Tick Tock.....Tick Tock, ...........the sounds of the "5 minute plan" clock.
Well, while the "5 minute plan" was indeed popular with the fans, this resurgence won't happen quite that quickly so lets figure it will actually take a couple of seasons to put this high powered plan into high gear.
Last season the COUGARS pulled off a winning season, much needed and predicted by yours truly. One would have to believe that is the beginning of better things to come. Not so quick there Charlie, with a schedule as tough as last years schedule was easy, this could be the hill turned mountain this coming season. This 2004 schedule would dizzy a Top 10 team.
C-USA will show more muscle this coming season than any in the past. Ranked in the top six conferences in a tie with the Big East for the most powerful conferences in the country by Phil Steele. This places C-USA ahead of Mt. West, Mac, WAC, Independent and Sun Belt. Several teams in our conference are building powerhouses of the future. None more apparent than the Memphis Tigers and our own Houston Cougars. Soouthern Miss continues to be strong as usual and TCU and Louisville will both be bowl teams in 2004. UAB also promises to be a tough opponent, and possibly the surprise team of 2004.
We will start the season with Rice in Reliant Stadium who Athlon humorously has ranked above us in the pre-season predictions at #72 compared to our #76. We'll win this one easily and then travel 450 miles to the North to get a good solid spanking by the Oklahoma Sooners. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!
Army comes to town and in front of a full house the Cougars get it back on track with a W before a powerful Top 10 Miami team gives us a visit in Reliant. I just have a feeling about this game, just a feeling about it. I look for the Cougars to come out and fight the hurricanes to the final gun. It will be a close one, but Miami will likely pull it out late in the game.
This will bring us to the most critical part of the entire season, and one in which we failed miserably last season. We cannot afford to get swept by these three conference teams again. We will come into this stretch at 2-2 and will need to win 2 of 3 games during that stretch if we are to improve over last year. It won't be easy with all three games on the road. Memphis will be one week after a very physical game with Miami, and I believe they will get the best of us again in a very close hard fought football game. On to Southern Miss for an ESPN Thursday night televised game. This one should be a dandy and I believe it is about time the "5 minute plan" kicks in and pulls a giant upset. We could lose a heartbreaker on this night and once again let's say it's a prime opportunity for a big time upset. Southern Miss will likely hold off our Coogs in a real tough battle, and steals one from a deserving Cougar team and sends up packing with a record at 2-4 heading into Ft. Worth for a big C-USA tilt. OOPS!!!!!!
Tick Tock.....Tick Tock…
On to Fort Worth where we will tear the Frogs a new one, and send them on their miserable way to the Mountain conference.........eerrrrrr..............desert conference. Good riddance! Wouldn't it really be something big for those Frogs if they were half as good as their over hyped rankings of 2003. What a joke! No love lost here for Cougar fans. Wasn't it ol Hoss Block from TCU who said: "The Cougars come to town the day of the Cotton Bowl Game and half of them eat at 7-Eleven's and the other half robs them." No way to know how the Frog fans might have acted since they were hapless cellar dwellers the two decades we were in the SWC and proudly attending four Cotton Bowls to their big fat 0. Well, the words to song says two out of three ain't bad, but I guess it is when the two goes the wrong direction.
With the Cougars sitting in a losing posture, but with the nightmare portion of the schedule behind them at a 3-4 record, we have Tulane followed by ECU at our home stadium for only our second game at Robertson/O'Quinn for the 2004 season. Home sweet home. We will win these two games to bring the record to 5-4 and put the Cougars in a position for their second winning season in a row. On to Birmingham for a tough contest with a strong UAB team led by a healthy Darrell Hackney. This will be a tough one, but I think the Cougars will prevail once again and come riding into Houston for their final game against Louisville with a strong 6-4 record. Not an easy win, but the Cougars will put the lid on a 7-4 season this day and move on to their second consecutive bowl.
Hmmm, wasn't it said in Dimel's initial address of the Cougar faithful that he would take us to bowls every year he coached here?
Well, it looks like that prediction is now coming true. Thanks, Coach Briles, it looks like your "5 minute plan" is working just fine. Tick Tock.....Tick Tock........ See you at the bowl game in Memphis? New Orleans? Birmingham? Hawaii? Ft. Worth?
Tick Tock.....Tick Tock.......