U of H Cougars upgrading conferences?
HOUSTON University of Houston Athletic Director Mack Rhoades knows things could change very quickly. Rhoades is like a lot of college athletic directors these days - all this conference shuffling talk is keeping him awake at night. Playing in Conference USA has been good to the Cougars. Still if there's going to be a major reshuffling across the nation, the Coogs will look for what's in their best interest. Rhoades is in constant contact with C-USA's other ADs. "Everyone is talking to everyone. It's an odd time. We have legion to our conference, at the same time we do what's best for the institution," said Rhoades. "The unpredictability of all of this is extreme. Every day it changes a lot with the Big Ten, Pac 10, Notre Dame - all moving pieces we're monitoring closely." With the Big Ten looking at the Irish and Nebraska, the Pac 10 at Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, the Cougars could be in position to upgrade their conference standing. "We really got to focus on improving ourselves as an athletic program; I think we're doing that. We have a football program that's ranked in Top 25, we're working on facilities, making improvements. We'll have a story to tell whether it's in C-USA or elsewhere," said Rhoades. To make U of H as attractive as possible should a conference shake-up happen, improvements of Robertson Stadium and Hofheinz Pavilion would need to happen now. There's no official word, but Cougar sources told us the plan is to put a total of $150 million into renovations of both facilities. "We're closer than we've ever been. We're getting there. Leave it at that for now," Rhoades said. Rhoades says he knows it's important to show U of H is committed to improving their facilities should the dominoes start to fall.