Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Rice Coach

Apparently, Tulsa defensive coordinator Todd Graham will be announced as the next Rice head coach. Tulsa, btw, just beat Fresno State 31-24. Here is the weird SMU connection: There is a rumor out there that former SMU QB Ramon Flanigan will be the offensive coordinator.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rutgers Football

Interesting Article in the New York Times on Rutgers, which goes to a bowl game this year for the first time since 1978, finishing3rd in the Big East. Interesting because it references the less than happy faculty. Those that want to improve football at SMU, this is the kind of attitude you are working against:

Not everyone is as enthused. Norman Levitt, a mathematics professor who supported the Rutgers 1000 movement, said Monday that he still thought success in sports could undermine academic ambitions.

"The prominence of the athletic department and the ridiculous salaries to coaches is demoralizing to most of the faculty," Levitt said in a telephone interview. He called major college football "minor league, semi-pro football" that benefits the N.F.L.

That the team wears the name of the university on its shirts is merely "an interesting sociological fact," Levitt said. When asked about the performance of the Rutgers players in the A.P.R. ratings, Levitt said, "I teach a couple hundred kids a year in second-year mathematics, and I don't recall ever having seen a football player or basketball player in one of my classes."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Graduation Rates

Oh joy. The new graduation rates under the new formula are in. The new Graduation Success Rate is a statistic "improves the federally mandated graduation-rate by including transfer data in the calculation. It was developed in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among students in today’s higher education climate."

Yeah. I am trying to figure out how I could care less.

Anyway, for the years 1995-1998, the GSR for SMU 82%. Under the old govt. formula, that number was 63%. 63% is at least in line with the school graduation rates as a whole.

Let's check out those mean, horrible schools in Texas that lack "academic integrity."
GSR (Fed.)
TCU: 86% (70%);
Tech:73% (65%);
Texas: 40% (31%);
A&M: 63% (59%);
Baylor: 88% (73%);
Houston: 45% (42%);
NTSU: 52% (47%);
UTEP: 37% (32%).

Here are some schools with "academic integrity:"
Duke: 87% (81%);
Northwestern: 92% (81%);
Notre Dame: 96% (85%);
Penn. State: 84% (77%);
Rice: 89% (84%);
Tulane: 77% (75%);
Vandy: 93% (88%).

Look, "academic integrity" is a sham. Look at the numbers. TCU does better than SMU? Baylor? Using the govt. numbers, Tech does better? And we are not winning anyway. I continue to maintain that there is a way to have success on the field and in the classroom. All SMU has to do is admit it is doing it the wrong way and commit itself to doing it the right way. And that means mimmicking the schools that win football games and graduate their players. Period.

Monday, December 19, 2005

SMU returning to the Cotton Bowl?

Heard this the other day. The City of Dallas is trying to have a college football game every week of the State Fair. The source I have for this is pretty good (really good actually). Now the source I have for what is next is also pretty good, though not as good. SMU-TCU. The city is trying to convince SMU and TCU to have their annual game moved to the Cotton Bowl.

Another possibility is the SMU-A&M game in 2012, but I have always believed that game will never actually take placed.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

New Commit

I don't post much recruiting news, because what I get is usually on the message board before I get it. But I have not seen this posted anywhere.

Apparently SMu picked up a commitment for another JC lineman, Joe Holmes, Center from Navarro JC. 6'3" 305 LBs.

Monday, December 05, 2005

BCS Rant

Time for my annual rant against the BCS. But what is really wrong with the BCS is not what most people think. To see what is truly wrong with the BCS, all you must do is examine these two websites:


NCAA Sports

Now, after reviewing these websites, let me ask you the following questions. Who is the NCAA 2004 Division 1 Field Hockey champion? Wake Forest. Who is the NCAA 2003 Division III Womens’ Hockey champion? Middlebury College. Who is the NCAA 2005 Division I Men’s Basketball champion? North Carolina. Who is the NCAA 2004 Division I-AA Football champion? James Madison University. Who is the NCAA 2004 Division I Women’s Team Gymnastics champion? UCLA. I could go on forever.

Now, who is the NCAA 2005 Division I-A Football champion? The answer is not USC.

There isn’t one. Don’t believe me. Here are pictures of the AP and BCS/Coaches Poll Trophies:

You will notice “NCAA” is not on it. Now, this is the Division I-AA trophy:

Notice the NCAA logo is there. You can inspect the trophy of every NCAA sport and every division and find that the trophy is given by the NCAA, except Division I-A college football.

And that my friends is what is so frustrating. The issue is not that there is no college football playoff; the issue is that the NCAA completely abdicates any responsibility to crown the champion of the most popular sport it oversees.

What is more, the NCAA has no problem with the way things are. In 2004, Gateway Computers offered $10 million to the NCAA for a final playoff game between LSU and USC. Was it a cheap publicity stunt on the part of Gateway? Sure, it was. Was the NCAA ever going to accept it? Of course not. But this was the NCAA’s response:

Gateway Computers has it wrong about who will make the decision regarding postseason football in Division I-A. The decision will not be made by the NCAA staff. It will be made by college presidents in Division I-A. Many of those presidents have not been supportive of a playoff. Coaches are not supportive of a playoff.

Anyone who believes that higher education would jump at a cynical publicity stunt is mistaken and missing the point. This is exactly the type of inappropriate intrusion of commercialism that I warned the membership of yesterday in my speech to the NCAA Convention. It puts all the emphasis on intercollegiate athletics as entertainment and erodes the critical concept that the welfare of the student-athlete is paramount.
Myles Brand, NCAA President.

Dear Mr. Brand, Shut up! Do your job or find someone who will. For you to assert that the NCAA has no say whatsoever in the crowning of a national championship is disingenuous and only highlights the problem. Playoff or no playoff; BCS or no BCS; bowls plus one or no “plus one”. The NCAA needs to stand up and have its say. There will be no reform of this ridiculous system until the NCAA itself puts its name on the trophy, which means that every NCAA Division I-A school has some say in how the nation champion is decided.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Just throwing something out there

Anybody realize that if SMU had beaten Tulsa, SMU would have won C-USA West? and playing on Saturday against UCF in the C-USA Championship Game?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Head scratcher

Gee. We all saw that one coming. Surely everybody walked into the stadium expecting UTEP to turn the ball over SEVEN times. I am just dumbfounded.

Once again I suggest to you this may be one of the most underrated defenses in the country. Seriously. This defense is . . . fantastic. Is there a better word? There was a lapse of about a game and a half. Other than that the defense has been exceptional. And the defense played better in week 11 than it did in week 1. Statistically, it is a very average defense, but watch the games. The defense kept SMU in the games; the defense even outright won a couple.

As for the offense, the numbers for the UTEP game are better than I thought they were. The inability to get the ball across the goal line in the first three trips to the red zone is a concern, but if you look at the length of the drives, they are encouraging.

13 plays, 76 yards. (FG)
10 plays, 70 yards. (FG)
4 plays, 8 yards. (FG)
4 plays, 88 yards. (TD)
7 plays, 62 yards. (TD)
3 plays, 8 yards. (TD)
4 plays, -5 yards. (FG)
5 plays, 65 yards. (TD)

Five drives of 60+ yards. The first two drives were solid, sustained, time consuming drives despite the fact that SMU could not get in the end zone.

Turnovers: ZERO.

McMurtray has grown on me. I now acknowledge he will be sorely missed. His one stinker of a game came against TCU and it didn’t cost SMU the game. He’s been downright automatic the last few weeks. Mentzel set the school career record for punting attempts on Saturday; I still consider this a rather dubious distinction.

I am not sure I have anything to quibble over about the coaching. Defensive gameplan was perfect. I can’t even disagree too much with Burns playcalling this week.

There will be time to talk about the season later this week.

Friday, November 25, 2005

UTEP and Notes

The last game of the year is Saturday. My prediction for the year was four games and they have matched that. I also said that something in the back of my head said SMU would win five and they can still do that. Unfortunately, I think UTEP gets an early two touchdown lead and SMU won't be able to catch up. Call it UTEP over SMU 28-17.

And hey, if you can make it, please go out to the stadium and cheer for these guys. They deserve it. They had a couple of chances to quit this year and haven't done it. The team is losing a bunch of key seniors on defense and they deserve some applause.

Yesterday's DMN says Tony Eckert will likely not receive a medical redshirt. Eckert getting a medical redshirt was a pipedream to begin with. Frankly, I don't care whether or not he gets it. Ultimately, I think this is more advertising for an opening. I wonder if there will be a "Help Wanted" sign for QB at Ford tomorrow.

Oh, and Ryan Mentzel is six punts short of the career school record. Am I the only one that is surprised this record doesn't fall every year?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Phillips gone?

Today's note in the DMN is more interesting for who it doesn't mention than what it says. Bennett is again going after junior college quarterback help. That is no surprise. It is a little interesting that the article mentions redshirt freshman quarterbacks Eric Johnson and Justin Willis as being in the mix, but no mention of Chris Phillips. Watkins has written about Phillips several times this year. One can assume the omission was intentional.

Two things deserve mention. First, there is no junior college quarterback committed. There hasn't been that many junior college quarterbacks mentioned. Those that are appear to be of the Romo and Eckert variety; meaning they weren't getting offers out of high school.

Second, Bennett's best recruiting class is dwindling. You are going to have a hard time convincing me that Bennett has handled this as best he could. Two years ago, Bennett lost Ricky Joe Meeks. Now, it appears Phillips is gone. That is two three start QBs gone. Pillips would make the 8th of 23 signings from 2003 gone. There is a rumor Massey is gone. That would make nine. This is ridiculous.

