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TCU Horned Frogs not receiving support they deserve

TCU has three more games to win.

Three wins and it will be playing in a BCS bowl game. This is an exciting time around Fort Worth.

But here’s a question: Why don’t more fans come to the games? I’m not talking about the die-hard Frogs fans who show up for every game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. I see those folks every time I walk the sidelines. Or a Frogs alum like my friend, Bob, who works in Chicago but flew in to catch a home game this year.

Considering how big the Metroplex is, it’s amazing that TCU is only averaging 29,901 fans through five games. That’s still 14,000 empty seats. The players deserve better. Head coach Gary Patterson and his coaching staff want to see a full house.

“I can’t control the fans,” Patterson told me this year when asked about why fans don’t fill up the stadium.

It’s not like the Frogs are a one-year wonder. They have the seventh-best record in the nation over the last four seasons. When it comes to private schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision, only Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans have a better record since 2005.

The university has done its part. They have marketed the Frogs’ football program in newspapers, they put up billboards, they made player trading cards and placed posters all around town.

The game-day atmosphere inside and outside the stadium is first class. TCU has tried to play most of its games in the late afternoon or at night so families can conduct their Saturday activities and enjoy college football afterward.

On a Thursday night against then-ninth-ranked BYU in mid-October, 36,180 fans showed up. But the next week, only 30,103 attended for homecoming against Wyoming. TCU radio color analyst John Denton was pleading at halftime for Frogs fans hanging in the parking lot to come into the stadium and cheer on the team.

Don’t think officials from the Sugar Bowl who attended the game didn’t notice the size of the crowd in supposed “football crazy” Texas.

Patterson previously turned down head coaching offers at Iowa State and Minnesota. The next offer might lure him out of Fort Worth. There are coaching openings at Washington and Clemson with more surely to follow after the season. Patterson will be a hot candidate again. He has good reasons to remain at TCU, but attendance isn’t one of them. TCU plays in Las Vegas tonight against UNLV and then faces No. 10 Utah in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

When Nov. 22 rolls around for the last home game against Air Force, fans need to fill up the stadium and show the head coach and his team that their efforts as a top team matter and are appreciated.

Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Sounds Off

Give credit to my boy Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News blog for landing an interview with Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart.

Bottom line, Stewart feels scapegoated and defended himself.

I’ll Take The Phillies

I think Philadelphia will win the World Series over Tampa Bay.

I have a rooting interest.  I got to know Charlie Manuel when he was the hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians.  He used to wonder if he would ever get his chance to manage because he was an older guy.

He did well with the Indians as a skipper and now he has taken Philly to the World Series. 

Charlie’s mom past away recently so I know a win would mean so much to him personally.

This Week’s Newdawg and Buck Debate

Each Tuesday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Ray Buck and NBC 5’s Newy Scruggs go at it in a point-counterpoint on the sporting issues of the day.

How much of the Cowboys’ 4-3 start should be pinned on Laid-Back Wade?

NEW DAWG: The alarming thing about Wade’s lack of leadership is the media — the darned media couldn’t even warn him of the “issues” his club has had. After that close win against the lowly Bengals, Phillips went into spin control instead of admitting his team had some things that needed to be tightened up. The same Wade who said the Mexico trip Tony Romo and other players took during the post-season bye week was all good … just doesn’t seem to get it. You can’t trust your players. They need to be called out on occasion, and sometimes the media can raise legitimate concerns about what they are witnessing on a weekly basis.

 

BUCK: Well, one thing he isn’t … Chameleon Wade. What you hire is what you get. Recognizing it now just shows how little you knew about the guy in the first place. So, if the players want him around (and I think most of them do) they need to hold a players-only meeting and get this accountability mess sorted out. Sure, it starts at Wade. But it’s on the players, too. Unfortunately, not everyone responds to a congenial work place the same way. A few players forget to actually work. 

 

What changes can the Cowboys make to assure they don’t go into their bye week with a 4-5 record?

NEW DAWG: You can’t fire Wade because I don’t have a lot of faith in Jason Garrett to take over. The defense has to get better, and I wonder if Wade doesn’t just take over the calls for that unit starting Sunday against Tampa Bay.

