Houston, we have a problem
Matt Jennings, take a lap!
Ya guys…I got nothing. I don’t have any rational defense for this one. A 2-4 VERY BAD West Virginia team just walked into FW on homecoming weekend and whipped our butts. I apologize for what I am about to write.
I’m not going to do the traditional MMQB format since honestly nothing about this game was good for TCU after the opening kick off. In a week where somebody wrote an article about Gary needing to make changes or move on from the HC position, instead of coming out coaching his ass off and lighting a fire underneath himself as well as this team…he drops a dud. One of the WORST home losses I have seen from this team. This was not one of those dumb TCU losses where one or two plays makes the difference, this was the closest thing I have ever seen to Gary doing a Jason Garrett impersonation. This loss was brutal.
So here we are…after 21 seasons it might be time for a change.
I truly never thought I would say it, but either he’s got to make drastic changes this off season or Gary’s got to go. It’s no exaggeration to say that GP is a TCU icon and is worshipped on campus. In fact, every dollar that TCU receives from the Big 12 should be called “Patterson Bucks” or something along those lines.
There was a time where I genuinely thought he was the best head coach in the country behind Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney – and I still think that during those years he was! But in the year of 2021, in what is looking like a 4th consecutive down year, this program is moving in the wrong direction. I used to say he was a top 3 coach, so what happened to make so many of us down on him? There are always going to be people that overreact after losses, and if you’ve read any MMQB from me you know that I really try not to be one of them. However, I’ve finally reached the point of resignation. I believe this team will win a couple more games this season…but I just don’t have any optimism in the program nor its future while Gary Patterson is the head coach.
This is the fourth year in a row where the team is not good, the same problems that were there in 2018 are still here now. He won’t make the necessary changes (BTW we’ve been asking for Anderson to be fired for 8 years now) and while there is a certain respect that comes with staying loyal to your friends – if you do not adapt you will fail and in a results based business that won’t fly.
For those that are going to butt their heads with me on this, which I totally understand, let me ask a quick question. Would any of the Mountain West teams (Hell even any of the CUSA teams) have rolled over like this at home? Nobody is saying that Gary was never a great coach, he just isn’t a great coach anymore (or at least is not right now). There was no energy in the entire stadium after the opening kick off. Why? This game just felt like everyone in the stands was apathetic to the result and a lot of them knew what was coming.
Well here’s a quick summary of the past 4 years with those that need a quick refresher:
-2018: Starting QB Shawn Robinson turned out to be NFL Jamarcus Russell in a college QB body, ended up not working out and we ended up losing games to UT, OU, KANSAS(!), Texas Tech, and West Virginia. TCU finished the season with their third string QB – all things considered, the season was meh.
-2019: We started the year with Alex Delton as the starting QB (who ended up quitting the program mid season when he lost the starting job) and, by the way, Alex Delton couldn’t pass. Max Duggan came in as a true freshman with no development from this coaching staff since he was so fresh, and TCU lost a bunch of close games to SMU, Baylor, Ok State, OU, Kansas State, West Virginia, and one blow out to Iowa State. I openly said that I thought this was a bad coaching season by Gary – since the team had a lot of talented upper classmen and the offense was once again bad. Alas true freshman QB, “young” offense, etc.
I still haven’t forgiven him for not making a bowl in Darius Anderson, Jalen Reagor, and Ross Blacklock’s last season.
-2020: COVID year, there was a ton out of his control in this one…but that was the same case for every program in the country. Defense had early issues, but got better as the season went on. TCU’s schedule was front loaded with tough teams, and despite an inspiring win on the road against a ranked UT team…the offense never really looked good. Offensive line was bad for the third year in a row and Duggan didn’t really take a step forward. However, QB1 didn’t really get to have an offseason due to a heart condition – that put his football playing future in jeopardy – but he overcame that and was able to play in week 1. Overall, another disappointing season – but everyone was just thankful to have a season at that point.
-2021: This was marked as the “year” for TCU to compete for the conference title again. We have a lot of playmakers on offense to go along with our upper classman QB (who finally has a full offseason with the first team)…but now the defense is way worse, the offense – despite having more talent than ever (other than maybe 2014/15) – is still inconsistent. The same problems are there, nothing is being done about it – and there are no more excuses that can be made.
At the end of the day, the head coach is in charge of all of the program and he needs to be held accountable. GP is without question the greatest head coach TCU has ever had, and what he has done for this program is borderline unprecedented in the sport of college football. He set the standard for success here, but now he just isn’t coming close to meeting the standard he set for himself.
“Okay Mr. know it all, how should he fix the program then?”
WELL full disclosure, I know nothing about being a head coach, but here are some ideas.
1) Tear down this offensive coaching staff other than maybe the running backs/Quarterbacks coach. Bring in someone from outside the program to bring an identity to that side of the ball and then take your hands off the damn wheel. Let them run the offense they want, not the offense that will put your defense in the best position.
2) Gary should step back and stop calling defensive plays and let someone else do it. Whether it be Glasgow or Gonzales, it doesn’t make a huge difference to me. This is not an original idea of mine, but it does make sense. Let Gary have less responsibility on game day so that he can put more energy/effort elsewhere. The defense hasn’t been truly great since 2017, but frankly the last time that unit was dominant was in 2014 when Bumpas was still the DC. Stepping back and having more of a focus on building the roster, filling out the weaknesses and making an effort to build depth is what I think Gary should really focus on.
3) RECRUIT SOME WARDADDIES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL. Look this one is obvious, but the easiest way to get back to being good is to get good in the trenches. Unless we have Aaron Rodgers at QB, I doubt many QBs could look good behind this offensive line.
Again, I really hate to be the “negative” guy on Monday mornings. I actively avoided the GP discourse for years and I’m sure if you go back in the MMQB archives I’m sure you can find me saying several times that “getting rid of GP isn’t the answer” and I’m still not totally off that horse. But the horse that I am on is “That if Gary won’t make the necessary changes to win” then he needs to move on.
A lot of us have lost hope in him, but Gary I am absolutely begging BEGGING you…prove us wrong. Get back to winning and all of this discourse will disappear.