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On Monday, ESPN (somewhat prematurely) released the bracket for the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Like many of you readers, I was shocked to see that Rice was a No. 12 seed. And no, I’m not being sarcastic this time. I was completely, unequivocally flabbergasted.
When Tina Langley was named the head coach of Rice women’s basketball in 2015, the program was in dire straits. The Owls hadn’t posted a winning record in four years, and they hadn’t won a postseason game since 2006. Now, after four years of improving Rice’s win totals, recruiting at a consistently high level, scaling the postseason tournament ladder and firmly establishing women’s basketball as Rice Athletics’ preeminent national force, we strongly believe Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard should prioritize providing Langley with a long-term contract extension as soon as possible.
It was a Senior Day to remember for the Rice women’s basketball team. A record crowd of 2,606 fans at Tudor Fieldhouse watched the Owls defeat Louisiana Tech University 78-42 to complete Rice’s undefeated 13-0 home record, and increase the team’s winning streak to 17 games.
Three Owls came away from last weekend’s Conference USA Indoor Track Championships with individual titles, and the men’s team added a relay title as well. Overall, the women’s team finished fourth out of 13 teams, while the men placed fifth of 10.
For the first time in 27 years, Rice baseball will begin the season without the familiar visage of Wayne Graham at the helm. In his stead is the new captain of the Owls: 46-year-old Matt Bragga, who arrives at Rice with a quite legacy of success to build upon.
For most Rice students, Sunday was a day of rest. With Monday marking the 33rd federal observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, most of the campus was still fast asleep at 6 a.m. when the starter’s gun went off to begin the 47th annual Chevron Houston Marathon. But a few Owls braved the bitter chill and lived to tell the story 26.2 miles later.
Just two years after Rice started charging tuition and five years after Doc C first graced the university’s hallowed halls, Stewart Morris Jr. (‘71) arrived on campus as a transfer from the University of Virginia. The year was 1968, and Morris soon discovered that there was no rugby club yet extant at his new school.
This weekend, the Rice swim team will travel to Dallas and compete in a series of dual meets against three opponents. The Owls first visit the University of North Texas in Denton to compete against the Mean Green before driving 40 miles south to Southern Methodist University, where the team will face off against both the Mustangs and the University of Arkansas in a double-dual meet.
For the second time in the last four years, Hanszen College is Rice’s powderpuff champion. Hanszen defeated McMurtry College 13-6 in the championship game on Tuesday, capping off a 6-1 season in which no team scored more than seven points against them.
Yesterday, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee released their new set of rankings. For those unfamiliar with the system, the top four teams at the season’s end will enter a playoff, culminating with one of the four winning the championship. And, like many of you readers, I was shocked to see that Rice football was not among the four teams included. I can only assume that this is yet another example of the heavily SEC-biased committee neglecting any non-Power-Five football program’s laudable achievements. Whatever the reason may be, this is an unforgivable oversight and I will not stand for it. Here’s why Rice deserves a spot over Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and especially Georgia.
For the first time since 2009, Rice volleyball is NCAA Tournament-bound. After their three consecutive match victories in the Conference USA Tournament from Nov. 16 to 18, the Owls secured an automatic berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament. On Sunday, the selection committee revealed that Rice will face off against Texas State University in Thursday’s first-round match, with the winner then playing the victor of the concurrent match between the University of Texas and Stephen F. Austin State University.
It’s been a long time coming. Rice football has been dancing around the precipice for a couple of years now, veering dangerously close to an edge that would send them plummeting toward the pinnacle of national embarrassment and earn them a crown fit for no king. With Saturday’s loss to the only team that was keeping the Owls from claiming the throne, there can be no more doubt: Rice is now the worst FBS team in the country. Welcome to the inner circles of college football hell.
It was a busy weekend for the Rice Owls. Several teams were in action, from cross country to soccer to swimming to football. With this in mind, here are a couple of the Owls’ highlights.
It’s 10:30 p.m. on a hot August night as the women’s club ultimate frisbee team wraps up the first of their twice-weekly practices. Mosquitoes hover over the moisture-soaked field and the humidity is palpable in the evening air. The players gather together in a huddle and begin to chant.
While both the soccer and football teams had last weekend off, there was still plenty of action to go around in the Rice sports world. Here are a few highlights from the Owls’ weekend slate.
It was almost 20 years ago that redshirt senior running back Austin Walter’s father first realized his son might have a future in the football world.
Not even a lightning strike could deter the Rice men’s and women’s cross country teams on Friday. After their races were delayed due to a nearby storm, both teams responded with strong performances in the season-opening Norry Hersey Rice Invitational. The men’s team emerged victorious with a win over second-place University of Houston, while the women’s team finished second only to perennial powerhouse University of Texas.
It was hard to know what to expect coming into this year’s edition of the Bayou Bucket. All of the athletic department’s talk of an offseason turnaround was well and good, but after a narrow victory over an FCS school in the season opener, there was some question as to whether the Owls’ “Intellectual Brutality” mantra was, well, brutal enough. They hardly put the hammer down on Prairie View A&M University, a team which boasts the longest losing streak in NCAA history: 80 games in a row from 1989 to 1998. But that’s beside the point, because in Saturday’s game against crosstown rival Houston, the Owls finally passed muster. It wasn’t a perfect performance (one look at the final score will tell you that), but it was a solid step in the right direction for a team that has been languishing in the doldrums for the better part of the last three years. So here are two things Rice did well — and one the team still needs to work on to keep moving forward.
Despite a Saturday setback, it was a mostly successful season-opening weekend at the Red Raider Classic for Rice’s volleyball team. The Owls took two out of three matches in their tournament slate, handily dispatching the University of North Dakota and Northwestern State University on Friday before dropping the final match to Texas Tech University on Saturday.
Men’s Cross Country