9/1 at Rice
9/8 vs. Arizona
9/15 at Texas Tech
9/22 vs. Texas Southern
10/4 vs. Tulsa
10/13 at ECU
10/20 at Navy
10/27 vs USF
11/3 at SMU
11/10 vs. Temple
11/15 vs Tulane
11/23 at Memphis
- Houston faced Texas Tech, Arizona, and Rice last year as well. The Cougars lost to the Red Raiders 27-24, but beat Arizona 19-16 and Rice 38-3.
- Just three games on the schedule are outside the state of Texas.
- Former Cougars coach Kevin Sumlin’s first road game will bring him to a familiar place when the Wildcats visit TDECU Stadium September 8th.
- Houston improved their non-conference record to 14-4 since 2014.
- Obviously, the non-conference games against Arizona and Texas Tech will be difficult, but the second half of the season will test the Cougars. Starting with a trip to Annapolis to play Navy, Houston gets USF at home, at SMU, home vs. Temple, home vs. Tulane, and at Memphis to end the year. All of those teams have the potential to compete for a conference crown.
- The non-conference games against the Wildcats and Red Raiders will be tough. As mentioned before, Sumlin is taking over at Arizona, and will have potential Heisman Trophy candidate Khalil Tate running the offense. Houston saw Tate last year, but he wasn’t the same player then as he was at the end of the year. Sumlin’s offensive mind combined with Tate’s big play ability should give Houston plenty to worry about after facing Rice. Playing arguably its worst game of the season, Houston lost to Texas Tech last year. The Red Raiders will have a new quarterback, and hopefully the Cougars can put up a better showing in Lubbock than they did at home last year.
- Houston avoids defending AAC champ UCF once again, but could see them if the Cougars make it to the conference championship. Both teams have been favored by some to win the two divisions. They also get a nice break after the Texas Southern game before they start conference play as they will get 12 days off before the game against Tulsa.
Overall, the schedule doesn’t appear too daunting for Houston. The games against Arizona and Texas Tech won’t be easy, but they are winnable games. The conference slate doesn’t feature the top team in the conference (at least coming in to the season), and there isn’t a game that the Cougars can’t win. An AAC West title should be within reach for this team without a doubt.