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Friday, December 31, 2010
Happy New Year: Now get to sleep

By Jeff Caplan


LOS ANGELES -- The TCU Horned Frogs will have to celebrate the New Year on Central time, and then it's light's out.

Starting Thursday night, coach Gary Patterson moved the team's curfew from midnight to 11 p.m. in preparation for Saturday's Rose Bowl game against the Wisconsin Badgers. But, don't paint the hard-nosed Patterson as taking the fun out of New Year's.

"Our kids asked for that," Patterson said of the earlier curfew, the only pattern that's changing in the Frogs' week-long stay in downtown Los Angeles. "It's been 12 up to this point so that is really the only difference. But, they've practiced really well which has been usual."

Since the moment the Frogs officially were Rose Bowl-bound, the senior-laden club has taken a business-trip mentality. Gone is the frivolity of last year's first BCS experience that resulted in a 17-10 loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. The players asked to arrive in L.A. on Christmas Eve, sacrificing Christmas with their families to get settled into their routine here.

And they have changed a few things up from last season's trip to Glendale, Ariz.

"No. 1, we didn't go out to the Fiesta Bowl. We went to the Rose Bowl on Monday to get out the 'wow' factor and we'll go again (today)," Patterson said. "The second thing is being able to isolate our kids [tonight] with all the people coming into town before the ballgame; giving them a chance to focus.

"At the place we stayed a year ago, it was really spread out. It was hard to get our kids focused and put into one place. I wish I would have taken them to a different hotel. But, this one here, we'll be able to control everything from the third floor up, so those are the two things we've done different."