clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Protect Your Unit Week 13 Picks Thread: The Century Mark

This game has some bad blood due to an episode almost 50 years ago.

Brett Deering

(DISCLAIMER: This contest is for entertainment purposes only. No actual money is being wagered.)

Especially not this week, as my database is down. Please read Comments section for special rules regarding wagers made on Thursday or Friday.

The American Athletic Conference is known to lack any kind of long-term rivalries. or other meaningful games that inspire the various fan bases. A rare exception to that takes place in Houston today, where the visiting Tulsa Golden Hurricane visit the UH Cougars. Many years ago, these two schools played a game that the losing side is still annoyed about.

In late November of 1968, Houston was the #11 team in the country. Coach Bill Yeoman ran the potent veer offense -- the spread attack of its day -- and led the nation in scoring. They weren't a Southwest Conference team yet, but they were good enough to tie SWC champ Texas, as well as SEC champion Georgia. Their schedule also had a surprisingly AAC bent, with wins over Tulane (54-7), Cincinnati (71-33), and Memphis (27-7) in addition to their game with Tulsa.

Tulsa was having a down year in 1968, but was coming off a successful run: two Missouri Valley Conference titles; two bowl games; wins over Arkansas, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, and Houston the year before.

The week before the game, the Tulsa athletic dorm was hit with a nasty case of the flu. You've heard of H1N1? This was H3N2, or "Hong Kong Flu" as it was called, and it killed a million people worldwide. No fatalities in the Tulsa football program, but nearly the entire team was infected, and there was serious talk of cancelling the game. Coach Glenn Dobbs decided to give it the ol' college try. He would later regret this decision, saying:

We should never have played.... Flu just swept through the dorm, and the ones who weren't injured were sick. We took the doctor  on the plane with us, and he told me the boys wouldn't be able to do a thing. But I just never liked backing out. They tried to act energetic, but they were so weak.

One person at the game said "I had never seen a team play with less energy, speed, strength, or drive. Tulsa that night was a team that was only technically present." Not only that, but Tulsa's attrition required playing people out of position. TU only brought two defensive linemen to Houston, and one of them passed out in the locker room with a 102-degree fever.

At halftime, the Houston lead was a mere 24-0. Tulsa QB Glenn Dobbs, son of the coach, led a scoring drive to cut it to 24-6. Either this annoyed the Cougars offense, or it consumed the last amount of strength Tulsa had left. Houston's powerful offense ripped off four touchdowns to make the score 51-6 at the end of the third. A one-sided result to be sure, but not a historic blowout.

By this time, Houston had removed its starters. But that may have just made the situation worse. Houston had good depth; backups are always eager when they get a chance to play; and Tulsa's players simply couldn't tackle anyone at this point. By the way, one of those Houston backups was future NFL coach Wade Phillips. But he wasn't even the most famous person in this game.

UPDATE: Wade Phillips chimed in on Twitter to clarify his role in this game:

Houston scored five touchdowns - two on pass plays - to make the lead 86-6 without about three minutes to play. Houston got the ball back again, and by this point were playing backup defenders on offense. One of those backup defenders -- Larry Gatlin, who went on to have a country music career -- caught a pass from backup QB Rusty Clark to make it 93-6. No, Larry Gatlin's not the most famous person in this game either.

Tulsa once again failed to move the ball on offense, and had to punt it back to Houston with about one minute to play. Another backup defender, Mike Simpson, took the punt at the UH 40, ignored (or didn't see) "go down" signals from his own sideline, and zigzagged through the Tulsa punt team for a touchdown. If you're keeping track, hat made seven touchdowns in the fourth quarter, three of them through the air.

The crowd, understanding what was at stake, chanted "Make that kick! Make that kick!" as Houston's Terry Lieweke lined up for the extra point. He was successful, and the game ended Houston 100, Tulsa 6. Houston had 762 total yards of offense, 555 of it rushing. Paul Gipson ran for 289 yards on 29 carries, despite sitting out most of the second half. He could have put up a number that even Melvin Gordon vs. Nebraska last week couldn't have matched.

After that beating, Tulsa needed a psychologist. Fortunately, they had one on staff: one of the TU defensive players in this game was Phil McGraw, later known to TV viewers and in various courtrooms as Dr. Phil. So to those of you schools playing the likes of Savannah State, Charleston Southern, and Fordham this weekend, don't run it up too much - you might create a daytime TV star.

