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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Opinion

Staff editorial: Listen to Tom Herman


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Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

Earlier this semester, we wrote a staff editorial encouraging students, alumni and fans to show up for the football games this season. Head coach Tom Herman placed a big emphasis on the fan involvement and wanting to see a sold out stadium this year.

The students are doing a great job, so far. The student section has been loud and proud each game, although perhaps leaving a little early.

But the alumni, faculty, staff and non-student Houston fans in general still leave something to be desired.

While average attendance numbers from this season and last season are somewhat similar, down around 1,000 attendees from last year, the product on the field this year is much better.

Last season started off with a sold out game in the grand opening of TDECU Stadium, which the Cougars flopped in a 27-7 loss.

This season, the Cougars have yet to reach a sell-out crowd, despite an undefeated record. Now UH is ranked in the AP top 25 for the first time since 2011.

The last home game drew just over 25,000 fans, marginally better than the Cougars’ third home game from a year ago, which saw 23,408 in attendance.

The biggest issue with not packing out TDECU is that the fans are falling well short of Herman’s expectations.

UH fans talk a big game about a move to the Big 12, but we can’t expect an invitation to the next level when we can’t even pack a 40,000-seat stadium to see an undefeated team on a week to week basis.

That’s not the kind of fan base and team a Power-5 conference wants to add to their ranks.

UH has a recent history of being a stepping-stone program for coaches looking for bigger and better things, with notable head coaches Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin leaving the Cougars for the greener pastures of Baylor University, a program once the continuous floor-mat of the Big 12, and Texas A&M University, a program moving into the Southeastern Conference with many wondering if they could compete with their new peers.

This football season isn’t even over yet and already a number of high-profile head coaching jobs at notable Power-5 schools have opened up, such as the University of Southern California, the University of South Carolina and the University of Miami.

If the Cougars and their faithful want to keep Herman around for a while, fulfill your end of the bargain: come early, be loud, wear red and stay late.

Show that you are taking ownership of this program.

You have a chance to show up when the Cougars play host to Vanderbilt University on Halloween night. The game is a prime-time match-up, which will be featured on ESPN 2, with 18th ranked UH having a chance to further their cause in a game against a SEC foe.

It’s time for the fans to start walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

Sell out TDECU Stadium and show the nation that we mean business.

-The Cougar editorial board

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