Gary Patterson likes a good business plan.
TCU’s coach may not be the beholder of one of the strongest schedules in the country, but Patterson values one thing more than most — winning. More specifically, winning championships.
It’s why No. 15 TCU converted a home-and-home with Big Ten power Ohio State to a one-off neutral site game at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That matchup, scheduled for Saturday night in primetime on ABC, swapped a chance for TCU fans to see No. 4 Ohio State play at Amon G. Carter Stadium for a reported $5 million paycheck and a date at Jerry World.
“This is a great challenge for us, and I'm glad we're playing it, but I think it's a lot better business plan for us to play it one time instead of playing twice,” Patterson said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference.
Why? Two reasons.
First, a game against a top-flight program comes with significant ramifications. Win, and it can insert a team in the College Football Playoff discussion. Lose, and the hopes and dreams are all but shattered. Take Patterson’s recent example: Oklahoma and Ohio State played a home-and-home the past two years. Ohio State won in 2016 and made it to the CFP semifinals. Oklahoma used a 2017 win to surge into the CFP semifinals. The loser watched from home.
Then there are the injury concerns from a game of such magnitude. Oklahoma has first-hand experience of this from last weekend when star running back Rodney Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury.
“If they're not the top, they're one of the top two teams in the Big Ten on a yearly basis,” Patterson said of Ohio State. “When you're playing the teams you have in our conference, you already have enough high-intensity games to get where you need to get to.”
The benefits of moving a game off campus aren’t completely lost. ESPN announced over the weekend College GameDay is headed to TCU.
Patterson said having GameDay on campus is a compliment to where TCU is “as a program and as a university.”
“You can't even write in the amount of (exposure) having them come to your campus,” he said.
“That's the great part about where we've grown as a program to get an opportunity to be in the same game, talked about on the same day as Ohio State and do the things we need to do.”
Hurricane Florence could impact WVU-N.C. State
West Virginia’s Week 3 matchup at North Carolina State is one of several games on the East Coast that could be affected by Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm that is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas later this week.
As of Monday, no changes have been made for the afternoon kick. West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen will leave any contingency plans up to administrators and is preparing as if the Mountaineers will play Saturday.
West Virginia has dealt with remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon, and Holgorsen said he hopes the weather sticks around early this week so his team can practice in poor conditions to prepare for the weekend.
“We have more weather games than anywhere I've ever been. We practice in it and play in it every year. I don't know how this is any different,” he said.
Kansas enjoys ‘fun’ plane ride home for first time in nearly a decade
The plane ride from Michigan to Kansas was quite enjoyable for the Jayhawks’ football program. Kansas snapped a 46-game road losing streak, the longest in the FBS, with its 31-7 win over Central Michigan.
After savoring the win for 24 hours, the excitement still beamed from Kansas Coach David Beaty during Monday’s teleconference.
“If I had a penny for every time I heard them talk about how happy they were for our fan base and our fans that that issue was behind us, I'd be a rich man today. They really do care about their fans,” Beaty said.
The losing skid started in September 2009 and included five losses both to Texas and Iowa State, four losses each to Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and three losses to Oklahoma, TCU and West Virginia.
“The big thing for us is to utilize that moving on as a cornerstone as we move forward in building the program,” Beaty said.
Iowa State optimistic about injury to QB Kempt
There was a doom-and-gloom moment over the weekend when the knee injury to Iowa State sixth-year senior quarterback Kyle Kempt appeared potentially to be long-term.
Instead, the MCL ailment Kempt suffered in a loss to rival Iowa is now considered day-to-day with Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell saying everybody breathed "deep sigh of relief."
“His availability for this weekend is still up in question a little bit, but I think a lot better than maybe what we thought the outcome was going to be Saturday," Campbell said.
Iowa State hosts Oklahoma on Saturday, the same team Kempt upset in 2017 as part of his first career start.
Campbell said Kempt has to feel confident in his knee before getting back on the field. Zeb Noland, who completed 4 of 10 passes for 43 yards against Iowa, would start if Kempt is sidelined.
“The reality is we certainly dodged a big bullet,” Campbell said.