Next year's schedule and returning starters

I almost always judge how good a team will be in the next year based upon how many starters they have returning on the offensive and defensive line relative to how they performed the previous year, i.e. if they took a step forward, how good will they be. A freshmen QB or RB could look fantastic behind an experienced Oline. A secondary could look good when a DLine can get a push or pressure.

So, I thought I would run down the list of linemen and experience for our 2017 schedule.

…but first, what is Houston returning.

Houston - 9-4 with a bowl loss
OLine - We return our entire Oline, and I think they will be much improved.

DLine - 3-4 defense with four returners in the six man rotation. Ed Oliver, Nick Thurman, Jerard Carter and Zach Vaughn.

We should be much improved on the offensive line and still elite on the D.

UTSA - 6-7 with loss in Bowl
OLine - Returning 3/5 starters - a C and 2OGs. Those three will be Seniors. They are small and average 295 across the front. This from a bowl eligible team.

DLine - 3-4 Defense returns 2 guys, both of them young, a future Jr. and So. Again, smaller players.

Arizona - 3-9
OLine - Return 4/5 starters, 3 of them will be Seniors.

DLine - 3-4 defense. From their six man rotation, four returning, two of those four are starters. All four are Seniors. This is going to be a tough win, possible, but tough.

This is gong to be a much improved unit, and probably a bowl eligible team. They play an FCS opponent before us.

Rice - 3-9
OLine - Returning all 5 on the OLine, 2 will be S and 3 will be Jr.

DLine - Returning all four Dline in a 4-2-5. Will be 1 S, 2 Jr. and a So.

This Rice team over the next two years will improve and probably save Bailiff’s position. I would suggest they will be bowl eligible. They have a bye before playing us.

Texas Tech - 5-7
OLine - Three of five return, 2 Jrs and a So. One of the departing S was a C and the other the LT.

DLine - Three of four returning starters, 2 S and 1 Jr. Gibbs recruits should start coming into the rotation.

They play AzSt in Lubbock before us.

We are on the road at UTSA, but we should still take care of things. With their losses, I don’t see them improving much from being barely bowl eligible, and they are really undersized linemen.

We are on the road at Arizona. They will want this game to ensure bowl eligibility - they only play 3 OOC games in the PAC. This will be important to them, and I think they will be significantly improved. This will be a close one.

Rice at home. Although they return everyone, they are Rice. I just don’t see them beating us. This team will be lucky to be bowl eligible, and that should be their goal.

Texas Tech at home. They can score so many points so fast. This is going to be difficult. Will the D finally turn the corner with Gibbs to become even a little bit respectable? Is our offense going to be able to keep scoring to keep up with TT 's O? This is the one game I have no flipping idea what is going to happen. We need to wear their D down with our offense and keep them out on the field. Teams beat the Air Raid when you limit the amount of snaps that offense gets.


TT did lose their starting QB to the draft. I’m not as worried after hearing that news.

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You’re worried…?

Sorry. Mixed my words up

Dude, it is the Air Raid… Plug and chug. Kliff has not had an Offense out of the top 25 ever.

Solid analysis…thanks.

The Arizona game will be tough with it being on the road, but it is very winnable. The Rice game is scary with them having a bye and it being a rivalry game; could also be a trap game if we beat Arizona. CMA will need to keep the team focused. The Tech game will see us probably facing a redshirt freshman in a sold out stadium; our team usually rises to the occasion for those games. Hopefully, we figure out our secondary for that game or we’re going to need a ton of points on offense.

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I’m concerned about the secondary. The safeties should be very good, but we could have a real problem at corner. Winchester should be better, but even if he is, I don’t know who will be on the other side. Wish we could find another DJ Hayden in the JC ranks.

Right now, it’s probably between three guys that just came in last year: J. Smith, K. Smith, & Rosette.

Agreed that we probably need a JUCO there.

If our coordinators can’t pile up more points with Kyle Allen in TDECU, then we don’t have the right guys.

It is time to take a look at our conference opponents.


SMU - 5-7
OLine - They are returning 3 of 5 on the OLine, 2 Sr and a Jr.

DLine - They return only one defender in a 4-man front.

Tulsa - 10-3
OLine - Return 4 of 5 linemen. One Sr and 3 Jrs.

DLine - They return 2 of 4 linemen in a 4-man front. A Sr and a Jr.

These guys lose as many defenders as we do overall. There offense will be stout, but D will struggle.

Memphis - 8-5
OLine - Memphis returns 4 of 5 linemen; one Sr, two Jrs., and one So.

