The Houston Cougars aren’t exactly having the season they’d hoped for in 2023, as the first year in the Big 12 has resulted in a 3-5 mark in this game and just 1-4 in conference play.
The Cougars’ roster just isn’t ready to take on the teams that the Big 12 is throwing at them, which is to be expected at this point with them making the jump from the AAC.
All that adds up to the need for Houston to make some big moves on the recruiting trail and in the transfer portal this cycle. So, what’s the word on Houston’s class in the upcoming cycle? Well, it’s not pretty, and that’s putting it lightly.
Houston ranks 16th of 16 teams in the Big 12 for 2024 and 95th nationally, which puts them dead last among all Power Five programs. For perspective, Northern Illinois is 81st and Southern Miss is 70th in this class.
So, are Dana Holgorsen and the Cougars setting up to make a late run in this class and really push after adding some guys to their class that sits at just eight members? Nope. As Holgorsen said in his own words, “the ship has sailed” on this class.
During his Tuesday night coaches show, here’s what Holgorsen had to say, per GoCoogs.com:
It’s a valid question You know, there’s so many things that go into recruiting and recruiting has changed so much. There’s the high school guys that you recruit. Which right now, you know, the majority of the recruiting that we’re doing right now is more 25s, from a high school perspective.
If you’re still trying to recruit 24s right now from a high school perspective, you’re late, right? So you can say, why isn’t your 24 high school recruiting better? It’s a good question. It’s not great right now. I’ve said this a lot.
If you are still trying to recruit 24s right now from a HS perspective, you’re late. So you can say why isn’t the 24 HS recruiting better? It’s a good question, it’s not great right now. I’ve said this a lot when it comes to recruiting. For Big 12 recruiting, 24s need to see a Big 12 schedule, they need to see fans in the stands and exciting atmospheres like we witnessed two weeks ago, they need to see dirt being moved on a new building.
Ok well, they didn’t see any of that as juniors, ok? They just didn’t. They didn’t see any of that as juniors. And so, you know ‘coach those are just pictures’ or ‘coach yeah I hear you are going to do that, I hear it’s gonna (unintelligible).’
The 25s are seein’ it, ok? So our 25 high school recruiting I think is what everybody is after, ok?
Then there’s the portal guys. How many portal guys you take is based on how many kids you lose, you know, quite frankly. So, I think we are in flux right now because we’re in transition. Whether you like it or not, we’re in transition. Those kids need to see it. The 25s and 26s are seeing it. So we are going to have a chance at 25s and 26s. The 24s, that ship has sailed pretty much. So we are gonna have to get out in December and dig some people up and get into Junior Colleges and then get portal kids.
It sounds like the transfer portal is going to be Houston’s ticket to building the roster up to Big 12 standards, and while that can be done, it’s a slippery slope to climb (just look at Colorado).
The Cougars are heading to Waco this weekend to take on Baylor, with the Bears favored by 4.5. If the Coogs aren’t able to pick up a win in Week 10, they’ll have to win out to get to a bowl game.