We’ve reached the Championship Round of Rice Football Madness. Which of the Owls’ teams will be crowned the greatest in program history?
There have been many great Rice football teams throughout the years, but there can only be one champion. We’ve seeded the top 16 in a head-to-head bracket. Cast your votes on the form below. Voting closes daily at noon. We’ll be conducting one round of votes each day this week and crowning our champion on Friday. May the best team win!
Note: To curb some ballot stuffing you’ll need to include a valid email in your entry this time around.
Final 4 Results
Both modern-era David Bailiff teams fell to Jess Neely squads.
1) 1949 def. 4) 2008 with 88% of the vote
2) 1953 def. 3) 2013 with 65% of the vote
1) 1949 vs 2) 1953
Led by Jess Neely, the 1949 team (10-1, 6-0 SWC) finished its season as Cotton Bowl Champions, beating No. 19 North Carolina to cap off the first 10-win season in program history. The Owls were voted No. 5 in the nation in the AP Poll, the highest finish in program history. Notable victories included: No. 10 SMU, No. 10 Texas and No. 9 Baylor.
Led by Jess Neely, the 1953 team (9-2, 5-1 SWC) went on to finish No. 6 in the nation, routing Alabama in the Cotton Bowl 28-6. Dicky Meagle set a single-season school record, averaging 7.31 yards per attempt rushing. The Owls lone losses came by a combined 11 points. Their wins were louder. Rice beat No. 15 Florida, No. 17 Baylor, Texas and TCU.
3) 2013 vs 4) 2008
Led by David Bailiff, the 2013 team (10-4, 7-1 C-USA) won the Owls’ only Conference USA Championship, defeating Marshall in the title game. Taylor McHargue and Charles Ross paced the offense while Christian Covington patrolled the defensive side of the ball.
Led by David Bailiff, the 2008 team (10-3, 7-1 C-USA) made a dramatic jump from Bailiff’s first Rice team in 2007. The 2008 Owls won seven more games, finishing tied for first place in the C-USA West and beating Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl. With Chase Clement at quarterback, the duo Jarett Dillard and James Casey was arguable among the best receiving combos in the nation.
Make Your Picks
- How good will Rice baseball be in 2021 and beyond? All-American Q&A
- Rice Baseball 2021: Connor Walsh walk off lifts Rice to series win over HBU
- Rice Women’s Basketball splits with Marshall, loses perfect C-USA record
- Rice Women’s Basketball 2021 Game Previews: Owls vs Marshall