First, here’s the 2011 schedule:
Sep. 3 – UCLA
Sep. 10 – @UNT
Sep. 17 – @La Tech
Sep. 24 – Georgia State
Oct. 1 – @UTEP
Oct. 8 – ECU
Oct. 15 – BYE
Oct. 22 – Marshall
Oct. 29 – Rice
Nov. 5 – @UAB
Nov. 12 – @Tulane
Nov. 19 – SMU
Nov. 26 – @Tulsa
With the full 2011 football schedule coming out, we can now step back and look at a few components and how the schedule will help or hurt the UH football team. I think this is a pretty fair and actually fairly helpful schedule for the most part.
Things to like:
- Non-conference games being played first. Four warm-up games for three new OL, a revamped secondary, JUCO recruits and QB Case Keenum to adjust and ready themselves for CUSA play.
- No stretch of three-straight road games. It’s pretty ridiculous to play three-straight on the road but we’ve done it each of the last two years. Thankfully, C-USA figured this out in 2011.
- Both back-to-back road game stretches are completely winnable. A second- or third-road game in a row can often times be complicated – thankfully, the UNT/LaTech and UAB/Tulane back-to-backs should not be a huge problem in and of themselves.
- We’re home for over a month with ECU, bye, Marshall and Rice. This is the time to really clean up in the conference race.
- Three-straight CUSA West games to end the year. Gives us the opportunity to make up a lot of ground real fast if necessary.
- Six games, bye week, then six more games. Pretty even schedule – no glaring competitive imbalances.
Things not to like:
- I don’t like playing SMU after the Tulane roadie. Tulane has the feel of a trap game and they will be playing for Bob Toledo’s job by then. SMU will be our game of the year if we take care of business previously; Tulane could be one of those “don’t get up for” games.
- Three of the last four on the road. To get to the CUSA title game, we’re going to have to earn it in November. No, UAB, Tulane and Tulsa aren’t a gauntlet – but it’s still three November road games.
- I’d prefer to play two home games to begin the season with as many unknowns as we will have in 2011. There are a lot of first-year or recently hurt players to weave into a system in a hurry.
In total, this is a schedule where you could make a run. There are no obvious holes and there are no season-killing teams on this schedule. Coach Sumlin has to like his chances in this schedule a lot more than the first three he was dealt.