With all of the rumored conference realignment that was supposed to happen this past season, and even the few teams who actually did switch conferences (or drop conference affiliation altogether), fans of the University of Houston were, and remain very concerned about where their school will end up. Older UH fans remember when the Cougars were a member of the major Southwest Conference, and nobody wants to see such a proud school with such tradition relegated to Conference USA.
The coveted destination of the moment is the Big East, which recently took TCU, and may be looking for another football school in the near future. Realistic fans have long since given up hopes of a Big XII invite, and everybody has their own conspiracy theory as to why the Cougars were left out of the Big XII in the first place, but in recent years, the real answer is starting to become very clear.
Nobody in the Big XII wants any piece of Houston. And I'm not just talking about the Longhorns and Aggies refusing to schedule us in football. Consider...
The last time a Cougar team faced a Texas-Austin team in a men's sport, it was March 6, 2010. The sport was baseball. The Cougar pitching staff dominated the 'Horn lineup from start to finish. Final score: Houston 1, #3 Texas-Austin 0.
Texas A&M won't play us in football or basketball, but appear willing to face the Coogs in the bat and ball sports. In two baseball games and one softball game this year - all three games featuring a ranked Aggie squad against an unranked Cougar team - A&M has managed just one win.
Baylor has been conspicuously absent from Houston's football and basketball schedules as well, but that hasn't stopped Cougar softball from beating the ranked Bears two out of three on the diamond this year.
Texas Tech played "down" to face the Cougars in football recently, and only managed to split two games. The Red Raider baseball team has made a habit of competing in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park every even year. That has meant losses to the host Cougars in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Oklahoma State was willing to schedule the Cougars in football, and took a loss in Stillwater as the #5 team in the country for their troubles. In three meetings on the gridiron from '06 to '09, the Cowboys managed just one win. The #20 OSU softball team came to Houston to try their hand against the Big XII-slaying Cougars this year, and well, you can probably guess by now how that went. Cougars 3, Cowboys 2.
The mighty Oklahoma Sooners faced the Coogs in a men's basketball pre-season tournament in Alaska last season. The #23 Sooners took an 18-point lead in the first half, so no problem, right? Oops, Houston stormed back and won, 100-93.
Due to geographical issues, the Cougars obviously don't face Big XII North teams as often, but that didn't stop the Cougar women's basketball team from finding a way to play and upset #21 Nebraska this year, 79-70. No word as to whether or not the Cornhuskers are fleeing to the Big Ten to avoid the Cougar curse.
There is one Big XII school that has been immune to Houston's giant-slaying powers, however. A school that took both games in a home and home with the UH men's basketball team recently, and even knocked off the Coogs' power softball program, 9-1, in Houston last year.
I am referring, of course, to the Iowa State Cyclones.
Sure, I'm picking my results somewhat, and yes, this article was written somewhat with tongue-in-cheek. But it is worth noting that the Big XII hasn't exactly dominated Houston on the field the way they might like to claim. Houston's athletics program as a whole might be more ready for a major conference invite than you might except. Well, as long as we don't have to face those pesky Cyclones.