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December 31, 2010
THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome head coach Gary Patterson of TCU. Coach, welcome. If you could make a brief opening statement and we'll turn it over for questions.
COACH PATTERSON: It's good to see everybody made it up. Welcome to the Rose Bowl. Well, for us at TCU, number one, on behalf of the chancellor and all of our team, our fans, you can see a lot of purple coming to town, it's just been a great week for our kids. They came in a day early, they practiced hard.
I think you can expect an exciting game at least from the TCU standpoint. Really excited to be in this ballgame.
We're looking for a lot of fun. So welcome, and we'll just start out with questions.
Q. Can you talk about the experience the kids have had up to this point?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, whether you're talking about Disneyland or Lawry's or the Improv, they've just had a great time. The way we like to do it is get up early a, get practice over, and then let them have the experience of the town they're in. Los Angeles, and the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, the whole group has been gracious. It's been unbelievable the experience they've had.
Like all teams, by the end of the week you're ready to go and play the ballgame. They were glad the last practice was done yesterday, but it's just been a fabulous time. Couldn't have asked for a better host.
Q. For those of us that are late arrivals, could you give your impressions of Wisconsin's offensive line and kind of what sticks out with them?
COACH PATTERSON: Obviously, you guys read the depth chart. They're big. They've scored a lot of points and they're very physical. But since we started ten years ago or 13 years ago at TCU, everybody's been bigger and faster.
So we've been doing this a long time. We're 15-3 against BCS opponents. I think we're the last team on to beat Oklahoma in Norman. So this won't be our first rodeo.
Our kids are looking forward to the challenge, and we're getting ready to go. Most important thing I think about playing their offensive line is having our offensive line on the field. Defensively you've got to play with leverage, tackle and play great with your eyes.
Because to play great run defense you've got to get one more guy to the party, and that doesn't mean blitz. That means however you've got to play man on one side or whatever you do. So for us we've got to be able to go do that. But that is the nature of playing the 4-2-5. That is the advantage it gives to you. So for us, every player they've had on their offensive line, including a back-up, I think they've had six guys that are all Big 10.
So as a told someone the other day, and I think Paul Johnson said this a long time ago a, Navy playing Notre Dame. He said they have 38 great All Americans, and he said we're just trying to get to the Rose Bowl Parade. That is just part of our deal, so here we go.
Q. Can you talk about Eddie Williamson and his recovery? He told me that he was an emotional moment when he was in his hospital room and all the offensive line came up to see him, and he wanted to make sure he was strong; but he talked about how emotional it was and a lot of tears?
COACH PATTERSON: For a lot of you, our offensive line coach had a heart attack at the San Diego State game. So for them we lost him in the first three minutes of the ballgame, so it was quite a deal.
But he's fully recovered. He's been back coaching all of the offensive line. But he's like a dad to those kids. It's one of the things. I've been the head coach at TCU ten years. We've only lost four or five coaches. Lot of guys have been offered jobs.
Eddie Williamson is like a lot of the rest of them, they've bought into TCU, they've bought into the kids and it's been a great experience. It's really easy to be a head coach at our place. We have to work hard. We understand we have challenges like everywhere else people do.
But he's one of those guys that's been a blessing to me. Because when I became head coach I didn't know Eddie. He was actually recommended to me. He came off a staff that had just been let go. Within about a day, I knew he was a guy I could can really trust. I made him my assistant head coach, and he was a guy that are the kids have really responded to.
When he has Thanksgiving, they all come over. It's just part of the deal. They don't have a place to go, and he's always been one of those kind of guys.
Q. Have you noticed any change in your players in the preparations compared to last year before the Fiesta Bowl and the slight differences that you made?
COACH PATTERSON: No, I haven't noticed any difference in the way our kids prepare for the Bowl game for ten years. It's the same thing. They're very workmanlike. This group. Obviously, if they win tomorrow they'll have won 44 games, their senior class has in four years.
So they've been to a lot of big ballgames and been a part of a lot of things, so, no, not much difference.