 

BUCK: The “changes” can be only cosmetic, i.e., a “lift” here, a “tuck” there. As Wade himself explained, there isn’t a whole of wiggle room with personnel. The Cowboys desperately need a split here to stop the bleeding … and Jeff Garcia to Antonio Bryant (Bucs) are less scary than Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress (Giants), although this Dallas D had problems against winless Cincinnati (still the Cowboys’ only W in a month of Sundays). 

 

Is Jerry Jones really the “NFL’s No. 1 enabler,” as ESPN Cris Carter claims?

NEW DAWG: Yes.

 

BUCK: He’s a good samaritan and a “second-chance” giver when it works … an enabler when it doesn’t. It’s a 20/20 hindsight thing.

 

Who has the best chance of beating Tampa Bay Sunday? Brad Johnson? Kyle Boller? Tony Romo with a splint on his passing hand?

NEW DAWG: It really depends on which game plan Jason Garrett comes up with. I don’t care who the quarterback is on Sunday, the game plan has to fit what the signal caller can do, and it must not be predictable for the defense to make quick adjustments.

 

BUCK: Good grief, let’s hope the Cowboys’ head coach-in-waiting understands the concept of game-planning. This Sunday, give me Romo with the pinkie protector.

 

Who are the locker-room leaders for the Cowboys — defensively and offensively — and what needs to be done about it?

NEW DAWG: Right now, I just don’t know who the leaders are. In the past, I would have said tight end Jason Witten or linebacker Bradie James. But when the head coach makes excuses every week, I’m not sure if the locker-room leaders can do anything.

 

BUCK: That’s the ultimate excuse, Newy: “We can’t be leaders because our head coach doesn’t browbeat in front of the media.” That’s a bunch of boo-hoo. Witten, Romo, James, Greg Ellis, DeMarcus Ware, Keith Davis need to buck up and step up and do it now. This has to be “leadership by committee” at this point.  

 

Does the first BCS poll reflect TCU (No. 14) fairly?

NEW DAWG: The Frogs are in a great spot. All they have to do is keep winning and they’ll play in a BCS bowl game. Going 11-1 means they would have beaten Utah and won the Mountain West title. The league is darned good this year.

 

BUCK: I would’ve flip-flopped TCU (14) and Missouri (15) and moved Florida (10) way, way up. But the Horned Frogs are for real, if they keep it real — which Gary Patterson will make sure of that! TCU being a BCS buster remains a good possibility. 

 

Is this No. 1-ranked Texas Longhorns team as good as the one that won a national championship with Vince Young at quarterback?

NEW DAWG: It cannot be. Those Horns beat a two-time defending national champion with two Heisman Trophy winners on it.

BUCK: Good point. But that VY teams didn’t have to tiptoe through a regular-season minefield like this one is doing — OU, Mizzou … now Okie State, Texas Tech. That gets my attention, I don’t know about you. P.S — This Colt McCoy juggernaut is only halfway through its four-game stretch of Top 10 opponents.

Leaving For The Carter

#24 TCU will host #8 BYU tonight at The Carter.

Thtat’s TCU player slang for Amon Carter Stadium.  The Carter was made famous in the movie New Jack City.

In the movie The Carter was a project building taken over by drug lord Nino Brown.  TCU is not claiming that, but they like bringing some slang to the stadium name to make it sound hip.

BYU’s quarterback Max Hall has never lost a Mountain West Conference game.  He is 10-0.  BYU has the longest winning streak in the nation at 16 games.

Back in 2005, Utah had the nation’s longest streak broken at The Carter.

I’ll be live at 6 and 10PM.

Roy Williams Traded To The Cowboys!!!

The Lions have traded wide receiver Roy Williams to the Cowboys according to Adam Schefter of NFL.com.

Schefter reports the Lions will receive at least one first round draft pick.  More to come.

Jerry Jones Responds To Pacman Suspension

Well, Jerry Jones tried to cover up the Pacman mess but it didn’t work.  NFL commish Roger Goodell has suspended Pacman indefinitely.

Jerry sent out a release:

“We respect and support the decision of the commissioner,” Jones said in a statement Tuesday. “I regret that this issue has brought negative attention to the Cowboys and the NFL.

“We move forward with a very clear knowledge as to what the process will be for a possible reinstatement. Adam is well aware of where he stands and what he has to do.”