Monday, November 06, 2006

Houston Week: Monday

If you haven’t heard, Houston beat Tulsa 27-10 on Saturday. Now, you may ask, “Why should I care?” It is really simple. SMU plays Houston at home on Saturday. If SMU wins, SMU is 4-2 in conference; Houston has conference losses. Then, the next Saturday, SMU plays Tulsa at home. If SMU wins again, SMU is 5-2 in conference; Tulsa has conference losses. Then, SMU plays Rice. If SMU beats Rice, nothing else matters and SMU wins Conference USA-West.

Put another way, SMU controls its own destiny.

SMU ended last season with a three-game winning streak. Obviously, SMU would like to end this season with a four game winning streak. Each one of these games will be the biggest games in post-death penalty SMU football history.

Now, a fair question is to ask when has SMU ever won a game with some importance? Most of SMU’s victories have come with nothing on the line. And when there is a big game, SMU has historically folded. Yes, I remember a six win SMU team losing to a winless TCU in 1997 on ESPN2.

I also remember SMU beating UAB on ESPN2 on Tuesday night. And that encourages me. That was a big game. It was on national TV and the loser of that SMU-UAB game was likely done for the season. Funny how games lose their importance after they have been played. I went back and watched the game and came away with one conclusion: SMU played better than I thought. SMU was not going to lose that game.

I keep thinking about the SMU playbook. And I until I put this thought in the blog, I won't be able to get it out of my head. So, here goes. I don't know how may pages are in Rusty Burns' playbook, but if a single play goes unused in the next three weeks, I am going to be ticked. Except the freeze play and the swinging gate, that is, I never want to see those again.

SMU’s is completely healthy for the first time since Week 2. The only injury is KR Jessie Henderson, who has a sprained ankle, and he is listed as probable.

If I lament anything about SMU playing Houston, it is that I now have to read the Houston Chronicle for a week.


Anonymous said...

The week prior to Henderson's injury someone on asked why he was not ever used at running back and questioned if it might be fear of injury. Well it has been several weeks now since he ran his one and only play on offense and he is still not back. I am surprise that not much has been written about this injury since he is our only mid season All American candidate and has not played in the 2nd half of the season. I guess we can surmise that he need not be used at running back , and I would repeat my plea to keep him off of the kickoff coverage where he sustained a concussion in an earlier game. Mark Rydel

Anonymous said...

Why bother to read that nasty thing known as the Houston Chronicle. UH gets so little attention in the sports section, you would do better to read ESPN or Sports Illustrated.