Three questions with the dos Coogs:
From what we know today, will there be college football on Labor Day weekend?
Brad Towns – Yes, but I believe there won’t be a full slate of games. Some teams will choose to not play or they’ll be delayed starting their season. I have a feeling it will be a weekly decision for a lot of schools whether they will play or not.
Ryan Monceaux – 100%. I think September will look largely like we expect it to look. Will there be a few games canceled week one? Probably and that will be the major storyline.
From a practical perspective, everyone needs to play in order to fund the athletics department. If football doesn’t go, then 15-25 other sports are in trouble. Expenses have pretty much stayed the same for most but there haven’t been any revenues since the weekend of March 8. Tuition, cost of attendance, debt service, salaries, and buyouts have not gone anywhere. Come next Tuesday, UT will have spent $25,000,000 on salaries alone during the shutdown. I’m not crying for them but that’s real money. The other big-budget schools – A&M, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State, etc – need football, too. Maybe more so than a school like UH where our budget is not so heavily dependent on game day revenues.
With all that said, schools will be balancing the revenue component with a desire to CYA. The most interesting part, to me, will be what triggers a cancelation of a game or the suspension of a season. Will it be 1-2 positive tests? Someone getting sick? Will some schools avoid out of conference trips to hot spots?
I think we might see a situation where teams are quarantined together starting August 1. Practice, meals, entertainment, studying all done together. Does that mean no family or girlfriends? Not sure. But if departments are serious about playing then the idea should be studied. Perhaps an entire conference agrees to do it just to ensure they’ll play and keep their TV deals and other arrangements.
Are UH fans fair to media?
Monceaux – Some fans don’t understand the role of the media, meaning beat writers and columnists and the like. They aren’t UH employees. Their job is to hold athletics and athletes accountable. Sometimes they have to write unpleasant truths.
Towns – Hell no they aren’t. If an article isn’t 100% positive and overflowing with praise it is viewed by many as negative. For them, every story has to be written like a fan gushing about the greatness of their team. I don’t think it’s completely unique to UH, but our small and loud fan base sure hates anything less than glowing praise. A lot of people only want good news reported until they decide a coach needs to be fired then anything written positively about him is “covering for him.”
I just want the facts and details. I don’t care about the commentary. Tell me what went on in the game, the presser, ask real questions, and just report. Good or bad.
Monceaux – He said it better than me.
There is bad news, a LOT more than is reported, but reporting it does not mean the writer “hates” UH. I like the truth and the truth isn’t always pretty. Some fans think that if the Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte writes a single article that isn’t praising the Cougars and the administration then he’s a UH hater but that’s not necessarily the case. Secretly, most beat writers want the team they cover to do well because it means better stories.
When UH’s storylines are good (basketball, for example), writers gush but when nothing goes right in a program for a year (football), there’s some room for criticism. There’s room to explain what’s happening.
Who needs a big year in 2020 the most?
Towns – Dana hands down. He has to win, win big, and do it now. Many people think just getting back to .500 or to 7 wins is considered a big step but I’m not in that group. I don’t fall for lowered expectations.
Dana was hired and paid to get us back to 10+ wins and to win conference titles. That is what has to happen and even more so since we had the #HTownShutdown last year. We didn’t fire a guy for going 15-10 in 2 years to the pay nearly triple in salary for a guy to do less than that and be happy with it.
Monceaux – I think it’s Clayton Tune. We can all agree that he hasn’t been put in the best position but that doesn’t change that he’s got to win games. He has to be the reason UH wins games this year. Tune only has two wins since he got his first start in Memphis in 2018. Those are UNT and Tulsa but, strangely, on the road (all 3 of UH’s FBS wins last year were on the road). He’s got to win games to keep his teammates bought in and to get the fanbase to buy-in.
I think everyone is rooting for him. But he’s going to have a makeshift OL in front of him and, with his skill set, it could be tougher for him. Hopefully, a new OC and QB coach can gameplan for him better this season.