HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: University of Houston Frontiersman hold the UH flag and the American flag during the University of Houston school song before the Houston Cougars played the Southern Methodist University Mustangs on November 19, 2011 at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas. Houston defeated SMU 37-7. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

2012 Houston Cougars Football: Final C-USA Run For UH Begins Saturday

Houston's Tony Levine and David Piland era will begin with a full slate of televised games, the second year in a row that every UH football contest will be available.

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Houston Looking For Conference Title In Final C-USA Season

The Houston Cougars will try to end their stay in Conference USA as champions, beginning with a season kickoff against Texas State on Saturday.

Houston last season, behind NCAA career passing record-holder Case Keenum, ripped through its schedule only to stumble and lose to Southern Mississippi, 49-28, in the Conference USA Championship game. It did, however, rebound to defeat Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl, 30-14, in then-interim head coach Tony Levine's debut on the sidelines.

With Keenum gone, sophomore quarterback David Piland -- who played in Keenum's absence in 2010, reports Joseph Duarte of The Houston Chronicle -- will take the reigns of Houston's high-powered offense that will try to follow-up on a year in which it led the nation in passing yards per game (450.1) and points per game (49.3).

This will be the last chance for the Cougars to seek a Conference USA title, as the program will join the Big East Conference beginning in 2013.

For more on the Cougars, visit SB Nation Houston.


2012 Houston Cougars Football, Position Preview: Quarterbacks

The first Cougar football since the Ticket City Bowl victory is just days away. Our final position preview focuses on David Piland and the quarterbacks.


2012 Houston Cougars Football, Position Preview: Defensive Line

Converted linebacker Lloyd Allen leads a re-engineered four-man front for the Cougars in 2012.


2012 Houston Cougars Football, Position Preview: Wide Receivers

Who will be the next Patrick Edwards for Houston in 2012? With four departing seniors, there is plenty of playing time up for grabs.


2012 Houston Cougars Football, Position Preview: Linebackers

Senior Phillip Steward leads a linebacking unit that looks like one of Conference USA's best, despite two big losses due to graduation.


2012 Houston Cougars Football, Position Preview: Running Backs

Despite a heavy focus on the UH passing game, Charles Sims and the Cougar running backs have sprinted past the competition consistently for the past several years. Expect more of the same in 2012.


2012 Houston Cougars Football Position Preview: The Secondary

D.J. Hayden leads Conference USA's deepest, most talented group of defensive backs for the Cougars in 2012.


2012 Houston Cougars Football, Positional Breakdown: Offensive Line

Junior Ty Cloud is one of four returning starters on an offensive line that looks like one of the greatest strengths of the 2012 Houston Cougar football team.


2012 Houston Cougars Football, Positional Breakdown: Special Teams

SB Nation Houston's position-by-position preview of the 2012 Houston Cougars begins with a look at the Special Teams.


Houston Cougars 2012 Football TV Schedule Announced, With Every Game Broadcast

For the second straight season, every single Houston Cougars' football game will be broadcast on TV, most notably the brand-new Pac-12 Network and the growing CBS Sports Network, which announced on Thursday that it will carry two of the Cougars' games this fall.

Five games will be covered by the Fox Sports Net regional networks, including the Sept. 29 "Bayou Bucket" game against Rice at Reliant Stadium, as well as games against UAB (Oct. 13), at SMU (Oct. 18), at East Carolina (Nov. 3) and Tulane (Nov. 24).

Houston will appear on two national broadcasts thanks to the CBS Sports Network: vs. Louisiana Tech (Sept. 8) and vs. Tulsa at (Nov. 10), both home games at Robertson Stadium.

The yet-to-debut Pac-12 Network is scheduled to broadcast the Cougars' game Sept. 15 trip to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA (check your local listings, cable guides and probably Google, too).

The rest of the season's games will be available regionally on CSS. Here's a look at the complete schedule:


Clearly, the boost of a non-BCS school boasting a full slate of televised games won't hurt in recruiting and revenue, as evidenced by this accompanying quote from new head coach Tony Levine:

"Competing in front of a television audience week in and week out spreads the Houston Football name across the nation to future student-athletes," said Levine, who begins his first full year as head coach with the program in 2012. "Our coaches and student-athletes have worked hard in the off-season and will be ready to go when training camp starts in August."

For more on Houston Cougars football, check out SB Nation's college football page.


Cougars And Owls Sign Two-Year Deal To Play Bayou Bucket

With the University of Houston Cougars making their move to the Big East there was some uncertainty as to whether or not UH and the Rice Owls would play the Bayou Bucket game that features the two local major universities.

The school signed a two-year deal to play at Reliant Stadium, which means this matchup will last at least trhough 2013, according to Sam Khan Jr. of the Houston Chronicle.

Here is what Rice athletic director Rick Greenspan said the Chronicle's Joseph Duarte:

"It has always been our goal to do everything that we can to maintain the Bayou Bucket series. It's obvious how much this game means to the players on both teams and we need to continue to make sure that future generations of Owls and Cougars will have the same opportunity to win the Bucket."

Read more about Cougars and Owls at SB Nation Houston.


Houston Spring Football Game: Cougars Look To Showcase Offense

Even though Kevin Sumlin is no longer the head coach of the University of Houston Cougars football squad, the new coach made it known a while ago that he wasn't going to mess up what Houston has already had going over the past few years.

Cougars fans will get a look at the Houston team post-Sumlin on Friday night at Robertson Stadium in the annual Red-White spring game. This caps the spring action for the Cougars as the 15th and final practice. Fans will get a chance to have a look at newly appointed quarterback David Piland, who has the burden of filling the shoes of Case Keenum.

Piland is going to have four new wide receivers as his weapons this season, but his offensive line does have experience. This, from Sam Khan Jr.'s report for the Houston Chronicle.

For the last three weeks, offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt, running backs coach Travis Bush, offensive line coach Lee Hays and receivers coaches Jamie Christian and Brandon Middleton have been busy reinstalling the offense for a unit that will have seven new starters, including four receivers and a quarterback.

"He's done a great job," Levine said of Nesbitt. "We've taken it slow to make sure they understand exactly what our expectations are.

"We've gotten to a point in the last couple practices and even moving forward this week to where we can be a little bit more creative and add a few little wrinkles to what our foundation of this offense is. It's something the kids have picked up quick."

Read more about the Cougars at SB Nation Houston.


Houston Cougars Spring Football: Mike Nesbitt's Offense Picks Up Where Kevin Sumlin Left Off

CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman has yet another fascinating look behind the scenes of the coaching world, this time at how the new-look Houston Cougars and Tony Levine brought together a staff that could continue the tradition of high-powered offenses in the wake of former head coach Kevin Sumlin and record-breaking quarterback Case Keenum departing the program.

Cougar fans can rest assured that Levine wants to maintain the status quo:

"My dad always used to say that cliche, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it,'" says Levine, a former Minnesota wide receiver, who has coached under Sumlin, Bobby Petrino, John Fox and Tommy Tuberville. "We've had a lot of success running this form of the 'Air-Raid' spread. I wanted to have the continuity. We've recruited for it and the personnel we have here now fits this offense. And, we don't have a bunch of 6-4, 275-pound tight ends walking around campus."

For his part, new offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt will maintain the terminology of Kevin Sumlin's offense, where former Keenum backup David Piland is considered the favorite for now.

For more on the Houston Cougars and everything else college football, be sure to visit SB Nation's college football page.

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Houston Spring Football Practice Begins: New Faces Abound For Cougars

Five quarterbacks will begin Spring drills in hopes of replacing the record-setting Case Keenum, as Houston begins the Tony Levine era.

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