Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Scheduling 101

Very painful long post follows.

Somehow, I got in an argument on the message board about SMU's future schedule which includes North Texas and Arkansas State, and is rumored to include Sam Houston State in the future. I am not trying to antagonize anybody. I am just stating the facts. And the facts are irrefutable. I really didn't want to make this argument now and I reserve the right to address it in the future.

One of the main reasons we have scheduled Texas Tech and OSU in the past was an attempt to curb the mounting deficit that the athletic department faces every year. Pressure was put on Copeland to schedule teams that would pack Ford. In 2001, Turner and Copeland were trying to schedule Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. In November 2003, Copeland was quoted in the DMN as saying he wanted to schedule Texas. I assure you they were not doing it to improve the product on the field, they were doing it to make money. It has been said before, we were renting fans. It is easier to fill the stands with other schools' fans than it would be to make the product on the field worth watching.

Copeland was scheduling tough teams not because they were tough, but because they can fill the stadium. The faculty, which still wields a stupid amount of power over such things, moans and groans on the deficit constantly. Scheduling Texas Tech, OSU and A&M was and still is about money.

Bennett wants the schedule we have this year and next. He has wanted it since he came here. He believes you need to build confidence and getting pounded by the top half of the big XII isn't the way to do it. He's been saying it for years. Other coaches not associated with SMU have been saying it for years, too. Copeland has decided to give Bennett what he wants. It isn't about disguising the record; if Bennett beats Ark. State, North Texas and SHSU and still finishes with four wins in 2006, in all likelihood, he is still going to be fired.

My point has always been that this is what you have to do. Here are two examples:

N. Illinois, 0-11 in 1997, began scheduling a I-AA team every year early in the season, then went 2-9, 5-6 and have been above-.500 ever since.

After going 1-10 in 1997, Coach Fran and TCU ditched OU and entered into a two year deal with Arkansas State beginning in 1999. They followed that up with a two year deal with North Texas.

For those that say they don't want to go to Ford Stadium to watch Arkansas State, I agree. I don't want to go to Ford Stadium to watch Arkansas State; I don't want to go to Ford Stadium to watch Texas Tech; I don't want to go to Ford Stadium to watch Oklahoma State. I want to go to Ford Stadium to watch SMU and only SMU. I certainly don't want to go to Ford Stadium to watch Texas Tech and Oklahoma State pound SMU's brain in like they have the past few years. I don't like seeing our stands filled with other schools' fans. People say that the fans won't show up for Arkansas State, I say they won't show up to watch SMU perpetually lose.

Next, let's look at the argument that our in-conference schedule is soft so scheduling a weak non-conference schedule should be unnecessary.

Let us assume that any team not in a BCS conference has a "weak" in-conference schedule. I am also going to assume that the Sunbelt Conference is the worst conference in Division I-A and that Division I-AA teams tend to be weaker than I-A (all logical assumptions). At the end of this post is a list of EVERY non-BCS team that went to a bowl from 2002-2004. As you can see, every non-bcs school that went to a bowl during that time, schedules Non-I-A teams or Sunbelt teams. There is one exception and that is Louisville. Even Louisville makes a point of scheduling Temple* and they have scheduled Florida Atlantic for 2005.

*Temple has the lowest winning percentage of any BCS school over the past 20 years and it isn't even close, barely winning 1 out of 5 contests. Over the past 10 years, they are the second worst team in Div. 1-A. Now removed to the MAC for a lack of competitiveness.

I will not disagree that SMU football should be better than it is. I agree. I will not disagree that SMU football used to be better than it is. I agree. I will not argue that all of these are guaranteed wins.

I will not argue that if SMU beats Arkansas State, North Texas, Sam Houston, and beats three others and gets to go to the worst bowl in the country then SMU football has acheived its goals. But I will argue that it is a good first step. I will argue that it is better to beat a bad team than to lose to a good team. I don't believe in moral victories. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. You have to prove you can beat somebody or they will believe anybody can beat you.