On a side note, can we try Dorsey out on defense and get Massey back in the backfield with Martin fulltime? Dorsey was recruited as a defensive back. We need defensive backs next year. Worth a shot.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Thoughts on the Houston Game.

I like winning. I like winning a lot.

Sorry to those that dismiss these games as meaningless, but winning these games are important. This is not the NFL; we won’t get a lower draft pick as a result. These kids need to learn how to win. They need to feel good going into the spring. SMU needs to find out who is going to step up.

You have to be proud of this defense. This defense can play. They held Houston below their average in passing, rushing, scoring and, of course, total yards. Nnabuife will be sorely missed next year. There was quite a bit of talk a few weeks ago about the defense being worse next year. That may be. But there are still an awful lot of starters returning. And the unit is a good one. With the exception of the A&M game, I think the offense has played well enough to win every game. Still, depth is a problem.

As for the offense . . . Martin is just a freshman. That is the positive I could find from this game. I know it would be chaotic to switch to a third offensive system under one head coach, but I am through with this offense.


That is the national ranking for the SMU offense from 2002-2005.

McMurtray deserves a lot of credit for hitting an important field goal when it was needed.

Could Bennett replace K-State's Snyder?

No. I can’t buy it. I come back to the cajones it would take an AD to hire a sub .500 coach coming off a sub .500 season, even though it is a better season than the three prior. That being said, don’t be surprised if Bennett is offered an interview. I half expect it. Just like LSU’s AD interviewed RC Slocum. It is a courtesy among friends and Bennett is a friend of the K-state program.

Now, is Bennett interviewing a good thing? Six of one; half dozen of the other. On the one hand, it makes it look like Bennett would jump ship at the drop of a hat. On the other, it appears as if Bennett is still a commodity and reflects an apparent belief that he is turning the SMU program around. Regardless, Bennett will try to use it to his advantage on the recruiting trail. For that reason, I won’t sweat the Bennett interview.

So, who could get the job? Interesting to note that most of the candidates are offensive coaches. I wonder to a degree what happens if there is wholesale turnover in the K-state staff. Does Bennett try to make staff changes using people he has a familiarity with, particularly on the offensive side of the ball? If K-State’s Offensive Coordinator Del Miller is looking for a job, won’t Bennett at least make a phone call?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Somebody is selling two bottles of Peruna on E-bay. This is "new" Peruna. "New" meaning post-prohibition 40's. If you didn't know Peruna was a "cure-all" (high alcohal) tonic sold during prohibition and is where the SMU mascot got its name.

I definitely think some Mustang fan should pick them up.

Football Scoop

Here is why I have given up on football Scoop. In the same breath, they will mention both former NFL QB and San Diego U HC Jim Harbaugh and former SMU QB and UNT OC Ramon Flanigan as candidates for the Buffalo HC job. There is such a wide disparity there, it is comical. I wish Ramon the best, but UNT is 2-7 on the year and they are not an offensive juggernaut this year.

In other coaching news, Bill Snyder is stepping down at K-State. I wonder if Phil wishes he had a do-over. If Bennett were 5-4 this year, he'd probably be a candidate with his ties to the program, but he is not so he won't be. But, what about TCU's Gary Patterson? Patterson went to K-State.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Interesting Information on Tulane Athletics

Sloooooow day. No SMU football info anywhere. So I thought I would direct everybody HERE. A very interesting report on the state of Tulane athletics. It strikes me as a very honest yet optimistic report on the state of the program.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

In case you missed it...

Below is Copeland's backpedalling from his "We have to get over the hump and win consistently where we win five or six games every year" comment. A comment that I didn't think was all that bad. I certainly didn't expect Copeland to feel he needed to clarify his remarks.

Obviously, somebody beyond message board land read the comment and got pissed. Or enough people harassed him at the game that he thought it was necessary.

Someone said it was a great letter and was very well written. It's fine, but I wouldn't call it great. Maybe I am too cynical. Actions speak louder than words. Tell us what you are going to do, Copeland, and I will be more interested.

A couple of things jumped out at me, which I have put in bold in the letter.
AD Notepad 11-8-05

Before, during, and after our victory over Rice last Saturday, a lot of people who care deeply about SMU football expressed their anger with me after reading Saturday's article in the Dallas Morning News, where I was quoted as saying, "We have to get over the hump and win consistently, where we win five or six games every year." That one line made it seem that I would be satisfied with mediocrity. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one at SMU accepts being average - whether it's in academics, art, athletics...or any area.

I'm not going to use the all-too-common excuse that I was misquoted. But for anyone who has gone through a face-to-face interview with a writer or broadcaster, you know that sometimes your initial response to one question generates a second question from the reporter before you finish your answer to the first one he or she asked. I would like to clarify my comments.

Given where we are in our disappointing 2005 season, we would love to finish with five victories and build on a season-ending three-game win streak for the future. But we should NEVER - and I can't emphasize this enough - NEVER be satisfied with a five- or six-win record. How do we ever expect to win the Conference USA championship, go to a bowl, and crack the Top-25 rankings if we don't set the bar as high as possible? How can we demand the best effort from our student-athletes if we don't set the highest goals for them...and ourselves?

I saw things in our victory over Rice that made me optimistic about our future despite our 3-6 record. I saw playmakers. They came up with big plays - not just big words - to rejuvenate their teammates after what could have been momentum-changing mistakes.
Junior safety Joe Sturdivant - who was named C-USA Defensive Player-of-the-Week for the second time this season - came up with a critical fumble recovery when Rice was at our one-yard line and threatening to make a run at our lead in the third quarter. Later in the game, he intercepted a pass in the end zone when the Owls threatened to score again. Juniors Justin Rogers and Adrian Haywood each made two tackles for losses to stifle Rice's running game that had given us fits in three consecutive losses to the Owls before Saturday. Haywood is one of our junior college transfers who has made an immediate impact. We expect more like him in the future.

When our offense had its back against our own end zone, redshirt freshman DeMyron Martin broke tackle after tackle to finish with 171 yards rushing. What was particularly impressive was that 128 of those yards came in the second half when we needed them the most. As Phil said in his post-game interview, "The more you feed him, the stronger he gets." Our two leading pass receivers against Rice and for the season are juniors - Bobby Chase, who made the dramatic game-winning catch at UAB, and Reynaldo Pellerin.

This may be a bit melodramatic - but we all have to exorcize ourselves of the "here we go again" resignation when we fumble or give up a big play at a critical point in the game. We have all been guilty of this at one time or another. Playmakers who produce victories such as the Rice win are providing the cure.

After my Dallas Morning News statement last Saturday, one of the most astute pieces of advice I received came from a literary Mustang fan in the form of a suggestion. He said, "You need to read Robert Browning's poem." The passage he was referring to was:

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?"

Heaven for SMU football is not a five- or six-win record. Heaven is an undefeated season. That will be our reach every year. We intend to do all we can to grasp it.
More like Haywood? This really is a nice little nugget of information; I can only assume that means more junior college players. At this point that is fine. Why not do things to make that easier to accomplish? If you have done those things, why not be honest and tell us?

"Here we go again."-Man, aren't we all guilty of that? The problem is that this season, that has happened after games and not plays. And that is affecting the whole season and the mindset of the fans and players.

"We intend to do all we can to grasp [an undefeated season]." The statement is "grasp it." He's clearly referring to "an undefeated season" in the first sentence of the paragraph. So Cope, who is "we" and what is all you can do to get SMU to an undefeated season?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Rice Game Thoughts

Let's be clear. Rice may be the worst team in the country. Let's also be clear that any win is a good win.

Starting with the defense, it looks like Bennett finally figured out the option. Would have liked to have the shutout, but the touchdown was in garbage time. A little more concerned with the touchdown that was called back. That was at a time that Rice could have made the game competitive. Still, it was a solid effort.

Still veeeerrrrrrrry concernced about the offense. It is great that Martin was able to get 171 yards on 26 carries, but it was against the worst rushing defense in the country. And that is why I am worried about the passing game. 9-17, 111 yds? Against the 98th pass defense? Oh, excuse me, now Rice is the 87th pass defense in the country. The offense really had only one good drive and the field position on first touchdown drive (Rice 6 yard line) was pretty fortunate.

Really, I think the offense was playing restrained all day. Bennett was playing not to lose from the second quarter on. Once Bennett saw the team could control the option, the reigns on the offense tightened up; he wasn't willing to risk turning the ball over. Once it was 27-0, I thought for a moment that Phillips might get in the game, but then I realized it didn't matter-Bennett would not have let Phillips pass anyway.

As for special teams, another blocked punt? Holy crap.

Overall, a good defense effort against a bad deam witha scheme that tends to give SMU fits; a troubling offensive effort against a team that has given up at least 38 points in every game until this week; and both good and bad on special teams.

Is three wins enough to protect Bennett's job? It is a legitimate question and I thought I knew the answer but now I am not so sure. There is no reason to keep the suspense going. Once the decision is made, it should be made clear. As each day goes by, I start to wonder more.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Saturday's DMN

Go here. As they say, "Read the whole thing."

If you ask me, the article is just as important for what it says as what it doesn't say. Watkins gave Copeland the chance to give a "vote of confidence," but it isn't there.

Regarding season ticket sales, I am surprised that it wasn't higher in 2000. In fact, I think it was much higher than the more than 10,000 stated. The entire West half of Ford was sold out if I recall. that has to be more than 10,000 right there. Disappointed that the department says "Being in Dallas, you can find different things to do." I think that is a cop out. I lived in Fort worth for 18 years. Contrary to what most Dallasites think, there is plenty to do in Fort Worth. The fact is, when the team is good, people show up.

