The Houston Cougars finished last season 8-5, and ended the season on a sour note with a loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores in the BBVA Compass bowl. While finishing with a respectable record and bowl game was a good thing for Houston, Head Coach Tony Levine hopes to build on that success last season and have a better record this season. But the American Conference looks to be tougher this season and that could hinder the Cougars season.
Houston starts off their season with three out of four winnable games and they could possibly win all four depending on how they handle BYU on the road in Provo, Utah. But then after the non-conference cupcake session, Houston goes right in to the American Athletic Conference games and this is where the Cougars will probably struggle the most because other than Central Florida and Tulsa, the tougher games this season will all be road games. With a few things going their way, they could easily win seven or eight games again, but realistically, they are looking at five or six wins.
While that seems like I am being a downer on the Cougars, you have to be realistic because teams like SMU, Tulsa, Tulane, Central Florida and Cincinnati will all be as good or better than they were last year. Maybe being able to steal a win on a game where you’re not expected will go a long way towards shaping this season for the Cougars.
Obviously this is a very early guess to what may happen this season and there is still no real clarity on how the team will shape up coming out of the spring. Houston will be a team to watch in the American this year, because they could surprise their way into contention.