By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer
FORT WORTH — We are talking about practice, man.
With apologies to Allen Iverson, though, this time it’s a little different.
The first official whistles of TCU fall camp, the first under coach Sonny Dykes, will be heard Tuesday as the Horned Frogs open practices for the 2022 football season. The Frogs are scheduled to check in today, though players have been on campus most of the summer break.
Break time ends at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.
There are ample storylines, beginning with the battle to be the starting quarterback when the season opens Sept. 2 at Colorado. Max Duggan and Chandler Morris are the front-runners.
Two new systems are being installed by offensive coordinator Garrett Riley and defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie. The pass-happy offense might not be a massive departure from what the Frogs have been doing of late, but Gillespie’s 3-3-5 defense will have some noticeable differences.
A bevy of transfers are expected to make an impact in 2022, and some true freshmen should as well. They have ground to cover this month to push their way onto depth charts.
Health is always a major fall story. The Frogs have seen an overhaul in strength and conditioning, and that could allow for fewer injuries heading into the season.
There are more stories worth watching, of course, and things will play out over the next four weeks.
Stay tuned to Frogs Today.
Defending the Pac
The next shoe in conference realignment has yet to fall more than a month after USC and UCLA bolted from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten. With the SEC also expanding with Texas and Oklahoma, other conference are scrambling to ensure they don’t get left at the kiddie table.
The Big 12 is one of those conferences, and new commissioner Brett Yormark said last month that the Big 12 “is open for business.”
That caught the attention of Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff.
“As to the Big 12 being open for business, I appreciate that,” he said last week. “We haven’t decided if we’re going shopping there yet.”
It’s a good line, but it sounds a little desperate.
In a lengthy story written at The Athletic, Kliavkoff appears to be doing damage control as rumors continue to circulate that Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado want to join the Big 12 and that Oregon and Washington are coveted by the Big Ten. He’s telling outlets all the good things the Pac-12 has going for it, which isn’t much without USC And UCLA.
Kliavkoff was caught with his pants down, as Bob Bowlsby and the Big 12 were last year when Texas and Oklahoma announced their departures, and is scrambling to make sure the Pac-12 doesn’t crumble.
“You look at the metrics, you look at the numbers, and any way you cut and slice and dice the numbers, you come to the conclusion that no Pac-12 school is going to the Big 12,” he said.
Maybe, but they might if Oregon and Washington bolt.
Yormark’s first official day on the job is today. He’s been quiet since Big 12 media days as he finished up duties at Roc Nation while also staying involved on realignment.
Maybe he’ll come out swinging in Week 1.
What to watch this week
As we have already established, fall camp starts this week, and Frogs Today will have you covered. We will be pounding away at our keyboards for written content, but our big splash will be with the Frogs Today Daily show, which airs beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
The shows will be hosted by Brian Estridge, will be shot during practice and will feature interviews with players, coaches and our reporters. Our shows from the Big 12 media days, which were brought to you by Railhead Smokehouse, serve as a taste of what to expect.
If these shows don’t convince you, what went down Saturday at the Roxo Media House Flying T studios should. Frogs Today hosted 20 recruits from the class of 2023 and their families, and David Beaudin interviewed them all. You’re not going to find that anywhere else.
The lighter side
Laugh time: One thing that always makes laugh is a good impression, and I’ve been spending way too much time lately watching them on the Internet.
My favorite right now is Jay Pharoah, the former Saturday Night Live cast member. He’s great.
Frank Caliendo is right there with him.
Pharoah became known on SNL for his President Obama. But, as you’ll see below, his Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy and Kevin Hart are phenomenal.
The glamorous life: So, you want to be an MLB beat writer, huh? Travel to the road games, stay at luxury hotels, enjoy the finest dining? Well …
I was covering the Rangers over the weekend for Rangers Today, to which you absolutely should subscribe, as they played at Anaheim, and the trip started off great. After arriving in Ontario, the National Car Rental lot was out of all cars except luxury. So, I rolled around Orange County in a Mercedes SUV. Not bad.
Flash to Sunday, when I had not one, but two flights canceled. Alas, there was one more chance to get home — Ontario to Phoenix to DFW. Book it.
The first leg was delayed by, get this, rain in Phoenix. Rain in the desert. In the summer. It was delayed too long for me to make my connection, so I got to spend the night in Phoenix and fly home this morning at 5.
This isn’t the first time in 15 years I’ve had travel difficulties. It’s part of the gig, which I still love. I just wanted to share how the sausage is made.
I was much happier than a French woman who missed her connection in Phoenix to Paris. I felt bad for her, because it’s not like there are flights to France every hour on the hour. But she was also fairly hammered and way too belligerent toward the gate agents who had to rebook dozens of flights.
After her first round at the gate, she went off to the side, called someone and started ranting at the top of her lungs in French. And then, suddenly, she burst into English and into a string of F-bombs.
Someone taught her the right way to curse in English.
Bad golf shots: Go all the way to Pebble Beach, spend all that money, and on the iconic par-3 No. 7 this is your shot? Enjoy.
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Jeff Wilson, email@example.com