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?