TCU coach Gary Patterson is not going to sit quietly this week while his team is off and at the mercy of poll voters. In fact, he has plenty to say about watching his team drop one spot in the coaches', AP and Harris polls to No. 4 following a 40-35 win over San Diego State.
"If they watched the game and didn't look at the score they’d have a different answer," Patterson said of the poll voters. "I’m not going to trade my team. Sometimes you've got to worry about what you've got to worry about. I didn’t think the win was any different than [Oregon's] 15-13 win over Cal."
Oh, but it is different when you are a team from outside the power conferences and perception plus point differential matters. But here is what Patterson is saying. Anybody who watched the game knows:
1. San Diego State went up 14-0 on a flea-flicker and a TCU fumble in the end zone.
2. TCU lost offensive line coach Eddie Williamson, who suffered chest pains and was taken to the hospital, rattling the team and also impacting some of the calls that were made against a defense that stunts a fair share.
3. San Diego State had one first down through a 30-minute period of the game.
4. Late in the third quarter, TCU led 37-14 and had a 397-100 yard advantage in total offense.
5. TCU played without leading rusher Ed Wesley, starting defensive end Stansly Maponga and starting defensive tackle Kelly Griffin, and lost two of its best receivers in Jeremy Kerley and Josh Boyce during the game.
6. San Diego State is very good, and is headed to a bowl game for the first time since 1998. The Aztecs were one play from beating Missouri on the road, and actually one blown call away from winning. A block in the back on the game-winning touchdown wasn't called, and the school received an apology from the conference office for the mistake.
Now, none of this excuses the way the defense played for the final six minutes of the game. Even Patterson said of the end of the game, "We didn’t play the way we usually do on defense." He also said, "It's our fault it ended up 40-35."
Had the final ended up 37-14, chances are TCU would have remained ahead of Boise State in the human polls and have a larger margin on the Broncos in the BCS standings. TCU still sits at No. 3 in the BCS standings, but Boise State is much closer than it was a week ago and many believe has the upper hand to pass the Horned Frogs.
When asked whether he felt the need to defend the score, Patterson said, "Not defend it. Everybody needs to look at the stats. We were ahead 37-14, we had 300 yards and they had 85. We could have scored 50 some points with a little bit of luck. I’m going to take the win.
"You can’t talk about any of the rest of it until you get to 12-0. We’ve got to win one more to do that. I told [the players] I understand what the perception’s going to be, but they fought hard to win."
Still, Boise State has three games left and TCU only has one -- against 1-9 New Mexico. The Broncos have the spotlight all to themselves this week against Fresno State on Friday, as Oregon and Auburn are also off this week. Patterson was asked if he would rather play this week to keep his team in the news.
"I think people understand TCU is a very good football team and that’s not going to change because we’re not playing," he said.
Just how good remains the biggest question of all.