Some good news for the Houston Cougars: Its fancy new on-campus stadium is still on track for its scheduled opening in the fall of 2014. More good news: After the release of the NFL schedule, the Cougars were able to announce late last week that their Aug. 30, Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Oct. 31 games -- vs. Southern, Rice, BYU and USF, respectively -- will be played at the Houston Texans' Reliant Stadium.
The bad news? The Cougars' old stadium no longer exists and the school still doesn't know where its Oct. 12, Nov. 23, and Nov. 29 games against Memphis, Cincinnati and SMU* will be played. According to the announcement, the Cougars "continue to work around the clock with Reliant Stadium, the NFL and other entities to finalize the location for our three remaining home games."
The Cougars will not issue its season-ticket renewals to its 2013 ticket-holders until after the location (or locations) of the games are finalized -- no doubt a major public relations headache for its ticket office.
But the Cougars should be able to find somewhere close by to host their games before much longer. A Cougar spokesman (per Campus Union) mentioned the possibilities of borrowing Rice's stadium for a game or two or playing in BBVA Compass Stadium, home of MLS's Houston Dynamo.
Both of those stadiums already have football tenants, though -- the Owls, obviously, at Rice, and the SWAC's Texas Southern Tigers at BBVA Compass -- that could complicate matters. With only a little more than four months until the start of the season, though, the Cougars need something, and fast.
*Weirdly, all three of these are conference games in the league formerly known as the Big East and to be known in the future as the AAC or "the American Athletic Conference."