Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wednesday Notes

It feels like it is Friday. This week is dragging for me. I cannot wait for Saturday.

For those of you that have not heard, Tulane will be staying at SMU for the near future. They could be staying through the SMU-Tulane game. Where will they be practicing? What will they going to do when they are not practicing? Can you really be a student athlete if you don't have classes to go to?

Today's DMN has a couple of notes. No QB selected yet; Kieschnick is nicked up.

Dooby's Baylor Joke of the Day

Question: What do you get when you cross a Baylor Bear with a Groundhog?

Answer: Six more weeks of bad football!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Notes and stuff

Some disparity regarding how many Baylor tickets have been sold. I have heard they have sold their initial alotment and the Baylor fans on the SMU site say they will have the majority of fans there, but then, why does Baylor say the have sold just 3,000 tickets? I can buy that a lot of fans bought tickets through the DMN promotion, but I am confident this will be a majority SMU crowd. Ugh, I can't believe I even have to say it.

Baylor has had 18 players sit out of practice this week due to strep throat. You can get strep throat from kissing and is also a symptom of gonorrhea.

Baylor has other injury issues as well. Two projected starters: offensive tackle Travis Farst and wide receiver J Fields are both likely to miss the game. Sophomore CB Braelon Davis, who was listed No. 1 on the Bears' depth chart, injured his knee during spring practice and will likely miss the entire 2005 season after undergoing surgery to repair his torn ACL back in May. The NCAA Clearinghouse has requested more paperwork on David Gettis, Baylor's prized recruit from 2005; he may not play.

For your information, Baylor is riding a twenty game road losing streak. Guy Morris has never won a road game as coach of the Baylor Bears.


Holy crap, Jim. Think you could mix an update in before gameday? It is only four days away. I say this and I am sure there will be something tomorrow about Baylor nearing a sellout, the start of school go out there and win, yada yada yada.

Dooby's Baylor Joke of the Day

Once again, I present the Gameweek feature: Dooby's Baylor Joke of the Day

Today is probably the most well known Baylor football joke o fall time.

One day mama bear and papa bear were getting a divorce. The judge decided that baby bear was going to live with mama bear.

Baby bear started to cry . "Whats wrong?" the judge asked baby bear.

"I dont want to live with mama bear, she abuses me!" said baby bear.

"Then, you can live with papa bear" said the judge.

Baby bear started to cry even harder the judge asked him, "Whats wrong?" Baby bear replied, " I dont want to live with papa bear he abuses me even more than mama bear does."

"Then who do you want to live with?" asked the judge.

Baby bear replied, "I want to live with the Baylor Bears, because they don't beat anyone!"

Monday, August 29, 2005

Site Meter is Cool

Shout out to the guy from Milan, Italy that stopped by. Bookended by a guy from Allen and a guy from Kerrville. Wow. Ain't the internet cool?

Thanks, Al Gore!

Game Week Feature: Dooby's Baylor Joke of the Day

Here is my pal Dooby who is getting tired of the Baylor fans hooking up their 56k modems or using the internet at the Waco public library to post at
Thanks, Blog. At first I tried to ignore the Baylor fans, but I have officially had enough. This year, their seven game losing streak starts early. Here is today's joke:

A Baylor student was visiting a Yankee relative in Boston over the holidays. He went to a large party and met a pretty co-ed. He was attempting to start up a conversation with the tired line "Where do y'all go to school?"

The co-ed, of course, was not overly impressed with his grammar or southern drawl but did answer his question.

"Yale," she replied.

The Baylor student took a big deep breath and shouted, "WHERE DO Y'ALL GO TO SCHOOL!?"

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Article on SMU Commit Rhodes

So, like I do every Saturday, I peruse the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. But here is an article on New Braunfels QB and SMU commit Zach Rhodes.
Rhodes received interest from several schools, including Tulane, BYU and Navy. However, he said SMU had pursued him since his sophomore year.

In 2003, Rhodes completed 33 of 74 passes for 366 yards and a pair of scores and ran 31 times for 50 yards. Rhodes started eight games for the Unicorns in 2004, completing 73 of 144 passes for 1,040 yards and eight touchdowns with nine interceptions. The 6-2, 195-pound senior was New Braunfels second leading rusher, carrying 90 times for 492 yards and seven scores.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Mark Followill

Former SMU play-by-play man Mark Followill will be named the TV play-by-play man for the Dallas Mavericks today, which is a suggestion I made on a Mavericks board two years ago, and again when I heard Pinto might leave.

