Seniors drive for bowl eligibility

It might be a final farewell for the senior football players, but head coach Gary Patterson said he is focused on what he calls a “two-game season.”At Tuesday’s media luncheon, Patterson said today’s final regular season home game against the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels marks a must-win situation for his team. Though teams only need six wins to become eligible for a bowl invitation, Patterson said he believes the team, which sits with a 5-5 record, needs to win its remaining games against UNLV and San Diego State University to earn a bowl bid.

“We have to win two to get to a bowl game,” Patterson said, “and it starts with UNLV this weekend.”

The Mountain West Conference is regularly affiliated with four bowls – the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

Last season, the Frogs were chosen to go to San Diego for the Poinsettia Bowl and proceeded to beat Northern Illinois 37-7.

Heading into this weekend’s slew of conference matchups, the Frogs are tied with Wyoming for the fifth best record in the conference at 5-5 overall 2-4 in Mountain West competition. Even with TCU’s current standing in the conference, the team could be shopped around to a bowl outside of the four bowls associated with the Mountain West, as evident in 2005 when the team accepted a bid to the now-defunct EV1.net Houston Bowl.

Patterson said most bowls are only willing to take a 7-5 team, even though six wins is all that is needed for eligibility.

Junior center Blake Schlueter said the No. 1 priority for the team is to make a bowl game. He said the team’s belief is seven wins or bust.

“Our goal, which was one of our goals from the beginning of the season, is to make a bowl game,” Schlueter said. “We feel that we need to win the next two, to have the record to get invited to a bowl, and if you make a bowl, I think that’s a success off the bat.”

With Saturday’s game also serving as Senior Night, Patterson said making it to a bowl game this season and bringing home the championship rings for his seniors is important.

“I’d really like to see them go out, because I think there are a lot of them that it’d be very important to go out and win the last two ball games,” Patterson said.

Senior strong safety David Roach said he is amazed to think about Saturday’s game as his last regular-season home game.

“Coming as a freshman you never imagine your last game at Amon Carter Stadium, so it’s going to be a shocking experience,” Roach said.