Air Force
2004- Eastern Washington (non-IA)
2003- Wofford (non-IA), N. Texas (Sunbelt)
2002- Army (bowl)

Boise State
2004- Idaho (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2003- Idaho State (non-IA) (bowl)
2002- Idaho (Sunbelt), Utah State (Sunbelt) (bowl)

Bowling Green
2004- Southeast Missouri State (non-IA) (bowl)
2003-Liberty (non-IA), E. Kentucky
2002-Tennessee Tech (non-IA)

2004-none (bowl)
2003-Rhode Island (non-IA), Temple (bowl)
3005- Western Carolina (non-IA)

Fresno State
2004- Portland State (non-IA) (bowl)
2003- Portland State (non-IA) (bowl)
2002- None (bowl)

2004-Idaho (non-IA), Fla. Atlantic (bowl)
2003- Appalachian State (non-IA) (bowl)
2002-Eastern Illinois (non-IA) (bowl)

2003-Lousiana Lafayette (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2002- Louisiana Lafayette (Sunbelt)

2004- None (bowl)
2003- Temple (bowl)
2002- None (bowl)
2005- Fla. Atlantic

2004-Troy State (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2003- Hofstra (non-IA)
2002- Appalachian State (non-IA), Hofstra (non-IA) (bowl)

2004- Tennessee-Chattanooga (non-IA), Arkansas State (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2003- Tennessee Tech (non-IA), Arkansas State (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2002- Murray State (non-IA)

Miami (Ohio)
2004- Indiana State (non-IA) (bowl)
2003- None (bowl)
2002- None

2004- Northeastern (non-IA), Duke (bowl)
2003- Virginia Military Institute (non-IA) (bowl)
2002- Duke

New Mexico
2004- New Mexico State (bowl)
2003- Southwest Texas State (non-IA), New Mexico State (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2002- Weber State (non-IA), New Mexico State (Sunbelt) (bowl)

North Texas
2004-None; Sunbelt-What are you going to do? (bowl)
2003-None; Sunbelt-What are you going to do? (bowl)
2002-Nichols State (non-IA) (bowl)
2000-Samford (non-IA) (bowl)

Northern Illinois
2004- Southern Illinois (non-IA) (bowl)
2003 Tennessee Tech (non-IA) (bowl)
2002- Western Illinois (non-IA)

Southern Miss
2004-None (Bowl)
2003-Louisiana Lafayette (Sunbelt) (Bowl)
2002-Jackson State (non-IA)
2005-NcNeese State (non-IA)

2004-None (bowl)
2003-None (bowl)
2002-N. Texas (Sunbelt)

2004- Temple (bowl)
2003 Liberty (non-IA)
2002- Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (non-IA) (bowl)

2004- Florida A&M
2003 Northwestern State (non-IA)
2002- Southern (non-IA), Louisiana-Monroe (Sun Belt) (bowl)

2004- None (bowl)
2003 Troy State (ind.)
2002-Troy State (ind.)
2005- Troy, (Sunbelt), Jacksonville State

2004- Utah State (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2003 Utah State (Sunbelt) (bowl)
2002- Utah State (Sunbelt)

2004- Weber State (non-IA) (bowl)
2003 Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (non-IA)
2002- Sacramento State (non-IA), New Mexico State (Sunbelt) (bowl)

2004-Appalachian State (non-IA) (bowl)
2003 Montana State (non-IA)
2002-Citadel (non-IA)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Comparisons of Baylor and SMU Scandals and Comments from Copeland

As the NCAA's sanctions imposed on the Baylor basketball team were announced, the comparisons and anologies between SMU and Baylor were instantly made. Mostly, I think the comparisons are the product of lazy reporting so I choose not to post any of it. However, there is a Chip Brown story in the DMN that has been picked up by the AP that has gotten my attention because Brown spoke with SMU AD Copeland.

