Rice Owls football

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Rice Owls football
2018 Rice Owls football team
Rice Owls logo.svg
First season 1912
Athletic director Joe Karlgaard
Head coach Mike Bloomgren
1st season, 0–0 (–)
Stadium Rice Stadium
(Capacity: 47,000)
Year built 1950
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Houston, Texas
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Conference USA
Division West
Past conferences Southwest
(1915-1996)
WAC
(1996-2004)
All-time record 463–582–32 (.445)
Bowl record 7–5 (.583)
Conference titles 8 (1934, 1937, 1946, 1949, 1953, 1957, 1994, 2013)
Division titles 2 (2008, 2013)
Rivalries SMU (rivalry)
Houston (rivalry)
Texas (rivalry)
Consensus All-Americans 6
Colors Blue and Gray[1]
         
Fight song Rice Fight
Mascot Sammy the Owl
Marching band Marching Owl Band
Website www.riceowls.com

The Rice Owls football team represents Rice University in NCAA Division I college football. The Owls have competed in Conference USA's Western Division since 2005. Rice Stadium, built in 1950, hosts the Owls' home football games.

History[edit]

1954 Cotton Bowl Classic[edit]

The Owls played in the eighteenth Cotton Bowl Classic against the Crimson Tide of Alabama, the game featured one of the most famous plays in college football history[2] when Rice's Dickey Moegle (later Maegle) burst free on a sweep play, and on his way down the sideline, was tackled by Tommy Lewis, who had come off the Alabama sideline without his helmet to tackle Moegle. Referee Cliff Shaw saw Lewis come off the bench and gave the Owls the 95 yard touchdown. Rice would win the game 28-6, with the only Crimson Tide score coming from Lewis, the yardage added to Moegle's 265 yards rushing, a Cotton Bowl Classic record that would stand until Tony Temple's effort in 2008. This would be the Owls' last bowl win until the 2008 Texas Bowl, a win which also secured the Owls their first 10-win season since 1949.[3]

Kennedy Speech[edit]

Kennedy at Rice University - GPN-2000-001618

Rice Stadium also hosted a speech by John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1962. In it, he used the Rice football team to challenge America to send a man to the moon.

But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.[4]

Conference affiliations[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Name Seasons Overall Pct. Bowls
Phillip Arbuckle 1912–1917,1919–1923 51–25–8 .655
John Anderson 1918 1–5–1 .214
John Heisman 1924–1927 14–18–3 .443
Claude Rothgeb 1928 2–7 .222
Jack Meagher 1929–1933 26–26 .500
Jimmy Kitts 1934–1939 33–29–4 .530 1–0
Jess Neely 1940–1966 144–124–10 .536 3–3
Bo Hagan 1967-1970 12–27–1 .313
Bill Peterson 1971 3–7–1 .318
Al Conover 1972–1975 14–28–2† .341
Homer Rice 1976–1977 4–18 .182
Ray Alborn 1978–1983 13–53 .197
Watson Brown 1984–1985 4–18 .182
Jerry Berndt 1986–1988 6–27 .182
Fred Goldsmith 1989–1993 23–31–1 .427
Ken Hatfield 1994–2005 55–78–1 .414
Todd Graham 2006 7–6 .538 0–1
David Bailiff 2007–2017 57–80 .416 3–1

† 15–27–2 overall per NCAA due to 1975 forfeit win over Mississippi State.[5]

Conference championships[edit]

Rice has won seven conference championships, four outright and three shared.

Year Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1934 Southwest Conference Jimmy Kitts 9–1–1 5–1
1937 Southwest Conference Jimmy Kitts 6–3–2 4–1–1
1946 Southwest Conference Jess Neely 9–2 5–1
1949 Southwest Conference Jess Neely 10–1 6–0
1953 Southwest Conference Jess Neely 9–2 5–1
1957 Southwest Conference Jess Neely 7–4 5–1
1994 Southwest Conference Ken Hatfield 5–6 4–3
2013 Conference USA David Bailiff 10–4 7–1

† indicates a shared conference title.

Bowl games[edit]

Rice has participated in twelve bowl games, garnering a record of 7–5.

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
1937 Jimmy Kitts Cotton Bowl Classic Colorado W 28–14
1946 Jess Neely Orange Bowl Tennessee W 8–0
1949 Jess Neely Cotton Bowl Classic North Carolina W 27–13
1953 Jess Neely Cotton Bowl Classic Alabama W 28–6
1957 Jess Neely Cotton Bowl Classic Navy L 7–20
1960 Jess Neely Sugar Bowl Ole Miss L 6–14
1961 Jess Neely Bluebonnet Bowl Kansas L 7–33
2006 Todd Graham New Orleans Bowl Troy L 17–41
2008 David Bailiff Texas Bowl Western Michigan W 38–14
2012 David Bailiff Armed Forces Bowl Air Force W 33–14
2013 David Bailiff Liberty Bowl Mississippi State L 7–44
2014 David Bailiff Hawaii Bowl Fresno State W 30–6

Stadium[edit]

Rice Stadium was built in 1950, and has been the home of Owls football ever since. It hosted the NFL Super Bowl in January 1974, it replaced the old Rice Field (now Rice Track/Soccer Stadium) to increase seating. Total seating capacity in the current stadium was reduced from 70,000 to 47,000 before the 2006 season, the endzone seating benches were removed and covered with tarps, and all of the wooden bleachers were replaced with new, metal seating benches in 2006, as well. The stadium is also currently undergoing further renovations.

