DALLAS — The first coach to the “podium” — really, it was a burgundy, cushioned chair on that stage — at Monday's Big 12 Media Days was TCU's Gary Patterson, essentially introducing his program to the masses as one of the conference's newbies.
Here are some impressions from the Horned Frogs, the first of two groups of “new guys” that made their Big 12 debut in Dallas.
Riding in style
The Horned Frogs arrived at the Westin Galleria around 9:15 a.m. Monday in a purple and white van. It was the TCU tennis van. Certainly a perk of being so close to the site of Media Days, but does the football program not have its own vehicle?
Purple and bling
Way more subtle than the transportation. The player representatives — quarterback Casey Pachall, offensive lineman Blaize Foltz and defensive linemen Stansly Maponga and Ross Forrest — were wearing purple TCU polos, black or blue dress pants and black dress shoes.
Patterson, however, was sporting some major bling on his right hand — likely his Rose Bowl ring.
Running the show
Patterson quickly settled in — and took charge — on stage, pointing to a reporter raising his hand immediately after finishing his first answer of the press conference to signal it was time for the next question.
The problem? The reporter didn't have a microphone, which is generally a no-no in formal press conferences. The moderator quickly stopped the madness.
Despite coming into a BCS conference from the Mountain West, the ultimate goal hasn't changed for Patterson.
“Our goal has always been to win a conference championship, no matter what,” he said. “If you look in our pyramid, no matter what our league is, and that's going to be our strive in this league to do also, and also someday play for a national championship.”
The word championship came up several times during his press conference. Patterson said that will help “make the Big 12 proud of inviting us.”
Pachall was probably the player from any team that was the easiest to spot. The Horned Frogs' signal-caller's got a Mohawk. And tattoos all up and down his arms.
Perhaps that has contributed to his reputation of being a bit of a renegade. But offensive lineman Blaize Foltz insists any rumors about Pachall's behavior are just that — rumors.
“Oh yeah, we all (hear them),” he said of the Pachall rumors. “People just want to see us fail, I'm guessing. Everybody's going to have haters.”
The craziest rumor Foltz has ever heard about his quarterback? That he had quit the team. That obviously was not the case.