Q. Why have you been able to keep your staff relatively intact? What is your philosophy about that?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, if you talk to anybody that's ever worked at TCU, they will tell you, in the last 40 years, they'll tell you the reason why TCU is in the top two schools they've ever worked at is because of the people in Fort Worth and the people at TCU.
Plus, TCU has been very good. Our assistant coaches are well compensated. I have five or six coaches that live within two minutes of work, so their families can come up to work all the time. Then, if you look at what the university has done in our alumni base of all the different things they've given us. We just built a new indoor that's paid off for. A new end zone. We've just raised 115 million dollars to build a new locker room and new training room. When you find out that everybody's on the same page; and I think if you talk to our chancellor, same things are going on across the street.
TCU is not only trying to win a National Championship in football, but they're trying to win a National Championship as a university.
We've tried to put ourselves on the map. I'll give you a great example. I think 13 years ago when I came to TCU, I think they had 15 total applications from the State of California. Now this year, outside the State of Texas, I think California is the number one state in applications.
For what we've been able to do on the west coast football-wise, the notoriety, we're just the front porch.
But when you go from 4,000 applications for 1,500 students now you're almost at 18 thousands applications for 1,500 students, it shows we've made a difference as far as people knowing who TCU is, and that goes along with our coaches.
It's great chemistry. They love going to work. That is probably excluding the head coach. Because everybody hates the head coach sometimes. But you've just got to go about your business.
It's been just a great experience for me.
Q. If you were on the outside looking in, what would scare you more, TCU's defense or the Badgers' offense?
COACH PATTERSON: I'd like to put them all together. That's what I told Chris Peterson at Boise State. Let's pick an All-Star team.
I think both of us have our great characteristics. As I always said in practice, I think the thing that head coaches always want is they want to see a great ballgame. And that's what I like in practice. Everybody does their job and see who makes the play. I think that's what I can do.
I've never predicted victories or been one of those guys that do all that. All I can do as a head coach is make sure my team is prepared and they can play the best ballgame they can possibly play on that day in that moment.
I think a lot of both sides. I would tell you they're both high-end groups. Both can play at a high level. Wisconsin has proven they he can play at a high level on a big stage, and TCU's defense has proven they can play at a high level.
I'll be honest with you, I think the match-up that will be most interesting tomorrow that I think will make an even bigger difference is TCU's offense versus Wisconsin defense. That was the one thing against Utah we were able to do. We were able to start early and get up and get going.
So it didn't turn into a slugfest. That is probably one of the formulas we have to do tomorrow to be able to beat Wisconsin.
Q. I'm assuming you've given some thought to your final message to the team as they go out before the game. What would be the final words or message you want to give the team in the locker room before they head out to the game?
COACH PATTERSON: It's interesting. If you notice, I'm a little different. And I found out about this team and this senior group three years ago. I used to be a fire and brimstone guy; and all of us have to learn that we do that when you get married. You say, yes, dear a lot. You're not quite the boss when you get home.
What I found out about Andy and this senior class is I used to get after them and start trying to get them all fired up. In the last two years this group has been a very workmanlike, give us the message, be your point.
But I've been telling them all week, and I don't usually say much in pregame, I say pregame I usually prepare for about two hours. What I tell them is enjoy the ride. They've got to play at a high level. I felt like our offense last year in the Fiesta Bowl played a little tense until they loosened up, and then it was too late. But I tell them enjoy the ride, go get after them, play for 60 minutes and understand that they're in the Rose Bowl.
After ten years, we finally got to a point where all eyes of America are on them and getting the chance to prove what kind of program we have and go do it.
We understand we're playing a great team, but we don't have any control over Wisconsin. All I have is control over TCU. So I'll try to make sure they're ready to go.
Q. How many coaching opportunities have you seriously considered since you've been at TCU to go elsewhere?
COACH PATTERSON: Seriously, probably three or four. But as you know, whether it's in football or corporations or the business world, whatever it is, one of the things in 27 years I learned, and I've moved a lot. If you look at my resume, I came the low road. I came out here in California, I was at Cal Lutheran and Sonoma State, and UC Davis where I probably learned my most football.
If you look at the coaching tree of Chris Peterson, Dan Hawkins and Paul Hackett, you go down the list of people that have come out at UC Davis that have been a part of it.
