Kickoff times have yet to be announced. Also keep in mind that these dates are subject to change as TV networks dictate.
Fri Aug 30: Southern, Reliant StadiumIt's really a rather unique schedule, but I can't say it's particularly favorable due to the travel involved and the caliber of teams the Cougars face. This is especially true since the Coogs managed a disappointing 5-7 record against one of the easiest schedules in program history last fall. Hopefully offseason changes, such as the hiring of new offense and defensive coordinators, as well as an infusion of talent from a decent recruiting class that included some junior college transfers that can play right away, will help. But some of these games - Rutgers, Louisville and Central Florida on the road, BYU at home - are going to be real tough. I even have some trepidation about that game against UTSA in San Antonio; the Roadrunners are going to be amped up for that one.
Sat Sep 07: at Temple, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia PA
Sat Sep 14: off
Sat Sep 21: Rice, Reliant Stadium
Sat Sep 28: at Texas - San Antonio, Alamodome, San Antonio TX
Sat Oct 05: off
Sat Oct 12: Memphis, venue TBD
Sat Oct 19: BYU, venue TBD
Sat Oct 26: at Rutgers, High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway NJ
Thu Oct 31: South Florida, venue TBD
Sat Nov 09: at Central Florida, Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando FL
Sat Nov 16: at Louisville, Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville KY
Sat Nov 23: Cincinnati, venue TBD
Fri Nov 29: SMU, venue TBD
On the bright side, in addition to seven games somewhere in Houston, there are some fun roadies: San Antonio, Philly, the NY/NJ area and Orlando. I'll definitely make the San Antonio trip and will try to make the Rutgers trip.
The Thursday Halloween night game against USF and the Friday-after-Thanksgiving game against SMU will both be broadcast by ESPN, which is cool as long as the fans show up so we don't have to deal with the embarrassment of small crowds on national television.
Right now, I think the Cougars can win anywhere from three to eight games with this schedule. A lot, of course, is going to depend on what happens on the practice field, the weight room and the film room over the next six months. I'll be back with a more detailed preview in August.