DALLAS — TCU already has one season under its belt as a part of a major football conference in the Big 12, and now are set to face a top SEC foe in LSU under the national spotlight at Cowboys Stadium on Aug. 31.
Head coach Gary Patterson isn’t worried about facing a dominant SEC opponent in the Tigers early in the season, in fact, he is welcoming the task for himself and his players.
“You’re already playing great programs within your conference, but I truly believe you’ve got to cross over every once in a while,” Patterson said. “Obviously, is it more of a risk for a head coach win/loss-wise? Yes, because they’ve got really good players, really great staff, and really great tradition. On the other side of it, if you play well or you win, it also puts you in a situation where it jumps you in the national spotlight.”
Earlier in day one of the Big 12 Media Days, commissioner Bob Bowlsby stressed the importance of Big 12 teams playing the best of the best out of conference and in bowl games, and Patterson completely agrees believes TCU is doing its best to play the best the NCAA has to offer.
“For us in the next 10 years, we have Minnesota out of the Big Ten, you have Arkansas, and you have Ohio State along with LSU,” Patterson said. “I do believe that you have to every two or three years have a statement game outside of your conference.”
Perhaps the most important reason to schedule a big name program outside the conference, and play well in that game, for Patterson would be it prepares current players better for the season and can have a positive effect on recruiting.
“We need to play well because, for us to recruit the kind of kids to win a Big 12 title, to win a National Championship, you have to have some the best players in the nation come to your place,” Patterson said. “So the only way you can prove that you can do that sometimes is to go play—you can play a program like LSU.”