Gary Patterson’s weekly press conference was full of #content on Tuesday afternoon, as he discussed Darius Anderson’s possible bowl return, other coaching jobs, the Big 12 Championship, the College Football Playoffs, and Baker Mayfield throwing a ball at Niko Small’s head prior to the TCU-Oklahoma game in mid-November.
Let’s start there!
On Mayfield & Riley, and throwing at opposing players
“The bottom line is, they had a great recruiting weekend that week we had them, and we couldn’t get on the field, either side. We asked the guy that was in charge and he said, ‘I don’t know which way to send you.’
Even as the head coach I had to go through their warmup lines to get down to our end of the field. And I wouldn’t have said anything if coach Riley hadn’t made the remark that our guy wouldn’t have gotten hit with the ball if he hadn’t run through the stretch lines. TCU in 20 years has never run through anyone’s stretch lines. We don’t act that way. You’ve never seen us go out to the middle of the field and yell at each other and do all that. And we’ve had plenty of teams try to get us to do it. That’s not the way we act.
I don’t really appreciate them trying to say that we were in the wrong, because that was okay to let a quarterback throw a ball and hit a guy in the head that hasn’t played for two weeks. Now I’m not saying that was the reason, but I’m just gonna give you a little history.
Baker played at Texas Tech, and Lincoln was at Texas Tech, and I have a coach that was at Texas Tech and it was common practice. And there was a Texas Tech pretty well known quarterback that hit a guy from A&M in the head, and they all thought it was funny to throw balls and do those kind of things. And it’s their prerogative, they can do whatever they want to, we’re just not going to here.
But I’m not going to make this game, because it’s a championship game, about all that stuff. But if they want to bring it out into the open and they want to call us out they can do it. They said we were the ones trying to cause all the problems, I beg to differ.
But, we’re going to play Saturday, and hopefully it’ll be two football teams that are playing with high intensity the right way, without talking. Because I watched the championship games last Saturday and I saw a couple of teams completely take themselves out of the game early, because they were too motivated. That doesn’t need to happen in this ballgame.
TCU is going to come out, and try to play fair and square, and play as hard a football game as we can. I’ve already told my group they need to keep their mouths shut. They need to go play. Period. That’s what we’re there for. If you’re going to have a championship game, it needs to be represented by champions.”
Context is always important when talking about incidents, and I appreciate the TCU perspective. It was clear that Patterson spoke out to defend his program, not because he wanted to rehash something that took place three weeks ago. Hopefully the guys take his message to heart, and just play.
On Darius Anderson
“I’m not sure about Darius Anderson. He may have an outside chance of being back for the bowl game. He’s already running on the treadmill, one of those non-weight bearing treadmill situation, so for us that’s even better news going forward.”
On the Big 12 Championship
“Oklahoma doesn’t need the extra game. They have more to lose than we do. I mean, you could play us close, or lose to us, and have a chance to fall out of the [top] four.
There’s no pressure here for us. This is all gravy here, you’ve got a chance to play in a championship game, it’s good for recruiting. You’ve got a chance to play in the metroplex. Everybody gets a chance to see us. You have one more chance to do well.”
Patterson was asked about the value of the Big 12 Championship, and he makes a valid point here. The game can only hurt Oklahoma. If they lose, or even if they don’t win by a big enough margin, the committee could use the 13th data point to keep the Sooners out in favor of another team.
He also had this to say at another point in his presser:
“It’s exciting, because nobody thought TCU would be at this point. Picked sixth in the conference. Now we’re playing for a championship against a really good football team.”
On the College Football Playoff
“All you want to do is get in the game, so just get me in the game and give me 30 days to get ready for somebody...that’s why I’m a big proponent for eight teams. Four teams doesn’t give you the chance of the Cinderella story that I think everybody loves.
I think you could probably pick eight teams right now, right off the bat, that could play in this playoff pretty easy.”
How cool would, say, an Oklahoma, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, TCU, Central Florida, USC playoff be? Very cool.
On other coaching jobs, such as Texas A&M
“I read articles like, ‘Gary Patterson was never interested in A&M.’ I would never ever say anything bad about A&M, or Tennessee, or any of the jobs that came open. To be honest with you, my wife sit down and say you know, it takes a lot, we want to win a national championship here, but it takes a lot of energy. You’ve got to make sure that if you’re gonna take a job, that you can do the best job you can of changing that job to do what you need to do.
And the bottom line is, I thought I could do a better job here than I could go do anything else. TCU has been loyal to me, and the people have been loyal to me, and we have everything in place to do all that.
But to come out and say, I read an article that said I wasn’t interested, I didn’t say any of the above. R.C. Slocum is a great friend of mine. You can go down the list, but I have a lot of friends here, and so we chose [TCU].
You know, the only reason I said I wanted to say I signed an extension on Friday is because a lot of them wanted to wait until Monday when there wasn’t anything going on. I said, ‘no, I don’t want to wait until Monday.’ Then I do have to say ‘No.’ I need to do the right thing here. The right thing was to say, we signed an extension, we’re going to be Horned Frogs, so everyone else can do what they need to do. But it has nothing to with what kind of programs they are, or I choose this one.
We always gotta make someone be the bad guy. They have a great tradition, they have a great program, they have all of the above. So just let it be that Kelsey and I just chose that we wanted to stay here...Why do I need to change?
And there have probably been some times when I’ve thought about it, because you want something different, you want to do something different, or you want another challenge, you want to do all that. I’ve got challenges, I just got to look at the team I’m watching on film right now. That’s enough of a challenge.”
So, this is interesting. Patterson has been open about considering other jobs in the past, but he’s never quite spoken this much about it. It’s interesting to hear this perspective from him, because he’s right. Often times we forget that all these guys know each other, and these schools are respected (mostly) by one another, and sometimes a coach can like a program and not go coach there.
It’s curious why Patterson was so willing to talk about it on Tuesday, but maybe it’s a signal that he’s really not leaving. Or, maybe he’s just tired of reading articles that are bad and wrong. Probably the latter. Or both. Who knows.