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Patterson Loses His Cool, Reputation From Postgame Comments

TCU head coach Gary Patterson was not happy after the 40-33 loss to cross-town rival SMU Saturday. It's something the reigning coach of the year hasn't really experienced since the 2007 season, where his freshman-heavy team led by some kid named Andy Dalton lost five times. That can't sit well with the man.

To make things worse, there were two questionable pass interference calls early in the game that extended SMU drives and directly led to an early 17-0 deficit. 

One can only imagine Patterson's initial reaction to the comments made by SMU wide receiver Darius Johnson. "I don't really like these TCU people," he said. 

Heck, even SMU head coach June Jones got in on the fun, albeit in a more subtle way. When asked about how they were able to beat TCU by the Dallas Morning News, he had this to say: 

"They don't change, they stay and make people adjust to them," Jones said. "They might do one thing new a game for you, but they're going to do what they do and they're going to beat you. That's their attitude.

Oh boy. Now Patterson, already on edge, most likely lost it at this point after reading what Jones said. He didn't find about the comments until later in the weekend (or else he would have said something in the post-game press conference), but he made sure he let everyone in the media know what he thought about them during his weekly media conference.

Patterson not only unloaded on the officials, he went after the institution of SMU and its fans along with June Jones (who Patterson mentioned is 1-6 now in his career against him). Perhaps the most shocking thing he said during his rant press conference was regarding his future relationship with the school:

"They're getting no help from Gary Patterson. They shouldn't ask me about going into a conference, they shouldn't ask me about how they played, they shouldn't ask me about their players, they shouldn't ask me about anything because they're not getting any help, period, anymore.

Wow. I would link you to the video of the press conference, which is posted on TCU's athletic page, but for some shocking reason, they omitted the parts where he "criticized" the Mustangs. Crazy, I know.

I've interviewed Gary Patterson a few times, and the guy has always been respectable and courteous towards others. When I've spoken to some of his players about him, they talk about a guy who is extremely passionate about his job and is someone who truly cares about his players as actual people, a rarity in collegiate football.

That's what still makes it so shocking to see this kind of anger shown towards anyone, let alone someone like June Jones, who also has a reputation of being a truly decent person as well as a heck of a football coach.

Patterson is a guy who does wear his emotions on his sleeves at times, but I think he even realizes that he went too far in his press conference Tuesday. It's perfectly normal to have some animosity towards your rivals, but comments like that come off to the public as the feelings of a sore loser. While the TCU fanbase was fired up by his comments, people without any rooting interest saw a guy who was mad his defense couldn't contain a former backup quarterback from New Mexico State. 

Patterson has built up TCU to become one of the premier college programs in the country, and has done it the right way, with fewer resources. One down season isn't going to tarnish his legacy. But outbursts like the one he had this week can take months, sometimes years to come back from.

Heck, people still remember Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy's "I'm a man, I'm 40" rant, and that was four years ago. His image in the public eye has rightfully took a hit. I'm sure Patterson will come out sometime before the season is over and make amends with Jones and the program. But the damage has been done. Hopefully for Patterson, this incident will be a small blip in an otherwise brilliant coaching career.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.