DCTF: 2016 College Football Postmortem: Houston Cougars

The Coogs were the best FBS team in Texas for the second year running, but they missed a few opportunities and now face a bit of a rebuilding effort under their new head coach. We reviewed the best campaign the state had to offer and where it goes from here.

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He says 8 wins is a rebuilding year.

Let that sink in for a second.

I agree we lose too much on defense to be a dominant team this year. I like the pass rushers Applewhite brought in, but CB is still a concern.

Above average offenses and average defenses are 8 or 9 win teams. I am just fine with that for 2017.

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Two things:

  1. In regard to last year’s review…
    a) I think everyone and their mother realized very quickly that our run game was in trouble when that O-Line was put under pressure. I think the Cincy game is where everyone started saying, "Oh Crap, we have a problem here!"
    b) Additionally, everybody was concerned about the secondary coming into the year and only had their fears confirmed as we went throughout the season. The secondary was barely average at best.
    c) I will add the loss of Tyus Bowser to DCTF into the bad column. His absence due to some playground type bull**** massively hurt this team against Navy and SMU.

  2. In regard to next season…
    a) The Oline should be much better, and so, the running game and pass protection should be better. I expect to see the offense make a huge leap forward.
    b) The LBs I’m not too worried about, but as mentioned above Bowser was a freak of nature. We need a LB with size and speed to seal the strong-side, especially against Navy.
    c) Coming into this year, I am still worried as hell about the secondary, especially CB. The Wilson’s departed, and if Jeremy Winchester doesn’t make a absolutely gigantic leap forward, we are in trouble. Average will be the best we can do, and against the likes of Tech, that is a problem.

Predicting an 8 win season… I would put the Coogs over/under at 8.5 wins next year. I think 8-4 would be slightly disappointing with the talent we have on the team unless that was followed by an AAC Championship Game appearance. If we make 9 wins with or without a championship, I think that is good for CMA’s first year with the gaps we have.

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Best team in Texas 2 years in a row, yet UT will be on the cover

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We replaced our FCS gimme with Arizona on the road. We definitely have some good competition this year.

Tulane and UTSA appear to be the ‘expected’ wins. The rest are up in the air as far as I am concerned.

Expect offense to be much better as the offensive line matures. Wish we had Greg back one more year but we have several guys at QB who can step up and get the job done next year.

Linebackers and Cornerbacks are major concerns. Cornerbacks we are going to need some of the freshmen from last year to step up and surprise and Winchester to step up.

Linebacker. I think there is a good chance we could see two or three of the freshmen recruited this year playing. I hope I am wrong and the other linebackers can step up and improve but did not see it last year when Bowser, Taylor or Adams were out.

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Arizona will be much improved and Rich Rod has really elevated the recruiting there. He got that team to the PAC 12 championship game only a couple of years ago. Last year was a rebuild for sure. They will be tough, especially on the road.

UTSA I believe is a win, but do not freak out if they are a lot tougher than expected. Their new coach is recruiting on par with us in the American. He is in year two after making a bowl for the first time in program history. This is a quickly improving program. They have a good coach.

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Rice and East Carolina should be expected wins; both were bad last year and haven’t done much to improve.

I will never count UTSA as an automatic win. Damn that game!

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I’m OK with that; they’re starting to get an “SI cover jinx” feel with their selections:

2016 - Kingsbury and Mahomes (Tech goes 5-7)
2015 - UT & A&M (UT goes 5-7 / A&M goes 8-5)
2014 - Briles (Baylor goes 11-2, snubbed from playoff, loses bowl, fired for scandal 2 years later)
2013 - Manziel (A&M goes 9-4, Manziel drafted and flames out 2 years later)
2012 - Gary Patterson (TCU goes 7-6 and 4-8 in 1st 2 years of Big12)
2011 - Cyrus Gray and Johnathon Gray (C.Gray has an ok season as A&M goes 7-6 and Coach Sherman is fired; bit player in NFL for 3 seasons. J.Gray goes on to be a backup RB at UT and goes 28-23 from '12-'15)
2010 - Case Keenum, Andy Dalton, Jerrod Johnson (Case gets hurt in the 2nd game and COOGS go 5-7, Johnson is awful and is benched halfway through the season as A&M goes 9-4, Dalton is the outlier as TCU goes 13-0 and wins the Rose Bowl while Dalton has had a successful NFL career)
2009 - Colt McCoy (Did lead UT to the Championship game only to get hurt early in the loss to Alabama)
2008 - Mike Leach (Tech went 11-2, but Leach was fired the next year due to the Craig James flap)

A thought about the 2017 DCTF Cover.

CTH will be on the cover with the quote "Coached the best team in Texas for the past 2 seasons. Can he continue the success at UT against better BIG12 Competition?"
Smaller photo of CMA with a quote “Former UT star gets first HC job. Can he continue the success that CTH started.”

Note: UH will not be named on the cover. Just UT.
Will not happen. We will see. Of course I do not purchase nor look at this magazine, but I am sure it will have a thread on this site when it comes out.

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