Less than a week from the unveiling of the first College Football Playoff rankings, TCU coach Gary Patterson said he is still not paying attention — not to those rankings, or the AP poll, or the USA Today coaches poll.
But sometimes, he can’t help it.
“Nah. I’m a voter. Obviously, you can’t not,” he said.
He smiled and laid out a typical morning after the polls have come out, like this week when the Horned Frogs dropped from No. 3 to No. 5 in the AP rankings.
You wake up in the morning, and it’s pasted on your head. I walk down to the store to get a Dr Pepper, and it’s, ‘Hey, did you know you fell to fifth?’ ‘No, I didn’t.’ ‘Aren’t you mad about it?’
TCU coach Gary Patterson
“You wake up in the morning, and it’s pasted on your head,” he said. “I walk down to the store to get a Dr Pepper, and it’s, ‘Hey, did you know you fell to fifth?’ ‘No, I didn’t.’ ‘Aren’t you mad about it?’ ”
Patterson shook his head, still smiling.
“No, right now, I’m trying to stop the zone play and the ‘blaze’ route against West Virginia,” he said. “You’re talking to the wrong person.”
TCU opened the season ranked No. 2 in the AP poll, dropped to No. 3 for four weeks before rising to second again, fell to fourth two weeks ago and fifth after last week’s bye.
The Horned Frogs, unbeaten through seven games, sit third in the coaches poll. The next AP and coaches polls come out Sunday. The first CFP rankings will be revealed Tuesday night on ESPN.
OSU, Russell thoughts
Patterson took time in his press conference Tuesday to express condolences for the vehicle accident victims at Oklahoma State last weekend and send well wishes to Baylor quarterback Seth Russell, whose season is over because of a neck injury.
“You don’t ever want to see things like that happen,” Patterson said. “You can have rivalries, but it still comes down to people. You don’t want anything like what happened at either of those places. You wouldn’t wish that on anybody. That’s a tough deal.”
Oklahoma State twice since 2001 has suffered plane crashes that took the lives of basketball coaches, players and staff.
You don’t ever want to see things like that happen. You can have rivalries, but it still comes down to people. You don’t want anything like what happened at either of those places. You wouldn’t wish that on anybody. That’s a tough deal.
TCU coach Gary Patterson
“Stillwater, OSU, Coach Gundy — all of them, they’ve been through quite a bit,” Patterson said.
Of Russell, Patterson said: “The kid was playing great. Baylor was playing great.”
Patterson praised new Baylor starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham: “We know Jarrett. We recruited Jarrett. And he’ll be a good quarterback for them, too. They still have Corey Coleman, who’s a great player, and a bunch of guys on defense and a bunch of guys on offense.”
Turpin to play
Patterson said receiver/returner KaVontae Turpin will play Thursday night after missing the rest of the Iowa State game following a hard hit in the first quarter.
“You’re not going to keep Turpin down very long,” he said and smiled about the happy-go-lucky freshman. “He hasn’t met a day he hasn’t liked. He’s got a great attitude about playing the game. I need a hundred Turpins, to be honest with you.”
Turpin is third on the team in receptions (18) and second in touchdown catches (six).
Patterson said he did not argue against the targeting call that resulted in the ejection of safety Denzel Johnson in the first half of the Iowa State game. But he gave the junior the benefit of the doubt.
“There is a great chance he was going for the ball,” Patterson said. “But I’m not arguing the call — we’re going to go on. The deal is to be quick, but not be out of control.”
Johnson, a season-long starter, is fourth on the team in tackles and is one of only three TCU players with an interception.