Monday, March 16, 2009

Houston 2009 football schedule released

Last week, the University of Houston released its fall 2009 football schedule. Here is the slate, hurricane-permitting:

Sep 05: Northwestern State
Sep 12: at Oklahoma State
Sep 19: bye
Sep 26: Texas Tech (ESPN)
Oct 03: at UTEP
Oct 10: at Mississippi State
Oct 17: at Tulane
Oct 24: SMU
Oct 31: Southern Miss
Nov 07: at Tulsa
Nov 14: at UCF
Nov 21: Memphis
Nov 28: Rice

This looks like a pretty tough schedule. Not only do the Coogs have to play three tough BCS programs (Oklahoma State and Mississippi State on the road, and Texas Tech at home in a game that should easily sell out), but they also have to play C-USA divisional foes UTEP and revenge-minded Tulsa on the road. In fact, the team has two extended road trips on their schedule: a brutal three-game stretch in October and a two-game trip in November. Although the placement of the bye week between the Coogs' two toughest opponents will give the team time to regroup and prepare, I kind of wish they got the week off a little later in the season. At least the Coogs get cross-division goes Southern Miss and Memphis, who have traditionally given them fits, at home this fall.

It's still too early for me to make predictions about the Coogs' chances this fall - spring practives haven't even begun yet - but for a team that has to replace its offensive line and virtually all of its defense, this is a really tough schedule in terms of both the quality of the opponents as well as the placement of the roadies. With the exception of FCS opener Northwestern State and maybe Tulane, there are no "gimme" games on this schedule, and Oklahoma State - the Coogs's second consecutive trip to Stillwater - is probably a sure loss.

What it all means is that the Coogs could very well show improvement on the field, but that improvement might not get reflected in the win-loss column.

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