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TCU News: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals

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Reporter Gary Patterson checks in from Phoenix.

Football:

TCU football vs. Cal Bears in Cheez-It Bowl: Kickoff time, TV, line, prediction | The Star-Telelgram

We have not talked enough about the fact the Frogs are playing football in a baseball stadium.

Did you know?

This will be TCU’s first football game in a venue used primarily for baseball. Chase Field is the home of MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. … TCU has won nine of its last 12 bowl games. … TCU takes the field with 14 players having already earned their degrees. … TCU WR Jalen Reagor has caught a TD pass in a school-record seven consecutive games and counting. … TCU is 16-16-1 all-time in bowl games.

Tough decision upcoming for elite TCU lineman: Leave early for NFL or return for senior season? | The Star-Telegram

I am going to guess that Niang grades out in the third or fourth round and comes back, but it’s hard to predict these things.

At 6-foot-7, 330 pounds, Niang certainly has the frame to succeed at the next level. TCU coach Gary Patterson has said multiple times that he won’t try and sway a player one way or the other about trying to make it at the next level.

All Patterson does is try and ensure his players have all the information at their disposal before making such a significant decision.

Niang was the one constant on TCU’s offensive line this season. He is the only O-lineman who started every game this season. He’s started the Frogs’ last 20 games at right tackle.

“I can say I did my job, but after every game I still feel like there’s a ways to go,” Niang said. “I can still get a lot better. I just want to be more dominant.”

California vs. TCU: Cheez-It Bowl preview and predictions | Yahoo Sports

Don’t buy the line that this game doesn’t mean much to Gary Patterson and the Frogs.

WHAT’S ON THE LINE

Cal: The Golden Bears can win their first bowl game since 2015, when they beat Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl in what was Jared Goff’s last college game. Now, the program can get a bowl win and an 8-5 record in Justin Wilcox’s second season as head coach.

TCU: A win here can give TCU a winning record in 14 of its 18 seasons under Gary Patterson. On top of that, it would give the program some positive vibes headed into the offseason, especially after a season filled with injuries that cratered after a positive start.

TCU vs. California odds, line: 2018 Cheez-It Bowl picks, predictions from expert who’s 7-2 on Golden Bears games | CBS Sports

Reagor is the guy on the field that can push the Frogs to victory.

One player Cimini knows that TCU will be looking for a spark is wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Things haven’t always been pretty for TCU’s offense this season, but Reagor has been the Horned Frogs’ one reliable playmaker. In TCU’s regular season finale victory over Oklahoma State, Reagor had 212 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns while making his impact both as a runner and receiver.

In fact, over the past five games, Reagor was responsible for 649 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns. Against a stingy Cal defense, TCU will have to get creative to get him the ball, but the Horned Frogs showed down the stretch that they can do just that.

TCU’s Gary Patterson asks the hard-hitting questions | The Star-Telegram

Please watch this.

TCU coach Gary Patterson had a little fun at the Cheez-It Bowl media day on Monday. The football coach turned into a journalist, asking his players multiple questions.

Basketball:

ISU gets rematch with TCU in Diamond Head championship | Tribune Star

It was easy for Jamie Dixon’s squad in Fort Worth, but a lot has changed for the Sycamores in the last week.

ISU also has to find a way to stop TCU point guard Alex Robinson, a task none of TCU’s opponents have yet managed. Robinson scored 20 points and had five assists in TCU’s win.

Richmond native Desmond Bane is another dangerous option for the Horned Frogs. He scored 17 in the first matchup and told TCU’s media he was motivated to play against an in-state school that didn’t show much interest in him in high school.

Finally, ISU has to contend with the size of TCU big men JD Miller, Kouat Noi and Yuat Alok. All are capable scorers – Noi from 3-point range too - but they had just as much influence setting screens for Robinson and TCU’s guards to play off of.