The public relations aspect of enduring a third basketball scandal in 20 years is reminiscent of problems that faced SMU's football program. SMU, found by the NCAA to be a repeat offender of major violations, got the death penalty in 1987 after a massive pay-for-play scheme was uncovered.

The biggest challenge at Baylor, however, could have nothing to do with how the basketball team performs. It could be how the campus heals internally, according to SMU athletic director Jim Copeland.

Copeland, SMU's athletic director since 1995, was forced to address the effects of the death penalty when he took over - nearly a decade after the scandal hit.

His first task: rebuild his department's credibility within the SMU community. At informal lunches, Copeland heard faculty members angrily explain how the death penalty had hurt the entire university and not just athletics.

"They needed to understand we were going to graduate kids," he said. "That the primary mission for the university was academic, not athletics, and that we were going to run the program right, ethically."

Will someone please let me know when the task of rebuilding the athletic department's credibility is complete? I am sure the faculty is happy with the football team's graduation rate. They should be, IT IS BETTER THAN THE UNIVERSITY AS A WHOLE. But from where I stand in Section 204, SMU has a long way to go.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Blue Hour

Which guy is more imposing?

This guy?

Or the guy on the right?

Same guy, obviously. Taken from the website of The Blue Hour, which is SMU DT Charlie Berry's band. Apparently, Charlie sings. You can hear a couple of songs on the website.

Not bad, but they are no Submerge.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

College Football Preview Mags Survey

After reading through all the college football preview magazines, I am sad to report that every single one of them picks SMU last in the division.

  • Dave Campbell-Last in Conference USA;
  • Street & Smith-Last in Conference USA;
  • Lindy's-Last in Conference USA West, 10th overall behind UCF and ECU;
  • Athlon-Last in Conference USA West;
  • Phil Steele-Last in Conference USA West.

What does this mean? Well, nothing in the grand scheme of things. But it does show you the kind of faith that people have in this program right now.

I would characterize the articles on SMU as overly generic. There is nothing in any of them that you can't learn by reading the prospectus. There is some weird story from Rich Phillips in the Dave Campbell magazine. Weird in that the story is from 2001 recalling a conversation between Rich and Cavan about Shanderick Charles. Huh?!?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Keylon Kincade Update

One has to wonder how much sleep Keylon Kincade gets these days. The Cowboys released one of their NFL Europe players yesterday and put another on the injured list. This puts the Cowboys one player over the 85 player limit they can take to camp on July 29th.

I am a little surprised he has hung around this long. He did play pretty well in Europe. But I will be surprised if he survives training camp save possibly the practice squad again.

Texas Tech and A&M to Move Annual Game to Dallas

In today's Houston Chronicle, there is an article on Texas Tech and A&M's discussions on moving their game to Dallas. No indication as to where the game will be played, but presumably the Cotton Bowl, and then maybe Jerry Jones Land in Arlington.

Also, see here.

This just stengthens my belief that A&M and Texas Tech are going to stop playing SMU in Dallas. With an annual game in Dallas, they will be more reluctant to do so.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

LCA & SAE Houses to be Torn Down Early Fall 2005

No posting today. Off to the Roughriders' game. I did hear that the LCA and SAE houses will be torn down early Fall as construction of their new houses is on schedule. I hope they widely publicize the demolition date. Hell, I think they should start demolition on a game day. Bunch of drunk former fratboys stolling up from the Boulevard to watch a bulldozer careen through a couple of fraternity houses sounds like fun to me. Actually, this is genius.

NOTE TO TURNER, COPELAND AND THE SID: THIS HAS TO HAPPEN!!! You would probably get another thousand people to the game if you did this. There is a reason they blow buildings up on Saturday in this country. People want to see this. You have to do this!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bush Library Article (non-football)

The Washingtom Times has an article on the Bush Library search committee. A bunch of fluff for sure, with no real substance. However, it does mention a decision by late Summer or possibly the Fall.

Message Board Down

Frustrating. I remember when mustangmaniacs went down. It never recovered. Hope they fix it soon.

