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TCU's Gary Patterson Says Tennessee "Didn't Think I Could Handle The Big Time"

Think they wouldn't like a do-over?

Gary Patterson has been TCU's head coach since 2001, and he's compiled an overall record of 157-55 to this point. People often speculate Patterson might leave for a bigger program at some point, but he's built a powerhouse of his own in Fort Worth.

Apparently, Tennessee sat down with Patterson after the 2008 season, when the dismissed longtime coach Phil Fulmer. The Vols would ultimately hire Lane Kiffin.

As if that isn't enough to make Vols fans wince, Patterson told ESPN's Chris Low that Tennessee "didn't think I could handle the big time" and had already made up their minds on hiring Kiffin when they had dinner with Patterson and his wife.

"Tennessee didn't think I could handle the big stage," Patterson said. "My wife and I went to dinner with them, and I could tell they had already decided on Kiffin. It was the same with Nebraska. I interviewed and could tell they had already decided on Pelini. I think a lot of these ADs now are more interesting in hiring guys who're going to win the podium than they are in hiring football coaches, and there's a lot more to it than that if you're going to win championships."

Patterson smiled when asked whether he would have taken either the Tennessee or Nebraska job had he been offered.

"It's sort of like the old Garth Brooks song. Sometimes the best prayers are unanswered prayers," Patterson said.

If Tennessee could get a mulligan, have to think they handle things differently. Nebraska too for that matter.

Patterson and the No. 6 Horned Frogs take on No. 5 Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 8 p,m, ET on FOX.

[ ESPN ]