Brian Estridge, the voice of the Horned Frogs, gives us excellent insight on the TCU program and the Liberty Bowl match-up with Georgia. Like Athens, TCU’s home of Fort Worth is one of the great places in the world. The home of the great Dan Jenkins features a litany of culinary delights like Joe T. Garcia’s, The Riatta and Riscky’s BBQ, Steaks and Ribs. “Cowtown” is “where the west begins,” and catching the twice-daily cattle drive is a must on anyone’s next trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth MetroPlex.
What are your thoughts on TCU’s season?
“It’s been a tale of two seasons essentially.
There have been some really good moments when the Frogs have looked great. Wins against Baylor and the 2nd half versus Texas.
A real battle with Oklahoma, the eventual Big 12 champion, and an overtime loss to Arkansas all had bright spots. But there were also some low points, allowing Texas Tech to come back at Amon Carter Stadium and steal a win on the road, the effort in the last game against Kansas State will probably have more fans talking than the wins the Frogs posted. With that being said, I would say that it was disappointing based strictly on the preseason expectations. Remember this was a team that some thought could be in the College Football Playoff and should battle for the league title.”
Has Gary Patterson’s incredible success spoiled the Horned Frog faithful a bit?
“Without question. There are plenty of programs where just making a bowl is good enough. Not the case here. This is a program that has won 11 games 8 of the last 13 years. That will spoil you.”
Talk about the incredible job he has done at the TCU helm.
“He has been terrific at judging talent, at maximizing talent and at creating a culture here at TCU that demands success. You look at his numbers and it’s hard to find comparable success outside of the Nick Sabans and Bob Stoops of the world.”
Did you ever envision TCU winning the Rose Bowl?
“Yes. We had been to the Fiesta Bowl the year prior and obviously being close to the program I thought we would be back in a BCS Bowl. The Rose was in the rotation with a team coming back that we knew was going to be really good with Andy Dalton at the helm, so yes, we knew there was a good chance. Then you give Coach Patterson and his staff a month to prepare, you had to feel like they had a chance.”
What does this Liberty Bowl mean?
“Well it’s kind of back to the future for the Frogs. 14 years ago the Frogs were here as members of Conference USA and walk away champions. Our folks had a blast with a 17-3 win over Colorado State for the programs 500th win. I think this year’s game though is more about the future. This is a young football team that needs the work, the additional practices and really needs to experience some success in this game to send them off to next year.”
What does TCU need to do to win?
“No question they need to run the football. When they do run it with authority they have been successful, when they don’t, it makes for long days for this team. They’ll have to stand up defensively to the Georgia run game and the physical side of the Bulldog offense as well. They’ll be a bit undersized so gang tackling will be important.”
What is your take on Georgia?
“I think that our folks recognize the talent that roster is loaded with. I think playing Ole Miss, LSU and Ark in recent years serves as a reminder to TCU of just how good the talent in that league is. Me personally, I love the fact that we are playing the Dawgs. I grew up in South Carolina as a Gamecock fan but I always loved the Georgia uniforms, especially when my man Marty Ballard, from my hometown, was blocking for that 1980 National Championship Team for UGA. I loved the debates that used to rage over who was the best back, George Rogers or Herschel Walker. The game in 1984 is still in my memory back as the Gamecocks were in the middle of their greatest year ever. I loved listening to Larry Munson- who knows you may get a ‘Hunker down Frogs’ from me.”
What is your prediction for the playoff?
“Whether the system is fair in its selection is up for debate. I do believe that the best four teams are in this year however. I guess everyone is playing for the right to lose to Bama in the finals, although I wouldn’t count out Chris Peterson at UW. We faced him several times while he was at Boise and he is a special coach and given that much time to prepare … who knows. As a former Gamecock, I have to pick Ohio State don’t I?”