No. 3 Frogs to spend Christmas in paradise

December, 6, 2010
12/06/10
10:50
AM CT
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Gary Patterson's original plan was to hold practice on Christmas Eve, dispatch the team to their families for Christmas and then recovene the next day to head for Los Angeles, the head coach told a gathering of several thousand TCU Horned Frogs supporters Sunday night.

But, the coach said, the players spoke up. They said they have the rest of their lives to spend the holidays with their families. They wanted to keep working. "Let's go to California on the 22nd," Patterson said the players told him. And so, the coach struck a deal. They'd leave on the 24th.

It made for a great story and accurately characterized the all-business approach throughout this undefeated season by the third-ranked Frogs, but the travel schedule probably had to be that way anyway. TCU and the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers will meet the media for the first time and kick off Rose Bowl festivities at 2 p.m. Pacific time on the day after Christmas at Disneyland.

"I actually went there last summer," senior TCU quarterback Andy Dalton said. "That's going to be a lot of fun."

But, fun, the the third-ranked Frogs say is the last thing on their minds. They want a win to once and for all prove their might in a BCS that creates a caste system in college football. They've used last season's Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State as motivation all season, and that hasn't changed as they begin preparations for the school's first trip to the Rose Bowl.

Especially so for the red-headed quarterback, TCU's all-time winningest quarterback, who struggled through one of his worst performances in the 17-10 loss to Boise last January in the Frogs' BCS debut. Dalton hasn't forgotten about it because he's always reminded about it.

"Yes, there’s a lot of motivation in that and a lot of wanting to show people that I can play in a game like this," Dalton said. "There is definitely motivation there to come out and get a big win. Obviously, [last] season didn’t end how we wanted it to last year and didn’t end the way I wanted it to personally. I think this is going to be a great place to end it."

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