Can Rice Owl's Football Turn it Around?

In a Fight Between the Panthers and the Owls, May the Better Bird Win
It’s difficult to imagine that a school like Rice could produce a winning football team. In a highly-competitive state at a university with tough academic standards, their pool of potentials is limited by the willingness of players to subject themselves to those standards and the competition of more prestigious universities who attract the players that have both the moves and the minds. With the addition Mike Bloomgren as head coach, they might have the weapon to succeed that they need. 

Bloomgren, who graduated with a master’s in higher education administration with a 4.0 GPA at the University of Alabama, is no slouch himself, but coming from his last post as Stanford’s offensive coordinator, he has plenty of experience in dealing with players who are, no disrespect intended, probably smarter than he is. As a first-time head coach, he will certainly be motivated to make his mark on Rice University and to utilize his extensive experience on the offensive line to strengthen the Owl’s run game. 

Fortunately for Bloomgren and the Owl’s, most sports analysts agree that their first matchup against the Prairie View A&M Panthers on August 25 should be an easy victory. It’s inertia that the Owl’s will need as the schedule quickly ramps up when they return to Houston for their next match against the University of Houston's Cougars

The Cougars will be a more significant threat. After bringing more talent to their team at the end of July acquiring commitments from the weak-side defensive end Nelson Ceaser, safety Ronald Nunnery and the quick-footed all-purpose back De'Mitri Monroe, the Cougars are shaping up to be real prospect this season. The Owls definitely have their work cut out for them playing UH, but at least they will have the home-field advantage at Rice Stadium. 

The schedule gets increasingly challenging for the Owls as the season progresses. After playing UH, they will be traveling to Honolulu to face the Rainbow Warriors, Mississippi to battle the Golden Eagles, and North Carolina to head off with the Demon Deacons before finally earning a home game against the Roadrunners. 

The Owls have a difficult season ahead of them, but Bloomgren thinks he has a winning strategy. By focusing the Owl’s offence on the ground game, he hopes to take control of the field early and set the pace of play, creating the kind of game that will allow the talents of his team to carry them to victory. However, If Bloomgren wants to dominate the running game, everything will depend on whether the Owl's can attract the talent they need to bolster their offensive line. The next several weeks will be telling as football talent is locked down around the nation. 

With the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down the ban on sports betting outside of Nevada, excitement surrounding college ball has a special flavor this season. Projections for Rice range for no way to maybe, but all that could change in the near future as the Owl's roster is fully fleshed out. It's never been easier to get in on the excitement of sports betting. For Canadian fans, you can find up to date betting news and more for Canadians that will give you the edge you need to make the smart play.