For the next two weeks, TCU will be facing rested opponents. Oklahoma State and Texas have off weeks before playing the Horned Frogs. It’s an advantage Frogs’ coach Gary Patterson thinks is unfair.
“You have to get used to it,” he said. “But I do believe anybody who has more time is going to have more advantage.”
Patterson thinks bye weeks should not be allowed once league play begins.
“Once we get into it, we play; we don’t have any off weeks, and we play every week and it’s all even. But they didn’t ask me, so here we go,” he said.
TCU (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) plays the 21st-ranked Cowboys (4-1, 1-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium. It’s the second consecutive season the Frogs have played in Stillwater, Okla., because of an agreement OSU had with Texas A&M before the Aggies left the conference. The Frogs will eventually get to play five Big 12 home games in 2014.
A year ago against OSU, TCU ran out of gas and, arguably, played its most listless game of the season and lost 36-14.
TCU is going to forgo its usual walk-through at the opponent’s stadium Friday. Instead, Patterson said, the team will practice at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman. The team will stay in Oklahoma City and bus into Stillwater on Saturday morning.
“I think defensively we wore out and offensively we didn’t play very well and turned the ball over in the second half,” Patterson said of last year’s loss to OSU. “I think we were tired when we came back that Sunday, and we didn’t practice.”
Asked about the scarcity of people in their seats during the second half of TCU’s win over Kansas, Patterson said fan support has been “unbelievable.”
“It was awfully hot,” he said, adding that it was homecoming. “There were a lot of families doing things. Every game, including last year, we’ve had a lot. Everybody is talking about the seats but for us, you know that’s not something I can worry about. I got to find a way to win ball games whether they sit out there or they don’t sit out there.”
More than 41,000 tickets were sold (including 32,000 season tickets) but many fans did not attend, left early or sought shelter from the heat in the concourse with the game still in doubt in the second half. The temperature reached a record 91 degrees and the humidity averaged 83 percent.
“When I started here 16 years ago we had 16,000 people in the stands,” he said. “…I think, always, you talk about you’d like to have it a little bit better, but just like we’re growing as a football program going into the Big 12, I think you’re also growing and understanding as a crowd how important they are for us to have a home-field advantage and win. It all takes time.”
Patterson vaguely touched on the idea that college football teams feed off their fans perhaps more than any other teams in sports.
“Everybody needs to understand for us to get where we want to get to, everybody’s going to need to buy in,” he said. “There’s not any in-between. Fans, players, recruits, the city — everybody has got to be there if we want to get to where we want to get to.”