Why They Play The Games

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The names may change, but the roles remain the same.

UH is the irrepressible force, the offensive behemoth with a bottomless well of speed merchants unable to be slowed and an offensive scheme unable to be deciphered. The Coogs are merely biding their time in the two-bit league that is C-USA, anxiously awaiting the Big 12 to acknowledge past wrongs or the SEC to expand as to envelop the burgeoning power on Cullen. In the interim UH will lay waste to its lowly and inferior conference mates, stacking league championships like LEGOs in a nursery. What? UH has won just two league titles in 13 seasons? Phooey on your details! Myopic perception is of greater significance than reality.

Case Keenum is Kevin Kolb, the West Texas gunslinger with the cool name, gaudy stats and grassroots Heisman Trophy campaign. He is Andre Ware and David Klingler incarnate, an android with undeniable skill fully capable of shredding any defense in his path. He is virtually indestructible and assuredly infallible, the blemishes on his near-spotless record coming by acts of the gods, a la earthquakes, mudslides, brush fires or blinding red blazers and merms.

Kevin Sumlin is Art Briles, the former BCS assistant just passing through until a better gig fronting a BCS program becomes available. He's an up-and-comer with the right mix of talent, charisma and experience but in desperate need of a stepping stone. UH is that solid rock, so Sumlin goes all out until that call to the show comes (not an inference that UH is not the show). He sees nothing but Cougar Red ... until Maroon friends come offering serious green.

The UH defense is the UH defense. That's all there is to say about that, Jenny.

The Owls? They are the nerdy little brother with the bifocals and leg braces trying to play ball with the big boys out on the concrete. They have no business there, both with War and Peace sitting unread on the bedspread and next week's advanced calculus homework still to complete. Every year they are hopelessly overmatched and outclassed for this Bayou Bucket, yet they keep punching wildly, praying to land a blow against their brothers in red. When they do connect (9/5/04: Rice 10, UH 7; 11/29/08: Rice 56, UH 48) the licks are quickly forgotten, erased by the history of utter dominance at the hands of those bullies from the Third Ward.

Let's be real. Since the Owls and Coogs became conference mates anew in 2005, this series has been grossly one-sided. Resistant to this irrefutable truth? Well, let's examine the records:

2005: The one-win Owls lead 10-0 and are mere inches away from expanding that margin to three scores before a fortuitous fumble awakens the slumbering Coogs. UH rolls out of bed and puts a 35-18 whipping on their newly minted C-USA brethren. It was never in doubt, folks.

2006: The Owls' new loudmouth, self-aggrandizing, insufferable head coach lures the geeks from Dungeons & Dragons and builds a 30-14 lead before mighty UH stops screwing around. Kolb takes his sweet time engineering a come-from-behind 31-30 victory, dragging out the inevitable for dramatic effect. Had they so pleased, the Coogs could've tallied half-a-hundred.

2007: While the Coogs were busy crafting blueprints for a new stadium that would comfortably house their legions of fans too cultured to attend events at The Rob, the Owls surreptitiously construct a 48-35 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. The valiant heroes arrive just in the nick of time to post 21 points in the final period to send those conniving scoundrels back to South Main and restore order to the universe. It wasn't as close as the 56-48 final indicated.

There you have it. When Rice fans commence with their tired discussion that rivalry games render statistics moot, just reply with the aforementioned instances of UH greatness. Then recite that UH is averaging 42.4 points and 574.1 yards/game, totals that rank third and first nationally. Then you can begin to ponder why the Owls would even bother showing up at The Rob on Saturday. All they will do is muck up the Coogs' coronation as C-USA West Division champions. These Owls, with their two measly wins, are no match for this powerhouse outfit.

Besides, when was the last time UH played down to its competition? It never, ever happens.

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Don't forget that in the 3rd Q in 2006 Chase broke his thumb which was probably the difference in that game.

Come MK, why you gotta be so mean?

Evan: I've got nothing but love for my two hometown programs. - MK

"Phooey on your details! Myopic perception is of greater significance than reality."

Ha ha! Classic, MK. Truly classic.

It looks like you were really inspired for that post. I like it!

awesome! MK, it's so good to have your skills... can't wait for my first game at the rob.

You have outdone yourself this time, MK! Many thanks -- fun to read.

Nicely played, MK! Found your blog over here when someone posted this one on the messageboard. Like many UH fans, I've missed your blog on the chomicle website.

BTW, Owlets, you're welcome for the bullying the Coogs have done to the Graham-bag and his Golden Showers over the last couple years. Nobody picks on our nerdy, little, step-brother but us.

Nate '08: I was present for the shellacking at The Rob last year and must admit that I quite enjoyed the administering of that whipping. A similar beating at Tulsa would have been appreciated, but a win is a win, so I have no beef with the result. - MK

Funny blog post. I enjoyed it and I am sure quite a few other Coogfans did as well. Lets hope there is a great crowd at the Rob this weekend for the game. Look forward watching the Coogs feast on some Owl. What is your guess on the number of Rice fans that will make the road trip to UH?

Coogfan: For the sake of both programs I hope The Rob is filled to its gills. What made last season's game so thoroughly enjoyable was the 30K at HRS, and it is in the best interest of the rivalry for raucous crowds to support both programs. If Rice can manage to bring 8K that would be cool for I anticipate UH supporters numbering 20K+ for the coronation of the C-USA West Division champions. - MK

30 point underdogs? That's a bit much. 24 seems right to me, but I think game will be much closer. Maybe I'm dreaming, but I can see the Rice D-line slowing UH enough to allow the Rice offense to stay in the game.

Buho00: You do realize that UH averaged 36.5 points in its two losses, and that the Owls haven't scored five touchdowns in a single game this season, right? It's going to take a whole lot more than 'slowing UH' for the Owls to pull the upset. - MK

Great post, MK. Go Owls!

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