But I'd probably tell you that my way of doing things is to make sure that the grass is not always greener. It's to always enjoy the people.
If you ask most coaches, what happens is they only have maybe four or five friends because you move and you're so busy and you do things. What's helped me at TCU is I've become part of the talent and I've become part of the administration there.
If I was ever to move, and I've always told them that I'd never say never because I hate those guys out there -- I shouldn't say hate. It's always interesting those that say I'm never going to do this and then they go do it. I've never said never, but my actions have always spoken for what we've been able to accomplish, and that's what I've done.
When a university and town gives you all the things that they've been able to give us, I think you should show that loyalty back. Up to this point, I've never found somewhere that if you looked at all the intangibles, that was better. So that's why I'm still here.
Q. What does that trophy to the right of you mean to you, coach?
COACH PATTERSON: Probably a hospital bed because I'll probably faint. Mad do not once told he me because he knows I'm an emotional guy, he said you'd probably be better off before the ballgame to think about what you're going to say if you win and what you're going to say if you lose.
That way, you add a few intangibles in between after the ballgame, and you're never too high, never too low. One exception after the Texas Tech game back in 2006 where I got all of you to come because I said something about a step child, which I guess was being called out this week, the little sisters of the poor.
But probably, if we don't win this ballgame, I would tell my team I'm very proud of them, especially the senior group, how they've done things and how they've handled themselves. Not just on the field but off the field.
If you talk to anybody in Fort Worth, a lot of the families that were over at Disney when our team was are there, how much they respected and how people were treated as just people.
I know when this senior class leaves they'll be successful in life because they're really, really good people. If for one at some point in time I'd like to shut my eyes and say, hey, we just won the Rose Bowl.
Because if you think about where we came from 13 years ago, we had to walk a mile and a half to the practice field. We had to pull partitions in an old weight room to have meetings. We didn't have really any office space. We didn't have an indoor, we didn't have practice fields, and to know where we are right now 13 years later is quite you a true story.
A lot of people are responsible for that. To be honest with you, head coaches get too much of that credit. But you talk about staff, alumni base. I've been through three chancellors and three AD's at TCU and all of them have been different. So it's been a lot of fun.
To be able to say you won the Rose Bowl would be quite an accomplishment, and it wouldn't be in a braggish way, it would be more of, hey, if you only knew where we came from and if we accomplish this what we just got done doing.
So if you want to understand the emotion behind why TCU has won ballgames while we've done the things we need to do, you need to know where we came from. If you know where we came from, you understand why we play with a chip on our shoulder. Whether we're the favorite or not the favorite, makes no difference to us. It's how you play on that day. That's what we're hoping tomorrow as we give all of you the best game you can possibly see from a TCU team.
Q. With all of the preparation and expectation of celebration, let's fast forward to tomorrow. What will the headlines read and why?
COACH PATTERSON: Oh, I don't know. Right now I'm trying to decide which blitz to call. But I would say this to you. Unless you've been inside and you're part of the Mountain West and you've played against us, I don't think you know much about TCU.
So for me, I'd probably say that if you're talking about tomorrow, before the ballgame or afterwards? On Sunday?
Q. Before. I just want to know, with your outlook and anticipation?
COACH PATTERSON: With my outlook, I think you're going to see a great ballgame. Come watch.
COACH PATTERSON: That's what I'd say. Come watch.
Q. People are going to look at this game as sort of a measuring stick of BCS versus non-BCS, and the selection process perhaps. I don't know what all the implications are. But your thoughts on that sort of big school-little school perception and result?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, I'd probably ask you guys this question. If we do win, and it's on Sunday, how are you going to write it? Are you going to write it because Wisconsin didn't play well, because TCU won the ballgame? That would be my question to you.
Are you going to write it because Wisconsin didn't play well? Because that's what we've gotten for 13 years. When we've beaten somebody, they didn't play well or are you going to write that they played a great ballgame? I think that is the question you've got to ask yourself.
