Monday, January 10, 2011
Gary Patterson plans to enjoy title game
By Jeff Caplan
TCU Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson, fresh off a Rose Bowl victory on New Year's Day and subsequent contract extension and pay raise, spent Monday on campus for various meetings on the school's first day back from winter break.
Then he headed to Dallas to join the in-progress American Football Coaches Association Convention. From there, well, he's not sure if he'll watch tonight's BCS championship game that pits the nation's only other two undefeated teams besides his own with his coaching brethren or haul it back to Fort Worth to watch with his wife Kelsey.
"It depends on how tired I am," Patterson said.
Either way, Patterson said he'll watch this one strictly as fan. He won't study every formation that Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and the No. 1 Auburn Tigers line up in or put a stopwatch to the No. 2 Oregon Ducks and their hyperactive offense as though he has to get a call into his defense. Nope, the coach of the No. 3 Frogs said he's just going to kick back and enjoy it.
"I'm going to let someone else sweat," he said. "I am interested to see who got their team ready to play after 40 days."
It's been a full nine days since TCU defeated Wisconsin, 21-19, on a beautiful day in Pasadena, Calif. After the monumental victory that sealed a 13-0 season and the program's first unblemished mark since 1938, Patterson has remained diplomatic regarding the BCS system that allows for only two undefeateds to play for the national title -- and to be clear, two from the so-called power BCS conferences.
The Frogs aren't the first team without a loss or tie to be left out of the mix. Tulane got this argument started back in 1998. Utah's been thr0ugh the drill and Boise State didn't even get in a BCS game after going undefeated in 2008. Auburn remains the lone team from an automatic-qualifying conference to be left out of the championship game despite going 13-0 in 2004.
Because the furor over the system is reaching a fever pitch among college football fans and because TCU defeated Wisconsin, a Big Ten power, it seems there is more sentiment than ever to change the system. Talk has continued since the Rose Bowl and will likely be debated shortly on the ESPN pre-game show whether the Frogs, champions of the non-AQ Mountain West Confernece, deserved to be in this game.
"I still feel the same way about that," Patterson said, meaning the system in place is the one he plays by. "But, they're still talking about us and that's a good thing."
As for tonight's game, Patterson said he's not picking a favorite.
"But," he said, "I am interested to see how it turns out."