Last Saturday's Conference USA matchup between the University of Houston Cougars and the University of Tulsa Hurricanes was supposed to be a pivotal battle to decide who would take the lead in the conference's western division. Instead, it turned out to be an easy victory for the Coogs, who all but shut down the Golden Hurricane offense (Tulsa's one touchdown was a result of an unfortunate Houston fumble inside the ten yard line) while amassing 471 yards of their own against what was supposed to be Conference USA's strongest defense.
A respectable crowd (by University of Houston standards) of 22,452 was there to see the Coogs notch their third consecutive victory and seventh of the season, equaling their best win total since 1990. For all the teeth-gnashing about Houston's attendance this season, the Coogs end their home schedule with an average of 20,494 fans per game - an improvement of over five thousand fans per game over 2005's dismal attendance average.
With the win, the Coogs control their own destiny in the Conference USA championship race; if they win the next two games on road against SMU and Memphis, the Cougars will host the conference championship game at Robertson Stadium in December. Win that, and the Coogs are on their way to the Liberty Bowl.
The Coogs are now "also receiving votes" in both the AP and Coaches' polls. Who knows where they'd be right now had they not blown that game against Louisiana-Lafayette a few weeks ago?