Patterson isn’t so sure backloading schedule is helping anybody
The Big 12 is getting exactly what it wanted when it decided to schedule TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all to play each other in November.
It’s certainly going to provide for an exciting finish, but TCU coach Gary Patterson, fresh off the Horned Frogs’ first loss of the season at Oklahoma State last Saturday, wonders if it was really such a good idea.
"To be honest, I’m not sure it’s good for the conference to be backloaded," Patterson said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. "I think people forget early losses."
Historically, even before the rise of the College Football Playoff and the its selection committee last year, teams that lost early in the season were able to recover better than those that lost late. That seems apparent on two fronts already. No. 2 Alabama lost at home to Ole Miss in September. No. 4 Notre Dame lost at Clemson on Oct. 3. Both one-loss teams are ranked ahead of unbeaten Baylor and likely would have also stayed ahead of TCU had the Horned Frogs won at Oklahoma State.
The Frogs dropped from No. 8 to No. 15 in Tuesday’s CFP rankings, making it a difficult climb back up even if they were to defeat Oklahoma and Baylor.
Baylor and No. 8 Oklahoma State both remain undefeated. The Bears play one-loss No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday. If the Bears win and Oklahoma State wins at Iowa State on Saturday, then the Nov. 21 game between Baylor and Oklahoma State would leave just one unbeaten. Oklahoma State finishes the season at home against Oklahoma. Baylor finishes at home against Texas.
"There’s a chance that with the four teams, everybody could end up with two losses," Patterson said. "So how did that help us?”