<
>

Internal affairs: News from around the non-BCS and Independents

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
Patterson focused on his seniors: The rumors are out there as they are every time a job comes open. TCU coach Gary Patterson knows that his name is being tossed around as a potential candidate for some of the bigger jobs out there, but he said he's not focusing on that. He promised his seniors that he'd get them to 40 career wins and he's one game away from accomplishing that with at least two and probably three (with a bowl game) games remaining.

Patterson said despite the rumors, he's not even entertaining calls from other schools.

"I'm not even talking to my friends," Patterson said Tuesday evening. "I've spent three days here going to bed at 2-2:30 in the morning and getting back up at 6 and you don't have much time to talk to anybody. I don't think my wife's talked to me in two days."

Whittingham not sold on a one-loss team busting the BCS: As the top non-BCS team in the country, Utah knows that if it wins out it will play a BCS bowl. But what if the team loses? The Utes have had a couple of close calls this season and with games against ranked TCU and BYU teams remaining, the schedule gets tough in November and a loss could cost them a BCS berth.

Even Utah coach Kyle Whittingham isn't sold on a one-loss team getting a BCS bid.

"I could say this, if you are a one-loss BCS team it's unlikely that you'll be able to break into the BCS, but it's not impossible," Whittingham said. "That one loss better be against a very high-profile, highly ranked opponent."

Guy trying to defy history: What's the best way to challenge players on a 1-7 team? Tell them they can't do something. That's what Utah State coach Brent Guy did last week when he challenged his team to beat Hawaii, a team it had never defeated during its time in the WAC. The Aggies went on to win 30-14, and now they have their sights set on No. 10 Boise State, a team they haven't beaten in a decade, losing by an average of 26.7 points, including a 52-0 domination last season.

Guy, who used to work at Boise State, said he knows the intimidation of the blue field in Boise, but with such a young team, he thinks the mystique is overrated.

"I was a part of that for a while, not the WAC wins, but when we got the win streak going originally at home, and it's more about not buying into all that," Guy said. "[Boise State] believes and that's what winning amounts to. We've just got to play better than we've played the last two weeks."

Desormeaux says he's sore, but ready: Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Michael Desormeaux said he's not quite 100 percent from the sprained knee he suffered in the fourth quarter against North Texas on Oct. 11, but that the play of his teammates is taking the pressure off.

Desormeaux, who played last week against Florida International, is major part of the nation's best running game.

"It's one of those things that's kind of nagging and stuff like that," Desormeaux said of his knee. "I have guys that are making a lot of plays around me right now, so that makes me feel a lot better about it. You don't have to do so much."

Houston trying to keep season together: After Houston's 37-23 loss to Marshall last week, Houston coach Kevin Sumlin said he had to take a step back and look at his team.

"We are extremely disappointed and embarrassed about how we played last week, as coaches and players," Sumlin said. "Over the course of the last couple days, it gave us a chance to evaluate where we are schematically and personnel-wise."

The loss was the Cougars' first in conference play, but it wasn't entirely unexpected. The Cougars didn't have fast starts during its previous two wins and had to come from behind to win. Both of those wins were against teams from the bottom of the conference standings (UAB, SMU). So when the Cougars found themselves in a similar situation against a good team, they weren't able to make up the difference.