WINNING THE BIG ONE: IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL, IT’S THE CALL OF THE WILD!

UH 091209 004When my University of Houston Cougars roared back on the road yesterday to defeat the No. 5 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys, 45-35, in their own house, I wondered how long it would take for us to hear from the wolves of other universities who may be interested now  in hiring away our gifted second year head coach, Kevin Sumlin.

It didn’t take long to find that I’m not the only one close to UH who had the same thought. Call it our “Cougar Insecurity,” or what have you, but two of my alumni buddies also called me independently sfter the game to discuss our shared joy in the victory, but also to express our need to protect our coach as much as possible from the wolves who represent the BCS perennial loser schools. After all, if a school like Baylor could rip away a good coach like Art Briles from our grasp, what are the odds that a school with an even better football pedigree might choose to go after a greater, far more innovative and disciplined coach like Keven Sumlin?

Writer Richard Justice referred to that possibility this morning in his column about UH’s signature “We’re Back!” win over their first Top Ten foe in twenty-five years.” He wrote about how centrally important having the right coach is to reaching that level an accomplishment.

“UH has found one of those special coaches in (Kevin) Sumlin, and now it’s a matter of holding on to him. UH should be aggressive, not reactive.” Justice wrote.  “Sign him. Now. Offer him 1o years or 15 years or whatever he wants.”  Check out Richard Justice’s whole column on UH winning like a champion at the folllowing site:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/justice/6616109.html

I hope that UH is able to offer Kevn Sumlin an attractive extention to his current contract – and I will hope even more that he turns out to be a man who, like the great Bill Yeoman, just falls in love with the idea of staying at UH as a career, through thick and thin.

My loyalties go way back to 1946, when UH played its first season of college football. We’re talking now about a kid who hung on the radio listening to UH defeat Dayton in the 1951 Salad Bowl that they played briefly over in Arizona back in the day. As far as my joy was concerned in 1951, we may as well have won the Rose Bowl. I was just sorry we never had the chance to turn running back Gene Shannon loose on the field against the likes of Ohio State and USC. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. That early connection was helped by the same fact that helped me bond with Houston Buffs baseball. I grew up fairly near both Buff Stadium and the UH campus. Other thanUH 091209 001 a brief time in high school, when I flirted impractically with the idea of going to Notre Dame, UH was always my school. I was going to have to work to get through college and UH was the one school back then that seemed to cater to students in my circumstance. And it worked for me too.

At any rate, the bond I have with UH is both ancient and unbreakable in all things academic and athletic. I’m sorry that our UH joy from yesterday had to come at the expense of OSU because I have a good friend who went to school there and I also think the 2009 Cowboys do have a really good team. That being said, if feels too dadgum Cougar-partial-good to ignore this rainy Sunday morning after in Houston.

That’s Cougar defender Jamal Robinson (in the above 2nd photo) scoring on a 26-yard interception play in the closing minutes of the game at Stillwater, Oklahoma yesterday. It was the proverbial “daggar to the heart” of Oklahoma State hope for one more comeback.

Next up in two weeks? The Texas Tech Red Raiders at Robertson Stadium in Houston! ~ Eat ‘Em Up, COOGS!

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