The University of Houston never looked at Conference USA as a destination in the
first place. It was always the means to an end.
UH wants to be in the Big 12, and if that sounds silly to you, it's not silly to the people who are working so hard at fund raising, recruiting and coaching.
The first thing UH athletic director Dave Maggard had to change was the attitude about such things. He had to convince staff and alumni that great things were possible. He might have done that.
Whether he succeeds, well, nothing is guaranteed.
"My goal is to get us in a position where we have options," he said. "We're never going to be satisfied being a bottom feeder."
"The biggest thing is that people, coaches, staff and alums are beginning to buy into the belief we can get this thing back up," Maggard said. "I feel we're close. We spend a lot of time telling our story, and it's beginning to pay off in fund raising. We've got a long way to go and will require a continual push. I think the new Conference USA gives us a great opportunity."
Compare that with the comments from SMU AD Jim Copeland in Sunday's DMN
Jim Copeland, the athletic director at SMU, said the Mustangs' move into C-USA is financially responsible and helps build a regional fan base.
"If you talk about national recognition, that comes from the prestige of the conference and what type of television package you have," Copeland said. "National recognition comes through being in the Eastern media. But people in the West find out their football games aren't covered until Monday morning. That's a fact of life."
Copeland also pointed out that travel to the West Coast is tough on players in terms of scheduling classes, and it drains money from the athletic budget. C-USA's members are spread across the East, Midwest and Southwest.
Copeland estimated the football program spent $200,000 on a trip to play former conference mate Hawaii.
I am debating whether comment is necessary. Ya see.... Well, nevermind. Draw your own conclusions.