Following the second 13-win season in program history, Houston ended the 2015 season at No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll released early Tuesday morning, the highest final finish since finishing No. 5 in 1979.
It marked the sixth time in program history in the top 10 and the first time Houston appeared in the final AP poll since finishing 18th in 2011. Houston also finished in the top 10 in 1973 (No. 9), 1976 (No. 4), 1978 (No. 10), 1979 (No. 5) and 1990 (No. 10).
The historic 13-1 season was capped off with a 38-24 win over No. 9 Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. In a game it never trailed in, the Houston defense held FSU to 16 total rushing yards and running back Dalvin Cook to 33 total rushing yards. Entering the game, Cook had averaged 166.3 rushing yards per game in six games vs. top-50 rush defenses. Offensively Houston became the first team of the season to score more than 24 points against the Seminoles.
The American Athletic Conference Champions were led by FWAA First-Year Coach of the Year Tom Herman, who became just the fourth coach in NCAA history with at least 13 wins in his first season, joining Boise State's Chris Petersen (2006), Penn's George Woodruff (1892) and Yale's Walter Camp (1888), and just the fifth to win the first 10 games of his career.
Houston is one of just two schools nationally to play at least four ranked opponents this season and remain undefeated in the matchups with three of Houston's wins over ranked opponents coming by double-digits, the fourth-best total in the nation.
Houston is one of eight teams nationally with at least four wins against ranked opponents, and is third nationally with seven wins of 21 points or more as 10 wins have been double-digit wins including Houston's 38-24 win over No. 9 Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Houston ranks fifth nationally with an average margin of victory of 19.7 points per game.
Herman and Noble were part of a program that ranked eighth nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 108.9 yards per game, while ranking 13th in rushing offense with an average of 235.8 yards per game. Houston is the only team in the nation to rank in the top 13 in both categories.
Ranking 10th in scoring offense (40.4 points per game) and 20th in scoring defense (20.7 points per game), Houston is the only program in the nation to rank in the top 10 in scoring offense and the top 25 in scoring defense.
Houston opens the 2016 season on Sept. 3 in the AdvoCare Kickoff Classic against Oklahoma, who finished the 2015 season ranked No. 5 in the AP poll. The game will be included in the 2016 Houston season ticket package with deposits for new season ticket holders currently being accepted at UHCougars.com/2016.