I made the trip down to Dallas for Conference USA media days, largely to pick up some material for our preseason football magazine.
There are always plenty of other tidbits to come out of events like this that are good blog fodder, though.
Houston coach Tony Levine expressed confidence in his team to quickly make the transition to a new era in his first full season as Houston’s head coach.
Levine said Houston will go through multiple mock games in preparation for the 2012 season. He expects the Cougars to be ready for their early nonconference games. UNT gets Houston on Oct. 6. Losing Case Keenum will be a big blow for Houston, but don’t overlook David Piland, who led C-USA in league play with an average of 316.5 passing yards a game when Keenum was injured in 2010. He redshirted last season.
Rice head coach David Bailiff and Tulane coach Curtis Johnson both said they expect UNT to be competitive quickly in C-USA. Bailiff said he could see the difference the addition of Dan McCarney as head coach and UNT’s pending move to C-USA have made in the level of players UNT is talking to in terms of recruiting.
And speaking of recruiting, Johnson said that he is not surprised to see the level of attention UNT is paying to recruits in Louisiana. Johnson said he made a living recruiting the state throughout a long tenure as an assistant coach at places like Miami and SMU.