The 2009 college football season looks to be a very interesting one. Especially for the University of Houston Cougars as they come loaded with talent on offense and an aggressive, young defense that will be looking to get to the quarterback easy and often.
In head coach Kevin Sumlin's second season look for the Cougars to put together a solid campaign filled with high scoring games and maybe even an upset or two. With two powerful and potentially ranked Big XII teams in Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, the season looks to be challenging. I see the Cougars winning one out of those two games.
Check out my predictions below to see exactly where I think Houston will stand by the end of the regular season. Keep in mind...this could get pretty bold.
September 5 NORTHWESTERN STATE 4:00 PM
Cougars take their season opener with ease in this one, 55-7. Look for Case Keenum to put up some big numbers here. W
September 12 at Oklahoma State (FSN) 2:30 PM
I think Oklahoma State will be too much for U of H in Stillwater, OSU wins in a 44-38 shoot out. Case Keenum puts up big numbers again but gets sacked multiple times. L
September 19 BYE WEEK
September 26 TEXAS TECH (ESPN) 8:15 PM
Big upset here as U of H gets a huge win at home that moves them back up in the polls. The key here is the Cougars have Tech at home, I see a 49-42 victory in an offensive onslaught. W
October 3 at UTEP 7:05 PM
Even though U of H is on the road in this one, I say they get the victory 38-35 over UTEP. Keenum's experience leads the Cougars to victory. W
October 10 at Mississippi State TBA
Tough one to call here because you don't see too many U of H matchups with SEC teams. Because of the tough SEC defense, I say it's a somewhat low scoring affair but the Cougars take the victory 27-14. W
October 17 at Tulane (CBS C) 2:30 PM
Cougars win this one 45-14 in the Superdome. The Cougar offense runs and passes all over the Tulane Green Wave defense. W
October 24 SMU (CBS C) 6:30 PM
SMU is starting to get back on track but they can't get the upset against the Cougars, U of H takes it 42-35 in another barnburner. W
October 31 SOUTHERN MISS (CSS) 12:00 PM
The Southern Miss defense will be tough against U of H in this one but the Cougars squeak by at home, 28-24. W
November 7 at Tulsa (CBS C) 6:30 PM
Tulsa will have a new quarterback in junior Jacob Bower but he will still put up big numbers in the no-huddle spread offense. It's all about revenge in this one, Tulsa wins another high scoring matchup between these two teams, 56-52. L
November 14 at UCF 12:00 PM
This could be a rebound victory for the Cougars or it could be a two game slide as they go into Orlando. I still think U of H gets a hard-fought win at Orlando 31-28. W
November 21 MEMPHIS TBA
Memphis has the talent in their skill positions on offense, but I think their newly rebuilt offensive line holds them down here on the road against the Cougars attacking defense. Cougars take it 35-31. W
November 28 RICE TBA
U of H and Rice is always an intriguing matchup, especially over the past two years with the teams putting up over 200 points against each other. This time the Owls don't have Jarrett Dillard or Chase Clement to keep them in the game. Cougars get the revenge victory 5 miles down the road at Rice Stadium, 56-35 in another high scoring offensive battle. W
* Conference games italicised and underlined
* Home games in ALL CAPS
The Cougars wrap up the season with their best since 2006 with former coach Art Briles going 10-2 and 7-1 in the conference taking the conference championship over East Carolina, 28-21 and going to a major bowl game.
Bold predictions? Of course, but this is a special team that has the offense to overshadow a young defense and take them their first major bowl in the BCS era.
Good luck Cougars.