TCU coach Gary Patterson said he will not worry about style points the rest of the season and will take knees against beaten opponents.
Speaking at his weekly press conference before the release of the College Football Playoff committee rankings that put the Horned Frogs at No. 4, Patterson said the game film should tell the story.
“I just watch everybody say you’ve got to win by X amount of points, that you’ve got to impress the committee,” he said. “Well, just watch the film. Who you play. The schedule. I thought it was just about watching the film — at the time you played them, what you did. I thought that’s why we changed.”
The 12 committee members have been given the resources to watch the games, and some have said in interviews that they watch games all day on Saturdays.
That may be helping Patterson stick to his philosophy of not running up scores. He said the Horned Frogs stayed on the ground once they were up on Kansas State in what became a 41-20 victory in a matchup of top-10 teams.
“We were trying to get out of the game, stay healthy, go do what we needed to do,” Patterson said. “Still scored 41 points.”
Patterson said that philosophy comes from knowing that many times, he is playing against players he recruited and got to know.
“Especially in Texas, there’s probably not any kid that hasn’t been on our campus at least once, that we’ve met, talked to,” he said. “To me, you have to take all that into consideration. … I know how we felt in 2004 when we had 70 scored on us. You don’t want those kinds of things to happen.”
Ironically, it is TCU’s margin of victory in victories against then-No. 15 Oklahoma State and then No. 7 Kansas State that has helped build their résumé. And, the Frogs scored 82 points against Texas Tech.
“I don’t understand style points if it’s about taking the best four football teams,” Patterson said. “Whether TCU is in it or not, I thought that’s what we went to. We went to picking the best four football teams.”
Receiver Deante’ Gray will likely practice this week. He is close to recovering from a foot injury sustained against West Virginia.
“He was close last week,” Patterson said.
Gray and running back B.J. Catalon, also hurt against West Virginia, missed last week’s game against Kansas State.
Patterson was less certain about the status of Catalon, who was hit around his chin by the helmet of safety KJ Dillon.
“I don’t know,” Patterson said, asked if Catalon would practice this week.
Title game talk
Patterson is not in favor of a conference championship game for the Big 12, even though there is a thought that an extra victory against a Top 25 opponent could help build a playoff case.
“You’ve got a chance to lose that one, too,” he said.
He said he still thinks about how Kansas went to a BCS game in 2007 ahead of Missouri, which it lost to, because Missouri lost in the Big 12 title game.
“The less games you play, to me, the better off you are,” Patterson said. “You might be the guy that benefits from it, but I would say the odds are more in favor of it hurting you than helping you. You already played everybody once. You have one true champion. I don’t know why you would have to play anybody again to be able to show it.”
Patterson said he doesn’t think he’ll have to make a fiery motivational speech this week because of the stakes for the Horned Frogs.
“Last week, I knew I didn’t have to say much,” he said. “This week, No. 1, you’re going on the road. You’re coming off, really, two emotional games. But you wouldn’t think with everything you have in front of you that you would have to get them fired up to go play on Saturday. You wouldn’t think you would have to do that. I’ll know by Thursday whether I need to do that or not. Usually I have a pretty good feel for those kinds of things — usually.”
Bottom of the pyramid
Patterson knows the Horned Frogs came out of almost nowhere to become one of the top-ranked teams in the country. He is trying to keep the team thinking about where they began the season.
“Nobody even thought about us eight weeks ago, maybe even four weeks ago,” he said. “Until probably the Oklahoma game. So we’re just going to keep being. That’s what I told them: ‘Just remember where it came from, just watch the bottom of the pyramid.’ ”
A pyramid of goals, with “National Championship” at the top and team-building objectives at the bottom, hangs in the team meeting room.
“That’s what counts — we take care of ourselves, chemistry, family, playing as hard as we can play,” he said. “And it’ll all play out.”