Game of Coaches, Houston is Coming: a Look at the Houston Coaching Conspiracy and its Validity

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“And now you will all witness UH’s decades long master plan to come to relevance by sabotaging our in state competition using our coaching moles to destroy them from within….”

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Thus, began the Houston coaching conspiracy from a simple Reddit post by Jollyroger15 after the embarrassing week 1 losses from the major Texas schools. On the surface, it seems like an unimportant comment from a delusional fan, yet with further contemplation, makes one truly wonder.

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The conspiracy begins with infamous Art Briles. Serving as head coach of the Houston Cougars from 2003 to 2007, Briles saw immediate success leading his team to a 7-5 record and a bowl win in his first year. After an accomplished tenure of 34-27 with four bowl appearances, he took the HC job at Baylor. While faced with a team that had not seen a winning season in 12 years, Briles led the Bears to their first bowl appearance in 15 years in only three seasons. Through Briles’ seven seasons as Baylor’s HC they saw more success than ever before in program history including multiple Big 12 championships and a Heisman winner. Although Briles found great success in Waco, he also found himself in the center of serious rape allegations that forced an end to his Baylor career. While the Bears scrambled to save face, Mack Rhoades was hired as Baylor’s Athletic Director. During his time as Houston’s AD from 2009-2015, Rhoades was a participant in the Cougar’s success. When hired as AD for Baylor in 2016, Rhoades made the decision to hire new HC, Matt Rhule from Temple for the 2017 season. During Rhule’s first game as the Bear’s HC he suffered an embarrassing loss to FCS Liberty at home, allowing nearly 600 yards of embarrassment on his defense. Through this series of unfortunate events, Baylor’s future success seems dim.

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From 2008-2011 the University of Houston witnessed great success. With head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, the Cougars saw a 36-11 record and national notoriety from QB Case Keenum. Immediately following the outstanding success of the 2011 Cougar season, Sumlin was hired as the HC of the Texas A&M Aggies, taking Kingsbury with him. Sumlin and Kingsbury had the pleasure of coaching QB Johnny Manziel in their first season as he was the first freshman ever to be awarded the Heisman trophy. Immediately after, Kliff Kingsbury was given the HC position at Texas Tech where he has since contributed a meager 13-23 Big 12 record. At Texas A&M, Sumlin has gained recent notoriety for blowing a 34-point lead to UCLA in week 1, furthering the Sumlin witch-hunt for the Aggies to kick him to the curb. The future of the Aggies and the Raiders seem as unstable as the Bears at this point.

The most recent contributor to this conspiracy is Texas Longhorn’s new HC, Tom Herman. During the 2015 and 2016 tenure of Herman as the Houston HC, the Cougars saw astounding success and possibly the most national notoriety since program’s Heisman QB Andre Ware. With QB Greg Ware Jr. leading the charge, UH was ranked as high as 8 in the nation by defeating the likes of Oklahoma, Florida State, and Louisville’s Heisman winner Lamar Jackson twice. Herman set an impressive standard by becoming completely undefeated against ranked opponents with a two-year record of 22-4. Due to his achievements, he was hired as the HC of the Longhorns as the program savior after the Strong tenure. Texas entered the 2017 season ranked 23rd and immediately suffered a loss to the Big Ten mediocre Maryland Terps in Austin. After the worst three consecutive seasons the Longhorns have seen in decades, Texas fans were obviously unpleased with Herman’s showcase and began throwing things on the field in the fourth quarter to further the ever-perpetuating stereotype of Texas class.

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The only P5 school left out of this equation is TCU, which was conviently just a G5 school at the time of this master plan’s begining. With the extensive connections of Briles, Sumlin, Kingsbury, Herman, Rhoades and even Rhule to the University of Houston, it seems fairy strange to say the least. While all of these programs continue to put forth disappointing seasons, it seems odd they all have one thing in common, the Houston Cougars. Regardless of the great coaches Houston continues to lose time and time again, the Cougars somehow continue to succeed. It doesn’t seem completely unrealistic at this point to imagine a UH booster standing on top of a building in Houston, sipping wine like Cersei as the rest of college football in Texas explodes in wildfire. Let’s just hope TCU is smart enough to stay away from Kings Landing for a while.

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