FORT WORTH -- One of my rants is how the great state 'a' Texas has only one national champion in football since 1970, Texas in 2005. How does a state with this many people and a state that spends so much on football have but one?
I posed this question to TCU coach Gary Patterson on Thursday afternoon. Here is his theory:
Gary Patterson: "There are a lot of good players every where else. If you look at the NFL per capita, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi they put out more NFL players than anywhere else in the country. It's the body types in the regions of the United States that make a difference, too. You are going to find the skill players, but what we don't have as much in this state is the size of bodies of offensive and defensive linemen that the southeast part of the United States has. It's the gene pool.
"(The state of Texas) has skill players. It doesn't matter whether it's 1-A or 5-A, they can all run. I'm not knocking what we do here at all. It's just a different body type."
The Big Mac Blog: So is that the biggest difference? Just the size.
Gary Patterson: "It's the body types of the offense and defensive lines."
The Big Mac Blog: How do you counter that?
Gary Patterson: "I go recruit there. Look at the Big 10, why do all they all run around 4-3 defenses? It's because that's the type of kids they get. They get a lot of big kids like that. That's who settled there. They go down to Florida to get speed and defensive ends. On the Wisconsin team we beat in the Rose Bowl, most of their skill guys were from (the south). Most of their (linemen) were from Wisconsin or somewhere up there.
The Big Mac Blog: Will you go to that region to recruit those positions now?
Gary Patterson: "No because we're built differently. For us, to play in the Big 12, it's a one-back conference. (The SEC) recruits that kind of guy because they are going to go with two backs and see who can run over who the longest. But they still have guys that can run and do other things. Alabama recruits outside of the state; they recruit everywhere.
"If you talk to Texas A&M, (coach Kevin Sumlin) will tell you, 'We have plenty of speed here.' Can you match the size and be able to play defense against the people you are going to matchup against."
"Where we will have to be bigger is guard and center. We have to get one nose guard at some point who is going to be a 320 or 330 pound guy. I still think it's about speed. If you have speed, how you stop the run is have one more guy in the box and how you do that is somewhere you play man coverage and be able to play on the edge."
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