It’s not all that complicated.
The Frogs can start here: Better defense, better rebounding, fewer turnovers.
Dixon said that the Frogs have improved on D. Their transition defense has been better, and they have started showing more full-court pressure. But Dixon believes the best defensive teams are the teams that rotate the most players.
To that end, he made substitutions early and often against Iowa State with the Frogs down to eight scholarship players. Shawn Olden, a junior-college transfer, played 20 minutes against Iowa State after not playing last weekend at Oklahoma and only 18 minutes in the first four conference games.
“He moves well without the ball, but he spaces, he cuts hard, he reverses the basketball, and they have to guard him because they know he can shoot,” Dixon said. “He brings a lot of energy on defense. We just need him to be a little bit better defensively, like all our guys.”
Jamie Dixon is a really funny guy, and has some acting experience in his past. This is a great way to see his off-the-court persona. It’s also awesome that TCU is producing them.
In one of the spots produced by the TCU Athletics marketing department, Dixon enters a briefing room for a quick session with TCU spirit and pep squad personnel. Dixon implores members of the pep bad, cheerleaders and Marco, with his stuffed deer, to “be active, got to be moving, giving a lot of noise, a lot of energy.”
Those in attendance stare back at Dixon with looks of confusion and bafflement.
“Tuba, I need you as loud as you can be,” Dixon tells the tuba player. “SuperFrog, I need you to run the show. It’s got to be big, I mean real big. Get it done!”
In the other spot, Dixon surprises SuperFrog, who is working in an office cubical, making sure the mascot realizes what’s at stake for Monday’s game.
Potentially six new starting QBs? Don’t worry about it.
Let’s not act like any of us had TCU winning 11 games last season. There’s a chance the Frogs will have Shawn Robinson ready to go at QB. He picked up some valuable playing time this past season and he’ll hopefully become a lot more accurate. If he turns into a dynamic player, the Frogs will be fine on offense. Some of those playmakers -- Turpin and Reagor -- are coming back. And you know Gary will put together a solid defense. OU and OSU are replacing excellent QBs, but they will have plenty of playmakers. I just don’t see the conference taking a huge hit. The Sooners will look different with Kyler Murray, but he’s a guy who should have plenty of maturity at this point. He’s waited a long time for this opportunity. And I think he’ll be an exciting player. The Big 12 will be fine.
An interesting look at how the next UCF can become the next TCU.
When the system was announced, I simulated how a CFP would have played out in each year of the BCS era (1998-2013), and I only had three mid-majors reaching the semifinals. But now that we’ve seen how the committee treats these teams every year, I would reduce this number, possibly all the way to zero.
In 2004, I now bet either one-loss Cal or one-loss Texas gets in over unbeaten Utah.
In 2009, I think one-loss Florida has a very good chance of getting the bid over unbeaten TCU or unbeaten Boise State.
In 2010, the odds of both one-loss Stanford and one-loss Wisconsin getting in over unbeaten TCU are decent.
The field broke the 2010 Horned Frogs’ way a little, and they had a track record — they were unbeaten in the 2009 regular season, too. That might have been enough to keep them above Andrew Luck’s Stanford and Russell Wilson’s Wisconsin, but it would’ve been really close.