TCU head coach Gary Patterson talked to the local media on Thursday as fall camp got set to open up in Fort Worth. And obviously, the biggest topic of conversation wasn’t on the field, but rather the seismic shifts off the field in the college football world.
Oklahoma and Texas are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, which has put the Big 12’s future in doubt.
But for Coach Patterson, his concerns are way beyond just his football program, telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Maybe I’m just a little bit old-school when it comes to it, but regional rivalries, that’s what I worry about. I worry about the state of Texas more than I worry about anything else, and Fort Worth. Because that’s what we’ve tried to do, why I stayed here. It’s not just about TCU, TCU football. It’s about Fort Worth. It’s about different jobs and all the other things that go on with it.”
No program has deal with more regarding conference realignment over the last generation than the Horned Frogs. When the Southwest Conference broke up, TCU went to the WAC (1996-2000) before going to Conference USA. They would stay in Conference USA for only a few years until the Mountain West came calling in 2005. Then in 2012, the Horned Frogs got their big break joining a power five conference when they joined the Big 12 and have been here ever since.
But in just nine years in the Big 12, the Horned Frogs have left a significant mark. Many teams, including football, baseball, soccer, and men’s tennis, have won conference championships and are competitive at the national level.
Patterson went on to say, “I’m not even sure it’s about a conference. I think you’re probably finding that this new way maybe is a whole different way we even look at football someday.”
The coach wrapped up those comments, adding, “I think I’m glad I’m 61, I’m not 31, is what I think.”
One thing we can all agree on, no matter what your age, after following college football the last three weeks, we all feel 61.