The 2020 University of Houston football season ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, as the Cougars limped to a 28-14 loss to Hawaii in the New Tex-ico Bowl. We're analyzing what went wrong (and what it says about the year as a whole) but also finding some positives from a game that, if we're being frank, maybe shouldn't have been played.
In happier news, it was a banner week for the Cougar hoopsters. On the men's side, UH won its first two conference games, including a key road win against an AAC contender, while the women showed remarkable effort in a shorthanded road win. We've got all that, plus an in depth analysis of the week's coming opponents.
Lucky you, this is the universe's first ever preview of the New Mexico Bowl when its played in a DFW Metroplex suburban town and YOUR Houston Cougars are playing in it!
We take a look at the opponents: the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, in this very odd bowl game and their 1st year HC, none other than Todd Graham (!!!!!).
Houston Cougar men's basketball is also back, with an expected decisive win over Alcorn State AND with 2 potential conference opponents coming up in the form of: Temple and a roadie to UCF.
Houston Cougar football, much to the delight of those of us who consider themselves fans of the Cougars' gridiron squad, returned to action last Saturday vs Memphis.
Less to the delight of Cougar fans has to be the combination of a sluggish start and heartbreaking field goal that thwarted what looked like an inspired comeback at the Liberty Bowl. We dive into what happened last Saturday and look ahead to what's left in the 2020 football season.
We also took a look at the early National Signing Day and what we think of the Cougar football's latest crop of signed recruits in this 2021 class.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL, we talk the return of Cougar men's basketball after a COVID-19 pause and re-capping an inspired Cougar women's basketball win while missing their top scorer.
This should be a fun, positive episode. Both the Cougar men's and women's basketball teams recorded important 10-point victories over SEC opposition, setting themselves up nicely with conference play around the corner. Football has a winnable-looking game against Memphis coming up, and a bowl bid secured.
But of course, COVID looms. Men's hoops has had to pause team activities, football has missed 3 straight weeks of games, and women's hoops has had its schedule impacted. We've got status updates for all 3 programs, plus full game previews for Memphis (football) and surprisingly tough Stephen F. Austin (women's hoops), working under the assumption that those games will in fact take place!
With a weekend of Cougar men's and women's shooty hoops showdowns happening and (unfortunately) yet another football cancellation, the guys return for a bite size Pawdcast to talk all current Cougar events.
Kelvin Sampson's squad may still be climbing the mountain, but they comfortably passed Texas Tech during the ascent this weekend, scoring a comfortable (at times dominant) win over the Red Raiders. We're discussing what Houston is doing well, and where there is still room for improvement (?!) after a 3-0 start, including recent wins over Boise and Tech.
Plus the women's team wasn't so fortunate, dropping a contest to Alabama to fall to 1-1 on the season. We're talking what Coach Hughey's group is hoping to see with a trio of non-conference games still coming up.
Plus Cougar alumni were making an impact all over the NFL!
HOUSTON COUGAR MENS AND WOMENS BASKETBALL MIGHT NEVER LOSE AGAIN! Okay, maybe I should turn the optimism down a little bit.
But we return to talk a pair of impressive openers from Cougar men's and women's basketball and what we think are the big picture takeaways from those games. Additionally, we look ahead at a weekend of games for both teams.
We also take a look at all recent Cougar news, PLUS our annual in-depth look at AAC men's basketball and what we think the league will look like outside the Cougars in the 2020-21 season.
The guys are back to go in depth on Dr. Naismith's great game: basketball!
Cougar men's basketball comes into the year in the preseason top 25 for the first time in almost 40 years, with a squad coming off back to back league titles and an abundance of experience and talent!
AND we talk Cougar women's basketball who bring in an exciting and talented crop of new players after a tough end to a shorthanded 2019-20 campaign.
BUT THATS NOT ALL!!!! UH men's basketball director of sports performance Alan Bishop for the 2nd straight season to talk all things Cougar basketball and strength and conditioning.
