2016 Football Preview – Houston Cougars
Looking for 2016 Houston Cougars predictions? Other than the defending champs, Alabama, maybe no team comes into the 2016 season with more momentum than the Houston Cougars. Led by their first year coach Tom Herman they went 13-1 last season, with only a small hiccup at Connecticut, that prevented them from really complicating the playoff picture.
2016 AAC College Football Preview – Houston Cougars
Head Coach: Tom Herman
2015 Record: 13-1
Odds to win AAC: +100
Houston Cougars Odds to win National Championship: 75/1
Win Total: 9
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Somehow they were able to keep the coach in town and now they are staring down a season that could certainly have them representing the Group of Five in the playoffs.
They have the talent but will they be able to be as good this season with everyone looking for them to fall under the weight of expectations.
Houston is definitely one of the big stories heading into the season.
Houston Cougars Strengths
He might not be an NFL talent but returning QB Greg Ward Jr. is an elite college player and the offense should be very good once again – just think about how Herman was able to capitalize on the unique talents of Braxton Miller at Ohio State.
Houston averaged 40ppg last season and even though they are turning over some key positions turning over they should be very potent once again.
RB could be a big strength this year. Duke Catalon, a highly touted transfer from Texas tore it up during his mandatory year on the sidelines last season.
He is a strong runner and will help the Cougars maintain the great balance they had a year ago.
On defense four front seven players return.
They will have to do their jobs to make sure the secondary, which is transitioning three new starters and was among the best in the country last season, is not overexposed.
Houston Cougars Weaknesses
Though coach Tom Herman is an offense guy a key part of the success of last year was a defense that yielded just 20 ppg, making for a huge point differential spread.
This season they are looking to overhaul a secondary that was very good and with the college game featuring more and more spread offenses that lack of continuity back there could be a problem.
Similarly, only one starter returns on the offensive line and this is going to be a young group with just one upperclassmen (a junior) expected to start.
Even though Herman is lauded as one of the best offensive minds in the game if your offensive line is bad, it makes it hard to do everything else. Right now they are a question mark even with Ward Jr.’s amazing mobility.
Houston Cougars Prediction
Houston may be a program on the rise, though we have seen this kind of thing before and it may just depend on how long they can keep Herman on the sidelines.
Fair or not their entire season may be determined by their first game vs Oklahoma, in Houston but on a neutral field. Win it and suddenly the playoffs could definitely be a reality this season, lose and they become an afterthought in a heartbeat, like so many other upstarts.
Either way there is no reason the Cougars should lose the AAC this season. I think the league will be a little down overall and they should dominate in league games.
I think they probably lose that opener against the Sooners but keep it close so keep an eye on the line as the season approaches. Backing the Cougars against the spread may be the reasoned choice, not an emotional one.
For me that is the only game they lose all season so they should be able to go over on the win total if you are looking at future props. Even that +100 on the conference title is pretty good.
Not a huge payoff but not a lot standing in their way either.
2016 Houston Cougars Football Schedule
- 9/3/16 12:00 PM ET OKLA
- 9/10/16 TBD LAM
- 9/15/16 TBD @CIN
- 9/24/16 TBD @TXST
- 9/29/16 TBD CONN
- 10/8/16 3:00 PM ET @NAVY
- 10/15/16 TBD TLSA
- 10/22/16 TBD @SMU
- 10/29/16 TBD UCF
- 11/12/16 TBD TULN
- 11/17/16 TBD LOU
- 11/25/16 TBD @MEM
What do you think about our 2016 Houston Cougars predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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