YEOMAN WORK: THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOUSTON FOOTBALL
However, in Houston’s first four seasons in the Southwest Conference, only that 1977 season did not deliver a league championship. That’s right — in Houston’s first SWC season in 1976, and again in 1978 and 1979, the Cougars topped everyone else in the conference and made their way to the Cotton Bowl. Moreover, although Houston’s collapse and subsequent loss in the 1979 Cotton Bowl to Notre Dame are remembered by many casual college football fans, the larger reality of the Cougars’ journeys to Dallas in the latter half of the 1970s is that they won two of the three Cotton classics they played. Houston won the 1977 Cotton Bowl against Maryland, and it responded to the Joe Montana Chicken Soup Game by winning the 1980 Cotton Bowl against Nebraska.