The TCU football team concludes its regular season schedule tomorrow afternoon when it hosts Mountain West Conference foe UNLV at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
The Frogs, winners of six straight and coming off a bye week, already hold a share of the Mountain West championship and can clinch the title outright with a win tomorrow.
Gary Patterson said winning the Mountain West for the third straight year before leaving for the Big 12 is something that would mean a lot to him. Winning a championship is hard — winning it again is even harder, Patterson said.
“I think it’s hard to do it – I don’t care what conference you’re in,” Patterson said. “That’s why you have to give Boise a lot of credit for what they did even in the WAC. It’s hard to get back to a Super Bowl, it’s hard to get back to the World Series, it’s hard to get back to being at the top of anything. If it was easy, everybody would have double-digit wins every year. It’s just hard to do.”
Patterson said repeating as champions with this year’s squad, which wasn’t projected to have as much success as recent TCU teams, would be even sweeter. The problems the Frogs have overcome through 11 games has made the 2011 team truly special.
“I’ll remember this one because this group wasn’t given much of a chance,” Patterson said.
“At Boise State, they were 15-point underdogs. You’ve got to give credit to the senior class, and really the whole football team, for where we started and where we’re finishing. We had a new quarterback, a makeshift offensive line and a new group of wide receivers. A lot has gone into the makeup of this group.”
Senior class sets record
Regardless of tomorrow’s outcome, TCU’s seniors will walk off the field as the winningest class in school history. The Frogs broke last year’s class record of 44 victories with their 34-10 win over Colorado State Nov. 19.
But the seniors’ success isn’t limited to just the playing field: all but one of the Frogs’ 19 seniors have already graduated or are on pace to do so by May.
And academic success isn’t anything new to the TCU program.
The American Football Coaches Association recognized TCU Tuesday for graduating at least 75 percent of its players who entered as freshman in 2004. It is the fourth straight year TCU has been recognized.