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06/06/2012

TCU results vs. the Big 12 - an indicator of future performance?

IMG_2716_largeFORT WORTH - TCU is in its finals days as a member of the Mountain West Conference. Not only does this mean no more trips to San Diego, Las Vegas or 9:30 p.m. CT starts, it also means no one at TCU has to explain how its conference is just as good as the Big 12, ACC or Big 10.

Whenever TCU's baseball season ends, this part of sales job is over. The Big 12 sells itself.

"It will be nice not to have to win our league every year to get in (the NCAA tournament)," TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said, which pretty much goes for every sport the school sponsored.

Part of this sales job included TCU coaches and administrator's telling the world their results against "the big boys".

For instance, TCU always had very handy its record in football against AQ schools, Big 12 etc. Since Gary Patterson took over as the head coach 2000, here is how TCU fared against then Big 12 schools: 6-6.

Texas: 0-1 (2007, 13-34)
Texas A&M: 0-1 (2001, 9-28)
Texas Tech: 1-1 (2004, 35-70; 2006, 12-3)
Oklahoma 1-1 (2005, 17-10; 2008, 10-35)
Baylor: 3-1 (2006, 17-7; 2007, 27-0; 2010, 45-10; 2011, 48-50)
Iowa State: 1-0 (2005, 27-24)
Nebraska: 0-1 (2001, 7-21)

ImageCan TCU's success against teams from the Big 12, ACC, Big 10, Pac 12, etc., be used to accurately forecast future success when the school joins the conference next month? Yes. No. Not really. Kinda. Sorta. 

"Somewhat," Schlossnagle said. "Now all I know is baseball. But there are so many things; for instance, if we play a mid-week game (against a Big 12 team), it's a toss up. What you look at is how have we done in weekend series against Cal-State Fullterton, an SEC team, or a Big 12? Look at those records, and that comes out pretty good.

"We haven't had to go Oklahoma one weekend, Texas the next. That's more of a football deal because of the physical nature of the sport. It is more of a thing to talk about in football and less in baseball but still something to consider."

Just using football, there are a million ways to spin, or distort, the 6-6 record against the Big 12.
* Two of the losses came in 2001, when Patterson took over a young roster.
* When TCU played at Texas, Andy Dalton was a redshirt freshman.
* When TCU lost to Baylor in 2011 it was breaking in a new QB while the Bears had the future Heisman winner.
* When TCU defeated Oklahoma, the Sooners were using a raw QB who couldn't hit the air if he fell out of a plane.

No one knows exactly how this is going to play out. Too many variables make this an impossible prediction. Privately, most people around TCU feel the school will "hang" with the Big 12 in its first year; meaning, finish around fourth, fifth or sixth.

"In baseball we better be there, at least, because we have built it on pitching," Schlossnagle said. "If you can pitch with Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor you've given your chance to compete in the league."

Less than one month remains before TCU joins the Big 12. At this point, it looks as if the Frogs will be able to compete in the league, but forecasting their success is an impossible guess.

Hope this clears everything up ...

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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