"I have very seldom put a whole lot on any one game, and I'm not doing it this year," athletic director Jim Copeland said Wednesday. "Not winning consistently bothers me. We have to get over the hump and win consistently where we win five or six games every year."

It would be easy to challenge Copeland for saying five or six wins a year, but I won't. SMU is so far away from that that I can't blame him. SMU has to get to five or six wins a year before it can get to eight or nine. Still, the goal ain't five or six, Copeland. The goal is championships.

Cut the BS; No excuses

Lots of people, including myself, are fearful that SMU is going to lay an egg tomorrow. A lot of it focuses on the SMU defense's ability to stop the Rice triple option offense.

I am here to tell you that Rice's offense does not matter. Rice has one of the worst defenses in the country. Rice is ranked 114 out of 117 in total defense (yards allowed). Rice is 98th in passing defense and 108th in rushing defense. Rice has the worst defense if you go by points allowed per game (allowing 45.7 points per game). The Rice defense is the worst defense in the country for taking the ball away. There is not a defensive category that Rice does not rank at or near the bottom in. Every team Rice has played has been able to run on Rice; every team Rice has played has been able to pass on Rice; every team Rice has played has been able to score on Rice.

The SMU offense should be able to tear the Rice defense apart, like every other team's offense has this year. SMU is two years into this offensive system. SMU has an experienced quarterback. SMU should be able to run and pass on this team.

SMU has recruited better under Bennett in the past four years than Rice; SMU has better talent.

SMU has better facilities.

SMU has a better record.

SMU has a better offense.

SMU has a better defense.

SMU is a better football team than Rice.

SMU is favored by eight points.

SMU is at home.

There are NO EXCUSES for losing this football game.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Pepper Brooks

Again, the picture is not me. It is Justin Bateman, as Pepper Brooks, the color commentator in the movie "Dodgeball."

Here is a quote from the screenwriter for Dodgeball on Pepper Brooks:
Oh God, I tried to put [all the sports clichés] in. I mean, I really did. I’m a sports nerd and I tried to use every single one that I could remember. Especially [the characters] Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks. Gary Cole I’m absolutely in love with and Jason Bateman was fantastic also as the idiot. I just hate sportscasters so much, I hate the bad ones, and I love the good ones. I mean, I love Al Michaels and I love Jon Miller, and I love Joe Morgan, and obviously I was a big Chick Hearns fan. But when it’s done badly, which it so often is, especially like for local sports when it’s not a nationally televised game, you just want to pull your hair out. And so, those two guys specifically were kind of my take on the cliché sports announcers where Cotton McKnight will use three words when one will suffice, and he has obscure references that no ones ever really get. Pepper Brooks, I remember I watched the Extreme Games on ESPN, and there’s a guy doing it, I don’t know which sportscaster it was, but I’d seen him on ESPN where he wears like a suit and tie. And then he goes on the Extreme Games and they put him like in a polo and f*ck his hair up. So somehow he’s extreme, and it was really sad and so I kind of wanted to do that with Pepper Brooks, that he’s really kind of the dim witted, the worst color commentator of all time. He’s just really passionate, really enthusiastic and always wrong. And just makes the most obvious statements, like “He’s not going to be able to see very well Cotton.” Just like the dumbest stuff ever. So also on the clichés, there’s “Oh that’s going to hurt.”

Rice's Offense already giving SMU fits

Today's DMN SMU notes are curious.

UNIVERSITY PARK – Rice's multiple offense is expected to give SMU's defense problems. The Owls run the Triple option, Wishbone and the spread option.

SMU coach Phil Bennett said trying to simulate the different offenses in practice poses a problem.

How is it a problem? Can the scout team run all over the starting defense? Or is the scout team too confused to execute the Rice offense? I like the assumption that the Rice offense will cause problems.

SMU can't figure out its own offense, much less some other team's.

Rice's running game is 2nd in C-USA. I think that is a little deceiving because Rice has been playing from behind so much this year. Rice's defense is very poor. I am very interested to see what SMU's offense does against Rice.

Finally, let's look at Conference USA. There are seven teams with an honest shot at the Conference USA championship. Against the other four teams that aren't in the running, SMU has a record of 1-2 with the last game being this week against Rice. BTW, SMU doesn't even have to play the three best teams in Conference USA East (Memphis, Southern Miss and UCF). The Tulsa-UTEP game this week likely decide the Conference USA West title. Tulsa and UTEP are two of the three teams Bennett beat in his first season at SMU.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Phillips Solid No. 2; Willis Keeps Redshirt On

Today's DMN indicates that Willis won't play this year. Thank goodness. Playing Willis at this point would be stupid. Now, the question is whether Phillips will get a chance to play these last three games. I think he should; I doubt he does.

Backup DE Kyle Griffin will miss the rest of the season. Griffin has seen playing time in the last six games. Griffin hasn't really shown up much in the stats, but his absence hurts the depth of the defense, which has never been very deep.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Numbers Game

Here are two interesting numbers: 139 and 133. Those are the total number of points scored by Rice and SMU. But here is the rub. Rice has scored 139 and SMU has scored 133. Rice scored those points in seven games (averaging 19.8 per game); SMU in eight (averaging 16.6 per game).

Here is two more interesting numbers: 35 and 28. 35 is the fewest points Rice has allowed this season; 28 is the most points SMU has scored all season. Word to the wise, all but one of Rice's opponents are in the top 50 in offense; the exception is ECU, which beat SMU 17-24. Scoring defense: SMU-77th; Rice-117th (dead last). Scoring offense: SMU-107th; Rice 87th.

Rice has scored 19 or more points on five occasions (out of seven); SMU has done that just three times (out of eight). The fewest points scored by Rice in a contest is nine points; The fewest points scored by SMU is eight points.

In its seven losses, Rice only lost by a touchdown or less once (last week against UTEP). In four of its six losses, SMU lost by a touchdown or less four times.

What does it all mean? Well, I think there is one thing you can deduce from all of this. SMU is the worst team Rice will face all year. SMU by far is the worst offense a bad Rice defense will face. Rice has moved the ball on better defenses as well. Still, SMU should win this game if only because SMU should be a better football team.

I am beginning to think this may be a high scoring affair for both teams. The thing you have to be concerned with is the Rice running game wearing down an SMU defense without a lot of depth and has worn down at the end of games.

Rice Week

Well, I hope everybody enjoyed the offweek. Now it is on to more pressing matters.

Rice is a bad football team. There is no other way of putting it. If you go to the Rice message board, all you will see is an endless rant on the state of Rice football. I think it would be therapeutic for the those that are just convinced that SMU is going to turn the corner any day now to visit the Rice board. Why? Because there are still people over there saying the same thing that people say on

Rice has lost 13 straight games. In fact, there last victory came on October 9, 2004 against . . . SMU.

Everything about SMU says SMU should beat Rice. Period. No excuses. I know there are reasons SMU may lose, but they are bad reasons. SMU has more talent than Rice. SMU is at home. Rice is demoralized. SMU should win the ball game.

Generally, I have been pretty hands off when it comes to the coaching staff and the administration. I haven't run around demanding people be fired or calling them names. I have caught myself on more than one occasion before I went over the edge. After all, the best predictions were that SMU would win four or five and they could still get there. Indeed, before the ECU game, four or five wins seemed downright probable; I would tell myself that it didn't matter how SMU got there, just that they got there.

But now, SMU needs to beat Rice (or upset Houston or UTEP) just to match last year's record. If this team can't match last year's record, I think you are hard pressed to say progress has been made over the past twelve months. Particularly, if you take a closer look at the teams SMU has played and their schedules-it really isn't pretty.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ah, what might have been...and what could be.

Check out this article in the San Jose Mercury News (registration here) on Boston College Coach Tom O'Brien. Who cares, you might ask?

O'Brien was in Williamsburg recruiting Lafayette High's Chris Luzar when Boston College called. It was December 1996. O'Brien was Virginia's offensive coordinator, while Boston College was reeling from the suspension of 13 players for sports gambling.

O'Brien got the job and the recruit, but not without a glitch.

Southern Methodist athletic director Jim Copeland, formerly Virginia's AD, also was pursuing O'Brien and wanted an answer ASAP. O'Brien believed Boston College a better fit and asked Copeland for 48 hours to give the Eagles time.

"I told Jim, `If they don't want me, I'll come to SMU,' " O'Brien says. "He was gracious enough to say, `OK, I'll wait.' A lot of people in this business wouldn't have done that."

This was 1996. Copeland went on to hire Cavan. Boston College is the No. 13 team in the country (notwithstanding the fact they got spanked by Virginia Tech tonight).

I post this not so much because of Copeland or Cavan or O'Brien. I post it because Boston College graduates football players AND wins football games. Boston College graduated 100% of its football players in 2004 and won its fifth bowl game in five years.

There is another way. SMU does it wrong. Boston College does it right. SMU needs to start doing it right. Period.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The University of Central Florida Blog

For the next five minutes, this is the University of Central Florida Football Blog. And why shouldn't it be? Calvin Watkins wrote a nice story on it today. I honestly would have written more about this sooner, but I thought UCF's 0-11 season was in 2003, it was actually last year (2004).

UCF was picked to finish last in the Eastern Division with East Carolina. Currently, UCF is 4-3; .500 ball gets them bowl eligible. UCF is tied for first place with Southern Miss in the Eastern Division. UCF's last four games are East Carolina, Houston, UAB and Rice. This team could easily finish 6-5 or 7-4.

