I can count every Rice football win during my three years working for the Thresher sports section on my own two hands. It has not been pretty. At all.
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This year, Rice has completed its mission. All three of its major men’s sports teams — football, basketball and baseball — are bad. Finally.
Sorry, Rice. The baseball program just isn’t elite anymore. In truth, it has not been elite for years.
The scene is a talk radio show solely dedicated to Rice Athletics. The host is taking callers during a segment on the past weekend of games. Of course, this is entirely fictional. Any radio show solely devoted to Rice Athletics would surely be taken off the air in a week due to low ratings.
Something is missing from Rice Athletics these days. It’s not the fans. They were hardly ever here in the first place. And it’s not winning. Honestly, there’s almost been too much of that lately.
Rice’s women’s teams have achieved an unprecedented level of success in recent years. Pick a team and look at the trophies.
Remember that Rice basketball team from last year? The one that made the “Rice Rising” mantra head coach Mike Rhoades had preached for years finally feel real?
Rice has to do more to promote its brand. So here’s my vision for the second century: Get Rice into a Power 5 athletic conference.
I truly thought there was a chance.
It’s just not the same this year. As the calendar turns past Beer Bike, normally the focus of Rice fans turns from the end of basketball season to the heart of the baseball season.
One moment, Rice men’s basketball was celebrating its best season in over a decade. The next, it was lost.
When the baseball season began, Rice understandably had high expectations. The Owls have reached the NCAA tournament in 22 consecutive seasons and finished one run shy of the conference title last year.
After Rice men’s basketball’s 88-81 upset win over Louisiana Tech University, head coach Mike Rhoades, smiling ear to ear, lifted his daughter up in a bear hug and spun her around.
Last week in the Thresher’s baseball insert, multiple Rice players said their goal this season is to qualify for the College World Series.
Rice men’s basketball entered 2017 with a chance to open a new chapter in the program’s history.
I know it’s early, but wow. What Rice men’s basketball did to James Madison University on Sunday afternoon was nothing short of spectacular.
Last week, the Big 12 finally made its decision regarding expansion. And no, Rice was not invited to join the conference.
Listen, I know. It’s not fun to read the sports section right now. Was it ever? I don’t know.
For the first time in years, Rice sports are in the national spotlight. The Big 12 Conference is looking to add two more institutions, and Rice is one of 11 universities being considered for membership.
The flag in left field flies every night; its end beginning to fray. The words on its bright white background — “2003 National Champions” — commemorate the greatest achievement in the history of Rice Athletics.