Hosting scenarios, a special season, Tune’s long streak

Donavan Mutin / Photo by Mario Puente


 
A win against Memphis Friday night will give the Cougars an 8-0 conference season, only the second time that has happened in school history (2011). It would also mean UH, at worst, tied for first place in the conference.

It would give the Cougars 10 wins in the regular season for just the seventh time in school history (1973, 1979, 1990, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2021).
 

Now that the Cougars are in the AAC title game, it is essential to be in the CFP rankings tonight. That way, if UH wins the championship, they can move ahead of all the other G5 schools to claim the NY6 Bowl (Fiesta this year). A win over Cincinnati would be huge but not necessarily enough to jump both SDSU and UTSA in the final week. The Cougars need to get in tonight, nudge up with a win over Memphis, likely stay in the same spot after a UConn win, and move up after beating Cincinnati.

Next week’s rankings (11/23/21) are the most important ones before championship weekend due to conference tiebreaker rules, meaning UH needs to lay the groundwork and be ranked tonight.
 

Speaking of tiebreakers and AAC play, Houston can host the AAC title game in a few scenarios.

1. The most likely way is to finish 8-0 and get help – Cincinnati needs to lose to either SMU this week or at ECU next weekend.

2. Suppose UH and Cincinnati end up 7-1 in AAC play (meaning UH loses this weekend), and Cincinnati’s loss is at ECU on the final weekend. In that case, to determine the title game host, AAC tiebreaker rules require a composite average of selected computer rankings (Anderson & Hester, Billingsley, Colley, and Wolfe) to determine the host.

Currently, those rankings have Cincinnati well in front:

 UHUCMemSMUECU
Wolfe213783565
Anderson222773566
Billingsley192763071
Colley196793058
Average20.253.2577.532.565

Cincinnati would (almost) certainly stay ahead in this scenario. But if ECU loses to Navy this weekend, the Pirates would drop further (it would hurt Cincinnati more for losing to the Pirates). It could all break UH’s way here, but I would not count on it.

3. If Cincinnati loses to SMU and UH loses to Memphis, the Bearcats would still be higher than UH in next week’s (11/23/21) CFP rankings. Then if they beat ECU in the final week, UC would automatically host due to the 11/23 rankings.

4. If Cincinnati loses both weeks and SMU wins twice, UH will host SMU in the title game.

All very simple, right? UH’s best path is winning on Senior Night, getting the five-year stench of losing to Memphis off their backs, going into Thanksgiving week with a lagniappe game vs. UConn, and hoping for the best with Cincinnati.
 

Alton McCaskill is now tied for third all-time in rushing touchdowns in a season with 14. He is tied with:

Jackie Battle (2006)
D’Eriq King (2018)
Kenneth Farrow (2014)
Antowain Smith (1996)
Anthony Alridge (2007)

This team will play four more games and McCaskill should get a shot at breaking Greg Ward’s school record of 21 rushing TDs.
 

How great is this screenshot of Bill Yeoman from 1985? It is from a TV interview previewing the Washington game in the Astrodome (UH lost 29-12). I love that hat!

Coach Yeoman in 1985


 

UH receivers officially had three drops against Temple, the most since the Texas Tech game (four). Those two games make up nearly half the drops Clayton Tune has endured (16 total).
 

Clayton Tune has not thrown an INT in his last 167 attempts, going back to halftime of the Tulsa game. That’s 22 quarters without an INT.

167 ties Tune with Case Keenum for the fourth-longest streak in school history. The more impressive streak is that he’s thrown 63 passes over 10 yards in the air and none have been intercepted. That’s real growth by Tune.
 

This next part…

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