Maybe I read too much into this, but I think Watkins is trying to make a point.

Want to learn how to rebuild a football program? Watch Central Florida.

The key to the turnaround was coach George O'Leary's ability to get younger players to make an impact. A total of 23 freshmen or sophomores have started this season. UCF has only 10 seniors on its roster.

And then there is this:

The Golden Knights also didn't look for some fancy offensive scheme like the spread to score points. UCF runs a basic multiple offense that uses the running game to establish itself.

"We've been as balanced as the defense allows us to be," said O'Leary, whose team is 4-3 overall and 3-1 in conference. "I still believe you have to run the ball on any down and that's pretty much what we like to do."

Can a sharper contrast be made? Watkins starts the article with a question that he knows the average SMU reader has been asking for 15 years. The last two years' were explained away by youth and inexperience and overall lack of talented upperclassmen. A year ago, SMU switched to a trendy spread offense ( a fancy offensive scheme).

Now a note on George O'Leary. O'Leary, if you recall was the coach hired and fired three years ago by Notre Dame for lying on his resume. I don't think any body disputed that he was a solid coach. But O'Leary had to take a less than prestigious job to rebuild his reputaton. No doubt, he will leave soon, but I don't think anyone at UCF would say it wasn't worth it.

Monday, October 24, 2005

6th Loss; Losing Season Guaranteed

TULSA, Okla. – The SMU football power brokers – Phil Bennett, the coach, Gerald Turner, the president, and Jim Copeland, the athletic director – walked off the Skelly Stadium field with their heads bowed.

The three men, who decide the fate of the program, appear frustrated and out of answers.

I really don't want to talk about the Tulsa game. Once again, the offense just looks incompetent. Statistically, it was a pretty even game. Three drives get inside the 10 and zero touchdowns. Three turnovers. That is the ballgame. You will never convince me that this is the right offense for this team.

It is worth pointing out that of the six losses, four were by a touchdown or less. If, and this is a big if, SMU had the 45th ranked offense in the country (avg. 29 points per game), then SMU could be 6-2.

We now have two weeks to talk about Rice. And Copeland. And Bennett. To get it out of the way, Bennett has never beaten an option team. Hell, Rice has a remarkable record against SMU. Still, SMU will probably be favored at home against a winless Rice team. Rice has UTEP next week. Interesting note: Rice's last victory was October 9, 2004, against . . . SMU. Rice won that game 44-10.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Here is a rebuttal in the Daily Campus to the editorial "Runaway athletics budget"

Friday, October 21, 2005


According to today's DMN, Bennett has confidence in Romo and is confident he will bounce back from his four interception game against ECU.

Bennett said it's the first time in four seasons he's felt strongly about his No. 1 quarterback.

Justin Willis and Chris Phillips are the backups.

I think the confidence in Romo has more to do with his lack of confidence in the backups. Phillips has been the doghouse for a year and Willis is a true freshman. Next year's quarterback situation really concerns me.

If you want to know what I think is going to happen against Tulsa, I fully expect SMU to continue its offensive frustration with a Tulane-like effort on offense. Tulsa has one of the best pass defenses in the country statistically (4th), but teams have been able to run the ball. I think the offense relapses into delayed handoffs in weird formations and QB draws. Lots of three and out; defense collapses in the second half from exhaustion. I am very excited as you can tell. I think Tulsa wins 31-10.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Runaway athletics budget"-What the hell is this moron talking about?

Please read Runaway athletics budget over at the SMU Daily Campus.

This guy is wrong. This guy is uninformed. This guy's name is Todd.

Here is my response:

Todd, of course, never mentions how much money is spent on athletics. The reason is clear, he has no idea how much money is spent on athletics. And if Todd had bothered to look the numbers up, he would not have dared included them, because they only weaken his argument. Todd does mention that Phil Bennett makes “almost half a million dollars a year.” The fact is Phil Bennett makes what the market bares for his services. The fact is Phil Bennett makes less money than nearly every Division I football coach in the state of Texas. Indeed, according to Department of Education figures, SMU spends less on athletics than nearly every major university in Texas.

This is not about Phil Bennett. This is about the budget. Again, Todd has no idea what percent of the schools’ budget is devoted to athletics. The answer is just 1%. That is right. Just 1% of the school’s budget goes towards athletics. The vast majority of the athletic budget is paid for by athletic boosters, ticket sales and conference revenue. That has always been the case and that will never change.

And before Todd begins to dream about what SMU would do with the money devoted to athletics, again only 1% of the school budget, he should consider the opinion of those alumni that consider athletics important.

Some alumni, students and prospective students consider college athletics a vital part of the university community, fostering school spirit, fellowship and pride, which Todd admits. Some people consider a school’s commitment to compete at the highest levels of college athletics the mark of a great university. Those same people would question SMU’s commitment to be a great university if it eliminated athletics. My wife and I donate roughly as much to various colleges and programs at SMU (Meadows, Dedman) as we spend on SMU athletics (season tickets for the family, Mustang Club donations). Without the college sports experience, I cannot say how much, or if, I would give to SMU.

Glancing at the 2006 list of the “best colleges”, I must say that I have either never heard of or I have no interest in being associated with the non Ivy League schools that don’t compete at the highest levels of college athletics. I really have no interest is being associated with University of Rochester, Worcester Polytechnic Institute or Case Western Reserve University. I dare say that if Gerald Turner announced that he hoped SMU would someday be on the same level with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, most alumni would retch.

In my humble opinion, SMU should spend more on athletics. If you look at TCU, which has recommitted itself to college athletics in the past ten years, you can see the benefits of doing so. TCU has seen an increase in donations to both academic and athletic funds. TCU has seen the average test scores and GPA’s of its entering classes rise at a rate faster than SMU’s. Though no one is talking about it, based on 2004 data, TCU receives more applications (8,061 compared to 6,438) and admits a smaller percentage of applicants than SMU (63.9% compared to 64.2%). Since 2000, TCU has also seen its entering freshman class grow by 8% while SMU’s has grown by 3%. The yield (percentage of acceptances that enroll) for both schools is now effectively the same at just over 31%. I can only imagine what would happen if SMU, with its superior resources, superior location and superior facilities, made such a commitment.

I have always believed SMU strived to be a great university. And by “great,” I mean successful in all of its endeavors. I have never desired SMU to be known as a well regarded small liberal arts college, and that goal is not shared by the thousands of alumni of the Cox School of Business, the Dedman College of Law, the Engineering School, as well as those communications and advertising majors in Meadows. It is my dream that SMU be a great university, and by great, I mean great in everything it does, including athletics.

Indeed, when SMU was founded, the founders knew the importance of athletics, and football in particular. One of the first employees hired by the first SMU President Robert Hyer, even before classes started in 1915, was Ray Morrison, the football coach. And not coincidentally, two years later, Ray Morrison was one of the first employees ever fired by SMU (Coach Morrison later returned to coach SMU in 1923).

I am only disappointed that the current administration, and apparently some students, doesn’t have the pride in SMU to get behind SMU athletics with the resources and support necessary to achieve its true potential.

I Got Nothing

The Dallas Morning News has nothing on SMU football today, less than 48 hours before gameday. SMU never put up quotes from Phil Bennett's press conference. Charlie Berry's blog hasn't been updated in the month of October. SMU hasn't failed to show up like this since the Tulane game.

The only thing I will note is the Houston Chronicle in looking at the rest of UofH's schedule says the SMU game is a probable win. But I could have told you that.

Here is a picture of the 2005 Tulsa Golden Hurricane cheerleaders to get you through your day.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


This is a call to arms about SMU and not SMU football. Laura Miller wrote a letter of recommendation for President George W. Bush Library for . . . the University of Dallas . . . which, is in the City of Irving. See "Miller for UD's bid on Library".

Regardless of what you think of George Bush, the Library would be a great thing for SMU. Essentially, it means $200-$300,000,000.00 worth of buildings to be built on SMU's campus at the expense of donors not affiliated with SMU and maintained by the federal government. I can't believe that anybody would think there was something wrong with that, even if you hated the man.

Please call Laura Miller at her office (214) 670-4054 and tell her how you feel. I did.

All's Quiet on the SMU front.

There is very little news about SMU this week. Most likely, it is because Watkins is covering C-USA media day for the DMN.

The two football notes in today's DMN are irrelevant, except to note that SMU has the best 3rd down defense but curiously has given up more first downs than other school. I guess that says SMU's defense does well in short yardage but gives up big chunks of yardage on first and second down.

I spent a little time today reviewing the Rice board. Frankly, they say a lot of the same things the SMU fans are saying. That, in and of itself, is embarrassing.

Here's a note next to Rice's name on The Bottom Ten: ""Tomorrow Never Dies": SMU is still on the schedule (Nov. 5 in Dallas), so the Owls have hope for a win this season."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Football Scoop is reporting Bennett in trouble again.

We hear things are heating up at Rice, SMU, Buffalo, Arkansas, Ball State, Northern Arizona, Sac State

I wouldn't get too excited. I think this is the third (maybe fourth) time they have said pretty much the same thing. SMU wins, they say nothing; SMU loses, they report Bennett is in bad shape.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Alumni Giving

From time to time, interesting stuff gets passed my way by people connected to SMU. The administration is busy scratching its head on how to improve its rankings in US News & World Report (#71). One thing that is considered is percentage of alumni that give money to the institution. Now, this isn't based on amount, but rather percentage. So, hypothetically, if a school has 100 alumni and they all give $1, that school gets a perfect score as opposed to a school that has 100 alumni and five give $100 each, which would get a 5% score. Got it?

