trevone Boykin? It was obvious to me that Cumbie and Meach were pulling out all the stops to impress both the Heisman voters and the committee, and they did so while also entertaining the heck out of those of us watching the game. The swing pass out to DPIII (nice touch on senior day, too), who made a perfect pass back to Boykin in the flat - who knew he was a lefty??? Lefty power! - who followed his convey all the way in to pay dirt, was a great call and a great look. On replay, I saw that the offensive line basically fell down, did a pushup, popped back up and blocking for Boykin, who's straight line speed hasn't been displayed in that arena for a while, was such an unusual look, but very effective. There was also the return of the "wild frog", one of my personal favorites, and little Desmon White showed some good moves coming out of the back field. He's going to be a fun one to watch for the next few years. Shout out to all the people from that school down I-35 for commenting that we needed trick plays to beat ISU - umm... no we didn't, but it was sure fun to see them.
DOWN: SLOW STARTS - Emotions were clearly high on senior day, and the early morning kickoff combined with the pressure that I am sure the guys felt knowing everything that was at stake, made for a slow start. The Frogs punted on their opening possession before rattling off consecutive scoring drives, followed by a pretty epic run: punt, field goal, punt, fumble, interception. The Frogs headed in to the break with a paltry 17-3 lead, and though they showed they were by far the better team, the scoreboard didn't reflect the expected dominance. Thankfully, we had a typical TCU home third quarter... and the rest was history.
UP: BOYKIN'S HEISMAN CHANCES - I think our pal Deuce Boogie all but mailed his invite to NYC Saturday; after the aforementioned slow start, Boykin rattled off a stat line that would be the envy of even projected Heisman winner Marcus Mariota - 30 for 41, 460 yards, four touchdowns passing, 55 yards and one touchdown receiving, and 44 yards on the ground for good measure. That's 560 yards of total offense. That's the way you stamp your candidacy as one of the best five players in the nation. Boykin will be in NYC, and though he will have a hard time beating out the Oregon QB, he should finish no worse than third, in my opinion. And that's a heck of an honor for a kid who has been willing to play wherever he was asked, be it running back, wide receiver, or QB, and put in the work to master his craft when competition came in. So proud of him, on and off the field - for his play, and his leadership.
DOWN: SHORT CELEBRATIONS - I went down on the field after the game, because I figured why not, and I wanted to be down there for the trophy presentation. Commissioner Bowlsby presented the trophy to Coach Patterson, saying "Big 12 Champions, TCU!" Patterson takes the trophy and corrected him ' "Big 12 Co-Champions". Talk about class, and you know, having read the bylaws - especially in light of what came out about what was said down the highway during the other presentation. FYI Coach Briles - The Big 12 is in NO way obligated to you (you would be SMU jr if not for them being bullied in to keep you all those years ago), even though your university seems to think they are doing the whole world a favor most of the time. That's the epitome of why I have so many issues with that whole place. Anyway, I left the stadium KNOWING we were in... by the time halftime of the Big 10 Championship game, I felt there was no way we did get in. That's what sucks about this new system... it comes down to what the committee thinks in that moment. They thought so highly of us five days ago that they ranked us as the third best team in the country. After a 52 point win, are we no longer that? A lot of the shine of a Big 12 championship has been taken from the fans, not because we aren't proud, or excited, or thankful to be in this position so soon after joining the conference, but because we know the bigger prize is right there for us, but could be taken away based on the whims of 12 people.
UP: THE PROGRAM - But let's not let the moment be lessened by the big picture. We are Big 12 Champions, We are the best turnaround story in the country. We are seven wins better than we were a year ago, with basically the same team, and have a chance to be 12-1 (or maybe even 13-1) when it's all said and done. We have a Heisman contender at QB, who should be back for his senior year, a deep stable of running backs and wide receivers, a nasty, angry, aggressive defense, a group of seniors who either have their degrees or are on track to graduate, a coaching staff who seems to want to see how far they can take this, and a coach who lets his team do his talking on the field. This team is special - there is a pride and a love amongst them that could take them very far if given the chance. It's been a hell of a run - and I hope it's not over.
I'm going to end on that, no need to bring in any negativity at the finish. See you guys in an hour. Fingers crossed, y'all.