DLine - They bring four back of their six man rotation, 2 Sr, one Jr, and a So.

These guys will take a step forward. Fuentes recruited well, and their new coach was a good hire.

Navy - 9-5
OLine - Does it matter? They plug and chug.

DLine - They lose 3 in their 6-man rotation. They have a Sr, Jr, and a So coming back.

Tulane - 4-8
OLine - There are 3 of 5 coming back, a Jr and two So.

DLine - It is a 4-man front with 3 coming back, Two Sr and a Jr.


Temple - 10-4 AAC Conf Champs
OLine - They have 3 of 5 coming back, but their two losses are the two most important positions, LT and C. Two Sr and a So return.

DLine - Only one Jr returns on a 4-man front.

ECU - 3-9
OLine - They only lose their C, and bring back 2 Sr and 2 Jr.

DLine - They lose 3 in a 6-man rotation, 3 returning are a Sr, Jr, and So.

USF - 11-2
OLine - They return 3 of 5, 2 Sr and a So.

DLine - They only lose one guy in their 6-man rotation. 2 Sr, 2 Jr, and a So.

Have to say Mack is gone, but Flowers is back even though we are focused on the lines.

We don’t know where these games will fall in the schedule. All of our OOC games are at the beginning of the season in consecutive weeks.

Tulsa, Navy, and Memphis are at home. EDIT: Tulsa is away this year. How did we get our three toughest in-conference opponents away or home every year? Anyway, Tulsa is going to be good offensively, and regress defensively. This is going to be like Memphis this year, a track meet.

Navy is Navy. We beat them at home.

Memphis will be damn good and possibly win the conference next year. I struggle seeing us, even at home, beating an improved Memphis.

SMU is similar. Progress offensively and regress defensively very similar to Tulsa. Again, a track meet, but witha revenge factor… I don’t see us losing.

Tulane is going to be bowl eligible, but they will still have problems in-conference. We win, but not as big of margin as you think. I love Fritz as a coach.

Temple will be rebuilding. I think we win.

USF without Mack is easier, and if Strong tries to implement a pro-style. Good night! I think this is our surprise win.

ECU is not good right now. We win.

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Given our personnel losses, i will take your predictions right now, which would put us at 6-2 or 7-1 in AAC…Very solid and i hope you are correct…


If we are any less than 8-4 next year, I would be seriously concerned. If we are 8-4 with the talent we have, I would not be happy, but I would be willing to give them another year. 9-3 or better is where I think we SHOULD be.

I expect CMA to have a couple of 1st year decision-making goofs as a first-year HC. However, if I see questionable decision-making or moronic schemes like DBs giving a 10-yd cushion on a 3rd and 2, I will go absolutely balistic if we lose games we should win.


X’s & O’s aside, it’ll be interesting to see how the team plays from an emotionally standpoint? Herman was a rah-rah guy. Had the guys playing w/ a chip on their shoulders. After we lost to SMU the chip was gone. Can Applewhite and this staff get them playing w/ their hair on fire again?

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Reportedly a number of players always thought Herman was a bit of a BS artist, and the guys think Applewhite is much more real and concerned about them, so they naturally like him better. I think things could work out very well. Doesn’t help to have UH fans all over social media and message boards saying we’re screwed, but winning games should eventually cure that.


This is what is really upsetting me! Folks are so easily swayed nowadays. Very disappointing.


I think it only happens to the entitled ones or the ones that set enormously high expectations.


Well… Things just got a little more difficult in the West.

Tulsa doesn’t lose anything on the best offensive line in the conference. Belcher received a medical RS. Unless he graduates and decides he doesn’t want to come back, he’s got a 5th season. That is 2 Sr. and 3 Jr. on a very good offensive line. They were #3 in conference in rushing and #4 in passing.

Tulsa will be a contender, and we have to play them in Tulsa. I made a mistake above and have now edited it.

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I have a bad feeling about this year for some reason.

I don’t care how good the offense is. If we can’t stop people it’s going to be a long season.

Hopefully we sign some of these DE’s that are visiting and our defense looks good in the spring game.

I need some positive news. Signing day can’t come soon enough.

I would suspect one of, if not both, SMU and Tulane to be bowl teams this next year. For the conference, heck just the division, I could see UH finishing 3rd. Conference title SHOULD belong to the West this year.

Hopefully Kyle Allen lights it up though and the defense doesn’t drop off a cliff and we win a second title in three years.

Let’s see what recruits we get. This is the first Major test for our new Coach.
We all know that a season has many turns. Cliche but what maters most right now is our first game. It sets the tone.