Anyway, do you know what percentage of SMU alumni give money to SMU?


14 percent. That is right. 14 freakin' percent. Where does that rank among other Texas schools?

Rice 36%
TCU 28%
Baylor 24%
Texas A & M 20%
Texas Tech 20%
SMU 14%
U of Texas-Austin 10%

It is funny to see UT at the bottom. Notice, of the private schools, which one is bringing up the rear. And it isn't even close. Remember, this is a percentage, so class size shouldn't make a difference.

I wonder what SMU can do to get its alumni more involved. Hmmm.... If only there was something to generate a little media interest. If only there was something to get alumni on campus in large numbers several times a year. If only there was something that could make the alumni feel good about its school.

BTW, this little report I have is very interesting. Anybody want to hazard a guess the names of the "benchmark" institutions SMU judges itself against? Anybody want to hazard a guess the names of the institutions SMU considers its peers? You can probably guess some of the former, but very few of the latter. And you will be a little disappointed, too.

Message Board Down (again)

I always laugh when the message board goes down. For years, was known as the "sunshiner" board, where everything was sunny, with rainbows and kittens in SMU land. But with the demise of the board years ago, is all there is. I have this vision of some really terrible, outrageous post going up on and the administrators yanking the plug out of the server so nobody reads it. I know that isn't what actually happens, but the visual still brings a smile to my face.

Skip Holtz

In response to a comment somebody posted, I want to be clear about the comment I made about Skip Holtz. I didn't remember exactly, so I looked it up. Skip Holtz was seriously considered. At least three Dallas Morning News articles mention Holtz as a cadidate; November 27th, November 28th and December 1st.
Here is a quote from Lou Holtz on December 1st (Bennett was hired December 4th):

I know Skip had great interest, and they had great interest.

Skip Holtz did finally withdraw his name from consideration, but by that time it was also clear he was not a finalist.

New Title

Look up at the top. The generic SMU Football Blog has been replaced and revamped with fancy graphics or somesuch.

Special thanks to "Windmill360°" for drawing it up for me. It also took him about 10 minutes. Creative people really bug me.

On to more pressing matters. Very few SMU mentions in the DMN today. Surely this isn't true: "SMU has won eight of the last nine games against Tulsa." Really?

Well, I'll be. Tulsa is our bitch. This dates back to 1996 when they started playing in the WAC. Post-DP, the record is 8-2. Of course, in only one of those years did Tulsa have a winning record, and guess what, Tulsa won that year. This year, Tulsa is 4-3 with losses to Minnisota, Oklahoma and Houston. Tulsa is playing well with a two game winning streak after losing to Houston in overtime. I don't know what the line is going to be, but expect Tulsa at home to be at least a touchdown favorite.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Dammit, Phil!

After the game, this was my one overriding thought. "Dammit, Phil!"

It is frustrating. It really is. This was a game I predicted SMU to win before the season started. This is a game SMU was favored in. ECU is not a good football team. Building on the success in previous weeks is a concept that has plagued SMU for years and years.

"Help me help you!"

This has to be the thought going through Copeland and Turner's mind right now. They don't want to fire the coach; I don't want to fire the coach. But, c'mon. Bennett has to win the winnable games. He has to beat the teams SMU should be able to beat. Teams like, well, frankly, ECU. And teams like Tulane.

Forget what the message boarders say, Bennett is going to keep his job if he can improve his record. Hell, with a win over TCU, if he equals his 2004 record, he probably stays. But improving on 2004's record just got a lot tougher. SMU is going to be favored in just one more game this year-Rice. And Bennett has never beaten an option team.

What I want to know is, where was the offense from last week? This was not that offense. Against UAB, Romo lined up under center a lot. That didn't happen this week. Not that there is any magic to being under center but it shows that there was something different. It at least appeared as if Romo was more comfortable with dropping back. And the running game was effective, except for the turnovers. Why sticking with what works is a foreign concept for this coaching staff, I will never know. Romo was bad. There is no other word for it.

The defense gave up one bad play. Hell, I don't even think it was that bad considering I considered it a miracle Travis Williams didn't score. Other than that 80 yard play, I thought the defense was good in a 2003 Dallas Cowboys sort of way-they only got one turnover. Look at the ECU scoring drives: 97 yards, 34 yards, 21 yards, 13 yards. Another case of the offense letting the defense down.

Hey! We didn't have a single special teams fuckup as far as I can recall.

Oh, and I was really disappointed in the crowd today.

Now for some housekeeping. There seems to be some talk on the message board that SMU must be better because it turned the ball over five times and was still in the game. No. This is a sign that ECU is a bad football team. And SMU can't beat a bad football team. Which means is a bad football team. SMU had one sustained drive and only netted a fieldgoal. The two touchdowns came because of a great interception that gave SMU the ball inside the 10 and a terrible punt that gave SMU the ball inside the 30. I'd give you some better stats but the box score on ESPN is all screwed up (I doubt Jamey Harper threw the ball six times).

Another thing, as I mentioned before, this season about improvement and Bennett will be judged on that and that alone. Anybody thinking that the world is over if SMU doesn't go to a bowl game hasn't been a fan of SMU too long. If SMU loses its next two and then wins its next two, that is enough. If the offense finally comes together that is enough. I don't think either of those things are going to happen by the way, but the point is, everybody needs to relax. I know "relax is not a hot sports opinion, but no one game really matters; it is the totals at the end of the season. More precisely, the totals after the Rice game.

Finally, I will leave you with this: Skip Holtz, ECU head coach, was considered and rejected for the SMU head coaching job. Just think about that.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pirates are in Town

Don't really have that much to add, other than SMU is favored over ECU and that scares the crap out of me. Statistically, ECU is a better team (look it up). They pass better; they even run the ball better. I can't gauge where they are defensively. The only things that lead anyone to think SMU wins this thing are: (i) the game is at SMU; and (ii) SMU wins are more impressive than ECU's.

Turnovers are the key. Can SMU's defense force turnovers, specifically interceptions. Can the line put enough pressure on the QB to force bad throws? Can SMU's secondary get good coverage?

ECU isn't the biggest team SMU has faced this year. Average to below-average size across the board. Smaller than Baylor, UAB, TCU and A&M. Receivers are smaller; linemen are smaller. I like that for SMU. Maybe SMU can get a push on the line and get the running game going.

When I predict SMU to get blown out, SMU wins. So I predict ECU wins 44 to nothing.

One last ECU chick:

Forgot to mention that Rich adn Craig won Homer Call of the Week for the THIRD TIME in six weeks. They won for the win over TCU, the Chase touchdown against A&M and the UAB final play.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Willis Still in the Mix?

I can't believe it, but according to the DMN, Freshman Justin Willis is still getting snaps in practice.


There are five games left. Romo is obviously going to start on Saturday. I think we can safely conclude Romo continues to play unless he gets hurt. So why is Bennett even considering this? The worst thing that can happen is for Romo to go down and they burn Willis' redshirt by letting him hand off the ball for three straight plays. I don't think they would do that. I think they would only play Willis if Romo were going to miss a gme completely.

There really is one conclusion: Bennett and Burns don't like Chris Phillips . . . at all. Obviously, I don't see practice. I don't see what they see. But I liked what I saw a year ago; certainly enough to give Phillips a shot.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

In case you were wondering...

The picture is Jason Bateman as "Pepper Brooks" the color commentator from Dodgeball on the "Ocho."

Cotton McKnight: I'm being told that Average Joe's does not have enough players and will be forfeiting the championship match.
Pepper Brooks: It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for 'em.

Ooh, Ouchtown, population you, bro!

In SMU news, looks like the message board is down.

I can't stop listening to the audio of "the play" without laughing. Note to Craig Swann: We all know you are trying to use "How 'bout that, Rich?" as a catchprase. Tune in Tomorrow to Bad Radio to hear it again on Homer Call of the Week from noon to three.

Did "the play" save Bennett's job? Maybe. Maybe not. I decided a while ago that Bennett would get to three wins, and with one of them being TCU, his job was safe.

Now, does this make sense? No. But it is how sports works. For two weeks in a row, the team has been in position to win games on the road, winning one and losing in overtime a second game. I don't think most people realize what an improvement that is. Last season, SMU lost all of its road games by an average of 36.6 points, the closest was 18 points.

Now SMU plays ECU. I would like to see a win here and I think it should be expected. SMU is favored. SMU's two wins (UAB and TCU) are better than ECU's wins (Duke and Rice). SMU is at home.

This team is arguably improved. But it all keys on the offense. Can SMU keep its offense on the field? Can SMU put together drives that take time off the clock and move the chains? Something seemed to click by putting Romo under center instead of a shotgun. The real test is whether SMU can do that two weeks in a row. At the same time, SMU needs to improve the running game.

The defense takes care of itself. If the defense can stay fresh, it will be a good day.


Monday, October 10, 2005

More on the Last 23 Seconds

Let's go back to 3:30 left int he 4th quarter. SMU went four plays and out and turned it over on downs on the SMU 42.

Then (and this is what people are forgetting), the defense stood up in a big way. The SMU defense went three and out and took 1:47 off the clock. A good special teams call forces UAB to punt deep into the endzone.

Then, Romo goes 4-4 for 80 yards. All in all, Jerad Romo went 30/43 for 333 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

All I can think of is Owen Wilson's line in Shanghai Knights: What in our history together makes you think I'm capable of something like that?

