We know, we know... they’re really good. I am sure Coach P has heard it, too - but he seems focused on a singular goal.
"There's no substitute for winning, I don't think, because that's what your kids leave with and that's what they take into the spring," said TCU coach Gary Patterson, whose first bowl victory came here when the Horned Frogs beat Colorado State in the 2002 Liberty Bowl. "They take into the spring what you did and what you got accomplished in your bowl sites."
Just as the Frogs are using Arkansas as a comparison for UGA, the Dawgs are looking at that game to learn what TCU may do, even though they didn’t play the Razorbacks this year.
"You look at every game, you break down every game," Smart said. "There are games the year before, you try to find similar opponents, and obviously Arkansas, we get to watch them in our conference a lot so you use all that. The most recent information I think is probably more pertinent, just like they probably do the same with us. The more recent information you get, you get more. When you’ve got too much time, sometimes you can overplay them but ultimately you’ve got to go out, don’t turn the ball over, don’t get penalties and tackle."
This could be a significant loss for UGA, despite his minor stat line, as depth is already a bit of an issue at that position.
In addition to being without Ridley, the Bulldogs will not have receiver Michael Chigbu for the game due to a knee injury. Smart said that receiver Kenneth Towns could step into Chigbu's role. Receiver Jayson Stanley (toe infection) is back and will be able to play, with Smart saying he's had some quality practices in preparation of the bowl game.
This isn’t a meaningless bowl game for the Frogs as they look to avoid just their second losing season since joining the Big 12.
TCU has won eight of its last 10 bowl games and owns a 9-5 bowl record under Patterson. Georgia is playing in a bowl for the 20th straight season, which represents the third-longest active streak behind Florida State (35) and Virginia Tech (24). An SEC team has won the Liberty Bowl each of the last three years. Mississippi State beat Rice in 2013, Texas A&M defeated West Virginia in 2014 and Arkansas knocked off Kansas State last season.
Summers is clearly fired up to prove that he and his teammates are truly better than their 6-6 record shows.
As you can see by our record, this season hasn’t ended up the way we hoped. We know we could have finished much better than what our record shows. That being said, we’re frustrated, because we know the potential of TCU football and the history of this program. I think we’re going to use it as fuel for our fire, starting this bowl game and into the offseason. We’re trying to go out there and show everyone that 6-6 is not TCU football. We’re not going out there to try to win the game. We’re going to try to dominate every aspect.
You will not read a better sports story than this one. Moore is an incredible example of perseverance and belief in one’s self.
"You don't get very many Caylin Moores come across your vision, so when you have one, you need to appreciate him and help him," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "If I could get all of my group to be half of what he tries to be on a day-to-day basis -- and we've got good kids -- we would all be a lot better off."
Could this be the start of a fun sideline rivalry? Dixon has never shied away from taking on the best in the business, and he’s done well against them.
Such matchups were common during Dixon’s time at Pitt, where he was 18-11 against Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, a pair of Hall of Fame coaches, during a stretch when all three programs were members of the Big East.
Dixon eventually upped his mark against Boeheim to 15-6 after Pitt and Syracuse moved to the ACC, including a 3-0 mark last season. Now, he draws a matchup against Self in his Big 12 debut at TCU.
“I’ve gone against a lot of Hall of Famers and he’ll be the next one,” Dixon said. “I know he’s nominated this year and it’s just a matter of time before he gets in. What they’ve done is amazing, with 12 consecutive conference championships. We’ll go out and do our best.”
The Frogs get the benefit of playing a KU team that just recently lost their starting center.
TCU, like everyone in the Big 12, will be aiming to make its name at the expense of the Jayhawks. The Horned Frogs might be able to take advantage of a Kansas team that is still getting used to life without center Udoka Azubuike, who suffered a season-ending wrist injury in practice on Dec. 20. Azubuike needed surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist.
Mason vs Robinson will be fun, but Mason vs Fisher might be even better.
Although Mason is averaging nine points more per game than the TCU sophomore, this match-up pits two players who lead their respective teams in both scoring and assists against one another. It also marks a meeting of two of the Top 3 assist men in the Big 12 Conference, as Mason leads the league with 5.8 assists per game and Robinson sits in third place at 5.5 assists per game. The 5-foot-11 Mason gives up a couple of inches to the 6-1 Robinson but also has a 10-pound weight advantage (190-180), which should aid Mason’s relentless desire to get by his man and get to the basket. Robinson, who was ranked No. 47 overall in the 2014 recruiting class, began his career at Texas A&M;, where he averaged 18.8 minutes in 32 games during the 2014-15 season. After sitting out last season following his transfer to his hometown team, Robinson is averaging a team-high 28.9 minutes per game in four starts so far this season.