Before last season you would have to go back a pretty good ways to find a year that there wasn’t a Texas school in the top 25, and coach Gary Patterson thinks that begins with recruiting and the Texas schools’ ability to keep talent in the state.
“Number one, we’ve got to keep players here,” Coach Patterson said during Big 12 Media Days. “I think the Internet and everything else has led to that because kids go anywhere now to look at a school. It’s not regional. And we’ve got to do a better job of keeping them in the state. If you want to have great teams, you have to have great players. No doubt about it, that’s what we have to be able to do.
“I think A&M going to the SEC hurt us a little bit because you have that common factor. But to be honest with you, it’s also now — I think the Big 12’s learning it’s helping us because we’re now leaving the state to be able to get kids to come into the state. But we should be embarrassed we don’t have a team in the top 25. There’s a lot of good football players, even that come to our schools, that can play and play at a high level, and we need to play better. It’s simple as that.”
The reality is it was a perfect storm that kept the Lone Star State out of the top 25. Texas schools happened to have a down year across the board, which, the fact that it’s a talking point, actually speaks to the strength of the state. However, Patterson is not making any excuses.
“You should know me by now. We’re not going to make any excuses about how we do our business. We played at a high level for many years. A lot of the schools in this state have, and we need to get back to that.
“But I’ve always found it’s cyclical doing it. You’re going to have senior-oriented groups. You’re going to have young-oriented groups. And when you’re older, you’re going to be better. So for us, we have to get back to keeping the players here and the players we have here playing at a high level, and we need to win ball games. There’s no secret to how you do that.”