The University of Texas hosts Big 12-leading Texas Christian University on Saturday, and the game is drawing national headlines. ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast live from Austin, drawing the spotlight squarely on this important conference showdown.
TCU enters the game in the wake of a dominating performance over Texas Tech, while Texas defeated Kansas State to stay in the Big 12 Championship race.
This marks the second consecutive week TCU has been featured in the national game after Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff broadcast from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the TCU campus last week. According to ESPN, this will mark the eighth appearance for TCU on the national program dating back to the first appearance against BYU in October 2009.
Through that stretch, TCU has a 7-1 record with the only loss coming against Ohio State in 2018. ESPN broadcast from the Frogs’ road trip to the University of Kansas on October 8, one of two games this season that TCU has won against previously undefeated teams.
ESPN College GameDay brings lots of exposure for campuses and programs, with some research indicating links to increased admissions for schools featured on the three-hour program. The Week 6 matchup between Kansas and TCU drew 2.3 million viewers on average.
Not only will this upcoming game feature two of college football’s most dynamic and entertaining teams, but there will also be plenty of drama on the sidelines.
Last week, TCU head coach Sonny Dykes became the first TCU head coach to begin his career with a 9-0 record. On Saturday, Dykes and the Frogs will stare across the field at former head coach Gary Patterson, a man who is said to have been instrumental in developing the TCU football team during his 21-year career.
Patterson is the special assistant to the head coach at Texas, Steve Sarkisian.
“We’re lucky to have him on our team, I’ll say that,” Sarkisian said of Patterson to SI.com. “I think that TCU is in the place that it’s in because of the work that he did, and that should not go unnoticed. A lot of those kids on that roster he recruited, and it’s a very talented roster.”
Among the players that Patterson helped bring to Fort Worth, quarterback Max Duggan has been one of the most prominent this season. Duggan did not initially win the starting job, but took over in Week 1 and has not glanced back since. He will lead the team Saturday against Patterson for the first time.
For many TCU players, it will also be their final shot at their old coach. Of the 22 starters, 21 are upperclassmen.
ESPN College Gameday broadcasting will begin at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday and will broadcast up to kickoff when Dykes and Duggan will try to stay perfect against the winningest coach in TCU history.