TCU coach Gary Patterson pushed back against criticism of 6-6 teams like his playing in bowl games and that there are too many bowl games.
“This is still one of the greatest rewards that college athletes, football players in particular, get to be a part of,” he said Thursday during a press conference at the Liberty Bowl. “We can’t let the bowl experience go away.”
The Horned Frogs, who play 7-5 Georgia on Friday, are one of 17 teams with a 6-6 record in the bowl season this year. There were two 5-7 teams.
“I think as coaches, we have to keep pushing, and I think as colleges and universities, we have to understand that it’s just an important part of our heritage,” Patterson said. “There’s not any doubt about it that we have to do a great job of trying to keep it together.”
TCU is playing in its 32nd bowl game all-time on Friday, with a record of 15-15-1. The Horned Frogs have missed a bowl game only twice since 1998.
It’s the first time TCU has been to a bowl as a 6-6 team. TCU was 4-4-2 when it played and lost in the Delta Bowl in 1947 and 6-5 when it played and won in the Sun Bowl in 1998.
“It’s fun to watch,” Patterson said. “There’s agony of the teams that lose, but just to see the faces of all that kids that do win — I’ve been on both sides of it. The key is to keep giving back to those who give us a chance to do our job and all the things that go along with it. Those kids do a lot for our universities.”
TCU is 15-15-1 all-time in bowl games. Patterson is 9-5 in bowls as TCU’s head coach and 11-5 with him on staff. The Frogs have won eight of their past 10 bowl appearances.