Mac Engel

TCU will run the state as long as an ex-Aggie is a good Frog

Quarterack Kenny Hill hasn’t been named the starter, but he’s been voted the Big 12’s preseason newcomer of the year.
Quarterack Kenny Hill hasn’t been named the starter, but he’s been voted the Big 12’s preseason newcomer of the year.

It is an indictment on the state of things in College Station, Austin and Waco, but the best team in Texas is in Fort Worth.

As much as the Aggies protests otherwise, Reveille is lost in the SEC West. The Aggies like to point out, though, they make more money in the SEC, which has benefited their football team and their fans how exactly? Are the Aggies giving their fans wads of cash?

Charlie Strong continues the Mack Brown tradition of winning in February, but it has yet to translate to the fall.

Texas Tech’s main strength continues to be the stunning masculine and timeless good looks of its coach, Coach Bro.

Waco’s biker scene is better than the state of the football team at Baylor, of which Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has a great deal of (misguided) interest.

That leaves the little purple frog that could at TCU.

As far as national perception, that’s not good for the state of football in Texas. To an outsider, it does not matter how much the Horned Frogs, Bears or Red Raiders win — if the Horns or Aggies aren’t winning, the state must stink.

That is not TCU coach Gary Patterson’s, or TCU’s, concern.

These things are fluid, but TCU runs the state and that should last for at least one more season provided an Aggie transfer is as good as he looked in his brief time in College Station.

The quarterback formerly known as Kenny Trill doesn’t need to be Trevone Boykin, but Kenny Hill needs to come close for the Frogs to remain on top in Texas.

Ahead of all of the Texas teams, TCU was picked to finish second in the Big 12 media preseason poll behind Oklahoma, largely because “experts” think Hill can play.

Likely much to the consternation of his head coach, Hill was picked as the preseason Big 12 newcomer of the year.

Right now he’s not the starter. Neither is Foster Sawyer nor anybody else.

“One of the things you don’t have to do is make great plays but make the plays the offense allows you to do,” GP said Monday. “Both of them can beat you in different ways — obviously Kenny can really run. ... That young group on offense is looking for somebody they can follow.”

On the first day of Big 12 media days in Dallas, Patterson did his best to downplay, or not answer, who his starting quarterback will be when his team opens the season Sept. 3 against South Dakota State in Fort Worth.

That’s not the one that matters; Gary could start one of his wife’s many rescue dogs at quarterback and defeat South Dakota State.

It’s the next week he will need a real quarterback — vs. Arkansas. That’s when we will know if the Frogs are good with this Kenny or would be better with the Kenny from South Park.

As a sophomore at A&M in 2014, Hill passed for four touchdowns and 386 yards in an overtime defeat of the Hogs at Jerry World. That was his last win with the Aggies. After that, it all fell apart and he lost his starting job.

He then started the Aggies trend of highly ranked high school quarterbacks to leave College Station. It was about that time people quit calling Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin a QB guru.

In College Station, there were genuine concerns about Hill’s off-the-field behavior, and specifically the dreaded maturity card. His predecessor, John Football, had the same issues. And still does.

So far, by all accounts, Hill has willingly done everything that has been required, including taking courses at Tarrant County College; that is a good chunk of humility for a former big-shot high school star from Southlake.

Kenny Trill has been replaced by Kenny Boring.

Now he finds himself in an ideal spot — he could potentially start for a good team after having sat out his required transfer season.

The last time an Aggie transferred to Fort Worth to play quarterback it was a godsend. Matt Joeckel didn’t play much for the Frogs because of an injury, but his impact on Boykin in 2014 as a player was immeasurable.

Hill’s impact at TCU will either be on the field as the starting quarterback or nothing. No one envisions him as a tutor/mentor for Foster Sawyer.

As evidenced by his brief time as the Aggies’ starter, Hill, like Boykin, is a dual threat. Neither is a pinpoint passer, but each can buy time with his feet and make decent passes on the run.

TCU co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie helped turn Boykin into one of the nation’s most entertaining players. With Hill, they have more to work with.

That does not mean Hill is better than Boykin. Casey Pachall had more physical ability than Andy Dalton and never came close to reaching the Red Rifle’s productivity.

It would help if Josh Doctson were still here for Hill, but he’s in the NFL.

From TCU’s home schedule to the state of the other Texas teams in the Big 12, it is all there for TCU to have another special season. It is all there for TCU to continue to run Texas.

Kenny Hill, the floor is yours ...

Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.

Big 12 Media Days

TV: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., FS2 and FSSW

Note: Coaches begin at 10 a.m.

Tuesday’s coaches lineup

Charlie Strong, Texas

Dana Holgorsen, W. Virginia

Jim Grobe, Baylor

Bill Snyder, Kansas State

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

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