The Horned Frogs flew over to Phoenix today to begin all the Fiesta Bowl festivities. TCU coach Gary Patterson spoke to the media. Here is some of what he had to say (we'll share more of it in the coming days).
Here was his opening statement:
You probably think we have been waiting three weeks to get here. I’ve been waiting 12 years at TCU. Let me just say from everybody back in Ft. Worth, we want to thank the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, John Junker and everybody here that’s been a part of it. It’s been a long stretch for us. Twelve years ago people said this couldn’t be done. When we came to TCU, they were 1-10. We’ve worked ourselves up the ladder.
We came here to try to give you a great ball game. We know we have a great opponent. I know a lot has been said, and I’m one of those guys that reads a lot. Chris (Petersen) was actually a quarterback when I was a linebacker coach at UC- Davis. Him and I go way back. You can never trust those offensive guys. We have a lot of admiration for Boise State. We have a lot of admiration for what they do and how they’ve done it. The combined records between the two schools is 48-3 in the last two years.
So on behalf of our chancellor, our football team, the university and the fans, which I think you will love the people in purple when they get here. You’re going to love them because wherever they go they have a lot of class, they spend a lot of money and you are going to like how they do things. Words can’t tell you how excited we are about being here. I brought the guys back early because I wanted to make sure we got in great practices before we came here. So we got back to the way we played when we played at Utah because we know we’re going to have to play that way to have a chance against a great Boise State team. No. 3 or 4 against the No. 5, what else can you ask for?
On the respect TCU has received this season:
No. 1, probably the biggest hurdle we had to get over recruiting-wise at TCU was that automatic qualifying conferences said, “You don’t want to go to TCU because you will never play for a national championship and you’ll never get to a BCS bowl.” No longer is that hurdle there.
Thanks to the Fiesta Bowl we’re able to do some things and we’re able to get into some homes that maybe even three weeks ago we weren’t able to do. On a national stage, I don’t know if you can even put it into words what it has been able to do for us. The thing that I like most about our football team, and what America has seen, that not only have we won but that we played very hard and we played with a lot of class. That’s what we’re going to try to do on the fourth, to make sure that the Fiesta Bowl made a great choice.
You’ve got two great football teams. Who knows who is going to win this game? The last time we got together a year ago it was 17-16. I don’t know if it is going to be 52-51 or 17-16, but you know this much – both football teams know how to win. Both football teams have a lot of class. Both football teams are very physical. And they are going to give you a great ballgame because both of them want to be here.
I can tell you right now that when they asked me, if I had a choice, this is where I wanted to go. And Boise (State) was the team I wanted to play. You want to play the best. I think both Boise (State) and TCU are automatic qualifying schools. I think we both belong and there are a few others. I think the Fiesta Bowl made great choices in picking two teams. And I think you’ll find that both teams really want to be here. Both teams are going to give you everything they have. We’re going to be excited about the fourth and getting out on the field.
I'll admit that I wondered if TCU would be able to just forget about the fact that is wasn't the matchup the schools wanted -- in other words not playing a big-name school like Florida -- and just play football. But if Patterson's passion and excitement is any indication, that won't be a problem.