FORT WORTH, Texas -- Trump, Hillary, Jeb and Bernie can wait.
Meet Gary, Urban, Art, Dabo and Les.
College football is officially in campaign season. TCU won't learn how many million people watched it play on Thursday night until later this weekend, but the only sets that mattered were the 13 whose owners will convene in Grapevine, Texas, on Monday and Tuesday.
On Saturdays, those TVs, tablets and phone mean divided attention, but in Thursday's national spotlight, TCU made a strong final statement before the College Football Playoff selection committee begins to deliberate its resume for the first time as a collective. Tuesday night, the committee will reveal its first top 25 of the season, and TCU made a strong opening argument before the shouting really picks up volume in November.
Quarterback Trevone Boykin shook, shimmied, dived, dodged and flipped to elude West Virginia's defense during the 40-10 win that moved the Frogs to 8-0 entering the season's decisive month.
Sometimes, he did it all on the same play. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen even stopped pulling out his hair over dropped balls and drive-extending penalties to give Boykin a high five after he made five Mountaineers whiff and scooted out of bounds to convert a third-quarter third down.
"I didn't know what the hell else to do," Holgorsen said. "I could've started yelling at my guys, I guess."
Two weeks ago, Holgorsen crowned Baylor receiver Corey Coleman as college football's best player. After Boykin threw for 388 yards, ran for 84 more and accounted for four touchdowns and no turnovers, Holgorsen amended his vote in favor of Boykin.
Call it #Re2pect, I suppose.
"You've got to sit back and just realize this dude is doing some crazy stuff. Some real crazy stuff," said receiver Josh Doctson, whose 11 catches for 183 yards and two scores tied him with all-time leader Michael Crabtree with six consecutive games over 100 receiving yards with multiple touchdowns.
As if his numbers and Houdini act weren't crazy enough, Boykin helped TCU build an early lead with a front flip over a defender into the end zone.
"I watched some Jackie Chan in Rush Hour," Boykin said.
Patterson, meanwhile, is going to have to get on blood pressure medication if Boykin keeps venturing into opposing secondaries, narrowly avoiding blindside hits.
"I knew what was coming," Patterson said. "I didn't watch. I was hoping he'd get down. Obviously he didn't. It's like your girlfriend going on a blind date with somebody else. You never know what's going to happen."
The Frogs offense has become one of college football's must-watch spectacles, and, defensively, TCU held West Virginia's offense to just 327 yards of offense, its lowest output since a 37-0 loss to Maryland in a downpour on Sept. 21, 2013.
Asked about the committee's first vote since leaving his Frogs at the altar, Patterson shook his head and offered the same response he did when a 55-3 win over Iowa State wasn't enough to keep TCU from falling from No. 3 to No. 6 in the final vote last December.
"I'm not going to try to talk to the committee," he said.
And then he talked to the committee.
"All I've been hearing is we can't play defense," Patterson said. "I keep hearing to be one of those teams you've got to be four of the most complete teams. Why is that? Why is it you can't just outscore people to go and win? Why is it you've got to be the most complete team? I've just got to hold them to one less."
Patterson has reminded his team throughout the season that one loss meant a playoff snub a year ago, and so far, it hasn't meant increased pressure. Between the defense's home performances, strangling Texas and West Virginia in blowouts and Boykin's game of elusion in the pocket, the Frogs don't have the feel of a team feeling the pressure with four decisive games ahead.
"I feel like we made a pretty good statement," Boykin said. "Our defense played as well as they have all season. We're starting to get into the meat of our schedule and performances like that are really going to matter. We've just got to stay consistent."
At home, that's meant dominating. On the road in places like Stillwater, where TCU goes next week, it's meant surviving and, like Patterson said, outscoring teams. TCU has given up 33.8 points to opponents on the road, including 52- and 45-point outbursts by Texas Tech and Kansas State, respectively.
The reason TCU can't just keep outscoring opponents is that teams that try it often fail. So far, TCU hasn't, and at No. 5 in the AP poll, it will have to keep doing it to crack the playoff field.
"A bunch of people told me we weren't any good because in the leagues we won, we didn't play anybody," Patterson said. "Now we're playing in the Big 12 and they're telling me I have to have a better resume. I don't get it. For me, 2, 3, 4, 5, that's still better than 123 other ones. ... If they put me down to five and I could stay at five the rest of my life here at TCU, I think I'll be happy. But that's going to be pretty hard to do. There's a lot of good football teams out there."