Switching conferences requires diligence
The University’s quest to join a more prestigious athletic conference may not be as simple as switching allegiances.
The passage to the Big East looks to be on hold or could not happen altogether.
The UH Board of Regents granted Chancellor and President Renu Khator the privilege of negotiating with other conferences.
This is just one small step in a complicated process. The issue of conference realignment is a delicate situation, and there are no guarantees.
“There’s a lot of speculation out there,” UH Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades said. “The BCS could continue as is, it could continue tweaked, with a different formula, or it could go away. I don’t think anybody out there has a great idea, a great feel and could definitively say, ‘Hey, the BCS after 2013 is going to be exactly like this.’
“The whole conference realignment landscape is fluid,” Rhoades said. “Things change every day. We’re fortunate, because our program has made great strides.”
While UH is thinking over its invitation to the Big East, the Big 12 conference is busy plucking the best Big East universities.
West Virginia is one of the more successful schools in the Big East, but it is set to leave for the Big 12 now. The subtraction of West Virginia makes the Big East less powerful and could make the conference lose its status as an Automatic Qualifier.
Moving to another conference makes no sense unless there is an automatic bid to BCS bowl games. If the Big East ends up being the remnants of schools that ditched Conference USA, then UH is best suited staying in what will be a combination of C-USA and the Mountain West.
The good news is the Cougars are ranked No. 13 in the BCS standings and No. 14 in the AP poll and USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Cougars can do an adequate enough job of representing the University in their cleats and uniforms.
UH fans and supporters must do what they have been doing for more than a decade: Be patient. If football and other programs continue their success, more excitement is bound to come.