Well, it's almost here.
The TCU football team opens its season against Grambling State in about six hours. Be sure to follow along with TCU 360 throughout the day. We'll be running a live chat, which will start closer to game time.
In the meantime, here are 20 pre-game thoughts to keep you busy until kickoff:
1) Talk about timing. New conference, new stadium, new uniforms and possibly a new record-holder. All in one day. Patterson, who needs a win tonight to pass Dutch Meyer as the winningest coach in school history, called the timing of everything “amazing.” Chancellor Victor Boschini said Patterson’s shot at the record is “the best part.”
2) Speaking of timing, these cooler temperatures couldn’t have come at a better time. Forecasts call for 84 degrees at kickoff.
3) More on Boschini: He’ll be watching “from all over” but mainly be based in one of the new suites close to the field level on the west side of the stadium, he said. That’s a slightly different vantage point than his usual perch above the south endzone.
4) Some perspective: Eddie Robinson, who won a Division 1 record 408 games, coached at Grambling State for 57 years. That’s right, 57. Patterson would have to retire at the age of 98 to reach that mark.
5) Grambling State coach Doug Williams, who played for Robinson, has a little legend behind his career, too, mainly as a player. Williams became the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, leading the Washington Redskins to a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos in 1988.
6) How many different uniform combinations will TCU roll out this year?
7) Looks like the days of the “Fat Frog” (for lack of a better term) are nearing an end. He’ll stay on the helmets (after losses to Baylor and SMU last year, Patterson insisted he did), but he won’t be under the arched “TCU” on midfield tonight.
8) It’s incredible how close some of the seats in the new stadium are to the field, even those in the upper deck areas.
9) Should be interesting to see what the wind does on the field with the new stadium design being a bit more closed off than the old one. TCU sort of got a glimpse of this last year, with the north endzone being more closed. Now, this year, the east side appears to block a little more wind, too. We’ll see.
10) Freshman Devonte’ Fields should get the start at defensive end, opposite of Stansly Maponga. Keep an eye on senior Ross Forrest though. He’s been banged up a bit throughout fall practice so it’ll be interesting to see how/if he’s used tonight.
11) Check out the Frogs’ new intro video:
The actual video starts around the 10:00 mark. Let’s hope Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” follows.
12) Trevone Boykin is pretty entrenched in the backup quarterback role. If things go as expected, he should get a decent amount of playing time tonight.
13) Back to the record: Should Patterson win tonight, how long until he gets his own burger joint named after him?
14) As you make your way to seats here in a few hours, notice how spacious the concourses beneath the stadium are. One of the many underrate subtleties the new design offers.
15) TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle joined Twitter this week. Give him a follow @TCUSchloss. How long until Patterson starts tweeting?
16) The Frogs might be playing Grambling State, but the effect of the Big 12 is already being felt. Tonight’s game can be viewed on Fox Sports Southwest. Last year, or any one before that, a TCU non-conference game against an FCS program likely only would’ve only been available on pay-per-view, if that.
17) The Frogs are the only top-25 team opening their season this week.
18) Let the Casey Pachall Haircut Watch begin.
19) I bet there are some towing companies making a killing today.
20) Pretty sure all parties can agree on one thing: It feels good to get back to football. From the stuff in February, to the losses of Ed Wesley and Deryck Gildon in May, to the Pachall news last month, it’s been an unusually newsy seven months for the Frogs — and hardly any of it has surrounded things on the playing field. That changes tonight.