Mac Engel

TCU will be lucky to earn bowl eligibility in a season when upperclassmen have flopped

The downturn was inevitable, and TCU’s season is entirely now about trying to pull off one season-altering upset, and making sure its freshman quarterback is not shattered.

After a loss at Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan, Gary Patterson and his team of underdogs are just that. The Horned Frogs will be an underdog in five of their remaining six games.

To qualify for the Flaming Hot Garbage Bowl, TCU must find three wins in a schedule that includes Texas, at OK State, Baylor, at Texas Tech, at Oklahoma and against West Virginia. Despite the absurd number of bowl games, there is a good chance TCU will miss a bowl for the first time since 2013.

This team is beset with issues, starting with a freshman quarterback who is going through what freshmen quarterbacks typically endure; there is an obvious disconnect between the head coach and his offensive coaches, but the decision to go with Max Duggan is done.

The other issue is the adults on the roster are leading this team like freshmen.

In Gary’s best years, he’s had a handful of upperclassmen who coach the team as much as he does; the best teams often coach and police themselves.

That’s not happening with this team. There are juniors and seniors up and down this depth chart and their experience has made no difference.

Typically, that means a team doesn’t like each other, or has checked out.

A defensive line with seniors Ross Blacklock and Shameik Blackshear has been a disappointment. A secondary that features four seniors has been average.

No TCU player has had a more disappointing season more than receiver Jalen Reagor. He had eight catches on Saturday, but he has not gone for more than 100 yards once this year.

Reagor, a preseason Big 12 player of the year candidate, has 230 total yards from scrimmage this season. He can’t be happy with how infrequently he sees the ball.

With six games against quality competition, TCU has the opportunity to reverse its season and finish with a nice year. There is nothing to indicate this will happen.

The Frogs have defeated one team that has a winning record — Arkansas Pine-Bluff of the SWAC.

TCU was picked to finish fourth in the preseason Big 12 poll. The only way that happens is if the upperclassmen care more than they do now.

If TCU finishes fourth in this Big 12, call it a great year.

Big Mac Bites

The Cincinnati Bengals are again one of the worst teams in the NFL, and the time of former TCU QB Andy Dalton as the team’s starting quarterback is coming to an end.

The Bengals are 0-6, and will look for a new quarterback in the off-season.

Dalton been an NFL starting quarterback for nine seasons, made a small fortune, and he will soon lead the life of a veteran backup for another run.

The Bengals were the best, and worst, thing that could have happened to Dalton after he was their second round draft pick in 2011. He fell into a starting role and was surrounded by good players, but played for an organization that does not care.

The “Stanley Cup Hangover” is a legitimate challenge for every NHL Stanley Cup winner; the Dallas Stars have now created “The Western Conference Semifinals Hangover.”

After going to overtime before losing in Game 7 of the 2019 Western Conference semifinals against the eventual champion Blues, the Stars are playing like a team that won the Cup.

No NHL team has been a bigger waste of talent than the locals to start this season.

Heading into Saturday’s game at Philadelphia, the Stars are 1-7-1. In the process, they’ve scored more than two goals in a game all but twice.

The problems are aplenty, and when Roope Hintz is your team’s leading scorer on a roster that features Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov and Joe Pavelski, that’s awful.

The Dallas Mavericks’ season begins this week and the franchise had an Andrew Luck-like announcement recently. Long time Mavs’ media relations director Sarah Melton announced her retirement from the franchise as the preseason ended.

Melton has been a great pro for this franchise as it rose to relevance. Every member of the media who has worked with her over the years will miss her, and we all wish her the best in her post-NBA life.

A thank you to the good people of the Alliance Air Show and the United States Navy and their Blue Angels. This week, I was fortunate enough to live out a small dream of flying with the Blue Angels.

Never has whiplash, blacking out and dry heaving been so much fun.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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