Big 12 Sports Articles

Kenny Hill proves leadership still lacking in TCU loss to Arkansas

It was all right there for the Horned Frogs: a come-from-behind win over an SEC West team, a chance to give the Big 12 a much-needed win over a solid Power 5 program, and QB Kenny Hill’s shot to show he can lead a major college football program to big-time success. TCU went up 27-20 over Arkansas with just over 2 minutes left, and was an extra point away from going up by 8 points.

Then, it happened.

The slash heard around the world … well, at least Fort Worth.

The ‘throat slash’ included the point up to God. Oh, the irony … and stupidity.

‘The slash’ led to a well-deserved penalty, which forced TCU back on the kickoff. As a result, Arkansas’ return of just 22 yards resulted in starting the drive at the 42 yard line.

The momentum was officially out of TCU’s hands. The Hogs had the momentum, and marched 58 yards down the field in 1 minute and 2 seconds, scoring a touchdown and tying the game on a 2-point conversion.

After getting a potential game-winning field goal blocked near the end of regulation, TCU went to overtime against Arkansas and promptly lost in double overtime 41-38.

Now, before TCU fans go nuts, here is what was reported after the game by ESPN’s Holly Rowe.

Buying it? I’m not. But, I also have no idea what to think. I went ahead and googled “rising kings”, “rising kings sign language”, and “rising kings game” and found absolutely no information on what this means.

So, TCU fans can’t blame this one on the refs. How are they supposed to have any idea that Kenny Hill was doing some sort of sign language (if you believe that to be the case). I’m a millennial, and I still haven’t got a damn clue what this whole thing means. But, the refs are trained to look for the throat-slash celebration, and they nailed Hill for being “close enough”.

Ultimately, where does the blame go for this loss? Sure, it could be spread around, just like any game in any sport.

But, this one lies at the feet of QB Kenny Hill. After transferring from Texas A&M, the QB sat out last season, and beat out Foster Sawyer for the starting job this summer. This was his chance to prove that his issues at A&M were in the past and he was ready to lead a Power 5 program to success. 

Instead, after playing a mostly mediocre football game, which included a pick six in the first half and several balls over or under thrown to receivers, he runs for a go-ahead 5-yard TD and acts like a fool.

Yes, the defense did a really bad job on Arkansas’ final drive in regulation. And yep, the defense, which was expected to be one of, if not the best in the Big 12, has looked really weak through the first two  games. They have allowed 40 points in consecutive games for the first time in 12 years. But, the best leaders do everything in their power to help a team overcome other deficiencies. Kenny Hill did another ‘look at me’ celebration and cost his team mightily. 

With all this being said, I don’t want to come off like the old curmudgeon who is against football celebrations. In fact, I don’t really care about them. If the team I am rooting for scores, great. If it’s the other team, well, that blows.

Here’s Clemson QB Deshaun Watson doing his best Cam Newton impression by doing ‘the dab’.  

It’s fun, harmless, and most importantly, there’s no chance it results in a penalty. 

College football is about fun. Sports is about fun. But, every situation in sports and life is uniquely different in terms of risk/reward factor. Had Hill made this mistake in a game against Kansas with the Horned Frogs up 21 in the 2nd quarter, we wouldn’t be talking about it like we are now. But, because of his own poor decision and lack of self-awareness, “Kenny Trill” has taken the “thrill” out of TCU’s early season. 

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