Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TCU vs SMU: The Lesson Gary Patterson Learned from the 2005 Loss

It's the battle for the Iron Skillet.  4th-ranked TCU puts its 3-0 record on the line when they play 2-1 SMU on Friday in University Park.  The Frogs will be the highest ranked opponent ever to visit Ford Stadium.

The Famous Skillet Getting Air-Time
Honestly, many of the current TCU players have no clue what the Iron Skillet is. 

"Isn't it something you cook in?" half-joked safety Tejay Johnson.

The trophy for the winner of this game was born after the post-WWII college football boom, according to both schools.  TCU and SMU students created the ceremonial trophy that was given to the game's winner.  The tradition died but was resurrected in 1993.

TCU's Gary Patterson has only lost once to SMU in his ten years as the Frogs head coach.  That one loss came on September 10, 2005 when the then-Phil Bennett coached Ponies beat TCU 21-10, ending the school's six-game win streak over the Mustangs.  It was the Frogs only loss of the season. 

The loss came a week after TCU had upset 5th ranked Oklahoma in Norman.  Let down game?  Trap game?  What happened the week between the OU win and the SMU loss?  Patterson explained during his weekly media briefing on Tuesday.

"The mistake I made is that I shouldn't have let anybody come to my practice," Patterson said.  "I was asked by my marketing group if I would allow media to come see our team because nobody had really showed up and we'd been 5-6 before in 2004."

"I let people come down and talk to my players on the field after practice on Sunday and treat them like celebrities.  That's the way they played all week.  They didn't concentrate they didn't do anything they needed to do to get ready for the ballgame."

So is Patterson doing anything differently this week, after the win over Baylor?  Well considering it's a short week and the game is this Friday, they'll be in shorts all week.  Patterson has found it keeps them fresher when they don't have a full week between games.  Another lesson learned.
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