As some of you know, I'm a graduate of the University of Houston Cougars, and I follow their major sports programs.
This year, we watched the football team take on several teams (at Rice, at home against Oklahoma State, Tulane, Grambling, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Central Florida). The team had its ups and downs, but overall, was a very talented team, finishing 9-3 in regular season play.
As a result of their conference record, UH hosted the Conference-USA Championship Game versus Southern Mississippi, for the right to represent the conference at the premier C-USA bowl game, the Liberty Bowl, in Memphis, Tennessee. On a memorable night, UH came out on top, 34-20.
We just finished watching the Liberty Bowl, where UH took on the University of South Carolina, who is a part of the larger Southeastern Conference. Unfortunately, the Coogs (yes, that's how we spell it - not "Cougs"!) came up just shy, losing 44-36.
Even though we lost, both teams played a clean game, there were no significant disputed referee calls, and no significant injuries. Both teams and sets of fans represented their schools well, as evidenced by a lot of the postings I've seen at coogfans.com (link requires registration but no $) over the past several weeks.
It was a tough loss, but the senior players (and the entire team and staff) played well and have nothing to be ashamed of.
UH has always been a place of good potential - for its football program, for the students that attend it, for the city itself, and for the University as a whole. One football game's outcome does not change that.
I've been promising a few blog entries about UH football attendance (and some other somewhat-related topics) ... stand by for those entries!