TCU’s Gary Patterson says somebody will always feel screwed by college football’s postseason

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It was not all that long ago TCU head coach Gary Patterson was being respected for the way in which he handled his Horned Frogs being left out of the College Football Playoff. It was rather easily to compliment Patterson for his calm demeanor on the topic when Art Briles at Baylor was sounding off at every opportunity. Patterson reasoned TCU was working to reach the rung of the ladder programs like Ohio State and Alabama had reached, and admitted it takes time to earn that level of respect. Patterson kept TCU focused on the next opportunity, which resulted in a blowout victory over Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.

Now Patterson is ready to share his true feelings about TCU being left out of the College Football Playoff.

“No matter what we’ve called it during my 33 years of college football coaching, whether we had the BCS or the coaches’ poll, whatever they had, somebody has felt like they got screwed,” Patterson said while talking to reporters this week. “That will go on.”

He is absolutely right. This is not going to change regardless of the number of playoff teams are handed an invite to the championship hunt. But Patterson was not necessarily saying TCU should have been a lock for the first College Football Playoff. He was more pointing out some of the possible concerns that should be had regarding the new postseason format. Most notably is the emphasis on a conference championship game.

“I was told why we had a committee was we were going to take all that stuff out of it. I remember talking about the championship games and they shouldn’t have mattered,” Patterson said, as quoted by The Dallas Morning News this week. “Their job was to watch all this film and pick the top four teams no matter where you played and what you did. And then, all of a sudden in the end it got down to they played a championship game and we didn’t. That’s not what we were told. We were told they would pick the four best teams.”

Patterson’s comments days after the latest developments in the possible deregulation of conference championship games was reported. The Big 12 and ACC have made a push for removing the title game requirements (12 league members, and two division champions), which figures to open the door for a possible Big 12 championship game with only 10 conference members (which is also bad news for BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and so on). Patterson actually thinks the championship game model should be ditched everywhere. Some feel the Big 12 would have had a much better chance to be represented in the playoff had a conference championship game been played instead of the final week of the regular season. Odds are that certainly would have helped the cause for Baylor or TCU (or both!), but it is far from a suggestion either co-Big 12 champion would have been awarded one of the four spots.

Judging by Patterson’s story of a pregame meeting before the regular season finale with Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, he knew TCU was going to be left out of the mix unless some crazy things happened elsewhere.

“We were on the field before the ballgame and [Paul Rhoads] said he hopes if we ended up winning for us to have good luck. I told him, ‘Paul, we weren’t going to the playoffs.’ We were the first team playing on that Saturday and haven’t seen anybody else and I told him we weren’t going to the playoffs. I’m pretty good at gut feelings and I watched all the articles going through the week. I actually thought it was the kiss of death when we got moved to third.”

Patterson spoke earlier this offseason about college football royalty coming into play. Conference championship game or not, Baylor and TCU each lack that perceived royalty compared to the other playoff options that were on the table. The Big 12’s overall production in non-conference play did not help that cause either.

Florida’s statement on Jim McElwain’s death-threat claim is interesting, to say the least

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Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something.  Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.

Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season,  Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least.  So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.

The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats.  Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.

OK then.

Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.

Report: Sam Darnold expected to return to USC in 2018

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Sam Darnold was appointed the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on the second day of 2017. As a redshirt freshman, Darnold torched Penn State to the tune of 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in a 52-49 Rose Bowl win.

One problem, though. Darnold hasn’t played like a No. 1 pick this season.

While he hasn’t been the most disappointing player on what’s turning out to be a disappointing USC team, Darnold has posted pedestrian numbers (for him): hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for an even eight yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He ranks 38th nationally in passing efficiency. This puts him, coincidentally, one spot ahead of former USC quarterback Max Browne.

On Monday, NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright shared a report that Darnold is expected to return to USC next season.

Considering Ronald Jones could return next season and that Stephen Carr is just a freshman, the prospect of Darnold returning in 2018 has to take the sting out of a lost 2017 for Trojans fans.