Around the Horned With Brian Estridge
Aug. 17, 2004
Don't get me wrong, there are questions to be answered. There are concerns voiced in public and behind closed doors in coaches' meeting rooms. But for some reason I don't have the same sense of doubt that I generally have when I head into a TCU football season. Now I am not ready to predict an undefeated season for the Frogs or anything like that, but I am ready to defend a pre-season top 25 ranking. I could roll off stats: six straight bowl appearances, back-to-back top 25 rankings or that #6 BCS ranking TCU enjoyed last season, to back up the pre-season hype, but that's not what this is about. It's about this year - this year's players, this year's schedule, this year's luck. Last year's team had a veteran dominating defensive line, a schedule that many questioned and some luck on their side. This year's team has four huge holes to fill on the defensive line, a much tougher schedule and Gary Patterson's pot o' luck that he hopes is still full. Questions that will have to be answered, but for some reason I'm not worried. You are right - there are questions up front defensively, but look behind them. A linebacking corps led by Martin Patterson, who some including Coach P are comparing to LaMarcus McDonald, and a defensive backfield that, unlike last year, will benefit from depth and experience, and you a have a combination that can make up for any deficiencies up front. That schedule looks daunting. A season opener with Northwestern which seems to have its swagger back under coach Randy Walker, a match-up with cross-town rival SMU, whose team continues to claim TCU is overrated through the five straight losses they have suffered to the Frogs, and a road game against explosive Texas Tech make things difficult to open the season. Throw into the mix road games at UAB, Cincinnati and Louisville and a home battle that everyone points to on November 20 against Southern Miss and it does look almost impossible. But not to the Frogs, who have proven time and time again that Gary Patterson gets them ready for any challenge. When it comes to the question of luck, well I can't answer that. But if you believe that you create your own luck through hard work and preparation, then I have no doubts about this team - that must be why I am sleeping so well with the season about to begin. From the streets and avenues of North Texas to the information superhighway, I'm Brian Estridge. We'll see you on the radio.