Titles and Contenders – Fort Worth Weekly
It’s been two weeks since Buck U recapitulated TCU sports back then, so we’re going to be headlong into women’s football, which is the closest to the end of their season. Unfortunately, our ladies suffered their first loss of the season two Saturdays ago when they attended the Ags at College Station. They recovered during their last regular season game by beating Notre Dame 2-1 at the Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium. In the United Soccer Coaches survey, our women rank 7th nationwide and 11th in the RPI survey. Monday’s selection for the national tournament showed tremendous respect for the frog’s work, placing him as the fourth seed to face the winner of a play-in game between New Mexico and The Naval Academy later that month. I would never claim to be a bracketologist of women’s football, but I would assume it is certain that our ladies will advance to a match with 13 seed Georgetown. We’ll keep an eye on our footballers as they hopefully emerge as the top squad in their neighborhood and the penultimate squad in their half.
David Roditi’s thugs asserted themselves in a strong conference position after beating Texas and brought that dynamic to dominance over the entire state of Oklahoma in the purple squares the following weekend. The TCU prevailed 4-0 against the Pokes and prevailed 5-2 against the Sooners. The trip to Lubbock on Friday was only a modest challenge as the Raiders fell 4-1. A win that gave the Frogs at least a share of the Big 12 title in the regular season. The day before, the previously undefeated Baylor Bears had made mistakes at home against the Longhorns. This created a frog-take-all scenario for the final conference matchup where the bears could force a three-way tie between the horns, bears and frogs, or the TCU could steal the trophy for itself.
Baylor has improved its rankings throughout the outdoor season, climbing to second place in the country, but fell to the frogs for the last time when the two met during the indoor season in late January. The match began with an unusual front-row double loss to fourth-placed couple Luc Fomba and Alastair Gray, who last won when they met this duo of bears. A loss to Frog in the third row left an unfinished game that was second row down the TCU’s path, and Baylor secured the colon, much like they did when they last met. In Singles, Roditi’s men were the last time the Baptists really beat, but Sunday’s results are worrying. While some lineups have been shuffled since their last meeting, three games previously won by the TCU went awry.
Fomba lost in straight sets, although each set required an extra game or tiebreaker to decide. The dismantling of Gray in the second row suggests that he is injured or has completely lost his mojo. His opponent, Matias Soto, created an admirable spring and increased his individual ranking from 56th place at the last meeting to 16th place on Sunday. In January, Gray won in straight sets and Soto won a total of four games. On Sunday, Soto won in straight sets, with Gray winning an overall game, not a confidence builder for purple fans attending the conference and national tournaments. Tadeas Paroulek, who won a close single game with three sets in January, lost in straight sets and won a total of five games. Sander Jong was the only frog who was able to repeat his win from the rivals winter meeting and split the sentences again. This time, however, he had to fight from behind before finishing third.
Despite the joint title, the TCU hobbled to the conference tournament in Waco on Saturday as the three seeds behind Texas and Baylor. Saturday’s double game with OU with six seeds shouldn’t be a problem triggering a rematch with Baylor with two seeds in the semifinals. These frogs have a lot to reflect on and cash in on their uncompetitive performance from the weekend onwards before facing the bears again, this time in their own den. The conference tournament should be a solid test of whether these frogs know the routine of preparing their big dance.
Baseball was scheduled for a showdown with the Red Raiders in Lubbock two weeks ago to reveal the team to beat in the conference. The results were mixed. Jim Schlossnagle’s Diamond Frogs were running a 10-game winning streak and decided to continue that streak 7-3 in Lubbock against the Raiders to start the series. The second game was a remarkably balanced affair, with each team going through a fourth inning of four runs to eventually complete regulation with five runs each. The TCU stranded a runner at the top of tenth place before the raider’s first batsman ran away with a raider win. Game three carried the insignia of yet another bonus inning thriller, until the sixth time the Frogs rolled through three pitchers and TTU as many homers to add a total of nine runs. The TCU’s inability to score at the top of seventh place meant an early end and a solemn trip back to the Forth after a tough 17-7 final in favor of Black and Red, the Frogs’ first defeat in the conference series.
Despite disappointments in Lubbock (which is to be expected with any visit to tortilla land), the TCU rebounded with a 10-2 midweek win over Tarleton State and a streak against twelfth Oklahoma State last weekend. Both Friday and Saturday were individual wins for the Frogs before the Bats roared ahead of a 6-6 win on Sunday, including a Brayden Taylor (# 55) Grand Slam at the end of the eighth inning. Baseball stays home all week to host the ever-dangerous UTA Mavericks ahead of a home series against the Jayhawks, the last dead at the conference, right where they normally live. TCU and Texas are tied for conference management and the Horns are enjoying a 13-game winning streak.
This ranking is somewhat misleading, as UT’s two losses to Baylor and Oklahoma went that swept the frogs and worked their conference schedule bottom-up while the TCU was already up against the middle class and doing well. It will be early May before the Longhorns visit Fort Worth, but I don’t expect the scorched orange to be a challenge to running the conference at this point.