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12/16/2014

TCU has elected to be all-in on this bowl season

042214_chickfila_peach_bowl_CC3-1FORT WORTH, Texas - There are 39 bowls this holiday season, three of which have weight: The Rose Bowl, The Sugar Bowl, and the National Title game.

The rest are what you the fan, and each individual team, make of the game and the experience.

No one could blame TCU or Baylor for pouting and not being engaged in their respective postseason games. To come so close to the games that matter only to not be selected can be deflating.

If you are a TCU fan or player or coach, you can pout and either not attend or simply not give a flip about playing Ole Miss in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve in Atlanta. Or you can make the best of it, despite the disappointment of not reaching either the Sugar or Rose Bowl.

"How do you it make a positive? For me, this is an unbelievable opportunity for us," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday. "For us, it's about building a resume."

TCU has experienced both sides. In 1998, the Horned Frogs were a surprise invitee to the Sun Bowl against USC. The Frogs were thrilled to be in El Paso whereas USC wanted no part of it. TCU upset USC, 28-19.

In 2000, TCU began the season 7-0 and was flirting with a potential BCS bid. But the Frogs were upset at San Jose State in November, and by the time it reached the Mobile Alabama Bowl, head coach Dennis Franchione had left, running back LaDainian Tomlinson was exhausted and the team was checked out. They lost the bowl game to Southern Miss, 28-21. 

Gary PattersonOne of the potential side of effects of a playoff system is that delineates the games "that matter" from those that do not. How that demarkation effects ticket sales and TV ratings will be closely monitored. One Cotton Bowl executive told me he does believe it will eventually hurt some of the "other bowls", and many of those games will eventually cease to exist.

"This is the first year we have gone through this, and so far it hasn't (made selling the game any harder)," Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan told me. "We haven't seen it. My belief is that if you can regionalize the games beneath the playoff games, that is a recipe for success."

The Peach Bowl, which for years had ties to the ACC and SEC conferences, will be OK. This is about as attractive of "another bowl" as a game can be. The game is located in an easily-reached, major city that has decent weather with a large airport. The opponents are ranked close enough that both TCU and Ole Miss should be engaged.

No, it's not the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl, but the Peach Bowl is the next best thing and TCU has decided to make the best of it.

@MacEngelProf
Fort Worth Weekly's 2014 Hottest Local Male Celebrity
tengel@star-telegram.com
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