Rivalries[edit]

SMU[edit]

Rice and SMU were members of the same conference from 1918 through 2012, and have played each other 90 times as of 2012 with SMU leading the series 48-41-1, the rivalry is because Rice and SMU were two of four private schools in the Southwest Conference (Baylor and TCU were the others). Rice and SMU were also the two smallest schools in the conference, were located in the two largest cities of any teams in the conference (Houston and Dallas, respectively), and have historically been considered the two best private universities in Texas.

SMU leads the series 48–41–1 as of 2017.

Houston[edit]

Rice participates in a crosstown rivalry with Houston. UH and Rice play annually for the Bayou Bucket, a weathered bucket found by former Rice guard Fred Curry at an antique shop. Curry had it designed into a trophy for $310, the two universities are separated by five miles in Houston. The Cougars lead the series 29-11.The Cougars' 2013 move from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference has jeopardized the status of the series.

Houston leads the series 30–11 as of the conclusion of the 2017 season.


Texas[edit]

Rice and Texas play in 2006.

Rice and Texas have maintained a largely one-sided rivalry beginning in the early days of the Southwest Conference. Texas' 28 consecutive victories from 1966–1993 represents the sixth longest single-opponent winning streak in college football history; in 1994, in a nationally televised ESPN game, Rice scored a major upset win over Texas, but since then Texas has resumed series dominance. Despite the dissolution of the Southwest Conference, Texas and Rice still play on a "near annual" basis, allowing the Longhorns to keep a high profile in the state's largest city and the fourth largest city in the United States.

Texas leads the series 72–21–1 as of the conclusion of the 2017 season.

College Football Hall of Fame[edit]

Eight former Rice players and coaches have been inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.[6]

Name Position Career Induction Notes
John Heisman Coach 1892–1927 1954 Inducted for his career as a coach at Oberlin, Akron, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Pennsylvania, Washington & Jefferson, Rice
Weldon Humble Guard 1941–1943, 1946 1961 He was a consensus All- America choice. Like most athletes of his time, Weldon was required to suspend his career for military service during World War II.
James "Froggy" Williams End 1946–1949 1965 A consensus All-American and was also selected to the Cotton Bowl’s All-Decade team for the 1950s
Jess Neely Coach 1924–1966 1971 Inducted for his career as a coach at Rhodes, Clemson, Rice
Bill Wallace Halfback 1932, 1934–1935 1978 Wallace was Rice's initial first team All-America selection
Dick Maegle Halfback 1952–1954 1979 He was consensus All-America and academic All-America in 1954
Buddy Dial End 1956–1958 1993 Team's co-captain, Most Valuable Player, and was consensus All-America
Tommy Kramer Quarterback 1972–1976 2012 Senior Bowl MVP and 1976 George Martin Award winner

All-Americans[edit]

As of 2017, the following 18 players have been named All-America[7] with 6 selection being consensus.[8]

Name Position Year
Bill Wallace B 1934
H.J. Nichols G 1944
Weldon Humble G 1946
Froggy Williams E 1949
Joe Watson C 1949
Bill Howton E 1951
John Hudson T 1953
Kosse Johnson B 1953
Dicky Maegle HB 1954
King Hill QB 1957
Buddy Dial E 1958
Malcolm Walker C 1964
Tommy Kramer QB 1976
Steve Kidd P 1985
Trevor Cobb HB 1991,† 1992
Charles Torello OG 1997
Jarett Dillard WR 2006, 2008
Kyle Martens P 2010

† Consensus selection

Notable players[edit]

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of June 20, 2018.[9]

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
vs Wake Forest at Houston at Oklahoma State at USC at Texas at LSU at Louisiana at Boise State at Northwestern vs Northwestern
vs Texas
(NRG Stadium)
vs Army vs Houston at Houston vs Houston
at Army vs LSU (NRG Stadium) at Texas vs Louisiana at Boise State
vs Baylor vs Lamar

References[edit]

  1. ^ Color Palette (PDF). Rice Athletics Official Brand Book. Rice Owls. April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ Dickey Moegle in the 1954 Cotton Bowl Classic. Article. Retrieved on December 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Associated Press (2008-12-30). "Rice rolls Western Michigan for first bowl win since '54". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  4. ^ http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/ricetalk.htm
  5. ^ https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/coaches/al-conover-1.html
  6. ^ https://www.cfbhall.com/about/inductees/
  7. ^ "2017 Media Guide" (PDF). riceowls.com. Rice Athletics. p. 177. Retrieved April 23, 2018. 
  8. ^ "2017 FOOTBALL AWARD WINNERS" (PDF). ncaa.org. NCAA. p. 25. Retrieved April 23, 2018. 
  9. ^ "Rice Owls Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved June 29, 2017. 

External links[edit]