FYI, Chuck Cooperstein will be named the radio play-by-play man for the Mavericks, which makes sense.

Thoughts and Preview

First thing first, hats off to the folks at for a terrific Season Preview. They do a good job over there and they deserve the credit for doing the work I neither have the time nor the patience for.

Two things jump off the page/screen at me: First, the "two starting quarterbacks" comments. I am a firm believer in the old adage "If you have two starting quarterbacks, then don't really have any starting quarterbacks." Bennett knows who is going to start and I think he plans on starting him every game; he just wants the opponents to plan for both because Eckert is a better drop back passer and Romo is a better scrambler. Someone on the message board said to put all three in the game at the same time. I am all for it. We did see two quarterbacks on the field at the same time on occasion last year-Romo lined up as wide receiver and (I think) halfback for at least one play. And keeping Phillips on the bench all year is a complete waste of athletic ability. All these kids can play; get them on the field.

The other thing is the the unanimous response to the question "What is the biggest game of the year?" Baylor. Putting aside for a moment that we've slipped to the point that Baylor is the biggest game of the year, from the coaches to the players, they are exactly right. Baylor is the first game. Baylor is the first home game. Baylor is the first winnable game. Baylor is the first must win game of the season. Everything flows from this one game. And wow, it is just eight days away.

So everybody but Columbus Givens is redshirting. Good to hear on several fronts. I keep hearing Columbus Givens is quite a talent and it is nice to know there are players that can force their way onto the field; I hope it is true. Also good to know that Bennett thinks he can afford to redshirt everybody. And it is good to know Bennett is not willing to put short term gain ahead of the long term development of the team.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Where the [BLANK] have you been?

Thanks to the legions of fans that have asked where I have been lately. OK, so it was one guy. And he may or may not have been looking for money. Anyway, I have been around, but work and home have kept me away from the computer for long stretches at a time.

Anyway, some scattershooting:

Here is a semi-interesting read from CSTV. There is also a lot of lamenting the death of the Southwest Conference these days:

Coach Phil Bennett, an SWC player and coach who is 6-29 at SMU, said the breakup was more of a concern when he was hired than the death penalty. It's a view shared by others.

"The death penalty is something you can overcome in a couple years," James said, "but you can't overcome being left out of the Big 12."

Again, there is talk, big talk from the AD of Houston. I'd kill for Copeland to talk like this-like winning is important.

SMU got its first two commitments. I thought about posting that recruiting had clearly stalled when the camps ended with zero commitment. 99% of us have never seen these kids play, so I will reserve judgment. The Baylor game will be huge. SMU needs to win or recruiting may be finito for 2005-06.

Quite possibly my favorite thing about SMU football is no more. If you didn't know, there will be no more "Coffee with the Coach." I loved eating donuts and listening to Bennett the Thursday before every home game. They have been replaced with a lunch at Letterman Hall that will cost you $50 for the year. Whether this was done for financial reasons (doubtful) or to increase attendance, I don't know. I do know I probably won't get to go. I live and work in the far north end of the metroplex so making down to SMU for a lunch is damn near impossible. Unlike so many SMU fans who whine about everything, I am not going to bitch about this decision. I have no doubt it was done for a good reason; I am just personally a little disappointed I can't go. And even if I could, I wouldn't post what Bennett said here because I want Bennett to be honest with the fans at those events.

Please beat Baylor.

Take a listen to Hayden Frye HERE. He confirms the long thought rumor that Iococca named the Mustang for the SMU football team. Glad to have that question answered and even happier to know it is true.

Sports Illustrated is the only college football anything I have seen that predicts SMU to finish anywhere other than dead last in C-USA West. SI picks SMU 5th ahead of Rice. SI picks both to finish 3-8, but SMU with three conference wins and Rice with only two; presumably that means they think SMU beats Rice this year. Article also briefly mentions Bennett as the coach on the hot seat. I personally put Hatfield on the hot seat every bit as much as Bennett.

I'll post more this week, I promise.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Recruiting Restrictions

Nothing gets my blood boiling more than talking about the ridiculous recruiting restrictions that SMU put in place after the death penalty. The conversation started up again yesterday over at the message board as we were discussing the demise of the SWC (by the way, you really should check out the amazing job the San Antonio Express-News did recently on the subject, which can be found HERE).

