Some random TCU-Fiesta Bowl thoughts
* I never expected TCU to come out nervous. When it came to big games this season, TCU was ready. BYU. Utah. They crushed those teams, jumping on them from the start. But the Frogs honestly looked a little scared on Monday. That surprised me.
* TCU's defense gave up 10 points. But it was not one of their best games. Boise State wide receivers were open (against a depleted secondary dealing with injuries) and quarterback Kellen Moore had way too much time to make decisions. TCU couldn't get enough pressure on him and he did enough to win the game.
* The fake punt was a good call. But it's what happened after that they cost TCU. The defense just seemed to go flat. They had worked so hard to stop them and force the punt and one 29-yard play altered the feel of the game. After the fake punt, Boise State was able to move it right down.
* One loss does not take away an entire season. I saw plenty of disappointed Frog fans. That's understandable. But this is still a top-10 team and it's one that should be ranked in the top-1o to start 2010. They didn't play well on Monday and still had a chance to tie the game. Heck, the tying touchdown pass was dropped with less than five minutes left.
* 2010, though, just got tougher. Boise State will be on TCU's radar screen the whole season. Why? Because the Broncos will start in front of TCU in 2010 and they have a tougher nonconference schedule with Virginia Tech on it. So if Boise State and TCU go undefeated, it's likely Boise State would stay in front. We'll see.
* I do think TCU will use this loss as motivation. That was a depressed locker room. And I understand the mood didn't change once the team got back to the team hotel tonight (they won't depart until tomorrow for Fort Worth). This will be just like that Utah game from 2008.
* Don't worry about Andy Dalton. He had a bad game. But he's mature beyond his years and I don't think this will impact him next season at all. He'll come out and play well. He didn't get much help from his receivers on Monday, either. I know Dalton threw the three picks -- one was particularly costly. But several receivers dropped big passes (including the TD pass late).
* I was also surprised TCU couldn't run the ball. Boise State's rush defense was not that great all season (Fresno State and Nevada ran on them). I thought TCU could have tried to run the ball more on Monday, too. They kind of helped make themselves one-dimensional. But give Boise State credit for that too.
* TCU sure will miss Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington. Both have good NFL careers in front of them.
* One final note: From a guy that has watched TCU football for years, this program sure has come a long way from 1-10 in 1997, the year before Dennis Franchione and Gary Patterson arrived. Enjoy that, Frog fans. There's no reason to think TCU can't find a way to get back to a BCS bowl next year.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.