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Tony Levine struggling in first year as Houston coach

Tony Levine, the new University of Houston coach, has some big shoes to fill, as his two predecessors -- Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin -- both used their success with the Cougars to get jobs at BCS schools.

Levine, the Cougars special teams coach from 2008-2011, had no previous head coaching experience when he took over as the interim coach after Sumlin left for Texas A&M. He's already gone through some growing pains in the 2012 season.

Things got off to a disastrous start when Houston was upset by Texas State, an FCS school, which prompted Levine to sack Mike Nesbitt, the offensive coordinator he had personally brought in.

The next two weeks weren't any smoother, as the Cougars got off to an 0-3 start in non-conference play, a long fall for a team that had went 13-1 the year before.

However, they've rebounded in C-USA play, taking advantage of the weaker in-conference competition to move back to 3-3.

Sumlin and Case Keenum helped Houston beat SMU, 37-7, last year, but it remains to be seen whether Levine can bring the program back to the heights they reached over the last decade.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.