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College football countdown | No. 94: Rice


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In a nutshell: Rice needs to prove itself in two areas before being taken seriously as a challenger to Tulsa, East Carolina, Marshall and Louisiana Tech in Conference USA. The first is in road games: Rice has won four regular-season games away from home over the last three years, with three coming in 2012 against Kansas (1-11), Tulane (2-10) and UTEP (3-9). This year's schedule sends the Owls away from home against Texas A&M, Houston, Tulsa, UTSA, New Mexico State, North Texas and UAB – giving this team only five true home games. Even if the Owls are a stronger team than UTSA, NMSU and UAB, is it safe to predict anything better than 3-4 in this season's road games? In my mind, considering the program's historically weak play on the road, whether Rice makes another postseason run hinges on whether it can defeat Kansas and Louisiana Tech at home.

The second area: Rice needs to beat good teams. It'll be hard to view the Owls as anything but a lucky beneficiary of an easy schedule should this team reach six wins against Florida Atlantic, UTSA, New Mexico State, UTEP, North Texas and Tulane. Would that be a successful season? Yes, in many respects – because a bowl trip is a bowl trip, and Rice will take those where, when and however they come. But would that resume make Rice a top-75 team in the FBS? Probably not.



Conference: Conference USA, West

Location: Houston

Nickname: Owls

Returning starters: 17 (7 offense, 10 defense)

Last year's ranking: No. 111

2012 record: 7-6 (4-4)

Last year's re-ranking: No. 70

2013 schedule:

Aug. 31 at Texas A&M
Sept. 14 Kansas
Sept. 21 Houston (at Reliant Stadium)
Sept. 28 Florida Atlantic
Oct. 5 at Tulsa
Oct. 12 at UTSA
Oct. 19 at New Mexico State
Oct. 26 UTEP
Oct. 31 at North Texas
Nov. 16 Louisiana Tech
Nov. 21 at UAB
Nov. 30 Tulane

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I wonder how much the Rice fans are moaning over only 5 games at their home stadium?

They're not.

We Coogs know Rice better than anybody. (Hell, we've been archrivals for well over 40 years) Rice doesn't care about petty things like having 5 home games instead of six or worrying about students cursing in their fight song. (Let's be real here, the Green Brigade would NEVER be allowed to do ANYTHING close to what the MOB does)

Rice fans worry about real problems like their lackluster AD and Coaching staffs outside of baseball. They raised over a billion dolllars about a week or so ago and very very little of it is going to athletics. They are worried about losing their football program due to a civil war in their administration.

Go to their board and you won't see any of the silly threads you see here on GMG.

Edited by Cougar King
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