Reality Check

Brace yourselves, because here comes my unapologetic excuse-making. I believe we are a good team, but still in rough draft form. We all know what the offense is capable of, but it still makes a ton of mistakes. The running game is a work in progress (as evidenced by how it appears to get much stronger later in games). The passing game needs honing in the areas of timing and catching catchable balls. The defense started the year terribly but seems to be getting better. The 2nd half of the Tulsa game was encouraging, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it performs against a good offensive team. And finally, the Tulsa game reminded me SO MUCH of the Rice game. We came out flat and lackluster with tons of mistakes in the first half, then got our feet under us in the 2nd half to finish with a double digit win. In both games, I believe the problem was rust. For Rice, it was our first game of the year against an opponent who had already played a game and most certainly had us circled on their calendar. For Tulsa, we were coming off an open week preceded by what was essentially an open week against TSU. Yes, Tulsa was also coming off an open week, but had played Temple the week before that. I truly believe Tulsa was more amped up for that game than we were in the 1st half.

All that to say, I fully expect this team to keep improving as the season wears on. I wish we could come out firing on all cylinders the first game of the season, but that didn’t happen. That’s excusable on offense since it’s a new offense and a host of new coaches. That excuse doesn’t exist for the defense, but I am seeing improvement on defense and am encouraged. It would be nice if we could come out firing on all cylinders in the 1st half of a game every now and then (like Arizona). Doesn’t mean we can’t get there and also doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect it to get there and be sorely disappointed if it doesn’t. But the reality is, this team is very beatable if it doesn’t keep improving.

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In 2011, UCLA (the year we beat them) went to the championship game at 6-6, then a bowl at 6-7 to finish 6-8. Won their division*, played in the conference championship, and made a bowl game. Most successful 6-8 season of all time! Challenges Rice for best losing season ever?

*USC not eligible


Another reality check is that we only had half a million viewers for our game last week. The Thursday before had Tulsa playing temple with 200k more eyeballs.

The PO, Cary makes a valid point but some of the facts presented are really misleading!

Comparing SWC titles to the Owls is absurd when they started SWC play in 1915 compared to 1976 for UH. Houston was a top 15 team nationally throughout the late 60’s, 70’s and half of 80’s winning 4 SWC titles and would be 6-7 if not ineligible those Run and Shoot years we had the best record while Rice won 1 SWC title in 1994 which the previous title being in 1957. Houston was ranked #2 in the County headed into the last 2 weeks of the season in 1990 while bowl and SWC championship ineligible. We are the only team to ever compete for national championship while on major probation.

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I tend to agree with your comment about our defense However the sample size is basically Tulsa. While we were a lot more aggressive defensively in that game with blitzes from all directions and showing blitzes, backing off, i.e., giving their OL something to think about, I wonder if it was because Tulsa seemed to lack speed at WR.

Whether CMD chooses to play this way the rest of the year, remains to be seen, but I would be much more accepting.

If he does and CMA somehow had a hand in it, that would be even more encouraging IMHO.

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They were conference co champion, with 4 other schools. Rice was 4-3 and finished in a 5 way tie for second behind 6-1 conference champ aggie, who were ineligible. Tech went to the Cotton bowl that year and was blasted.

Actually, Oklahoma won the Associated Press national championship in 1974 while on probation.

UH-Tulsa was up against MLB playoffs…

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Not being a baseball fan I didn’t know that but it makes sense our ratings suffered since another Houston team is in the playoffs.

With that in consideration 500k vs 700k isn’t too bad.

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