Well, well, well... the Frogs are in a pretty good spot as the calendar turns to November.
If TCU hits its stride on defense in November, it would be just in time to make an impression on the committee members.
Patterson subtly suggested the idea immediately after the loss in Ames.
“We played well enough defensively to still put ourselves in a situation that we’re a good football team,” he said.
By putting the Frogs at No. 8, that’s a message the committee echoed Tuesday night.
Get to Arlington, and the top of the pyramid might still be in play.
“There’s a lot of football to be played by a lot of people,” coach Gary Patterson said. “There’s a good chance — a really good chance — that the second team in the championship game will have two losses, and the way it’s going, maybe three. The tiebreaker may be on three losses, not two losses.”
TCU dropped from fourth to 10th in the AP Top 25.
But the rankings don’t get any team closer or farther from the Big 12 championship, a thought that the Frogs kept in the front of their minds as they got back to practice Sunday.
“Absolutely,” Diarse said. “It’s easier to get up after a week like that, understand that there’s still a four-way tie for first place. Anything can happen these next couple of weeks.”
The players are counting on the Carter to be rocking Saturday night. Let’s do our part.
TCU coach Gary Patterson calls Saturday’s Texas-TCU matchup one of those “emotional” games. He doesn’t need many tricks to motivate his team.
The players just love the thought of playing in their favorite spot.
“It’s always huge playing in The Carter,” said TCU receiver John Diarse. “I don’t know how many night games you’ve been to in The Carter, but it’s always special. To be back in front of Frog Nation, let those guys cheer us on and compel us to do what we do best, there’s no better feeling than that.”
The offense will need to match the defensive effort Saturday against a good Texas D. Can they rise up? Jeff Gladney believes so.
An appearance in the Big 12 title game is still in the offing for TCU, which would be a big step up for a team that was 6-7 in 2016 and picked in the preseason to finish fifth in the league.
Entering play on Saturday, TCU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State are tied atop the Big 12 standings. It’s a sprint to the finish, and the first two to the tape get to go to the Big 12 championship game in Arlington, Texas.
“We’ve got goals that we’re climbing to get,” TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney said. “We’re just looking up, never looking down. Everything we need to get is up.”
A struggling Texas offense against a red-hot TCU defense will be a fun battle Saturday.
Gary Patterson is one of the best defensive minded coaches in college football, and his squad is playing up to his standard. TCU ranks first in the Big 12 in scoring, rushing, passing and total defense.
Tom Herman said Monday the Horned Frogs don't have one standout player on the unit, which he believes is something Patterson likes.
Senior LB Travin Howard leads TCU with his 60 tackles on the year. Meanwhile, junior DE Ben Banogu has been a QB's nightmare this season. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, Banogu has shined in his first season with the Frogs, leading the defense with 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
There's a good chance TCU's squad is the best defense the Longhorns will face to date. There's no doubt the Texas offense, which as struggled a lot in Year 1 of the Herman era, have to find a way to move the ball against this defense.
Bad news for the Frogs along the offensive line, who have really missed their center.
TCU will not get back starting center Patrick Morris this week against Texas, according to coach Gary Patterson.
“He will not play in this ball game,” Patterson said at his weekly press conference Tuesday.
Morris has missed the past four games after suffering an unspecified injury against Oklahoma State in Week 4. After that game, Patterson initially said Morris would be out for four or five weeks. Last week against Iowa State marked five full weeks since the injury.