With a new realignment in C-USA starting this season, there is hope for a better run for a title for our 2005 Cougars. Less roadblocks stand in front of this team than a year ago when we had at least five formidable opponents by mid season, which included Oklahoma and Miami.
One year ago when I wrote my pre-season article, I predicted a tough schedule that might be a hill turned mountain. Here's the read: "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."
I then fell into a unconscious spell and predicted the Cougars would pull off a 7-4. Pollyism at it's finest, I'd call it. I'll try and stay wide awake this time through.
We'll open up this season September 1st at Reliant Stadium with the Oregon Ducks in their ugly as Baylor green and yellow and this won't be an easy assignment. I look for a high scoring battle and while the Cougars will be fired up for this one, I think we will come away with a loss this day.
We'll entertain Sam Houston State on the 10th of September and even the record to 1-1. Sam Houston will be testy early, but will fade in the second half. This will be the debut of the upcoming Mad Dog defense of the new millennium. Sure glad to see you boys, as the crowd chants: Defense, Defense, Defense!
Off to El Paso and this will be a test of strength in the West Division of a realigned C-USA. I will be surprised if the Coogs do not prevail this day with another outstanding show of defense. Let's call it a Cougar win! And the road crowd yells: Defense, Defense, Defense!
Southern Miss rolls into Houston for the second early season showdown. It will be a defensive struggle for both teams and the Cougars will prevail with some big plays on offense. We'll be sitting at 3-1 with a three game winning streak and in a position for a title run in C-USA.
We'll roll into Tulsa confident after a strong start and an early season lead in the West Division of the new conference. We'll play well this day on both sides of the ball and Tulsa will not be able to handle the Coogs this day. Cougars win big on the road again.
The Big Easy won't be so easy this time on our Cougars. Tulane plays us tough at home, so we will have to be up for this one. It will be a toss up and with a late score, the Cougars will be riding high for the first time since 1999 at 5-1.
Here come the mighty Tigers from Memphis riding into O'Quinn field trying to blow the little red house down, but with the mad dogs sitting quietly inside in wait, it will not likely happen. Houston will dominate this day in an exciting contest and the title run is on. Whaaaaaaaatttttt? Have I slipped off into a dream again??? Am I conscience?????
Mississippi State will be a tough challenge and we will have one of those days, and we will lose to the Bulldogs on the road to bring the record to 6-2. Good grief, do we ever win in Mississippi or Alabama?
On to Florida to take on UCF, one of the new members of C-USA and we will prove to be too much for the Golden Knights in their inaugural season in C-USA. We will likely have a big offensive production on this day and our defense will dominate the line of scrimmage all day long.
Pony Mania rides into the big city, and by the end of the first half fans will declare it to be Pony Panic, as the Coogs will put on a show this day. SMU is just not ready for the upper echelon teams in this conference at this time. They are improving, but are still a couple of years away from competing on a regular basis.
Rice marches into O'Quinn field and will take a punishing pay back for last year. The Cougars will own it all in this game and will cap off a 9-2 season. On to the Conference Championship Game where Houston will represent the West Division against So. Miss representing the East Division.
Coogs will beat So. Miss for the second time this season and will wind up in the Liberty Bowl for our second appearance where we will likely take on a talented Utah team. Should be a dandy and I would rate it a toss up. Either team could walk away the winner this day.
The young team of 2004 will have transformed into an experienced unit with better leadership than that we have seen in several years. This experience will pay huge dividends this year. We'll be improved on both sides of the ball and the results will show in the won/loss column. Mad Dogs revisited will be the story in 2005.
zzzzzzzzzzzzz, am I awake??!!