Even in the state of Texas, we've battled the Cowboys and the Longhorns and all the groups. People always ask me, how do you measure up against the Mountain West? Well, we've never had to be measured against the Mountain West. We've always been measured against the State of Texas where you have the Big 12, the SEC that come in and recruit and do things. That's where our recruiting has been.
That is the question I'd ask yourselves when you write it when you watch the ballgame. Once it's over with and you get going, you're not going to have any control as a head coach. But one thing you'll find out about me is I'm always honest, sometimes to a tact.
If you listen to my players they're going to know where they stand with me whether they like it or they don't. I think you'll find tomorrow maybe it's a 70-14 blow-up, Wisconsin wins. Maybe it's 42-14, TCU wins. Who knows what that's going to be. But I have a suspicion it's got a chance to be a 23-20 or 31-34, or 14-13 ballgame; and if it is, what are you going to write? That is the key.
To be honest with you, the nation's going to read whatever you guys tell them. My team's going to be what you tell them. Not what I think, not what I say, what you tell them. What do you think TCU is. That would be my answer to that question as far as what it is. How are you going to write it?
Q. Can you comment on the logos we've seen with the rose stem with the frog? It's been around town. It's been a hot selling T-shirt at the hotel?
COACH PATTERSON: I mean, it's a good advertisement (laughing). They put it on the truck. They kind of did it -- the first time they did it, they put it on a truck traveling, the one that carries our equipment. It kind of looked cool, so we've been part of it.
If you think you're only four or five teams outside of the Pac 10 or Big 10, never played in a the Rose Bowl and we get an opportunity to be that fifth one, I think we're trying to enjoy it as much as we can.
But I would tell you there isn't anything about this ballgame, you can give the Fiesta Bowl credit for this, they treatise very well. We felt like we came up short. Since the first opening meeting that we had for this ballgame, our team asked, coach, can we go a couple days early because we want to get settled in and get ready for the ballgame.
We only get one chance to be in the Rose Bowl. We can see our parents the rest of our lives at Christmas or do anything else they've done. I think that is just another symbol of we're glad to be part of such he a great game.
97 years. The other night listening to Mr. Frank's talk about he's been feeding Rose Bowl teams for 55 years at Lawry's, and had a young man that was just a walk-on come into his restaurant a couple weeks ago. He wouldn't know him from anywhere but he was on the 1974 Rose Bowl team for somebody, and just talked about what a great experience it was.
My kids are going to remember for the rest of their life. So the rose is just one more thing.
Q. In past Rose Bowls with Wisconsin, it's been predominantly a sea of red in that stadium. How have you prepared your kids for that?
COACH PATTERSON: We saw a sea of red six weeks ago when we were at Utah. They had the largest crowd they've ever had in Salt Lake City, and we had a group in the corner of all white. Couple years ago we saw Oklahoma in the stands at Norman, so we've been there before.
You've got to understand the losses this team has had in three years. Lost to an Oklahoma team that played the National Championship at Norman. We're 1-1 against them in the last six years. We lost to a Utah team, 13-10, they went on to beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and we lost to Boise State a year ago.
Those are the only three losses this group here has had in the last three years. And there are other teams that were possibly more talented that we played, plus those teams.
Again, I've always told them on 12 different occasions, during the regular season, you've got to be the best team on those days. This ballgame against Wisconsin is going to be no different, along with their fans.
I said earlier to a couple of reporters, I've always admired Wisconsin the way their team is. Camp and as fanatical as their fans are. I'm a college football fan. You've got to love place as that love their teams.
That is one of the things we've been able to do at TCU. We started with 17 thousands people, 13 years ago as an average. This year we averaged just about 43 thousand. We're building a new stadium. People bought into paying for luxury boxes up to the tune of $130 million. You've got to be a college football fan.
Where else in the country will somebody do that on a leap of faith? You're not going to get a stock dividend or something else back from it that you get. All you get is a chance, in our case, to believe that some day we can win a National Championship.
So I think the heart and soul of Wisconsin football starts with their fans. Obviously, every time they come out here they've brought a lot of them.
But I think we're going to have somewhere around the 30 to 35 range ourselves. At least in my hotel, I'm not going through the lobby again today, I can tell you that.
