Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Letdown not in Gary Patterson's vocabulary
By Jeff Caplan
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Gary Patterson spent a good portion of his Tuesday media conference answering questions about the fairness of the BCS and whether his third-ranked TCU Horned Frogs would really be permitted by the powers-that-be into the sacred national championship game.
Patterson continaully said he'll do his talking in another two weeks when and if the Frogs (10-0, 6-0 Mountain West) end the season at 12-0 for a second consecutive year. He talked up Saturday's opponent in the home finale, the San Diego State Aztecs (7-2, 4-1), as though the Knute Rockne-era Fighting Irish were invading Amon G. Carter Stadium.
But, Patterson made his point. Coming off last week's pasting of then-No. 5 Utah, this is no time for a letdown.
"You better get ready to play," he said. "You’re judged only on Saturdays. In about three hours you’re judged and you’ve got to score one more point. If you don’t do that then none of you [the media] will be sitting here. If I get beat Saturday, you won’t be asking me any of these questions [about playing for a national championship[ and you won’t care that I’m playing New Mexico [on Nov. 27]."
Patterson is speaking from a position of wisdom.
"I've been here before. TCU in the last 10 years, I was here at 9-0 [actually 10-0] playing Southern Miss at Southern Miss," said Patterson of that 40-28 loss in 2003. "I was here in 2005 and we got beat by SMU. Gary Patterson has been here, so I’m not going to put my team at risk of going out there on the limb [talking about playing for a national championship] so that I can make myself sound good at the risk of my team losing a football game."
The Frogs' victory at Utah crossed their last major hurdle, not that Patterson will think that. The Utah game bit them in 2008 when, ranked No. 11 with only a September setback at Oklahoma blemishing their record, TCU lost to the Utes, 13-10, to end hopes of a first BCS berth.
"They [TCU players] understand that I think they can play," Patterson said. "But, they also understand that -- what, we were at Colorado State when we didn’t play very well, we were ahead 6-0 at halftime? So, we better come to play with our ‘A’ game this Saturday."