Dr. Phil talked to David Letterman about his experience in this game; check this YouTube video. The pertinent parts start at 4:00 and 11:00.

On to this week's selections:

One bit of business: the Kent State-Buffalo game on Wednesday was postponed due to the current snowpocalypse in that part of the country. It's currently scheduled for Friday,  but there's no lines for it anyway, so it's not available to bet. No one bet the game, so no bets had to be voided.

Also, ULismyhothotsex has not submitted a sudden death pick yet. He may do so in this thread, or email it to me.

Good luck everyone!

UPDATE: Due to an outage at my web hosting provider Brinkster, players have been unable to enter bets since Friday morning, and I have been unable to update lines. If you want to make wagers on today's games, use the below lines. These lines are the lines I entered Thursday night. If a more favorable line exists on, I will honor it, except for the Opening line which is not playable.

Appalachian State 10 310 62.5
Louisiana-Lafayette -10 -350 63
Arizona 4.5 165 53.5
Utah -4 -175 54
Boise State -12 -450 55
Wyoming 12.5 400 56.5
Boston College 17.5 625 56.5
Florida State -17 -750 56.5
Cincinnati -9 -340 55.5
Connecticut 9.5 300 55.5
Colorado 32.5 6500 72.5
Oregon -32.5 -16500 72.5
Eastern Michigan 17 600 53
Ball State -17 -755 53
Florida Atlantic 7 240 57
Middle Tennessee State -7 -275 57.5
Florida International 3 130 46.5
North Texas -3 -145 47
Fresno State 8 230 61
Nevada -7 -265 63
Georgia State 41 25000 57
Clemson -40.5 -75000 57
Indiana 35 9000 65
Ohio State -34 -25000 65.5
Kansas 25 1600 53
Oklahoma -25 -3200 53
Louisiana Tech -11.5 -440 66.5
Old Dominion 12 380 67.5
Louisiana-Monroe -7 -270 55.5
New Mexico State 7 245 56
Louisville 3 140 52.5
Notre Dame -3 -155 53
Marshall -20 -1100 68
Alabama-Birmingham 20 875 68
Maryland 5 180 42
Michigan -5 -210 42.5
Miami (FL) -5.5 -205 48
Virginia 6 185 48.5
Minnesota 10.5 330 56.5
Nebraska -10 -375 56.5
Mississippi -3.5 -165 45
Arkansas 3.5 150 45.5
Missouri 3.5 160 49
Tennessee -3.5 -165 49
Nevada-Las Vegas 325 250 -275
Hawaii 8 10.5 -370
New Mexico 21.5 1100 66
Colorado State -21.5 -1600 67
Northwestern 1 -103 51
Purdue 1 -117 51.5
Oklahoma State 28.5 2650 67
Baylor -28 -5600 67.5
Oregon State 6.5 210 -6
Washington -250 -245 53.5
Oregon State -250 53.5 6.5
Washington 215 -6.5 45
Rutgers 22 1150 57
Michigan State -22 -1650 57.5
South Alabama 25 1500 56
South Carolina -24.5 -3000 56
South Florida 20 800 46
Memphis -19.5 -1100 46.5
Southern California 4.5 165 61
UCLA -4.5 -175 61
Southern Methodist 28.5 3250 47
Central Florida -28.5 -7500 47
Stanford -5.5 -215 56
California 5.5 190 56.5
Syracuse 7.5 270 49
Pittsburgh -7.5 -295 50
Texas Tech 1.5 100 70.5
Iowa State -1 -115 71
Texas-San Antonio 9.5 290 57.5
Western Kentucky -9 -340 57.5
Tulane 19.5 725 56.5
East Carolina -19 -1000 57
Tulsa 21 950 57
Houston -21 -1250 57.5
Vanderbilt 30.5 4500 52.5
Mississippi State -30 -11000 53.5
Virginia Tech -15 -620 39
Wake Forest 15 500 39.5
Washington State 16 550 71
Arizona State -15 -625 71.5
Western Michigan 1 -102 52.5
Central Michigan -1 -115 52.5
Wisconsin -10 -380 51.5
Iowa 10.5 330 51.5