TCU hasn’t been the same since it moved up from the Mountain West to the Big 12.
Just-graduated Horned Frog quarterback Casey Pachall thinks he knows why.
“There is zero leadership,” Pachall told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram last week. “Nobody wants to step up and take charge of anything. It’s rough. That is why they have the stuff they did. I still love those guys. Maybe they made mistakes, everybody does. I’m not putting those people down at all. They are still my good friends. Things are going to happen and as a team they need somebody to step up.”
The Horned Frogs went 47-5 in their four seasons before joining the Big 12, including a 13-0 season in 2010. Since then, they’ve gone 11-14.
Certainly, making the jump to a more competitive conference is a big part of it. But the intermittent turmoil in the program — some of it involving Pachall — hasn’t made things any easier for Gary Patterson’s team.
To be clear, Pachall is putting most of the blame on the players, not the coaching staff.
“It’s one of those things where every now and then you may say something to a teammate, and it may make them mad, but when they sit down and think about it they know it was sincere and it wasn’t getting on your ass,” Pachall said. “A lot of these guys don’t want to speak up, they just want to blend in with the crowd. They want to be cool with their teammates, instead of getting on them and getting something going.”
It could be that what used to fly in the Mountain West doesn’t fly in the Big 12. But TCU is a former Southwest Conference program and has the heritage and mentality to eventually adjust to the move.
However, if Pachall is right, Patterson might have to do a bit of house cleaning before he sees some adequate results.