There was a time not all that long ago when beef between TCU and Baylor would have been the functional equivalent of a lower mid card bout on a WWE pay per view, with the relative level of care being confined to close friends, family, ardent alums and maybe "Mean" Gene Okerlund.
Now, with Bedlam coming up this weekend in Stillwater (still a perpetual Big 12 main event caliber beef between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State) and with Texas and Texas A&M always hating each other with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns (even though their rivalry on the field is clinically dead), a TCU-and-Baylor tiff is still probably mid card material in the South, but at least now it's for, like, the Intercontinental title or something.
Why is this important today? Well, because TCU head coach Gary Patterson has about had it with Art Briles, had it with Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon and probably had it with the 2013 season altogether.
Patterson said as much in his post-game presser after the Horned Frogs' 41-38 loss to Baylor in Fort Worth on Saturday.
Of course, any viewing and subsequent Zapruder of what is about to be an angry rant by an emotionally frazzled college football coach must be prefaced with the bigger picture, which to some degree always seeps into whatever anger we are watching take place before our very eyes, and for Patterson and TCU the big picture on the field has been difficult since moving to the Big 12 in 2012. (Off the field, in the university's checkbook, it's probably been quite fruitful.)
After losing 13 games combined from 2005 to 2011 as a member of the Mountain West Conference, Patterson's teams have lost 14 games in the past two seasons. Perhaps contributing to a certain frustration level is that their 4-8 record this season is quite deceiving, with their final three losses coming by a total of eight points and with all eight losses coming by a combined total of 68 points (a relatively low total for a 4-8 team in a conference flush with offenses that typically pound 4-8 teams).
So on Saturday, after Dixon was called for a targeting penalty on TCU wide receiver Trevone Boykin, and was then spotted on the Baylor sideline reportedly laughing about it (well, about something), Patterson had seen enough. Obviously, there's a lot more bleeding into this rant than just a Dixon issue. It's a pretty compelling look at what one Big 12 head coach clearly thinks of the integrity (or lack thereof) of one of his peers.
Take a look....
Breaking it down Zapruder style...
0:01 -- "So what do ya got? Because my season's over. I got recruits, I'm actually gonna get a good night's sleep tonight..." It's very clear off the top Patterson is not in a good mood. And by saying he's going to "get a good night's sleep tonight," it of course means he won't be sleeping at all tonight. 4-8 seasons do not translate into quality REM snoozing.
0:21 -- Patterson is asked about his conversation with Briles after the game at midfield. Faster your seatbelt, it's about to get bumpy...
0:22 -- "Here's the bottom line to it..." Make a note, this is a story that will have several "bottom lines" before all is said and done. Continuing...
0:23 -- "...number 6 [Dixon] beats a guy up at the beginning of the season, he didn't get suspended. He takes a shot [at Boykin], I want him kicked out, head coach [Briles] comes across the field at me, I got a guy laughing on the sidelines, and I got a guy who gets a chance to come in for one play, that's not what I call class." So it's very clear that there will be more to this rant and more behind this rant than just a single hit on one of Patterson's kids. "Class" is a pervasive, far reaching adjective that applies to bigger things than just one play. Also, Patterson immediately pushes his chips to the middle of the table with a reference to an off the field incident Dixon was involved in back in September, a misdemeanor assault charge that resulted in no lost time for the senior safety. This is the equivalent of one parent telling another how to raise their kids. (Somewhere, Art Briles is seeing this press conference and having his secretary Google the story about the TCU football players who were running their own weed distribution ring a couple years ago.)
0:46 -- "So the bottom line to it is..." DING! "BOTTOM LINE" COUNT: 2.
0:48 -- "...we're not gonna do that. Gary Patterson lives in Fort Worth, if he's got a problem with me, here's where I live." A nice five star bomb from Gary Patterson there, sprinkling the "come say that to my face" with a reference to himself in the third person. Serious bonus points there. SERIOUS.
0:53 -- "I have respect for him, I have respect for his program. That's not what I'm gonna teach my guys, and [Dixon] has been doing that for four years. So the bottom line to it is...." DING! "BOTTOM LINE" COUNT: 3.
(Also, "Token 'I respect you' Mention" is now on the board, let's see if that one goes anywhere, because one thing will be abundantly clear by the end of this video -- Gary Patterson has very little respect for Art Briles.)
1:05 -- "...it wasn't funny." Targeting is never funny. Now the enforcement of targeting, haphazard and arbitrary as it is, is hysterical because we routinely see instant replay overturn ejections but, by rule, it cannot overturn the actual 15 yard penalty. Sooooo stupid....
