by Travis Normand
When rumors started circulating about Kevin Sumlin possibly leaving the University of Houston (UH) in order to take the head coaching job at Texas A&M, the Houston Cougar football team wasn’t happy. In fact, they were so unhappy about the possibility of Coach Sumlin leaving that they couldn’t focus on the task at hand.
On December 3, 2011, the University of Houston entered the Conference USA Championship game undefeated. Their task was simple–win the conference championship and receive their first-ever invitation to a BCS bowl game. Such an accomplishment would not only be UH’s first, but would have also been the first for Conference USA.
Fortunately for Houston, they had home field advantage in the championship game and were playing in their own stadium on the UH campus. However, Southern Mississippi won the championship game by a score of 49-28 and ruined UH’s spectacular season.
As if things couldn’t get any worse for UH, Texas A&M announced the hiring of Kevin Sumlin as their new head football coach on December 10, 2011.
While this first truck hit the Houston Cougars head-on, it was the second truck that the Cougars never saw coming.
Flash-forward to September 1, 2012. The Texas State Bobcats are entering their first season as a FBS school and their first game is a road test against the Houston Cougars. At the helm of the Bobcats is Head Coach Dennis Franchione, former head coach at Texas A&M (his last season at A&M was 2007). Franchione and his Bobcats walk into Robertson Stadium and beat the Houston Cougars by a score of 30-13.
While obviously not intentional, Texas A&M has added insult to injury for UH. After losing their coach to A&M, UH is left to deal with the fact that they are not capable of defeating the coaches that A&M no longer wants.
Maybe now UH can finally stop wondering why they weren’t invited to join the Big 12 Conference in 1996.
Further, in 2011 when Texas A&M and Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC they left two open spots in the Big 12. The Big 12 decided to fill those spots with TCU and West Virginia–again leaving UH without an invite. While the Big 12 currently sits at only 10 members, they have stated that they are not currently looking to add more teams. In other words, the conference would rather stay at 10 members than invite UH to join.
Maybe if UH can find a way to beat UTSA (another FBS new-comer) in 2013 the Big 12 will finally call? I wouldn’t wait up.