TCU coach Gary Patterson appreciates the respect he and his staff usually gets from other coaches, who routinely study his practices throughout the year.
It's common at TCU and other practice fields across the country.
Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes studied TCU's practice before the Rose Bowl after his first season with the Bulldogs.
"The biggest thing I wanted to do was to look at the overall structure of their practice," Dykes said. "As a head coach, most of the time what you're trying to do is evaluate the way that you practice and compare it to the way other people practice."
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Intensity and passion most struck Dykes after visiting TCU last December. Patterson said having coaches attend practices is "no big deal," and he isn't concerned about Dykes having any advantage when their teams meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.
Much was made of Boise State coach Chris Petersen and some of his staff visiting Patterson and his coaches the summer before they met in the Fiesta Bowl.
"I don't think them coming here had anything to do with us losing the game," Patterson said. "We all steal."
More coaches, including Idaho defensive coordinator Mark Criner, watched TCU's practice Friday. TCU practices this morning before flying to San Diego.
Patterson said spring practices will be closed to Division I coaches because of the move to the Big 12 and changes to the TCU staff after co-offensive coordinator Justin Fuente became Memphis' new head coach this week.
For Dykes, who has taken the Bulldogs (8-4) to their first bowl game since '08, watching Patterson and his staff was invaluable.
"To see how their coaches interacted with the players and how the players interacted with each other" is what Dykes said he wanted to study, adding that he didn't ask anything scheme-related. "Just the entire organization and how the coaches worked together and how the players were focused in and listened to the coaches; that was the thing that was most impressive."
Dykes, in his second season at Louisiana Tech, hopes the Bulldogs can be the next TCU or Boise State.
"That's our challenge, to grow this program and continue to grow it that way," he said. "If we do, then we'd like to think that the road map will be similar to TCU's. We'll continue to make our situation better and better, put more fans in the stands, raise more money, recruit better players and keep moving forward and hopefully some day get into an AQ conference. That's kind of a goal. It doesn't happen overnight. It certainly didn't for TCU, certainly didn't for Boise."
TCU sells allotment
TCU sold out of its 3,000 allotted Poinsettia Bowl tickets on Friday and plans to order more. The additional ticket total was unknown. Calls to the TCU ticket office and athletic director Chris Del Conte were not returned. Louisiana Tech still had tickets remaining of its initial 3,000 as of Friday evening.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760