There's no better recipe for a bounceback game than to play a team without an FBS win, and that did the trick for the Cougars on Saturday, as they dismantled the Bulls of South Florida. We're sifting through the remains of a blowout to decide what we liked best, with an eye towards the final third of the schedule.
Plus we read your #FourWordReviews, something we've certainly never failed to do in the past, and we enjoyed some schadenfreude as SMU blew a big lead to still-undefeated-in-AAC-play Tulsa.
We're back... except its the *royal* we this time instead of the proper plural, as Sam is riding solo this week.
We (I) recap another tough afternoon at the proverbial offense as Houston Cougar football struggled to get anything done in a 38-10 loss to the #6 Cincy Bearcats. Some relief comes in the form of the 1-6 USF Bulls who are looking at a long-term rebuild with a fresh face in 1st year HC Jeff Scott. To learn about the Bulls, I talked with 1st time guest and long time twitter friend of the show Robert Steeg from the Daily Stampede.
Additionally, the AAC/CFB action from the week that was and will be was addressed.
Rest in Peace Ka'Darian Smith.
We returned after a longer than usual absence to breakdown a rough afternoon at the office for Houston Cougar football as they were beaten soundly by the visiting UCF Knights.
In a true 'no rest for the weary' situation, the Coogs return to the field to take on by far the AAC's best team, the #6 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats and we take an in depth look at what's made the Bearcats such a fearsome team in 2020.
Whether you want to call it the Space Race, or the Star War, or just a matchup of two of the AAC's most prominent football programs, UH will be taking on UCF on Saturday. As usual, we turned to UCF expert Jeff Sharon of Black & Gold Banneret to get the lowdown on all things Knights. Suffice it to say, points will be scored.
Hitting the road didn't prove much of a challenge for the Cougars, as they cruised to a 37-21 victory at the Naval Academy. We're singing the praises of a dominant defensive front 7, and some offensive fireworks, and opining on where the Cougars can still improve on their 2-0 start to conference play.
Plus Cincy clobbers SMU! Rice loses on a quadruple-doink! Indiana beats Penn State by a milimeter! Football is good and fun!
3 previews for 3 games in a row... is this real life?!
The Houston Cougar football team goes on the road for the first time in 2020 and faced the Navy Midshipmen- a team that has seen its drastic ups and downs, but also enters this showdown 3-0 in AAC play. We take a look at the Midshipmen in 2020, both their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how the Coogs match up in this one.
We also take a look at the Week 8 AAC/general college football action!
The Houston Cougars have their first loss of the 2020 season, and they have plenty of mental errors to blame it on. We're sifting through what we liked, what needs improvement heading into conference play, and where you have to tip your cap to the "other" Cougars.
Plus an educational week of AAC features a shootout for the ages.
We almost can't believe it, in just over a week's time Houston Cougar football is back and we have YET ANOTHER gridiron opponent to preview this week.
The BYU Cougars have mostly steamrolled through 4 opponents so far, en route to a top 15 ranking. We dive deep into the Cougs, what's made them so good thus far and how they match up with UH in key areas and what you can expect Friday night's nationally televised showdown to look like.
We also talk an eventful upcoming weekend for the AAC (and not much else!) around the world of college football in week 7, plus *GASP* a couple pieces of common sense legislation getting serious consideration from the loathsome curs at the NCAA.
HOUSTON COUGAR FOOTBALL IS BACK!
HOUSTON COUGAR FOOTBALL IS BACK!
HOUSTON COUGAR FOOTBALL IS BACK!
The guys return to discuss the Houston Cougars' absurdly long-awaited debut to this, the strangest of modern college football seasons, in a dominant 49-31 win over the Tulane Green Wave.
All aspects of the game are discussed, beyond what looks like an exciting offense and a hard-hitting, stingy defense.
YOUR Four Word Reviews are read and the guys also take a look at Week 6 AAC/general CFB action, an ENORMOUS UH men's basketball scheduling add and a rival AAC coach finding himself in hot water.
