TCU football coach Gary Patterson is not a fan of having his team play its final regular-season game on college football’s traditional Championship Saturday because it puts the Horned Frogs behind peers in recruiting efforts.
TCU (6-5, 4-4 in Big 12) and Kansas State (7-4, 5-3) meet at 11 a.m. Saturday in Fort Worth in a game that has no bearing on this year’s Big 12 title. Meanwhile, most teams in other leagues, as well as conference peers at Texas, Texas Tech and other venues, will have coaches on the road this week making home visits while staffs at TCU, Kansas State, West Virginia, Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State prepare for games.
Among that group, only the matchup between No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 11 Oklahoma State will impact the championship race. Coaches at the other four schools, including TCU, simply will lose a week of flexibility during a truncated recruiting calendar.
“People that are playing on this Saturday definitely are behind the 8-ball because of recruiting,” Patterson said during Tuesday’s news conference. “It’s something we’ve got to fix. Everybody else is … out making home visits. They’re getting an extra seven days. At this time of year, especially with kids that are going to come in January, that’s a big deal. So it’s a detriment to have to play this Saturday.”
After this weekend, Division I schools have one week of permissible contact with recruits before the opportunity disappears throughout the bowl season. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen raised the same point in this week’s Big 12 coaches teleconference, saying the current situation is “unfair to the teams that have to play this week, unless you’re in a championship game.”
For Big 12 teams, the recruiting issue will disappear next season when the league resumes its conference title game, assuring that only the two teams playing for the league title will be in action on the first Saturday in December.