The Rice Owls are your Conference USA Champions. This will be the first time those words have been spoken about an outright Conference championship since 1957. At that time Rice was in the old Southwest Conference, but 56 years is a long time in between conference titles. A lot has changed about the landscape of the game in that time, and Rice has been more of a “cellar dweller” since their last championship.
But head coach David Bailiff has been working on changing the progression of his program. Rice has not been a bad program over the last few years, but no program is completely happy until they win a conference title. The Owls have now become a team to watch in Conference USA and could be a thorn in the sides of many opponents going forward.
Just to put into perspective how long it has been, here are some items of note that happened in 1957.
- 1st electric watch introduced
- Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson retires
- 19th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: NC beats Kansas 54-53 (3 OTs)
- NBA modifies the free-throw rule
- Larry King’s 1st radio broadcast
- 1st President to fly in helicopter-Dwight Eisenhower
- Mickey Mantle hits career HR # 200
- Mickey Mantle wins AL MVP
Rice will now begin preparing for their AutoZone Liberty Bowl trip where they will be paired against a team from the SEC. Their opponent better watch out because Rice may surprise them if they aren’t ready.