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TCU turns down Rose Bowl rematch despite need for opponents

TCU is scrambling for 2011 opponents after Texas Tech dropped its scheduled non-conference affair with the Horned Frogs last month.

So why did Gary Patterson turn down a rematch with Wisconsin?

In a radio interview with The Big 1070 Wednesday, UW head coach Bret Bielema said he was approached by a third party about playing TCU in the season opener next season. He was all for it, but the Frogs declined.

"I was contacted probably a week, maybe a week and half after the bowl game about the opportunity to play TCU in our opener," Bielema told The Mike Heller Show. "It was something that was going to be broadcast and made a big deal and it took me all of about 0.5 seconds to say yes ... Unfortunately TCU wasn't as excited about the matchup."

No one should be surprised by the Frogs' unwillingness to play Wisconsin again. They already beat the "big boys". A loss would only tarnish what TCU accomplished in the Rose Bowl, but if there was ever a year where Patterson would accept the rematch, this would be it.

The Horned Frogs currently need to fill three games on its 2011 schedule. The Mountain West Conference will only play seven conference games next season, meaning each team will play five non-conference games. The loss of Texas Tech opened up a game on the Frogs' schedule and on top of that, the MWC moved TCU's scheduled game with Boise State from Fort Worth to Boise.

It's also possible TCU declined the game because logistically it didn't work. Even though the Frogs only have two non-conference games scheduled, one of those is the opening week at Baylor. The "third party" -- possibly a television network -- likely only wanted the matchup as a season opener and moving the Baylor game would have only created more headaches for Patterson.

But give Bielema some credit for craving the rematch. He and Barry Alvarez haven't exactly scheduled the toughest non-conference opponents since Bielema took over in 2006 and this game would have been one of the most hyped games in the country.

"I really felt that (the Rose Bowl) was a game that if we play the way we should have and could of... but I hate to say those words," Bielema said. "That's why I thought it would be a nice measuring stick for them and for us to see where we are at. It's not totally out of the realm of possibility. But I was very excited because I thought that might happen. And I think we got some national exposure now that I would really like to capitalize on as we move forward."

Bielema went on to talk about how close TCU was to winning a national championship because they won the Rose Bowl. He said he relayed that message to his team.

Bielema sounded like a guy who got a taste of success in 2010 and wants more. He wants to take his program to the next level and that's a great sign for Wisconsin.