It's hard, like impossible, for TCU coach Gary Patterson not to forget the 2005 game against SMU at Ford Stadium. Losing 24-10 to a bad team has a way of sticking in your head. The previous week, TCU won at No. 5 Oklahoma and were the talk of the football world.
One week later, humility kicked TCU in the collective face in Dallas.
This is the first team that features no TCU player who was a part of that game, which means almost nothing in the way GP prepares now.
"I can tell you this much - I will show the celebration part of the game on video to all of them and how it looked," GP said today. "They made a DVD of the game and sold it. I guess it was a big deal."
Patterson said he saw something coming in the week leading up to the game, so he called a team meeting because "we didn't get our heads out of the cloud after the Oklahoma win."
Now that he's had years to review it, he can see where he thinks he screwed up. The day after defeating Oklahoma, he said he was asked by the TCU athletics marketing dept. if he would allow the media to watch his team practice. No one really showed up, but there were just enough to provide what he thought was a distraction.
"The mistake I made was I should not have let anybody come to my practice," he said. "I should have taken them right down to the bottom but I let people me out and talk to my players on the field on Sunday and treat them like celebrities and that's the way they played all week."
This partly explains why GP handles his practices like an NFL coach - no one sees anything less there be a trade secret that suddenly pops on the Internet or something else.
That is fairly standard paranoid coach stuff; if the team is successful, the paranoia remains. If the coach decides who watches practice or how many interviews a player does has no bearing on the game, then it changes.
- Mac Engel