Well, well, well, look who's coming to town. The independent-bound BYU Cougars will visit Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon to face the No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs for the last time in maybe, well, forever.
And if intense Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson has any say in this one, the Cougars won't forget it for a long, long time.
The Cougars, struggling at 2-4 (1-1 in the Mountain West Conference), will walk into a cauldron at Amon G. Carter Stadium as they contiue their farewell tour before bailing out of the conference to begin an uncertain future as a college football independent. Color Patterson skeptical.
During fall camp, when rumors of BYU's thinking became public, Patterson had this to say: "You’ve got to be careful what you wish for. If you’re BYU, you better be careful what you wish for. It’s not my job to worry about what Utah (headed to the Pac-10) does, what BYU does, but I can tell you this: If you think being an independent is an easier way to get to a national championship, you’re kidding yourself. Why would anybody vote them a Notre Dame exemption? How would they play anybody?"
BYU has lined up home-and-home games with the Texas Longhorns and today the Cougars finalized a series to continue its rivalry with Utah for at least two years. BYU will fill out the schedule with WAC teams. For 2011, the Cougars have 10 games lined up, five in 2012 and three in 2013, so there is plenty of scheduling work to be done.
Could TCU show up on one of those future schedules?
"No," Patterson muttered.
With Utah and BYU leaving the conference, and Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada coming in, it's unclear how the changes might affect the Mountain West's attempt to gain automatic-qualifier status into the BCS, but the majority opinion seems to think it will take a knock.
"We’re going to see if these were the right decisions. Nobody knows. It’s just like when you buy a house or switch jobs; you don’t know if it’s the right decision," Patterson said back in August. "The key to this whole story is all the people that made these decisions, we’ll find out if they’re university is better off because of all the things that have happened."
Of course, TCU could be mapping out its own course for the future as rumors of a potential move to the Big East Conference persist. Neither the Big East, with its all-important automatic-qualifier status, nor TCU has gone out of its way to quell those rumors either.
For now, one last BYU-TCU battle should be a physical and emotional scrap. The Cougars know TCU (6-0), with its BCS hopes intact, are ready for this one on multiple levels.