ARLINGTON - TCU has spent the last few days after Christmas working out at their indoor facility in Fort Worth as they get ready for the Fiesta Bowl.
"It's kind of like going to that first seventh grade dance," said head coach Gary Patterson. "You can go and sit there all night or come ready to play and have some moves; so, we've got to get ready to go."
TCU has had some big trips before but this is among their biggest. It's their first appearance in a BCS bowl game. Even before Christmas, football has been at the top of their list for the players, packing for the trip was not.
"Just throw in some T-shirts and sweats and tennis shoes," said defensive end Jerry Hughes. "I’m nothing too crazy or anything like that."
"I stay away from those kinds of things," said Patterson as to whether he has recommendations what players should bring. "The only thing I told them is to make sure they put a name tag on it so we can find it."
When the team left campus, Doloris Oelfke was there to see them leave. Even though it was cold, she showed up complete with purple toe nails and flip flops to see her team leave for Phoenix.
"Every game when they leave for an out-of-town game, I come out to see them off," she said.
TCU will be part of a Fiesta Bowl game where both teams are unheated, but are not playing for a national championship. In the BCS system, that's never happened before. Still, the glare of the national spotlight has never been brighter.
"It's great; you can't ask for much more," said offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse. "We spent a lot of work put in by the coaches and players and players past; so it's not just a one year thing."
"The guys before us have kind of set the ground work for us," Hughes said. "We're just going to play for them, play for the school and play for our fans."
The Horned Frogs took with them the same new Nike uniforms that they wore to beat Utah. It was a big game then and it’s an even bigger game now.