The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The Year Just Past in Cougar Sports
Yes, it's that time of year. That time of year when I take a look back at the year just past. On Friday, I looked back at the sports year for the Rice Owls. Today, let's take a look at the top 25 events, in no particular order, for the Houston Cougars this past year.
John Royal Case Keenum was the Man of the Year for the Cougars.
1. On December 7, 2011, after months of speculation and years of bitching, the Cougars make it official and move to the Big East, an actual, real live BCS AQ conference with a legit TV contract and legit football and basketball programs like Boise State, Louisville, Georgetown and 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Champion Connecticut.
2. Whether the Big East will still be a BCS AQ conference come 2013 when the Cougars join is an entirely different question that won't be answered for another year or so.
3. UH Women's Basketball went 16-0 in C-USA play to win the regular season title in route to a 25-4 season. They lost in the semifinals of the Conference Tourney and were bounced in the first round of the NCAA Tourney.
4. The Devil's contract with UH women's basketball coach Todd Buchanan was called in during the off-season as the team lost its first nine games of this season and has often been reduced to just seven players because of injuries.
5. For the first time in school history, the football team starts the season at 12-0 (most wins in team history) and crawls up to #6 in the BCS rankings. But when it really counted, the team lost 49-28 to Southern Miss in the C-USA title game and had to settle for a berth in the TicketCity Bowl.
6. Case Keenum breaks just about every career record there is in the NCAA record book. His most dominating night came on a rainy Thursday night in late October when he threw for 534 yards and nine TD passes in a 73-34 win over Rice.
7. During that same Rice game, Patrick Edwards set a C-USA single-game record with 5 TD receptions (he finished the game with seven receptions for 318 yards.)
8. Tyron Carrier tied the NCAA record for career kickoff TD returns in that Rice game, and he will leave the team as the school's all-time reception leader.
9. With most schools, the only time you hear about the Compliance Department is when a program is in trouble for not being in compliance with various NCAA rules, but on January 14, 2011, the UH Compliance Department was lauded after leaping every hurdle in its path so as to get Case Keenum an unexpected extra year of eligibility, with him becoming the newest grad student at the school.
10. November 19, 2011, will go down in ESPN College GameDay history as it was on the UH campus that Lee Corso let loose with "ah, fuck it" on live TV as he went about picking the Coogs to defeat SMU. That was, of course, the first visit ever of ESPN's College GameDay.
11. After much anticipation, especially with the announcement that the school was moving into the Big East, the alumni and fan base were a bit underwhelmed with the news that there's still no date for the groundbreaking on the stadium renovation, that a firm hasn't even been hired to design the stadium and that only about half the necessary amount needed for the renovation has been raised.
12. Kevin Sumlin's named the C-USA Coach of the Year. He promptly packs his bag for
Arizona State Texas A&M UCLA Texas A&M Illinois Texas A&M to become the newest savior at Aggieland.
13. Case Keenum earns CUSA MVP honors, Patrick Edwards is named as the Offensive Player of the Year and Tyron Carrier is named the Special Teams Player of the Year.
14. UH men's basketball gets the 2011-2012 season off to a 3-0 start, including an upset victory over Arkansas in Little Rock. They then promptly lose three straight, including two in which they grab a one-point lead in the final ten seconds only to give up an offensive rebound, allowing the opposition to score on a miracle shot (TCU) and free throws (LSU) to get the one-point win. The Cougars are currently 4-5 on the season as they prep for conference play.
John Royal Assistant SID Jeff Conrad made a very special appearance during ESPN College GameDay's visit to the UH.
15. The Cougars become the team that is designated with helping Penn State players and fans recover from the horrors of Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno. Of course, UH players are not necessarily on board with this, but they don't matter.