Day one of the new normal


On this day in 2023, the University of Houston played its first conference game in the Big 12.

the daily #47 | 9/16/2023 | Archives

Today is the day. There was the rumors phase, the official application and acceptance, the planning, the ramping up, the official entry on July 1, Big 12 Media Days, the first football game of the first year in the league, and soccer played the first-ever Big 12 game.

But today is Houston’s first conference football game in the Big 12. Today, the “greater than 12” commemorative coin makes its debut at TDECU Stadium:

Houston has joined a conference six times before today. But UH did not host their opening conference game when they joined the Lone Star Conference in 1946, nor did they host the opener when they joined the Gulf Coast Conference. The Missouri Valley sent UH on the road for their first game in that league in 1951.

The Coogs went to Baylor to open the 1976 season, their first in the Southwest Conference. And they were on the road for the first game in the American, too. The Cougars have hosted their first-ever conference just once: in 1996 in Conference USA. Today, that number doubles.

But here’s the thing: UH won the LSC opener at East Texas State, they beat Detroit in the first game in the MVC, used a great second half to wallop Baylor en route to a Cotton Bowl in 1976, beat Memphis in the Dome in 1996 on the way to the Liberty Bowl, and won with five field goals at Temple (and a last-minute TD) to open the American.

The Cougars lost their first-ever conference game in their first-ever football season in 1946. Since then, the Coogs are 5-0 in first-ever conference games and on a five-game winning streak dating back to 1949. That’s not bad.

Today, I’m making a point to go talk to old friends who lived through the glory years, endured the collapse of the Southwest Conference, and stuck through the years in the desert. It is an amazing day for the University as a whole, but also a day to celebrate the sturdy group of fans who collectively kept the lights on and the hope alive. Just want to see their smiles and energy before heading into the stadium.

Get into the stadium early today, friends, and soak it all in. This is your day.

Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is proud to be a corporate sponsor as the Official Personal Injury Law Firm for the University of Houston Athletics.

“As a University of Houston alum, I am honored that the University of Houston Athletics chose our firm to be their official and exclusive personal injury law firm,” says Stewart J. Guss, the firm’s founder.