Monday huddle: What’s next for TCU, Gary Patterson after surprising split?

TCU head coach Gary Patterson reacts as his team plays West Virginia during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins) (Ron Jenkins, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press All Rights Reserved)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.

Patterson now out at TCU after a legendary run.

On a day in which much of the nation’s focus was on the NFL, this news in college football certainly still resonated on a national level: On Sunday night, news broke that Texas Christian and longtime head coach Gary Patterson had agreed to mutually part ways, effective immediately.

Patterson was the second-longest current tenured coach behind Kirk Ferentz of Iowa, going 181-79 in 22 years and elevating TCU to national prominence.

Under Patterson, TCU won at least 10 games in a season eight times and only failed to reach a bowl in two seasons.

But the Horned Frogs have fallen on hard times recently, going only 14-16 since 2019 and 3-5 so far this year.

With the decision made, questions have arisen on both sides.

What candidates will TCU go after to replace Patterson? What sort of budget is allotted to pay for a new coach?

With Patterson only 61 years old, will he pursue another coaching job somewhere?

It will be interesting to see what the answers are to those questions, and others, as TCU goes through the process to replace Patterson.

With Texas Tech also looking for a new coach, that’s two Power 5 programs in the state that are hunting for new leaders.

What a Rush for the Cowboys!

There’s still a half-season to go, but Sunday might have yet offered the best evidence that this could be a special season for the Dallas Cowboys.

The outlook certainly looked bleak before Sunday night’s game started at Minnesota when it was announced that starter Dak Prescott would miss the matchup with a strained calf, meaning Dallas would be led by a man making his first career start in the NFL, backup Cooper Rush.

But playing against a solid defense on the road, Rush was outstanding, completing 24 of 40 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Cowboys on the game-winning touchdown drive in the final minute, where he hit Amari Cooper for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 51 seconds left for what turned out to be the decisive points.

If Dallas can win on the road against a decent team with a backup quarterback, the sky might be the limit.

A thrilling finish to the SMU-Houston game.

The play of the weekend in college football arguably came courtesy of Houston’s Marcus Jones at the end of the Cougars’ game against in-state foe and No. 19 SMU.

After SMU drove the field and tied the game with 30 seconds on a 45-yard field goal, Jones did more than give Houston great field position on the ensuing kickoff.

Jones returned it 100 yards for a touchdown for what turned out to be the game-winning score in a 44-37 Houston win.

The Cougars remained atop the American Athletic Conference standings with a perfect 5-0 mark and improved their overall record to 7-1.

It’s looking more and more like Houston is headed toward a showdown with unbeaten Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.