AAC New kids on the block
We know all about the University of Central Florida who will make their AAC debut this fall but how about the other teams. Well we will give you a little guide on the teams where they are from and a little about their history.
Let’s start out in Texas with Southern Methodist University in Dallas. This small school was once a true football power from 1914 to 1996 they collected 11 Southwest Conference Championship against the likes of Texas, Texas A&M and Arkansas.
In 1987, the SMU Mustangs football program became only the third in NCAA history to receive the so-called “Death Penalty.” The team was not asked to join the newly minted Big 12 Conference and they began to rebuild their program as a member of C-USA.
June Jones who built an outstanding program at Hawaii is the Mustangs head coach and he seems to have SMU back on track. This they will visit Tampa to face USF on November 23rd then the UCF Knights will visit Dallas on December 7th.
SMU could be a sleeper program in the AAC because of its vast resources. Used wisely this time to stay away from the death penalty.
The University of Houston is another team with a history of playing quality football. Like both USF and UCF the University of Houston is a large and still growing school with an enrollment of 39,820. Like SMU, the Cougars were members of the Southwest Conference and also like the Mustangs they were not offered a chance to join the Big 12.
For three straight years Houston led the nation in total offense, averaging 437 yards a game in 1966, 427 in 1967, and 562 in 1968. The 1968 total was an NCAA record at the time. Houston also led the nation in scoring with 42.5 points per game that year. In 1989 Andre Ware was the star quarterback and he posted unprecedented passing statistics en route to winning the 1989 Heisman Trophy.
Ware passed for 4,299 yards and threw 44 touchdown passes on the season. He posted one of his finest performances with 475 yards passing in the Cougars’ 47-9 rout of archrival Texas in the Astrodome. The Cougars set many offensive records during the season. The Cougars finished the 1989 season at 9-2 and 2nd in the Southwest Conference but could not go to a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions that set the school back for almost two decades. UH finished the season ranked #14 in the AP poll.
In 2011, after compiling a 12-0 record and reaching #6 in the BCS rankings, Houston was on the verge of becoming a so-called BCS buster, needing only a home win over Southern Mississippi in the C-USA Championship game to clinch a bid to the Sugar Bowl and a 17 million-dollar BCS Bowl payout.
But the Cougars’ dreams were dashed as the Golden Eagles defeated UH 49–28 at Robertson Stadium.
Houston will be a factor in the AAC in football count on it. September 31st USF will travel to Houston while UCF will host the Cougars November 9th.
As we all know the University of Memphis is in the AAC because of their basketball program. Unlike SMU and Houston football has not been a strong sport at Memphis. The faithful are hopesthat the Tigers football fortunes will turn it is unlikely to happen soon. For the record they will be hosting UCF on September 5th and the Tigers will be
in Tampa to face the Bulls on November 16th.