There are 120 teams in the NCAA's Division 1-A, but only two of them get to play for the Conference USA championship. We're sure Ohio State and USC, on the outside looking in, can barely contain their jealousy.
Instead of those losers, it's the mighty, mighty Coogs of UH taking on Southern Miss at Robertson Stadium Friday night. It's been a long time since there was a post-season football game of any importance in town that didn't involve high schools, so it's worth checking out.
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Our advice, though, is to pick up your will-call tickets early if you're ordering by phone (713-GO-COOGS) or online, although don't bother if you're using Mozilla Firefox. Update: Apparently Firefox works sometimes (See our Comments section).
We went by UH's surprisingly luxurious Athletics & Alumni Center Tuesday afternoon to pick up our tickets and found about 30 people waiting in a line that wasn't moving too quickly, despite the best efforts of the hard-working staff. Will-calls at Robertson Stadium have always been dicey, and we're guessing Friday night will be no different. Between the will-call line and the legendarily long (but worth it) waits for fried chicken at the nearby Frenchy's, it could be a frustrating night.
One bonus of Tuesday's long ticket queue: Some short, middle-aged white guy was giving shooting lessons to a tall black kid on the basketball court adjacent to the ticket office. He worked his way around the three-point perimeter, knocking down shots with ease. Then he went to midcourt, turned his back to the basket and launched a series of one-handed, over-the-head shots. Two of three went in, and the other missed by inches.
Coogs, you have your halftime entertainment option for Friday sitting right in front of you. -- Richard Connelly