Let me say up front I dont know TCU coach Gary Patterson, though after covering the Horned Frogs for a decade (the Jim Wacker era into Pat Sullivan) and being aware of the obstacles inherent in building and maintaining a winning program there -- I have a great deal of respect for his coaching ability.
So at least from my point of view -- and I've considered whether to remain silent on this -- I fail to see Patterson's need to whine about the loss to Oklahoma.
"They are the No. 1 team in the nation," Patterson said Sunday, "and we gave one away. I give all the credit to Oklahoma, but we helped them a lot.
"We let them have too many easy plays early, and when we finally woke up and decided to go play football, it was too late."
Now before you go and jump me for being a homer because I now cover OU football, forget it. My only concern at game time -- especially night games -- is that the teams play fast so I don't have to write like (what is left of) my hair is on fire. It does make covering any team easier if it is winning because all concerned are easier to deal with, stories easier to write. But I go on to cover Big 12 basketball and whether OU wins or loses is really no concern of mine. I cover the beat because that's what I'm assigned to do during football season.
And I didn't go to school there.
That said, I could dispute some other talking points Patterson cited. Like did he 'give up' those 'easy' plays' OU scored on in the second half? Did OU's philosophy of running the clock as much as it could in the second half rather than running the full gamut of its offense have any influence on the course of things?
Did he think a 2005 vintage game plan would work three years later? Lining up and stopping Adrian Peterson and forcing Paul Thompson to beat you is one thing. Forcing Sam Bradford to beat you appears to be a whole 'nuther smoke.
Hey, pointing out mistakes his team made is legit. Part of the game. Most coaches do that.
But the notion that TCU 'gave one away' strikes me as ludicrous.
OU coach Bob Stoops declined to respond to Patterson's comment Tuesday, much as I expected. Much as Stoops refused to play the spy game at the beginning of last week. Maybe Patterson should take a cue from "Bobby Stoops," as he referred to him.
Patterson's team played hard last Saturday and maintained his program's respect simply by doing that. He should have let it stand.
I don't begrudge Patterson or his program any success it has now or in the future. It's good for Fort Worth. But the guy has established a program that has a solid, classy national reputation -- one built on playing, not whining.
-- Mike Jones