Edit: It is fixed. Seems to be faster than ever. Good job, guys.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Just realized my stupid Tivo deleted the 2004 Nevada-SMU game. I need to remember to hit "Save until I delete."

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, I could post pictures of the Division I-AA trophy, the Division II or Division III trophy, but trust me, the NCAA logo is there. For that matter, 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.

One Small Drop of Love

College Football News has its all "Welcome Back" Team. Much to my surprise, DD Lee makes second team defense.

LB D.D. Lee, SMU – The Mustangs’ best linebacker is on the mend after sitting out the bulk of the 2004 season with an elbow injury. Lee, who collected a team-leading 100 tackles in 2003, is the program’s most reliable run-stuffer.

Not bad considering only three Conference USA players made the list in total.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Twelth Game-A different take

So, there is now a 12th game in every season. In addition, a I-AA game can count toward bowl eligibility in every year. I assumed this was a good thing for the SMU's of the world. I concede I really didn't think of it this way.

The flipside: The new criteria also could mean even more scheduling headaches for smaller-stadium and mid-major programs as the wealthier I-A's turn toward signing less-feared opponents for smaller guarantees.

...[T]he programs with the 30 largest stadiums in I-A could net an extra payday worth between $2 million and $3 million.

Long story short, the rich (BCS) get richer, the non-BCS get poorer. Oh, and if schools have the choice of scheduling SMU or Sam Houston, they are gonna pick Sam Houston, and now there is no impedement to doing so every year. Thus, scheduling for the non-BCS Div. I-A schools just got tougher.

I agree that we can expect SMU to be playing six at home and six on the road. Don't look for seven home games any time soon.

Periodic updates

The benefit of starting an SMU Football Blog in the Summer is that it is pretty slow right now. I am going to spend time outlining story ideas and updating the layout of the site.

I work on the site a little bit every day, though you may not notice it.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Losing Jones, Cox and Mouton

Starting DT Desmond Jones (Carter) will not play this season because of violations of team rules. Coach Phil Bennett said Jones, a junior, will be redshirted and given a chance to return for 2006. Bennett would not comment on the violations. Also, sophomore DT Kendall Mouton (Arlington Lamar) is academically ineligible and will not return. LB Clayton Cox, a junior college transfer from Garden City, Kan., will not attend SMU. Cox will transfer to Kansas State.

Handful of things of note. Losing Desmond Jones for the year hurts. Actually, it sucks. But Jones is staying with the team, which is a plus. That makes 2006, the year I have always said was Bennett's make or break year, Jones' senior season. Still, I hate losing a guy for discipline reasons when SMU needs all the help it can get. Have to admire Bennett for doing what he believes is the right thing. Always.

Losing Cox hurts the depth. Cox was listed as the 142nd best JuCo prospect of 2004. That being said, I have looked at every College Football Preview Magazine that is out and Cox was not projected as the starter in any of them. Maybe they were provided that info ahead of time by SMU or maybe not. I do know that he wasn't featured in the Red-Blue game. I should also point out that it doesn't say he is going to play for K-State. We'll see.

Kendall Mouton, we hardly knew yee. Never saw the field. I still remember Mouton as Bus's "big news" on the message board. Just goes to show, you never know. Can't miss what you never knew. Still, it just kills the depth. As I have said, SMU needs all the help it can get.

DMN's Sports Say

If you haven't checked it out yet, you really should stop by the Morning News' Sports Say. I like blogs like this that are basically conversations among writers and a conversation between the DMN's writers is somethign I would like to listen to.

DMN's Sports Say

SMU Football Blog

Yes, this is the SMU Football Blog.


Baby steps. It is actually starting to look like an SMU blog. The colors are by and large those used by SMU-Red, Blue. The red and blue are the colors identified by SMU for use on their website. The "khaki" is a color frequently used in SMU publications and on the website. Regardless, it is better than the aqua and blue-greens that were here before.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Format Changes.

Spent a little time and added the schedule to the left.

Eh. It's the little things that count.