Washington State, Rice, Memphis, Baylor, and North Texas all fell by the wayside. Finally, Tulane looks poised to answer the question: Does anybody want to play the Houston Cougars? Based on the hypothetical possibility that a football game will happen, we went ahead and brought back JP from Fear The Wave to break down what to expect from the Greenies.
Plus we got deservedly excited about UH men's hoops picking up a commitment from Ja'Vier Francis, and broke down a dramatic two weeks of college football, not to mention your viewing guide for this coming weekend!
We spent the weekend getting all of the cussing and hurling about of things out of our systems, so we're ready to calmly discuss Houston Cougar football getting yet another potential season-opener canceled, this time after Baylor was forced to back out at the last second. We also previewed North Texas, breaking down what to expect after the Mean Green's first two games of the season.
Plus a wild comeback in AAC play, what to watch for this week, and college basketball finally got a season start date.
How did we get here?! Houston Cougar football went from finding itself potentially without an opponent for the 3rd week in a row, to scheduling a Southwest Conference foe that hadn't faced the Coogs in 25 years. We still aren't exactly sure how, but we talk ourselves through it.
We also brought on Shehan Jeyarajah, the college football insider and editor (as well as a Baylor alumnus) to preview Baylor football and also give his thoughts on the direction of Cougar football under Dana Holgorsen.
In addition to an in depth preview of the Bears and the Cougar football depth chart release, we talk Reggie Chaney getting immediately eligible for Cougar men's basketball and what great news that is, as well as looking back at week 2 of college football as well as looking ahead to week 3 CFB action.
Hey hey hey!
The boys are back to discuss that thing we all love so much: passing yards, touchdowns, great offensive line play and everything else an offense can do in football. The UH football program had an uncharacteristic and bizarre 2019 and Dustin/Sam break down what they believe the 2020 group will look like, both in terms of overarching storylines and each offensive unit.
In addition, there was a heaping helping of Cougar and non-Cougar college sports news from the week:
- Robbie Armbrester commits to Cougar basketball
- A number of Cougar football alums get named to NFL week 1 rosters
- 2 more Cougar baseball alums make their MLB debuts
- Week 1 college football talk
Football kind of snuck up on all of us, didn't it?
The Houston Cougar defense looks to rebound from a rough couple year stretch with an enviable amount of experience and a number of new faces joining expected to make an immediate impact. We break down the defense by position group and look at the 'bigger picture' outlook for this group, as well as previewing Cougar special teams.
There's also a 2021 Cougar football recruiting update, other AAC schools seeing football players opt out of 2020 and looking at where UH/AAC schools checked in on Bill Connelly's beginning of the season SP+ rankings.
We weren't sure we'd even get to this point and sure don't have a clear idea where it'll finish, but in the last week of August we figured the time was right to preview the 2020 American Athletic Conference football season in all of its future, potential glory!
In addition we touch on other topics of import, such as:
- Cougar football getting a potential Friday night season opener
- Cougar Volleyball and Soccer officially being moved to the Spring by the AAC
- Friend of the Pawdcast and distinguished Cougar baseball alum Aaron Fletcher making his debut for the Seattle Mariners
- Cougar baseball releasing their 29-man incoming class, which we break down in detail.
The college sports big wigs may be still trying to figure out exactly what college sports are going to look like this year, but that didn't stop your Pawdcast hosts from making some bold predictions for every Cougar sport for the coming year. Will Cougar football play .500 ball in conference play? Will men's track return to being a top 5 program? Can baseball make it back to a regional? We've got all the answers (or some educated guesses, at any rate)
Sadly this past week saw the passing of Houston Cougar football coach Bill Yeoman, at the age of 92. We join those around Texas and around the world in both expressing sadness at Coach Yeoman's passing, and also sharing fond memories of the positive impact he made on the world around him.
We were also stunned this week to hear of current Cougar football player Sedrick Williams' heart complications as a result of COVID. And of course all of this happened against the backdrop of 4 FBS conferences postponing fall sports.
The silver linings from the past week included a big football addition and a Cougar making his professional debut!