Good game. Good win. Congrats to the players; congrats to the coaches; congrats to Bennett. Maybe the key is that SMU needs to be 21 point underdogs before they can win a game. Uh oh, will SMU actually be favored against ECU on Saturday?

Next up, ECU:

They don't look too tough.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Touchback on punt with an all out block (good call by the way). Ball at the 20 with 23 seconds left. Pass complete to the 40. 12 seconds left. But catch reviewed; officials also put 3 seconds back on the clock. 15 seconds left. Pass complete to the 50. 8 seconds left. Pass complete to the 33. 3 seconds left. Pass complete to Bobby Chase in the endzone.

More later.

Friday, October 07, 2005

UAB Game

Man, I really don't even know what time the game is tomorrow. Is that bad? Lots of talk about SMU's season. I find it amusing that people can look at 1-4 and not be disappointed. The argument is that going into the season, we should not have expected any better. Indeed, we are ahead of the "worst case scenario" I laid out in August. We did beat TCU. We did know A&M would beat us like a drum.

But see, here is what we did not know:

We did not know SMUwould have a kick blocked in each of the first five games. And at least one other special teams miscue in every game as well.

We did not know SMU would have arguably the worst offense in the country.

We did not know SMU would play a team that's entire August would be wiped out and be practically homeless. And we didn't know the effort against Tulane would be so poor.

We did not know recruiting would be spiraling downward.

We did not know the defense would wear down in every game (except TCU). We did not know the defense would forget how to tackle.

You see, you can't just look at the record and say it is OK because we all tought SMU would be 1-4 or 0-5 anyway. You have to look at how this team is played. And if you do that, you have to be disappointed.

OK, I will say it. This team can still get three or four wins. Would four wins be an improvement? Yes. Would just three wins, including a victory over TCU save Bennett's job? Probably.

Maybe that is why UAB holds little interest to me. I am more interested in ECU and Rice, and to a lesser extent Houston and Tulsa. Both ECU and Rice are bad football teams. SMU could put together enough offense to beat them both. So, I am going to be watching ECU next week like a hawk. It is a far more important game in the grand scheme of things.

Oh, and I looked it up. UAB game starts at 6, 5PM on the radio or Mustang All Access. SMU beat TCU because of four turnovers and missed fieldgoals (forgot about those, didn't you). UAB has the best turnover ratio in the nation. UAB is gonna roll.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Waiting List

SMU is back on the waiting list Bottom 10. By beating SMU, Marshall was taken off. SMU homecoming opponent Rice is on the list at 0-3; SMU's next home game is against waiting list ECU.

I also want to point out that Baylor's two Division 1-A wins are against teams in hte bottom 10 or on the wait list. The point is, all you heard was that Baylor going into A&M was 3-0 (now 3-1). People remember your record, not who you beat. And that is why I am in favor of scheduling soft. But if Bennett wins four games with next year's schedule, I won't call it improvement either.

While I am on the subject, why do people say Texas Tech is 4-0? The way I see it, they are 3-0. Ask yourself this question: How many more games do they have to win t go to a bowl? If you say, "Two", you would be wrong. They need to win three more games. Only one of their I-AA games can count. As far as I am concerned, that makes them 3-0, with one exhibition win. Tech might as well held an intersquad scrimmage and sold tickets.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Willis May Move Up to No. 2 on QB Depth Chart

Per today's DMN and Bennett's press conference. Can you imagine? This reeks of playing Phillips the last four games of 2003. Burning another redshirt. Unbelievable.

If Willis plays, he had better start and he had better play a lot. Burning a redshirt for three handoffs a game makes very little sense.

I halfway wonder if Copeland will intercede.


I have had an epiphany (or I talked to somebody, you be the judge).

What difference does all the griping make? We all know what is going to happen. Bennett is going to win two more games and keep his job. "See? Three wins. Beat a ranked team in our biggest rival TCU. Making progress."

Cavan won two games late in 2000 and saved his job. And in the end, they fired Cavan a year too late.

SMU doesn't want to fire Bennett. Hell, I don't want Bennett to be fired. SMU desperately wants to give Bennett another year for a variety of reasons, many of which I agree with. They will only let go of Bennett if the issue is absolutely forced.

And that is why, two bad wins against two bad teams will save Bennett's job. It doesn't matter how he gets there. Just that he gets to three wins.

Two bad wins against two bad teams will not make me feel any better about SMU football. Please show me something. Three wins, no matter who they are against, is not enough. Give me something to look forward to. Win three or four of these last six. Show some semblence of an effective offense. Show me a defense that plays hard for sixty minutes without collapsing in the final fifteen. Stop the Benny Hill theme music from playing in my head when I watch special teams. Show ME that you are making progress.

Efforting (and Phillips No. 2)

Today's DMN.

Bennett says he was pleased with the effort against Marshall. I suppose he can be pleased with the first team defense, but not the lack of depth. He can't be pleased with the offense. Seven first downs. Repeat: Seven first downs.

And Phillips has moved up to number two on the depth chart at quarterback. Watkins isn't stupid. I am sure he asked if Phillips was going to get in the game. Looks like he didn't get an answer. Also, no mention of Willis, or who is 3rd string quarterback.

Florida State Pregame

There really is no good reason to go to this site. You hear me? No good reason.

Hey, it is semi-college football related.

Monday, October 03, 2005

SMU Football Blog

Football Scoop: Bennett on the hot seat.

Nothing in depth. Just a statement. And not a surprising one. I am not sure you can really buy anything on this site. Really is just a logical conclusion.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bizarro rumor

Ran into somebody over the weekend from Philly who swore to me that Rick Neuheisel is in talks with Temple. Supposedly, terms have already been agreed to and the AD is going around to alumni to get the contract funded.

Seriously doubt it, but why the hell can't that be SMU? Temple is even more screwed up football-wise than SMU.


From today's DMN:
SMU took over with 1:25 to play in regulation and had a good chance from its 41, but quarterback Jerad Romo's pass down the sideline to receiver Reynaldo Pellerin, who did not stretch out his arms or attempt to dive for the ball, landed incomplete.

I mean, really, who cares whether you are 1-4 or 2-3?

Marshall wins 16-13. WTF?

OK, so I need to watch this game, but I did listen ot the whole thing, albeit during yard work.

This a game that leads to nothing but questions.

First, can we please have a game where I never hear the Benny Hill theme music in my head? The botched squib kick just adds to the pile of boneheaded, stupid plays. Romo should be commended for getting the ball back. Everybody else, including the coach should be ashamed.

Second, how much worse can the offense get?

Third, is the punt team the worst in the country? Someone said SMU has ahad a blocked punt in every game. Can that be true? That has to be a record.

Fourth, does this mean the QB carousel is over? I suspect it is. Noticed Romo ended up starting the first two series. But with a broken Collarbone, Eckert is done. Will Bennett rotate Phillips in with Romo? I doubt it. Will Bennett pull the redshirt on Willis? I doubt it and I hope not.

Fifth, who has quit? You cannot tell me some players haven't quit on this team. You can't nut it up and get another fieldgoal in the fourth quarter? You can't hold a team off for ten minutes? Do these guys even care about Bennett? His ass is on the line.

Sixth, what the hell happened in the 4th quarter? A ten point lead. Three drives for a negative 22 yards in 4:34 (I am discounting the knee at the end of regulation). Allowed two scoring drives of 70 and 59 yards. This isn't a Cowboys-Redskins collapse with two deep balls; these were controlled sustained drives.

Finally, when will this madness end?

Friday, September 30, 2005


Got a big Friday night planned! Put the kids to bed, my wife settles down with a nice bottle of wine...and I install the new hard drive into my home computer that finally came in the mail. This should allow me to fix all my computer problems.

QB and other Deck Chair Shuffling

It is easy to blame SMU policies for everything that is wrong with SMU football. But it isn't entirely accurate either.

Here is a brief timeline of this week's QB comments from the head coach Phil Bennett:

9/24-Jerad Romo starts against A&M, plays most of the game.

9/26-Quarterback change possible at SMU

9/29-Bennett: SMU QB status has changed again (Romo to start)

9/30-QB Eckert, WR Lowery, OL Urbanus start for SMU

If you lost track that is Romo-Eckert-Romo-Eckert, three QB changes in the span of seven days. Don't forget that Eckert started the season.

In other news, Bobby Chase, SMU's leading receiver, made empassioned quotes that get picked up by a West Virginia newspaper. And then it is announced that Bobby Chase, SMU's leading receiver, has been benched. I will remind everyone that Chase led the team in receiving yards and was the offensive MVP last season. He is the second highest offensive scorer for SMU this year. But he gets benched in favor of Devin Lowry. Must be something in practice, becuase against Tulane, Lowry had two catches for 37 yards (18.5 avg.) and Chase had three catches for 77 yards (29.0 avg.).

Oh, and three-star recruit Avery Cleveland left the team after four games this season. Fantastic. Guy probably would have started next year.

Marshall is favored by 11.5. Expect them to cover. In losses, this year, SMU loses by an average of 28 points. Last year, it was 33 points. I guess that is an improvement. Even including the double digit TCU win, SMU averages 18.25 fewer points than its opponent.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Letter to Cowlishaw (an empashioned response)

Nice shot across the bow, but please, next time aim straight for the hull. The ship is sinking anyway.

I still go to every SMU home game. I will probably try and find a bar that has CSTV and watch the SMU-Marshall game, or cave and buy the directv sports package so I can watch it at home. I huddle next to the radio and listen to games when there is no TV as if I lived in the 1930s.

