Friday, November 25, 2011

2011 UH Cougar Watch-Huge Game With Tulsa Today

The number 8 ranked University of Houston Cougars have a ginormous 11 AM CST regular season closing game in Tulsa with the Golden Hurricane that will not only determine who wins the C-USA West Division but who hosts the C-USA Championship Game next week against what looks like it may be C-USA East Division champ Southern Mississippi.

That's assuming Southern Miss handles their pigskin business tomorrow against Memphis.  If it doesn't and Marshall wins their showdown against East Carolina, the Thundering Herd would be the C-USA East Champs because they have the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Golden Eagles.   .

Southern Miss would advance with a loss if East Carolina beats Marshall. 

UH along with LSU are the only unbeaten FBS schools left, and the game with Tulsa has major BCS ramifications.  UH has a leg up on Boise State for the automatic BCS bowl bid because they are still in the running to win their conference championship despite Boise State's higher ranking.    

TCU clinched the Mountain West title last weekend thanks to the upset win and has the tiebreaker on Boise State and their win over Colorado State. 

One of the BCS rules for a non AQ conference school is that they must be their conference champ to be considered for an automatic bid to a BCS game.   So far the only thing the Cougars have clinched with that sparkling 11-0 record is bowl eligibility. 

The Cougar seniors painfully remember along with Coach Kevin Sumlin what happened to them in 2009 when they were experienced the same buzz and lofty BCS ranking, then lost to an unranked UTEP.  They also fell short that year of winning the C-USA championship with a 35-31 loss to East Carolina in the 2009 C-USA title game and are determined not to repeat that sequence of events in addition to accomplishing something no Cougar football squad has ever done by winning 12 games.

It will also have major effects on Case Keenum's chances for the Heisman Trophy.    As long as Case and the Cougars keep winning, he's still in the discussion for it and a trip to New York despite the media's attempts to coronate Andrew Luck and Alabama's Trent Richardson  for it. 

8-3 (7-0 C-USA West) Tulsa will be a formidable opponent.  UH leads the all time series with them 19-17, but the Golden Hurricane have a great quarterback in G.J. Kinne and have won 12 straight C-USA games.  One of those dozen wins was a 28-25 defeat they pinned on the Cougars at Robertson Stadium last season

Tulsa has only lost to Oklahoma, Oklahoma St and Boise State and took out UTEP 57-28 last week in El Paso to remain unbeaten in C-USA West play at 7-0. The Cougars were dispatching SMU 37-7 to match them at 7-0 in C-USA West and set up the title showdown at H.A. Chapman Stadium.   
The Coogs need to beat Tulsa and win the C-USA title game next week to secure their status as BCS bowl busters and get that elusive BCS bowl berth.  Once they handle their pigskin business against Tulsa today, then they can exhale and pay close attention to what happens to the teams in front of them BCS standings wise.

Eat 'em up!

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