Sunday, September 5, 2010

TCU Football: Fiery Horned Frogs Prove They're for Real

For now, we won’t have to worry about fraudulent systems, a treacherous formula we scorn greatly for tantalizing the beauty of the most popular sport in America. For now, we won’t have to worry about the eventual misfortune perpetually smearing the welfare of a well-deserving program that usually ends up being snubbed by the manipulative systems.

For now, we won’t have to worry about the well-being of TCU, a reassuring program filled with much optimism, ready to earn respectability and bid for a national title game. This game, which revealed nationally that the Horned Frogs are favorable of bidding for a major bowl game, reminded us an unflappable, fiery unit is coveted and potent to replicate another monstrous season. No matter the ramifications of sinister systems determining the fate and proposition of a team’s status, the Horned Frogs have vitality and a driven mindset.

On this night, it was electric at Cowboys Stadium, a neutral site that felt like a home game for the sixth-ranked TCU when the feverish crowd erupted a roaring frenzy and watched the Frogs propel to a thrilling 30-21 win over No. 24 Oregon State on Saturday evening. They wear vicious uniforms for a reason, the latest attire designed by Nike, a primary sporting gear brand to unveil the new “Pro Combat” uniform earlier in the year. Ever seen a creator uniquely design a futuristic uniform made of lizard-skin fabric for what could be an elite program?

I haven’t.

But if you’re thrilled and still have a hangover from the Frogs breakthrough season a year ago when it stunned the nation and awed all spectators or students attending TCU, then you are startled and optimistic the Frogs are in position to duplicate another miraculous pursuit. If so, alumnus will rave about the odds of TCU possibly winning a national title, becoming a well-known school in the most popular game played on America’s soil.

If so, the students will debate whether or not the program deserves an invitation to the national title game, buzz normally heard in the study halls and cafeterias on campuses. In general terms, it was the time to win a big game, the moment to prove worthy by prevailing in a pivotal showdown against the high-powered Oregon State. Take it as a redemptive story for Andy Dalton, a charmingly talented quarterback with the mental ability to lead TCU.

Rightfully so, this triumphant moment symbolized perseverance, erasing the horrid memories eight months ago when Dalton miserably struggled in a devastating Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State. In a game with much at stake, he threw three interceptions to cost the Frogs, felt hopeless in the end and the team was devoid of respectively accounting for a bowl title. This time, obviously, he redeemed himself, carried the Frogs and survived the challenge outshining a dazzling pro-style offense.

Deemed as the winningest quarterback in TCU history, Dalton realizes much is at stake embarked on a season of pressure. The expectations are immense from its unthinkable journey last season, an unforeseen miracle no one had in mind, especially since it represents an unchallenging Mountain West Conference.

Any team affiliated within an overlooked conference knows, or at least knows its ignored because of the lack of prosperity, the substandard athleticism, the unpopular names and lastly the untested schedule, a problem inhibiting programs like Boise and TCU unless the NCAA implements an eight-team playoff system. It’s too early to tell whether TCU is national title bound or belongs on the biggest stage in college football and represent a mystic conference. How can we vindicate that Utah, Boise or TCU is worthy of playing for the ultimate hardware when each team has a light schedule and doesn’t encounter the high-profile programs?

What the game need, of course, is a legitimate playoff system, not a chaotic system for which many schools are competing, pressured to win practically every game just for a pleasant opportunity to taste a title. By golly, the Frogs merits notability and it appears there is hope after all, at a program with a sturdy defense. The ultimate goal is winning it all with a winnable foundation of players whom all spreads unity. It’s a good start, indeed. All the players have excellent chemistry, maturity and attitude, desiring to send a statement for its pedigree and much-improved offensive schemes, courtesy of Dalton.

In a season of probability, the Frogs are hopeful it can overcome the unsavory drive to the BCS, with the encouragement of head coach Gary Patterson. So, the Frogs, meanwhile, envisions aspiration this season, aiming for another successive streak to sustain perfection in back-to-back seasons. And if looking to endure joy, the sharpened messages that Patterson is instilling into the minds of his kids, are ways for cultivating a powerful, untouchable team.

By moving forward, he couldn’t care less about the sudden collapse eight months ago, but considers starting off on strong terms. It’s not the cutest tale in football or the cuddly dark-horses as a year ago, only this time TCU ranks on the level of elite programs to dominate at will each time the players gaze at the pyramid Patterson famed to offer encouragement and enthusiasm.

The sad thing is, with a disappointing loss, the Frogs are eliminated from the national championship picture, and likely won’t capture a BCS bid, simply because of the conference it represents. To put it into perspective, Alabama, Oregon, or Ohio State could be victimized as a one-loss or even a two-loss team and still appear on the national title setting. The Frogs are considered one of the most projected programs by winning every game, particularly after knocking the Beavers out of the unpredictable polls.

It’s still seemingly tough to imagine TCU in conversations for BCS considerations, even though they trounced the vibrant Oregon State, who could’ve beaten the Frogs in a tense, tight showdown before breaking away late in the fourth quarter. Make no mistake they deserve credit as a premier school for its work ethic and resilient effort in the season-opener, salvaging not only the first win of the regular-season, but saving a sense of fate with a schedule of opponents which aren’t ranked in the Top 25.

There’s no surprise Dalton, the four-year starting quarterback, set the school’s all-time record for wins by a quarterback when his efficiency and agility energizes his teammates and uplifts a program with bowl game implications. Without a doubt, he’s a savvy leader and has 30 wins to surmount by Pro Bowl Football Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh. With the advantage of 27 seniors and 19 returning starters, the Frogs are filled with depth and experience, including the pass thrower who completed 17 of 27 for 175 yards, but was intercepted twice.

However, in the sequence of Dalton’s blunders, the Beavers built a comfortable lead twice, but TCU managed to comeback and caused fear in the minds of the complacency of Oregon State. In the spread-option, the Frogs attacked in each sequence and Dalton dropped back and fired passes to seven different receivers, limiting the rush attack a bit and fling downfield passes to exhaust Oregon State defenders.

With the highest ranking in school history, TCU are expected to jump the polls for winning 27 of its past 30 games, certainly building upon reaching a pinnacle in a competitive game where the unpredictability is alarming and the rankings are insane. As badly as winning every game is necessary, the Frogs are potent enough to win every game.

It’s a good thing, then, that Dalton recovered in time. Tell the nation that TCU is an upset alert. Or, in reality, does the nation fear TCU.

Fear the Horned Frogs, folks.