Schedule still a problem
The University of Houston still hasn't played anyone who's any good. The Cougars will likely not play a single ranked team until their bowl game.
And it might not matter.
For Case Keenum and UH is in the Top 25 anyways, thanks to the sheer force of an offense that cannot be ignored. Not anymore. Not with UH only one of 13 undefeated teams in FBS (college football's highest division) after six weeks. Not with second-year defensive coordinator Brian Stewart's unit finally flexing some muscle of its own, exerting its will in Saturday night's 56-3 win over East Carolina at Robertson Stadium.
Houston makes its 2011 Top 25 debut at No. 25 in the Associated Press poll and No. 22 in the Coaches Poll, which helps determine bowl positioning. The 12 other undefeated teams all had been ranked before this week, but the Cougars cannot really complain about being ignored. At least, not with a straight face. Their showcase win is a 38-34 home defeat of a 3-3 UCLA team in the season's opening weekend. They do not play another Bowl Championship Series conference team this season.
It's hard to punish the players for the athletic department's poor scheduling work though — work that's done years in advance. Keenum and company can only play the teams that are put in front of them. They've already had one incredible comeback this season (that 35-34 escape at Louisiana Tech), one tough environment road win (49-42 over UTEP in El Paso), a few dominant performances.
It's hard to punish the players for the athletic department's poor scheduling work though — work that's done years in advance.
Keenum is Keenum, somehow just as good as ever off major surgery. If you know Stewart at all, you know that he's passionate about improving the defense, even if UH's program is still several players short on that side of the ball.
Sometimes, you're Top 25 worthy no matter the schedule. This team is.
CultureMap was first to predict that UH would make a run at an undefeated season after the UCLA game. Keenum had already shown enough then. The goal was already everything but spoken then. Now? This is the Sunday ranking day the Cougar players expected all along, where they know they should be.