Football: Bowl eligibility on horizon pending win

With its fifth win Saturday, TCU moved within one victory from being a bowl-eligible team – something head coach Gary Patterson said is now the team’s main focus.For a team to be invited to a bowl game, it needs a minimum of six wins. With three games left on the schedule, TCU may still have a chance of reaching a bowl.

“This time of the year, there’s not much you can talk about,” Patterson said. “You’ve got three ball games left, and you’ve got to win one more to at least get bowl eligible.”

A bowl invitation would mean TCU’s ninth bowl game in the past 10 years, a tradition the team hopes to continue.

Senior safety Brian Bonner said for any team to reach bowl eligibility, tough play is required every week.

Bonner was a member of the last TCU team to not reach a bowl game in 2004, a season in which the Horned Frogs finished 5-6.

“You don’t ever want to sit at the house while everybody else goes out to party,” he said.

Saturday’s win against the New Mexico Lobos was the Horned Frogs’ first game following a 16-day break.

Senior wide receiver Marcus Brock said the break gave the team a chance to sit back and take a look at other teams nationwide.

TCU plays Brigham Young University on Thursday, which will mark the team’s third Thursday game of the season.

Recently coming out of the break and with the team’s sound victory over New Mexico, having the BYU game on Thursday should benefit the team, Brock said.

BYU, the defending conference champion, is the only team in the Mountain West Conference that is undefeated in conference play.

TCU will travel to Provo, Utah and will play in front of what Patterson said is one of the largest, loudest crowds in the Mountain West.

“It’s a bigger crowd than what most people play within the conference, and they’re excited about their Cougars,” Patterson said. “They average like 16,000 or 17,000 students a game, and that alone already brings a lot more intensity to the stadium.