Everyone around the program knows the story – TCU lost their last two games, three of their last four, five of their last 7 – but at Big 12 Media Days, Coach Gary Patterson said they “want to get in back in as quick as [they] can.”
Patterson, who’s entering his 17th season, has only had three losing seasons during his tenure - 2004, 2013 and last season.
In 2004, Patterson followed two double-digit win campaigns with a 5-6 season. That sounds similar to what has happened over the past two seasons, though this time he's in the Big 12, not the Mountain West.
How did the Horned Frogs followed a 4-8 campaign in 2013? By winning the Big 12 in 2014 and going 11-2 in 2015.
What happened in 2005? The Horned Frogs went 11-1; won the Mountain West Conference; and defeated Oklahoma in Norman to kick it all off.
This season the Frogs have another trip up OU this year, though later in the season, but Patterson surely hopes to recreate the same magic.
In 2004 and 2016, the Horned Frogs regularly allowed their opponents to score over 30 points - five of those games resulting in a loss in 2004, six of those games resulting in a loss last season. So the most glaring hole in the team may seem obvious.
“We weren’t happy with the defense,” said Patterson. So the team addressed needs at defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker through recruiting.
The biggest difference comes in self-improvement, with the Frogs returning over 20 players that started at least one game in 2016.
The Horned Frogs will have to overcome tough road games against Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Oklahoma to get back to prominence, but Patterson believes this team has the right mix of experience and moral to get the job done.
“The good news is we have everyone back,” said Patterson. Concluding his opening remarks by adding, “I think, just like I am, they’re ready to go.”