At the end of the 2016 season, not one team from the state of Texas could be found in the final AP poll, the coaches poll or the final College Football Playoff ranking. That is an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas, according to TCU head coach Gary Patterson.
As he spoke to the media at Big 12 media days from the luxurious training home of the Dallas Cowboys, Patterson dove into why the state of Texas has been lagging behind the competition in college football. While noting the changing recruiting landscape that has developed since Texas A&M’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC, Patterson said all of the schools in the state of Texas should feel embarrassed about the current situation on the field.
“I think A&M going to the SEC hurt us a little bit because you have that common factor,” Patterson explained after suggesting the internet has had an impact on how recruiting process unfolds now as well. “I think the Big 12’s learning it’s helping us because we’re now leaving the state to be able to get kids to come into the state. But we should be embarrassed we don’t have a team in the top 25. There’s a lot of good football players, even that come to our schools, that can play and play at a high level, and we need to play better. It’s simple as that.”
Patterson is not off on this thought process. Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 for the SEC certainly impacted how recruiting goes down. The doors to the state of Texas had always been open to SEC schools, but now recruits are seeing more and more interest from the SEC as a result of the Aggies moving to a conference in a new region, and one that has been quite successful over the years while the Big 12 as a whole has trended downward. At the same time, it has become increasingly important for schools from Texas to take advantage of the new recruiting opportunities presented to them by Texas A&M opening the doors to the southeast and along the east coast. The success rate just has not been there for those schools to capitalize on it, and more recruits from Texas are opting to going elsewhere. This even happens within the Big 12, where Oklahoma can pluck some top talent out of the state of Texas as well.
The future does look to be an interesting one with new coaches coming in with the intent on taking back some of that in-state swagger. Tom Herman at Texas and Matt Rhule at Baylor have their work cut out for them, but each come to their new programs with some decent experience in handling the projects in front of them from their former gigs. And one should never cast doubt on Patterson, who has been around long enough to understand what it takes to adapt and win.
Helmet sticker to Land Grant Gauntlet for the transcribed quote.