Some of our conference mates’ fans were upset by this statement:
As the most relevant non-Power 5 school in the nation; the University of Houston may be a Group of 5 school - but it has Power 5 expectations.
Specifically the part about being the most relevant…
… from this article:
Here is his (the SMU fan) reply:
I will be happy to explain.
Houston is the most relevant G5 school in the nation because it is Houston that has shown, both currently and for multiple generations, that they belong among the big boys of college athletics, in all sports, and yet have found themselves in the no-mans-land of G5 status. They aren’t upstarts or never was’s, they have been there and done that and continue to do it even while I’m typing this. Houston is the reminder to every P5 school that just because you have a history with a major conference you aren’t guaranteed anything in the future.
I’m not going to take anything away from any other G5 school, and certainly not USF, or UCF, or, for that matter, BYU or Boise State, but Houston has competed for national championships regularly in football, baseball, basketball, track, and others before many on this board were born. USF, UCF, and Boise have competed for 20 years. BYU has done it for almost 40 now. Houston was competing and beating Auburn in bowls in the '50’s. They have NBA, NFL, and MLB hall-of-famers, and Heisman trophy winners as alumni, Final fours, and every possible conceivable honors college and professional athletics have to offer, along with the Olympian of the 20th century in Carl Lewis as an alum standing, looking over their shoulders, back at the P5 saying “What have you accomplished?” AND they have the best player in college football this year, per multiple sources. MOST P5 PROGRAMS can’t equal that combination, and - I’m sorry - with all due respect USF can’t yet, either.
Why is this important? Because it hits at the heart of the ‘they can’t compete-they don’t belong-they’re upstarts who have to prove themselves’ argument. You can’t say that Houston is a flash-in-the-pan, something that USF and UCF still have to shake, fairly or not. You can’t say that they are upstarts and have to prove something to 90% of the P5. You can’t say that they don’t have facilities, or money, or tradition, or relevance - not when they called the Astrodome home, or won the Cotton Bowl over a Tom Osborne coached Nebraska team almost 40 years ago (amongst others), or haven’t contributed to the very nature of college football with Bill Yeoman’s innovations - you can look those up. You can’t say it’s just because they got lucky with a coach - not when the Big XII has become reliant on them to provide them with winners.
Christ, even Barry Switzer has advocated to keep Houston out of the Big XII because they would hog all the Houston recruits. IF THEY ARE SCARED OF YOU, THEN YOU ARE RELEVANT.
Houston had to fight for a team, fight their way into the SWC, fight their way into bowls (something tells me the Bluebonnet Bowl was created for them to have a chance, like the Fiesta was for Arizona State), and now they have to fight for respect despite consistently beating teams from every major conference since WW II. You can’t make the argument that Houston has to prove themselves and if any one school has the right to ***** and complain about realignment it’s probably - probably - Houston.
If there is one question I’d like to ask the P5 it would be “What did Houston do to get kicked to the curb?” I understand why the majority of the programs found themselves on the outside looking in. I understand even why my own alma does - we, arguably, blew our chances by getting caught cheating.
But Houston didn’t get caught (notice I say ‘caught’) and managed to perform for decades, and since they have both a current successful program and the history to back it up, they are the most relevant. So who did the Cougars piss off? What - low attendance? My god, if that gets you kicked to the curb there’s a few more programs I’d like to see get cut.
If USF, or UCF, or UConn, or Boise State can continue to compete for 70 years in ALL sports then they will have the right to call themselves the most relevant.
E-mail me when that happens.