Copeland's single achievement was the construction of Ford Stadium, done at an unprecedented time of SMU fund-raising where many SMU alums were giving away cash left and right as evidenced by the other new construction on campus. He may have had a vision, but he got lucky and help from a brilliant fund-raiser for an SMU President in Turner.

This goes beyond Cavan, Dement and Bennett. If you look at the record of SMU coaches during Copeland's tenure, those that are successful, Coach Hyndman in particular, were hired before Copeland came to SMU. The loan exception is arguably Men's golf coach Jay Loar who reached the NCAA's last year. By the way, Coach Tubbs' season was disappointing last year and this year will be no different with the academic ineligibility of Brian Hopkins. And the local basketball recruiting that Tubbs was brought in for has not panned out as all but one top recruiting prospect (Darrell Arthur) has committed elsewhere; I fully expect Arthur to commit elsewhere by the end of October.

In 2002, a "Commitment" was announced. That "Commitment" was little more than a $20,000,000.00 fund-raising effort that has been an abject failure. They have been trying to raise money for a new facade for Moody Colosseum for years and a practice facility, yet there has been no announcement because Copeland cannot raise the money.

In 1995, Kathy Harasta wrote that Cavan may be SMU's last head coach. She was wrong only because SMU built a beautiful football stadium, which breathed new life into SMU football. SMU football is once again on life support. Whatever momentum was created by building Ford Stadium and beating Kansas in that first game is gone. There are a precious few fans left.

I understand that SMU is not Nebraska or Notre Dame and must give a coach time turn a program around. I understand the benefit of patience. But at some point, with two senior quarterbacks and 22 returning starters, I expect to see improvement. SMU still has an inept offense, a weak defense and incompetent special teams. The only way to describe the performance against Tulane is lethargic. I planned on giving Bennett five years because I expected SMU to play better in 2005. With the exception of a game against TCU and a quarter against A&M, there has been zero evidence of improvement as exemplified by less than 50 net passing yards against Tulane.

But this isn't about Bennett. It is about Copeland. And it is about SMU. SMU needs to do what is necessary to legitimately compete at the college level. SMU needs to emulate its national and traditional rivals, and its chief rival TCU in particular. Copeland has been ineffective in leading SMU athletics in that direction. Copeland has been ineffective is bringing about the necessary changes to SMU admissions policies, the curriculum and the budget.

Whether you believe Bennett should be fired next week, next month or next year, you must believe that Jim Copeland cannot be responsible for that decision. More importantly, Jim Copeland cannot be responsible for hiring his successor. I don't know about the alumni that cut the checks, but the alumni that buy the tickets have completely lost confidence in Jim Copeland.

Copeland must be relieved of his duties. His successor must drag SMU, its board of trustees, its faculty and even its alumni, kicking and screaming into the modern world that is college athletics.

Required Reading

Tim Cowlishaw chimes in all things SMU football today. Finally, someone suggests Copeland may not be the man for the job. If you read the article, Cowlishaw lays the foundation, dismisses the myths and asks the question. The foundation- SMU has been losing for 17 years and four head coaches. The myth debunked -it is all the death penalty's fault. The question-Why? And How?

I hope the decision makers read the article and take it this way. Why is SMU not any good? Who is responsible? How does this get fixed?

Where Cowlishaw is wrong, however, is he won't call for Copeland's head this year. You cannot suggest (and he does at least hint) that Bennett should be fired if he doesn't get to four wins and then say Copeland should stay on. Copeland has to go before a new coach is hired. Has to. Has to. No one will have any faith in any coach hired by Copeland at this point. At least Cowlishaw points that out.

As they say, "Read the whole thing."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

From the "Be Careful What You Wish For" Department

All right, so a lot of people want Copeland kicked to the curb. I think 11 years is enough time to show something. And Copeland has shown very little to me other than a very pretty, but nearly empty building five or six times a year.


Hiring a new AD would fall to Turner. As luck would have it, Turner's only AD hire at Ole Miss is currently under fire and may get the ax. In 1995, Turner hired Pete Boone to be AD. Boone later left for the private sector and returned three years later. Ole Miss alums are not happy with Boone's decision to fire David Cutcliffe and hire Ed Orgeron, who has started 1-2 and got beat by Wyoming at home. Rumor is Boone may get sacked.

It would be too easy for Turner to hire his former AD from his former school.

Wouldn't it be coincidental if Boone inexplicably left Ole Miss, a school with good tradition that he has numerous ties to, for SMU, a school currently in the dumps he has no connection to. Why is it coincidental? Copeland inexplicably left Virginia, a school with good tradition that he had numerous ties to, for SMU, a school that was in the dumps and had no connection to. From time to time, you hear that Copeland was being quietly shown the door at Virginia. I will be a little disappointed if that happens again.

Still, I don't know Pete Boone. He might be great. He might have no interest in a job that isn't available at the moment.

QB Change?

I am scratching my head over the note in today's DMN.
Coach Phil Bennett said a quarterback change is possible and that he's considering simplifying the spread offense.

Trying to figure out what that means. It either means back to Eckert or ... someone else. We can probably rule out Ashton Nixon and the "runnin' with the 'stangs" kid.

That means Phillips, I guess. Or does it mean Willis? Oh, Lord, I hope Bennett isn't thinking of pulling the redshirt off Willis. That would be a sign of desperation. Both Willis and Phillips jives well with the "simplifying the spread offense" comment.

Simplifying the spread offense makes sense. The SMU offense is unnecessarily complicated. Ditch the weird motion plays. Ditch the continual lining up running backs at the wide receiver position. Ditch the swinging gate on extra points. These things aren't fooling anybody other than our own players.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Football Scoop

Football Scoop:

We hear the rumblings are very loud at Temple, SMU, Buffalo, San Diego State and La Tech (this week's game vs NMSU is very BIG)

Still Down (and so is SMU)

To give you an idea how bad my computer problems are, this is the 3rd time I have tried to post something saying that I am still alive and that my computer still isn't. Won't bore you with details, but it involves "hard drive", "crash" and "data recovery." I could just swap out the hard drive, but the damn computer is still under warranty so I don't want to buy one on my own; I want HP to fix it or send me a new one in the mail.

I was at the Tulane game and I am peeved. What a lackadaisical effort all around. What a futile effort on special teams and offense. I sure would like to see what this defense could do with 50-50 time of possession and decent field position. The offense, make no mistake, has sucked for every minute of Phil Bennett's tenure.

It will be interesting to see what happens against Marshall. I expect them to get drilled. Maybe if I am more negative, they will win again.
I am still dealing with massive computer problems. Something about "crashing" and "hard drive" and "data recovery" from the failed backup. Now, I could swap out the hard drives pretty easily, but the damn computer is still under warranty, which involves shipping the damn thing back to the manufacturer.

Couple of brief thoughts on Tulane:
1) This team was totally unprepared. They just weren't ready to play. They didn't show up. How can anyone argue otherwise?

2) The offense is regressing from peak in the second half of the TCU game. And that offense was working because the coaches cut out the mickey mouse bullshit and lined up and ran the football. This team does not have the personnel to run the ridiculous offense that is in place. This team cannot go 4-wide because the o-line cannot block. IMO, this team needs to line up in the power I with two tight ends.

Bottom 10 in total offense; bottom 15 in passing yards per game; bottom 10 in passing yards per game; bottom 10 in completion percentage; I was stunned to see that there are 28 teams that have statistically worse rushing games than SMU; bottom quarter in scoring.

3) Special teams has to be the worst I have ever seen. Fumbles; bonehead plays; penalties; the stupid swinging gate; missed blocks. We are finding new and creative ways to lose games. And to think, there are several starters playing on special teams. This should not sit well with anybody.

4) You can't tell a damn thing about the defense because the offense and special teams are so inept. It is ridiculous.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Computer Down

My home computer is down. So, I am pretty much screwed for blogging. I can't do much while at work. No clue when I will have it back up and running. I am thrilled with the positive press this program has received this week locally and nationally. Perhaps Jim Copeland can use the AD's Notepad to scribble down the following: "Note to self: winning yields positive press and fan excitement."

But for laughs, here is a classic funny:

What an a-hole.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Coffee with the Coach

Everybody show up tomorrow morning for the Coach's breakfast!!!

I am glad we play A&M

I am glad SMU plays A&M. I am glad SMU plays A&M on Saturday. I am glad SMU plays A&M a week after beating TCU. I cannot think of another team on SMU's schedule I would rather SMU play this week than A&M.

TCU beat OU. TCU thought they were bad ass. TCU didn't take SMU seriously. TCU got beat.

Imagine what would happen if SMU played anybody else this week? What if SMU played ECU? What if SMU played Tulane? What if SMU played Tulsa?

Anybody but A&M and the players would not be taking things too seriously. They'd go through the motions, but you'd hear the same stuff from Bennett that you heard from Patterson: team wasn't focused and it was a bad week of practice.

But A&M is A&M. The players know they have to focus if they want to compete. They know the game will be tough. The players know that if they want to win, they will have to play the best game of their lives. Add to that the fact that Bennett is returning to his alma matter.

I love it.

Non-Football C-USA Note

In first contest, the Women's Volleyball Team won SMU's first ever in-conference game.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Wow. All is right with the world.

What to take from this win:
1. Romo gets the majority of the snaps from now on.
2. Martin gets the majority of the carries.
3. I say we use the spread offense no more than 50% of the time. We have the personnel for a far more traditional offense.
4. We defended the option pretty well; too bad Gunn is slow as dirt.
5. Good game=good crowd.

