Here is the DMN article on the Willis reinstatement. I can’t find another story to link to on it. It is good that Willis is back on the team. Willis has some obligations to meet on the student affairs end of things, but I don’t know what those are. And the truth is, it doesn’t really matter.
Some are commending the University’s handling of this. I am not one of them. SMU took 12 hours shy of a week to resolve this. That is inexcusable. Fall break is not an excuse. The administrative process is not an excuse. It should have been resolved by the end of the day Monday at the absolute latest. In my opinion, and you can disagree, had SMU not done anything, this would have never come to light. Then, when all the facts were known, SMU could have punished him appropriately.
I could talk about this more, but I am tired of thinking about it.
I realize I never mentioned the UTEP game. SMU lost, going 0-11 on third down and completing one first down in the first half. The running game wasn’t up to par. I think most of the offensive woes were due to the Willis suspension. Suspending the starting quarterback the day before a game wrecks the offense; there was little that Slater could do. The offensive woes spurred the defensive woes as they couldn’t keep the UTEP offense off the field. That being said, the defense played well, holding the NCAA’s 6th best offense to 24 points and scoring a touchdown. And SMU did it with injuries to Justin Rogers and Cory Muse. I thought going into the game that SMU needed a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter to win; they didn’t and lost. However, considering the spread opened at 10 points and shot up with the Willis announcement, I would call the game a moral victory. Unfortunately, I don’t see moral victories listed in the standings.
Also, take a look at MustangManiacs’ mid-season grades. They sum up the positions pretty well, but if it is me, I ratchet down everybody’s grade one level (ex: “B-“ to a “B”)
Lost in the hubbub of this week is the fact that there is a football game on Saturday.
Marshall is a hard team to get a read on. Marshall is 1-4. Marshall’s only victory is against Hofstra. Losses were to West Virginia, Tennessee, Kansas State and UCF. Where SMU would be with that schedule is up to debate. I did watch some of the UCF game and thought that Marshall looked to be the worst of two bad football teams; of course, as soon as I turned it off, they outscored UCF in the second half.
Marshall has a good running back in Ahmad Bradshaw. Other than that, however, they rank in the bottom half to bottom third of every statistical category.
As for SMU injuries, Cory Muse and Justin Rogers are doubtful; DeMyron Martin is questionable. Sigh.