1:22 -- "I didn't build this program backing down to anybody. And I'm not gonna do it to him." Be warned, you're about to get a lot of "little man not backing down, you wanna fight me, come fight me, blah blah..." kind of stuff here. If you're into that, Patterson will be porn for you.
1:30 -- "Not in recruiting, not anything." Ah, there we go. "Big picture anger" hint there.
1:35 -- "So you need to understand this, he's picking on the wrong guy." DING! "LITTLE MAN FIGHT COMPLEX" COUNT: 2.
1:42 -- "They didn't correct the problem a long time ago." Another reference to Dixon and Patterson's belief that he should have been suspended for his off the field incident. I guess we need to start another count here...so let's do it...
DING! "PARENTING SOMEONE ELSE'S KID" COUNT: 2.
1:50 -- "So like I said, he can say what he wants to, like I said, I got a lot of respect for his program and for him..." DING! "TOKEN RESPECT" COUNT: 2.
1:54 -- "But you're not gonna come across the field at me... DING! "LITTLE MAN FIGHT COMPLEX" COUNT: 3.
1:57 -- "...and it's not gonna be ok to let a guy stand on the sideline and laugh in front of a TV camera after he knocks a guy out and tries to take a take a shot and hurt him. We're not gonna do that." In defense of Patterson, that is a pretty punk ass thing to do. I need noted Baylor alum John McClain's thoughts on this. As a resident expert on "thugs, punks, and losers," he has to be awfully conflicted on Dixon's act.
2:22 -- "I'm not gonna rant and rave about all of this..." This was uttered after two minutes of Patterson's uninterrupted ranting and preceding three more minutes of Patterson's lively raving.
2:29 -- "But you're not gonna come across the field at me. DING! "LITTLE MAN FIGHT COMPLEX" COUNT: 4.
2:33 -- "Now, you can go correct your player, and say something to him because nobody said anything to him, and I watched!" DING! "PARENTING SOMEONE ELSE'S KID" COUNT: 3.
2:54 -- "If that's what 'CLASS' is then I don't want to be it! Just...period." But he respects you, Art. No really, he does! (Also, Patterson is big on emphasizing his thoughts with "period." When you verbalize punctuation, you're there to fight, bitches!)
3:30 -- "Do you understand this? I didn't come the high road, I came the low road. I don't care if I ever get on the freeway." DING! "OLD SCHOOL DUSTY RHODES PROMO" MATERIAL COUNT: 1.
At this point, I was really hoping that Gary Patterson would begin to talk with an urban lisp and start gesturing wildly with his hands before telling us that he grew up the son of a plumber and that he's "wined and dined with kings and queens, and slept in alleys and dined on pork and beans..."
3:39 -- "I don't teach my kids that." DING! "PARENTING SOMEONE ELSE'S KID" COUNT: 4.
3:48 -- "And if you guys are gonna have a 41-38 ball game and make it about that one play, then go ahead. That's too bad. You got two teams that fought their tails off, but as usual, you'll make it about one play." Ah yes, the media is always stirring the pot. Making a story out of something that you've just spent nearly four minutes railing on uninterrupted, Gary. It's the media who's making this a story. It's the media who asked you to preach on about how you would have disciplined Ahmad Dixon, and it's the media who was asking you whether you took the high road, the low road, or opted for the freeway, or something. I see you, Gary.
4:08 -- "Around this place, we're not taking a back seat to anybody. Period." DING! "LITTLE MAN FIGHT COMPLEX" COUNT: 5.
4:50 -- "I'm sad [my kids] didn't win tonight. The bottom line to it is..." DING! "BOTTOM LINE" COUNT: 4. (Damn, over three minutes between "bottom lines.")
4:55 -- ""I've been in this state for 16 years, 13 as a head coach. I've watched things go on and I've let them be OK. Well, in my last seven, eight or nine years here, I'm not going to allow things to be OK." DING! "LITTLE MAN FIGHT COMPLEX" COUNT: 6. DING! "PHIL LEOTARDO 'NO MORE OF THIS' MOMENT" COUNT: 1.
Patterson was likely referencing some of the battles between the two private schools on the recruiting trail, presumably including Bears defensive lineman Andrew Billings and running back Shock Linwood, who both were once commits to TCU.
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Let's hope it ends better for Art Briles than it did for Phil Leotardo...
FINAL PATTERSON PRESSER SCORECARD "LITTLE MAN FIGHT COMPLEX" COUNT: 6 "BOTTOM LINE" COUNT: 4 "PARENTING SOMEONE ELSE'S KID" COUNT: 4 "TOKEN RESPECT" COUNT: 2 "OLD SCHOOL DUSTY RHODES PROMO" MATERIAL COUNT: 1 "PHIL LEOTARDO 'NO MORE OF THIS' MOMENT" COUNT: 1
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