TCU coach Gary Patterson best rebounder in college football
College football has more awards than Alibi Ike had excuses.
One day someone will come up with the idea for another trophy and won’t have any trouble figuring out what to call it: The Gary Patterson Comeback Coach of the Year Award.
TCU did not make college football’s preseason Top 25 for the very reason that it should have been included: The Horned Frogs were coming off of a 6-7 season.
TCU in 2004: 5-6. TCU in 2005: 11-1, Mountain West Conference champions.
TCU in 2013: 4-8. TCU in 2014: 12-1, Peach Bowl champions, No. 3 in final AP poll after not appearing in preseason poll.
The Horned Frogs (6-0) take a No. 4 national ranking into Saturday's 7 p.m. kickoff against Kansas and did not appear in the preseason poll. That makes Patterson’s record 29-2 in seasons his team was coming off a losing record.
At Big 12 Media Day, Patterson offered an interesting explanation for the blame for the disappointing 2016 season.
“I felt like I hurt my team a little bit. I got my knee replaced, maybe didn't give them as much energy,” Patterson said. “Again you have to blame yourself before you blame anybody else.”
That statement rang true with many who have had knee replacements, followed by grueling rehabilitation and lingering discomfort.
A bigger factor: The Horned Frogs have 21 scholarship seniors on the roster and had just seven a year ago. (Kansas, by the way, has six scholarship seniors in uniform now, not counting injured Bobby Hartzog and apparently suspended Derrick Neal, and could have as many as 21 scholarship seniors next season, 22 if Isi Holani is granted a medical redshirt and 23 if Charles Baldwin still is on the roster. Baldwin hasn’t dressed for a game in several weeks.)
Plus, Kenny Hill, protected by a more experienced, better offensive line and more experienced, better receivers, has improved greatly in his second season at TCU. As a junior, Hill completed 61.1 percent of his passes, averaged 7.3 yards per attempt and threw 17 touchdown passes with 13 interceptions. This season: 69.8 percent, 8.0 yards per attempt, 10 touchdowns, three interceptions.