1976 Houston Cougars football team

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1976 Houston Cougars football
University of Houston classic logo.png
Cotton Bowl Champions
Southwest Conference Co-Champions
Cotton Bowl Classic, vs. #4 Maryland, W 30–21
Conference Southwest Conference
Ranking
Coaches #4
AP #4
1976 record 10–2 (7–1 SWC)
Head coach Bill Yeoman
Offensive coordinator Bill Yeoman
Offensive scheme Houston Veer
Defensive coordinator Don Todd
Home stadium Astrodome (53,000)
Seasons
« 1975 1977 »
1976 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4 Houston § 7 1 0     10 2 0
#13 Texas Tech § 7 1 0     10 2 0
#7 Texas A&M 6 2 0     10 2 0
Baylor 4 3 1     7 3 1
Texas 4 4 0     5 5 1
Arkansas 3 4 1     5 5 1
Rice 2 6 0     3 8 0
SMU 2 6 0     3 8 0
TCU 0 8 0     0 11 0
§ – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1976 Houston Cougars football team, also known as the Houston Cougars, Houston, or UH, represented the University of Houston in the college football 1976–1977 season. It was the 31st year of season play for Houston. The team was coached by fifteenth-year head football coach, Bill Yeoman. The team played its home games at the Astrodome, a 53,000-person capacity stadium off-campus in Houston. It was Houston's first year of season play as a full member of the Southwest Conference eligible as champions. Upon winning the conference as co-champions, the Cougars competed against the Maryland Terrapins in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and finished the post-season at an all-time highest national ranking in the history of the program. Senior defensive tackle Wilson Whitley received the Lombardi Award following the season. Future UH and Baylor head coach Art Briles played on this team.

Previous season[edit]

The 1975 season was the fifth and final year of provisional play for Houston as a member of the Southwest Conference in football. The Cougars earned an abysmal 2–8, record with wins over only Lamar and Tulsa. It was head coach Bill Yeoman's fourteenth year, and the worst Cougars record in terms of wins since the 1964 season. At the conclusion of the season, Cougars guard Everett Little was drafted to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round, and 124th overall in the 1976 NFL Draft. Defensive back Donnie McGraw was drafted to the Denver Broncos in the thirteenth round, and 362nd overall.

Schedule[edit]

Houston's 1976 Southwest Conference championship trophy
Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 11 at Baylor Baylor StadiumWaco, Texas ABC W 23–5   37,500[1]
September 18 at Florida* Florida FieldGainesville, Florida L 49–14   49,820[1]
September 25 vs. #9 Texas A&M Rice StadiumHouston, Texas W 21–10   70,001[1]
October 9 West Texas A&M* Astrodome • Houston, Texas W 50–7   23,498[1]
October 16 at SMU #19 Cotton BowlDallas, Texas W 29–6   28,204[1]
October 23 vs. #15 Arkansas #14 Rice Stadium • Houston, Texas L 14–7   47,192[1]
October 30 TCU Astrodome • Houston, Texas W 49–21   18,263[1]
November 6 at #20 Texas #19 Memorial StadiumAustin, Texas W 30–0   77,809[1]
November 20 at #5 Texas Tech #9 Jones StadiumLubbock, Texas ABC W 27–19   45,102[1]
November 27 at Rice #7 Rice Stadium • Houston, Texas (Bayou Bucket Classic) W 42–20   32,212[1]
December 4 Miami #6 Astrodome • Houston, Texas W 21–16   20,849[1]
January 1 vs. #4 Maryland* #6 Cotton BowlDallas, Texas (Cotton Bowl Classic) CBS W 30–21   58,500[1]
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.

Poll rankings[edit]

Week-to-Week Rankings
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking. ██ Not ranked the previous week.
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Final
AP NR NR NR NR NR 19 14 NR 19 12 9 7 6 4

Coaching staff[edit]

Head coach Bill Yeoman coaches Houston
Name Position Alma mater (Year) Year at Houston
Bill Yeoman Head coach/offensive coordinator Army (1948) 15th
Don Todd Defensive coordinator Hardin-Simmons (1964) 5th
Melvin Brown Offensive backs coach Oklahoma (1954) 15th
Clarence Daniel Defensive backs coach Huron (1955) 5th
Ronny Peacock Defensive backs coach Houston (1972) 3rd
Barry Sides Offensive line coach/defensive ends coach Houston (1968) 8th
Elmer Redd Offensive backfield coach Prairie View A&M (1950) 7th
Gary Mullins Linebackers coach Houston (1972) 2nd
Joe Arenas Wide receivers coach Nebraska-Omaha (1951) 14th

References[edit]