Q. I don't know what I'm going to write after the game, but I'm fairly certain it will be heavily edited. Yesterday I kept hearing your safeties described as the quarterbacks of the defense. Talk a little shop for a second. Could you just tell me what Tejay needs to recognize and call out with the burden that falls to him before the weak snap?
COACH PATTERSON: The free safety and weak safety are both quarterbacks. They control their line of scrimmage. Any time you play a great run team that is a great play action team, you have to play with your eyes. They have a great tight end in Kendrick that you have to be able to control. You're not going to stop, you're going to have to control.
It's kind of like the running game. It's kind of like playing Air Force in a lot of ways, Wisconsin is. But safeties will have to make a lot of tackles. Our whole thing is to make people go sideways in the way we set up our defense.
So if we're able to do that a, then the safeties have to make tackles. As a general every year, one of our linebackers is a leading tackler. And usually the number two and number three tacklers will be two of our three safeties.
So Tejay's got to be able to look, read quarterback, and you've got to go to your verticals, play run and play leverage. With the three backs they have, they stay fresh. They've got to be great tacklers.
Q. Everyone's been talking about offense and defense. One big match-up is TCU's special teams which is ranked in the Top 10. Of Course Wisconsin's special teams and kick coverage which isn't that good. Could you talk about that match-up?
COACH PATTERSON: I'm sure they've addressed it too. But one group I hope I don't see very much of their group. We've had a good kickoff return, but I hope we don't get many chances tomorrow.
But you'd like to see your punt returner. Kerley has done a great job in big games of making a difference in the punt game as far as changing the field position. For us, even going all the way down to when Brett, Coach Bielema called the fake in the Iowa game on the 26-yard line, everything, we've had attention to detail of what we have to do, where we have to be and how we have to do things.
Special teams always in big ballgames, always comes to the top. I don't think it will be any different all the way down to our kickoff team. You can hold them at the 22-yard line instead of 32 against a run oriented team that likes to grind it out. Then you have to make them get one more first down. So it will play a big part in the game tomorrow.
Q. Talk about the team plays with a chip on their shoulders and that. But the reality is you're going to the Big East in a couple of years. So what do you say to the players? They've already proven themselves in that sense?
COACH PATTERSON: You guys are under the consideration that, because as a football team, we'll think of ourselves differently because we changed conferences. This will be the fourth conference change for us.
Really the Big East and automatic qualifying is more for perception for you. As a university and a football team, we don't change again, I still have to compare myself to Texas, Texas Tech, A&M, to LSU that recruits the State of Oklahoma. That's where I have to recruit. That's who I have to be for me to be successful.
The Big East is definitely going to be a great jump for us in a lot of different fashions. But for us to think just because I've got, just for example, I got a new pair of shoes that all of a sudden I'm different. I'd hope we wouldn't do that. One of the things we try to keep out of our program is entitlement that all of a sudden we were different.
Hopefully, I can do a good job as a head coach of us playing the same way, acting the same way, and doing the same things whatever conference we're in.
We're very excited about going to the Big East. We understand all the advantages that it's going to give us from a monetary standpoint to being able to be seen more, especially on the east coast.
So who knows where Andy Dalton possibly would have fell if he had been part of the Big East and more TV sets and more people would have watched him play and been in stadiums.
So for us, being where we're at and what we've been able to do will be a difference. But hopefully we won't change. Hopefully, we'll represent the Big East just like we've been able to represent the Mountain West Conference.
I'm kind of a loyal guy. With all the change, I have great friends in the Mountain West. They've been the platform that TCU has risen up and become what we've been able to become in the last five or six years.
So I've always been careful about giving one an edge over the other. Just like we did with the Mountain West when we left Conference USA. Good people are good people. They've treated us very well.
But there are going to be some advantages. All of you guys know those advantages. Hopefully, what we've got to do is make sure in the next two years we keep recruiting and doing the things we need to do that when we get there we can play, because if you don't win, you'll be talking to somebody else up here besides me that has a TCU logo.
Some of my friends were let go this year. There are only 120 Division 1 head coaches, so you better take care of your business.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.
End of FastScripts