Technically, TCU head coach Gary Patterson wasn't looking past West Virginia. He only asked Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen if he thought the Horned Frogs could beat Big 12 rival Baylor after their 40-10 victory was in the books. Holgorsen, it turns out, likes TCU's odds.
The audio isn't great, but it appears that Patterson asks Holgorsen "What's our chance against Baylor? What do you think?" seconds after the two trade post-game handshakes. Holgorsen seems to respond "You'll win. You're the more complete team" before congratulating the TCU coach, patting him on the shoulder and moving back to his locker room.
Media members picked up on the exchange and asked Patterson about it in the post-game press conference.
The Horned Frogs coach told reporters that he has "asked that question against every person we've played this year, except the first couple," though he didn't mention whether or not those coaches were as optimistic in TCU's chances as Holgorsen. Patterson also noted that this kind of coach-to-coach scouting was normal among the college ranks, then dismissed a question over whether or not he thought that Baylor staffers would be upset with his question. However, he left no ambiguity when asked whether he and Bears head coach Art Briles share a similar relationship when it comes to discussing other teams.
Reporter: Do you and Art Briles talk like that?
Patterson (flatly): No.
There's nothing wrong with scouting a future opponent, but the timing is a bit curious. Patterson had to know that he was surrounded by cameras and microphones, so the odds that this was just a folksy slip-up are low. Even if it isn't a little bit of gamesmanship leading up to a shootout showdown in Texas, it certainly doesn't fit the school's narrative that TCU and Baylor don't have a rivalry.