Dueling columns: 2009 season

Talented team posed to surpass 2008 season, reach BCS bowl

It’s always football season in Texas.

Once the regular season ends, bowl season begins. Once bowl season ends the spring season begins. Once the spring season ends it’s summer and you would think there is no football going on, but the players are constantly working out. Then two-a-days begin and the whole cycle continues.

But sometimes during this never-ending regiment you get this feeling that something special is about to happen. I am getting that feeling right now thinking about this football team.

The stars are aligning at just the right time, the schedule is softer, the starting quarterback is getting more experienced, we have a new, better offense and the defense can still be strong.

There is no Oklahoma, no Texas and no real challenge on the nonconference schedule. We are fortunate to play two teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the soft underbelly of the Bowl Championship Series automatic bid conferences. We get Virginia and Clemson, teams that combined for 12 wins last season, one more than the Frogs. Both games are on the road, which is the only thing that could make them a challenge.

We get Utah at home this year, which should be for the conference title, and BYU is not the program they were last season.

Quarterback Andy Dalton threw 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions in-conference last season. I still believe he is constantly improving and will do just fine in the new, more explosive offense.

And the defense may be losing some key components, but this program has always been great at filling holes on the defensive side of the ball and the defense will be in the top 10 again next season.

Just like the rest of the football team. I think a BCS bowl is within this team’s grasp this season.

Billy Wessels is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Waxahachie.

Depleted defense, luck will prevent

team from improving next season

The Frogs had an incredible season in 2008. An 11-2 record capped off with a thrilling 17-16 victory over Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl propelled the team to a No. 7 ranking in the national polls. But don’t expect to see that kind of success repeated in 2009.

Sure the schedule looks easier on paper and going on the road for two games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents could help boost the team in the polls – provided it wins. But so many things have to go right for a team to have a season like the Frogs did in 2008. A made field goal or two and the team could have finished 12-1 last season. As we saw in the Utah game last year, things frequently go wrong on the football field. And aside from those missed field goals, not many things went wrong for the Frogs last season.

A team’s luck can’t last forever.

Things will go wrong eventually for this football team. It’s uncontrollable. A serious injury, a shocking upset, off-field distractions that make their way on to the field or even a poor coaching decision – something will happen.

While a slipup won’t necessarily spell disaster for the Frogs’ overall season in 2009, all it will take to derail the team’s aspirations of making it to a BCS Bowl is a loss to a team like Wyoming or San Diego State.

Throw in the fact that the team is returning just five of 11 starters from its top-ranked defense in 2008 and it suddenly becomes clear that exceeding last year’s performance will be a daunting task, if not impossible.

Double-digit wins are still a distinct possibility thanks to an offense that should continue making strides, but replicating or eclipsing a performance like last season’s would be a tall order for any college football team – Frogs included.

Sports editor Michael Carroll is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Coppell.

Do you agree with Billy or Michael?



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