Rice vs. UH Football: The Houston Showdown
This weekend, Rice University faces the University of Houston in football in a Houston faceoff. The two Houston schools, although located not too far from each other, are fairly different. Houston's reputation as a public commuter school has been challenged in recent years with the growth of a fantastic football program under the leadership of Tom Herman (boooo, say UH fans and UT haters) and a growing national and international recognition, especially with the #2 ranked Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management program. Meanwhile, Rice is known as the elite, diverse private school nestled in the Museum District that once had great football, but in recent years has been "rebuilding." With Houston now in the AAC and Rice continuing to be in CUSA, there hasn't been a chance in recent years for Houstonians to pick their hometown college team among the two greats.
Even though ESPN predicts UH the winner at a 92.4 percent rate, Rice won't go down without a fight, as the once-popular but now only mildly competitive rivalry is reignited with a good ol' fashioned football game. The two teams haven't faced each other in football since 2013, even though they used to compete yearly for the "Bayou Bucket" trophy.
Rice won the very first UH vs. Rice football scrimmage in 1946 (albeit when Rice had an official team and UH had just mustered up some players), so maybe there is hope for the Owls for this round of play? Doubtful, but the game is sure to be fun nonetheless. It will be the third game in Rice's season - the Owls will have already played Stanford and UTEP. It will be the third game in UH's season too, with the Cougars having played UTSA and Arizona. The game will be a test for new UH head coach Major Applewhite as he attempts to pick up the excitement and progress started by Tom Herman.
Fun things to look for include the MOB, or Marching Owl Band, who doesn't usually travel, but will undoubtedly be making the five-mile trek to perform a sarcastic or biting performance at UH's expense. Also look for pre-game trash talk in the school newspapers for both schools, which have been equally hilarious in the past.
No matter the outcome, we all come out winners: Both UH and Rice are great Houston schools paving the way for even greater national recognition for our city and the great education and athletics we have going on here. Aren't we lucky, no matter what team?
The game is set to take place on Sept. 16, at TDECU Stadium at 7 p.m. Get your tickets here. The game will be televised on ESPN 3.
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