Big 12 expansion would benefit TCU because it would mean an easier schedule, coach Gary Patterson said, but he remains in favor of the league as it stands.
“I like the model that we have now, even though it’s tougher,” he said Tuesday during a Big 12 football coaches teleconference with reporters. “It would be easier on TCU if all of us went to expansion. Then we could have more nonconference games.”
The league has no taken action on expansion or a championship game. The league’s round-robin schedule among 10 teams remains in place for at least another year.
Everybody wants to say you have to have expansion to have a better chance of playing for the national title. They should try to play everybody every year.
TCU coach Gary Patterson
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“Everybody wants to say you have to have expansion to have a better chance of playing for the national title,” Patterson said. “They should try to play everybody every year. That’s a tough situation.”
Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Texas’ Charlie Strong, also asked during the teleconference about expansion and a championship game, joined Patterson in favoring the status quo.
“I don’t know how that would really be that positive,” Stoops said of a championship game. Last year, the Sooners and Cowboys would have met in a title game one week after playing a regular-season game.
Of the league’s structure, Strong said he’s “comfortable with where it is.”
Former Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh joined TCU as a graduate assistant coach because co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham wanted him, Patterson said.
“That’s the guy that Coach Meacham wanted. He wanted another guy that knew the system,” Patterson said. “Obviously, being a coach’s son, he works hard, he fits in. He’s done a great job.”
J.W. Walsh threw 32 touchdown passes against six interceptions as a senior at Denton Guyer in 2010. He ran for 25 touchdowns in four years at Oklahoma State, including 13 in 2015.
Walsh is the son of Denton Guyer football coach John Walsh and quarterbacked a state runner-up team in 2010. He played four years at Oklahoma State, rushing for 13 touchdowns as a senior in 2015, third-best in the Big 12.
Meacham is a former Oklahoma State assistant.
Patterson said quarterbacks Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer will be evaluated in part by the leadership they show in the summer, a strength of Trevone Boykin two years ago.
“I think it’s better for us, both of them to work through, see who takes the leadership through the summer months, to grow up,” Patterson said. “That’s what we did two years ago when we put this offense in with Trevone, all the way up to about a week before the first game. We did not announce a starter. I don’t see that changing much in this situation.”
Patterson said both quarterbacks had similar stats in the spring.
Asked to compare them, Patterson said, “They’re both very athletic. Hill’s probably more. Foster’s taller, probably a little bit better arm. Without going into detail of telling my opponents what they do good and what they do bad, I’d probably just leave it there.”
Patterson called freshman receiver Isaiah Graham “one of the great surprises” of spring practice and credited running back Kyle Hicks for emerging as a leader.
He said linebacker and receiver are the positions he has the most confidence heading into the summer. At linebacker, it’s because of the experience gained by Travin Howard and Montrel Wilson, and at receiver, because of the numbers the team has collected at that position.
He also noted the work of H-back KaVontae Turpin, who caught eight touchdown passes last year and is listed as the punt and kickoff returner.
“Turpin is Turpin,” Patterson said. “He’s very exciting. He needs to keep getting bigger and stronger.”