Patterson, and many of his peers, present interesting cases for a psychiatrist.
You have Bronco Mendenhall firing D-coordinator Jaimie Hill in October so he could better reach the soul of his team, yet football is the No. 5 priority for his program. You've got Kyle Whittingham kicking an onsides kick in a blowout against Wyoming several seasons ago to hold then-Cowboy coach Joe Glenn "accountable" for telling a student rally in Laramie his team would win.
You have Utah State's coach Gary Anderson working so hard and long before a game last month that he collapses and hurts his neck and head.
Patterson is equally engaged in a profession that regular folks simply can't relate to. It's not as if it's curing cancer, but in the realm they live in, it sort of is.
Leading 24-3 in a 31-3 win over BYU in Fort Worth Oct. 16, the Frogs faced a 4th-and-3 at BYU's 21 with just over four minutes to play. Rather than kick a field goal, Patterson opted to throw a 21-yard TD pass. Up 48-6 at UNLV with two minutes left last week, the Frogs took a knee three consecutive plays to run out the clock deep in UNLV territory. Said Patterson, "We didn't need to score any more points. I'm always going to do it (that way). We go about our business with class and always have and always will."
Patterson has generally done exactly that. He's pulled punches once games were in hand and did so against BYU in 2008 and 2009, a pattern he's done time and time again in the MWC.
On Saturday, two outstanding coaches will face one another in Patterson and Whittingham. They join Boise State's Chris Peterson as the unwashed who threaten to shake the elite blue bloods of college football and the BCS money horse they ride.
But I like coaches who live only for the moment — not rankings, not the national championship picture, fame or fortune. Patterson and Whittingham are these men. They are die-hard. If they lived in the days of Davy Crockett, they'd be coming home with musket on one shoulder, trap skins on the other.
It's a simple life, you shoot, you skin.
When asked about the BCS standings the week before they came out, Patterson put it this way: "Sometimes I think the whole ranking thing is like 'Days of our Lives.' These two people are going to have an affair with these so we can get everyone over here mad. Then we're going to flip-flop it so that everybody that watched the show isn't happy. It's become a drama deal. I'm going to let everybody else do it."
Thing is, with Patterson, I bet he's never seen a daytime soap.
It doesn't have enough pancake takedowns, red zone stands or crossing patterns.
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