Gary Patterson won 10 games this season, marking the 10th time he’s done so while at TCU. After what’s happened this year, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
The more this season gets thought about, the more stupid it seems. Patterson started more than 30 freshmen throughout this season. He’s had roughly two dozen players get injured. He’s trailed teams on the road by as many as three scores and he had to fight one of the wettest climates in TCU football history to get a win over the rival that’s had TCU’s number the last two seasons.
And somehow, he’s coached his way to 10 wins through all of that.
“Grade A,” Patterson said about his team and what they had to go through to get to that spot.
He’s darn right about that. And while TCU certainly deserves that A grade, Patterson needs to give himself an even better grade.
Forget the Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl and beating-Boise-in-Boise years. 2015 was far and away Patterson’s best coaching job in his career, and he deserves every accolade he can get.
Want to know how much of a miracle worker Patterson is? He had one stud linebacker quit after just one game. His other linebacker was lost to the year due to an injury.
Patterson responded by taking a two-star freshman who received just two offers out of high school and turned him into a monster who made a school-record 23 tackles against the No. 1 offense in the nation. It makes no sense, but that’s what happened.
Similarly, he had a dominating lineman lose a valiant fight to a lawn sprinkler. He lost his long-time defensive coordinator/linemen coach. And he responded by getting a defensive line that got at least one sack in every game, and found ways to dominate second-halves.
Again, doesn’t make sense, but that’s what happened.
He had an offense which had every single starting receiver lose some time due to injury. His quarterback had a high ankle sprain. Most of his offensive line couldn’t play by the end of the year.
But TCU’s offense was in the top 10 of just about every category, including finding ways to get in the end zone in the most dramatic way possible against Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Baylor.
For crying out loud, with a team made out of duct tape and leftover chewing gum, Patterson came within eight inches of ball space from beating Oklahoma on the road. He made a team that struggled against Kansas win a game against their hated rival in the middle of a monsoon.
He found a way to get 10 wins. Again.
And none of these accomplishments make any sense whatsoever.
TCU wasn’t supposed to win critical games. TCU wasn’t supposed to stay in contention after critics started pouncing on their slow start against Minnesota. TCU wasn’t supposed to be in the national conversation after being dropped to 19 in the College Football Playoff Rankings.
But Gary Patterson wasn’t going to make excuses.
And here the Frogs are. They’re 10-2. They have an outside chance of making it to a second-straight NY6 bowl game. And no one can be happier than the miracle worker who made this season possible.
“See ya,” Patterson happily said as he left his press conference. “10-2.”
10-2. It doesn’t make sense. But it’s certainly worth an A grade.