TCU's Gary Patterson angry at SMU
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU coach Gary Patterson remains unhappy over what he thinks were bad calls in Saturday's overtime loss to rival SMU. But that's not all that has him really angry.
On Tuesday the Iron Skillet rivalry got some extra sizzle when Patterson said he is ending whatever civil relationship the two programs share after he felt disrespected by postgame comments from SMU coach June Jones and a Mustangs player.
Patterson, 9-2 against SMU as head coach, said he took note of a Jones comment saying that TCU hasn't changed much over the years, which Patterson seemed to interpret to mean his team is easy to game plan for. Patterson also took exception to wide receiver Darius Johnson saying, "I don't like these TCU people."
Patterson began a rant on SMU by noting Jones has won one game against Patterson's Frogs during his time at SMU, and prior to that, at Hawaii.
"He hasn't changed much either, so if we want to get into those kinds of matches. But, I don't go there," Patterson said. "All we've ever tried to do here at TCU is help SMU. At some point in time we were going to get beat by them, so we got beat by them. We've helped them, let them come over and talked to them about how we do things academically, how we do things at the stadium, how we do everything to try to make their program better and their way of thanking us for that is to cut us down."
TCU fell out of the national polls for the first time in three years with the loss and SMU actually moved ahead of the Frogs by receiving votes in The Associated Press and USA Today coaches poll.
On Sunday night, it was reported that the Big East Conference has added SMU as a potential target for expansion. TCU will join the league in 2012.
"SMU has had a lot of help from us over the last three or four years to improve their program," Patterson said. "I don't appreciate being treated the way it is; that's how we got reciprocated. We're going to go on about our business, but they're not going to get the same help anymore -- not about a ballgame, not about conferences, not about anybody. They're getting no help from Gary Patterson, period.
"They shouldn't ask me at SMU about going into a conference, they shouldn't ask me about how they play, they shouldn't ask me about their players, they shouldn't ask me about anything because they're not getting any help, period, any more. Because we've bent over backwards to make sure that they can improve their program because I believe that's what you do."
Patterson then added further fuel to his fire.
"To be honest with you, SMU people have been looking down at TCU for a long time over here," he said. "So, us winning and doing things, the older group of alumni around here have a certain feeling about SMU. I didn't have that feeling, but I'm getting it."
As for the officiating, immediately after the 40-33 loss, Patterson chose not to criticize their work, but he did make it known that it was a crew from SMU's Conference USA.
On Tuesday, Patterson said TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte told him that C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky called him, acknowledged that the game was poorly officiated and that he would make a public statement.
When one never came from the C-USA offices, Patterson said it was his job to make his thoughts public. A C-USA spokesperson said the league has reviewed the game, shared its report with Mountain West Conference officials and would make take no further action.
"The key to it is I'd be quiet about it if I thought the people in charge of the officiating group came out and said it wasn't very good. But, they didn't," Patterson said. "I have a hard time with people that don't admit they made mistakes. I've got to do it all the time. When you're just going to be quiet about it and you think it's just all going to go away, it's not going to go away.
Most egregious of the calls, Patterson said, was a pass interference call on the first play of the game that negated an interception by TCU cornerback Jason Verrett and resulted in an SMU touchdown.
On SMU's next possession, Patterson said the crew missed an obvious motion penalty. The Mustangs then scored on a 71-yard pass play for a 14-0 lead.
"I got their names," Patterson said of the officiating crew. "They won't come back in this stadium ever again."
Jeff Caplan is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com.