The Crowd
I don’t know what got into everybody, but I thought the crowd was great. I was surprised in the number of SMU fans and the relatively few TCU fans. I thought there would be 20k wearing purple. My pregame trip to Snuffers led me to believe that would be the case as it was filled with TCU fans.

DeMyron Martin
Adrian Peterson v. TCU: 22 caries for 63 yards (long 11), 1 TD
DeMyron Martin v. TCU: 26 caries for 118 yards (long 13), 1 TD

‘nuff said.

Special Teams
90% of the special teams problems can be solved with better deep snapping. We can’t make those mistakes again.

I always was more of a Romo fan than an Eckert fan. Romo can be a better passer, but he needs the snaps in practice. Pleas give his 75% of the snaps this week. Pleeaase.

What SMU needs to do NOW.

Celebrate. That is right. SMU needs to celebrate this win. This win is important. SMU can make it more so with a little marketing. One of the problems with the Kansas win in 2000 was that it was quickly forgotten.

So what does SMU do? They got a skillet; use it. I’d have Bennett out in front of Dallas Hall on Tuesday morning serving breakfast to the student body. Cheesy? Yes. But it is a good picture and it would be covered. Remind the students and the fans how much fun Saturday night was and how much fun September 24th is going to be. Cheesy? Yes. But it is a good picture and it would be covered and shown on the 6 and 10 o’clock news- I guarantee it.

Second, SMU needs to be planning for Tulane now. Holding no illusions about A&M and the two weeks they have to stew about losing to Clemson and prepare for this game at home, we can maintain some momentum. Beat Tulane and get back to .500.

Partner with the Ticket. Get them out in front of the freshman quad from 6 to 8 again. Turn it into a benefit for the Red Cross; drop off donations; supplies; you name it.

Third, you have to get the stupid thundersticks out to the fans again. And again. Every game. It has to be done.

Funniest sign from Saturday.
I laughed out loud when I saw a sign that said “SMU-TCU Football Parking $10.” And the TCU fans were turning in. I have been going to games at Ford Stadium for six years now and never paid for parking. Everybody I have told this too that missed the game laughed.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Prediction and Dealing with the Negativity

Saturday night will be an unmitigated disaster. TCU will cover the spread. TCU, who couldn't gain 70 yards rushing, will run for at least 150 and another 250 yards in the air.

I'll be there. I am bringing a friend who has never been to a SMU game before. I doubt we make a good first impression.

I have real reservations about how this is going to look on "national TV." If SMU fans wear red, they will blend into the seats. The TCU fans (and there will be a lot of them) will wear white and purple and stand out. This may look really bad.

As I said before, "My least favorite memory of Ford Stadium was sitting in the rain against TCU in 2000. TCU had already accepted its bowl bid; there was nobody from SMU there; Coach Fran was auditioning for Alabama; for the TCU fans that greatly outnumbered the SMU fans, it was one big party. Saturday, with the possible exception of the rain, is going to be a repeat performance."

Of course, as I said on the message board, "If we beat TCU, a lot of us are going to look like real assholes."

Now, regarding my negativity, I call them like I see them. I'd be positive if I could. If there was something I could post on this blog that would inspire the team or the fans or get SMU a recruit, I would do it. Gladly. Watch me.

Know something I don't? Drop me a line.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


"SMUnick" says there is a rumor that Bennett will be playing more freshman than he planned before the season.

I am not saying I heard anything; I am not saying I didn't. I am just commenting on a rumor that I may or may not have heard also. I wasn't sworn to secrecy or anything.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Moment

I'd like to take a moment to direct you to some photos from the Clemson-A&M game.

And you tell me that SMU can't compete with the best of them in college football?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sefko's quote from Tuesday's DMN Sportsblog

I frequently peruse the DMN's SportSay Blog. Here is a quote from Eddie Sefko, the Mavs beat writer:

Baylor nation????
After one win against a team that couldn't beat a snare drum, suddenly there's a "Baylor Nation?"

A month from now, when the losing streak hits three or four, there won't even be a Baylor County.

Want to know what is worse? Sefko is an SMU grad. Great.

SID's Post-game Press Release

I do hope everyone clicks thisLINK and reads the press release and recap of the Baylor game. Here is a taste:
Baylor appeared on the verge of giving it back by fumbling a punt at its 19, but the hapless Mustangs - who haven't beaten a nonconference foe since 2000 - managed only a field goal.

FYI, one of the definitions of "hapless" is:
adj : deserving or inciting pity; "a hapless victim";

Not saying it isn't accurate. I am just suggesting it isn't the best term for the SID to use.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Dazed and Confused

Sorry I am late. I am just baffled. I wrote a bunch of stuff Sunday and deleted it. I wrote some more and deleted that too. I can’t go scorched earth on this team yet. Though, I am tempted to.

Here are a couple of quotes from the Dallas Morning News:

If you want to end a long, long road losing streak, come to Ford Stadium.

…the Mustangs' defense tired, and the offense stalled with ineffective play.

For the game, SMU had 270 yards in total offense and doesn't appear to be an improving team in the spread offense. Bennett said he is committed to the spread offense under coordinator Rusty Burns.

They drew 12 flags. They turned over the football twice. They appeared to mismanage the clock at times. They should be better next weekend when they meet SMU, a team that not long ago measured up as their rivals. Now, the only thing TCU and SMU football have in common is Interstate 30. Competitively, they are light years apart.

Indeed, none of TCU's shortcomings Saturday seemed a result of it being rattled in a place, and against a team, that usually strikes fear in most opponents. This is out of SMU's league, for example. The Longhorns in recent years seem to quake at the mere sight of the Sooners coming down the Cotton Bowl tunnel.

As an aside, Blackistone, you can kiss my ass. Don’t praise SMU’s academic standards once a year and then write this crap.

The Quarterbacks.
Eckert’s drives:
Drive 1:
0-2; punt
Drive 2:
0-2; yanked; Romo comes in and TD.
Drive 3:
0-1; turnover on downs
Drive 4:
0-3; punt (punt dropped and SMU recovers)
Drive 5:
0-2; field goal
Drive 6:
5-7 and a sack; TD

The boxscore shows Eckert as 6-18 though I cant figure out where that sixth completion was. The guy was 0-10 and everything he threw went over the receiver’s head. Eckert’s performance was a disaster. I can’t for the life of me understand why he went out on the field after Baylor fumbled that punt return.

It doesn’t matter what Eckert and Romo do next week, the quarterback situation is the same as it was last year. Which is the same as every year of Bennett’s tenure. I’d say Romo better start, but does it really matter?

The Offense:
Correct me if I am wrong, but we had Spring ball, right? I could have sworn I read a press release that said they were practicing in the Spring. Obviously, the defense got a lot of work, because the offense looks like it was shelved the day after the UTEP game and finally taken out of storage on late Friday afternoon. “Gosh, Rusty. Maybe we should, you know, practice a few plays before the game tomorrow, or something.”

The offense, when it was successful, was the same offense we ran when Phillips was the quarterback as a true freshman the last five games of 2003. Ultra conservative, hand off or make a read, then tuck the ball and run. The spread offense requires receivers, which apparently weren’t on the field until late fourth quarter.

Though I missed the halftime interview, Bennett apparently said they were going to run it down their throats. They actually stuck with it according to the play by play, but that is not what I remember. I guess I recall Eckert’s futility as being indicative of the entire second half.

The Defense.
How do you blame the defense? The defense got tired. The defense got tired because the offense couldn’t stay on the field for longer than 90 seconds at a time in the second half. I was also led to believe we would be rotating defensive lineman, which never happened the second half.

Going for it on 4th Down.
I got into a discussion about this with BrianTinBigD. I don’t have that much of a problem with it. At the end of the half, Baylor kicked a 47 yard field goal. They hadn’t moved the ball all game. I think the play called was stupid. It looked unorganized and the players looked confused. And that was the problem.

Next week.
Next week is going to suck. My least favorite memory of Ford Stadium was sitting in the rain against TCU in 2000. TCU had already accepted its bowl bid; there was nobody from SMU there; Coach Fran was auditioning for Alabama; for the TCU fans that greatly outnumbered the SMU fans, it was one big party. Saturday, with the possible exception of the rain, is going to be a repeat performance.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dooby's Baylor Joke of the Day

Not sure I see the "Baylor" joke here, but I get the point.

And Dooby wanted me to post this:

Spread; Predictions

Conference USA is 1-3 in games so far this year. 0-3 against I-A Competition.

As predicted, Eckert will start. He gets the majority of snaps in practice; he went to Conference USA media day. Bennett says it is close and both will play.

The line for Saturday against Baylor has been drifting down froma high of Baylor -4 to Baylor -1.5. The line itself is designed to promote the most betting possible. It is not a predictor of the actual outcome. However, barring a major injury, the line only moves to keep the betting relatively balanced on both sides. That could mean the majority of the money is moving in the direction of the Mustangs.

Unfortunately, while there is no major injury, the speculation is the line dropped because Baylor had a chunk of their team sit out with strep throat. This article bears that out. The line is unlikely to move again because of the few people betting on this game.

I'd love to not be in the prediction business. but here is the official season prediction. Four wins-Baylor (yes, Baylor); Rice; ECU; and Tulsa. That is what my head tells me. Something keeps telling me SMU will win five games, but I have no idea why. And since I can't point out the game that I think they will win, I won't. I could say the Tulane game, but right now, I don't know if there will be a Tulane game or what kind of team that will be.

And four wins is enough for Bennett to keep his job. Yeah. But I wonder what happens if the total is three? Then it is decision time.