"Well, this sucks." (Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports)
Which college football program is having the toughest start to fall camp? Texas A&M, right? I mean, how many other teams out there are dealing with the prospect of losing their Heisman-winning playboy to an autograph scandal?
That does suck for the Aggies, but consider the situation facing their neighbors to the north in Fort Worth, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs.
TCU learned today that it was losing its third player in the span of less than a week following the announcement today of the medical retirement of reserve offensive lineman Michael Thompson. On Monday first-string middle linebacker Jason Hasley quit the team. Last week starting right tackle Tayo Fubuluje no-showed on the first day of camp. Those losses come on top of the suspension of stud defensive end Devonte Fields for the first two weeks of the year for the always murky "violation of team rules" – a punishment that includes the season opener against LSU.
Of the three Horned Frogs who are gone for good, none is a backbreaker on his own. On the other hand, the attrition is killing TCU with a thousand cuts. Hasley finished second on the team in tackles last season behind Kenny Cain, who's also gone. Not having Fubuluje hurts, too, given the question marks for this squad along the offensive line. Same goes for Thompson.
With the return of talented thrower Casey Pachall, a host of talented starters from a year ago and hard-nosed head coach Gary Patterson, TCU has generated plenty of buzz in the last seven months as a dark horse in the Big 12, as well as on the national level. As the Horned Frogs' personnel losses mount, however, the chances of a big year are flickering.