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

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:


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 is subscriber-only – just to show frustration with UH’s inability to highlight themselves and their players accurately.

In just two days since tying Keenum at 167 passes without an INT, UH has given the media two inaccurate counts on this. First, after the game, the pass count is way off:

And Monday, we get game notes at Dana’s press conference:

Tune’s accurate number is 167-straight throws without an INT. This also gets wrong Tune’s spot in the national stats. He’s 12th in completion percentage and 16th in pass efficiency. These notes were sent yesterday and nothing has changed since then.

It’s small but important. If media members know the numbers are wrong, they won’t look up the correct ones. They’ll just stop using them. In the same notes package, we get this on the series with Memphis:

Let’s just look at the top:

– Record 15-4 – Incorrect but probably a typo.
– Most points scored by Houston – 55 is incorrect as UH scored 56 in 2010.
– Largest margin of victory by Houston – 58 (1989) Incorrect as the teams did not play in 1989. Possibly left in the week before.
– Largest margin of victory by Temple – 39 (2009) Incorrect – this is the Memphis game, not Temple.
– Possibly left in from the week before.

In UH’s official stats, Tank Jenkins and Kody Russey are shown as having not started against Temple (both did). Neither Cam’Ron Johnson or Keenan Murphy are shown as having started against Temple at LG (Murphy did). Dennis Bardwell allegedly did not start (he did). Patrick Paul is the only OL documented as starting the game. Only 14 players on the entire roster are shown as starters against Temple.

Minor things, no doubt, but c’mon.

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