The whole recruiting restrictions, to me, is a great fraud on the part of Pye, the faculty and others. It is a fraud in two ways. First, the fraud is that all losing can be blamed on the death penalty. Poll 100 people on the boulevard as to why SMU loses and the death penalty will be the overwhelming answer. Poll 100 people with no connection to SMU as to why SMU loses and the death penalty will again be the overwhelming answer. The death panalty gives cover to those that hoped to establish some kind of college football utopia where starting positions were assigned based on SAT scores an dnot ability and the football team still won on the field. The death penalty allows those pollyannas to avoid all accountability for their actions.

Second, the recruiting restrictions are a great fraud because they play into the ego of the SMU faculty alumni, faculty and administration. We are told the recruiting restrictions are necessary because SMU is such a prestigious academic institution. This is sham. SMU is a fine school, but its undergraduate rankings rarely drift above the mid-70s and perrenially trail numerous schools that are successful on the football field as well. Again, as I said earlier, when the recruiting restrictions were being put into place, the acceptance rate at SMU was 91%. Does that make sense? For every athlete in the lowest academic category that enrolls at SMU, there are three non-athletes from the same category. Is that lowering standards? Football players graduate at a rate that exceeds the university as a whole. How can recruiting restrictions that lead to such a result, be justified?

SMU can have academic integrity and win football games. However, it needs to do it the same way other schools that graduate their football players do. Of the 25 schools that graduated 70% or more of their football players, more than 20 had been to bowl games in the past five years. We should be emulating those schools rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. Get the kids in school, offer things they are interested in, make them go to class, make them study.

And I won't even go into the fact that since TCU decided to get serious about football, its acceptance rates have improved, its percentage of accepted who enroll has increased and its average scores have increased all at rates that exceed SMU's.

Friday, August 12, 2005


From today's DMN:
UNIVERSITY PARK – In the team's first scrimmage, three running backs – Cedrick Dorsey, Richuel Massey and DeMyron Martin (Allen) – had long runs and hit the holes. Most of the running backs are getting snaps with the first-team offense. Third-string quarterback Chris Phillips had his best session of camp Thursday night by completing passes in traffic and finding open receivers.

Calvin Watkins

Any day Phillips has a good day, I think is a good day. I like Phillips and want him to succeed. That being said, if he is not the best quarterback, then he is not the best quarterback and should not start.

There are some that talk about his potential, but let’s be honest, his potential is based on raw athleticism. To be a quarterback, you have to be able to throw the ball. Phillips has not shown he can consistently do that (not that he has had too many opportunities).

Phillips needs to work himself into the quarterback mix better than he has been doing. If not for this year, than for 2006. We can’t go into 2006 with a redshirt freshman Willis and Phillips who has been sitting on the shelf for two years as the only options at quarterback. In an ideal world, Phillips shows he can be a capable backup this year and gets on the field in a few games and be ready to start full time in 2006.

If the coaching staff has convinced themselves that Phillips is not going to be a quarterback, then they better be working on two things. First, they better be working on a plan to bring in another quarterback to start in 2006. Second, they better be working to get Phillips on the field in 2005 at another position. The guy is simply too good an athlete to keep on the bench.

As for the running backs, we all want the same thing. Somebody go out and win the starting job and fight like hell to keep it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

First Look (Sorta) at the New Uniforms.

Take a look at the photos from the Media Day/Kid's Clinic at Ford Stadium. If you look at Chris Phillips (No. 7 in your program and no. 1 in our hearts) in the photograph below, you get a decent look at the sides of the new jersey. Personally, I always preferred the blue uniform, but the red is here to stay. There is obviously a blue stripe on the side, and a thin white stripe that looks like piping outlining the blue stripe and coming up over the shoulder. There is also blue cuffs/bands on the sleeves and collar. The only other change I see is a white diamond shaped emblem with a Running Mustang on the front just below the neck, I'll reserve judgment until I see them in person.

The Worst Case Scenario

Today is the republished first of two “Worst Case Scenarios”. The original somehow got destroyed when it was being uploaded.

We could go 0-11!!! To quote Rob Schneider in The Waterboy, "Oh no, we suck again!" I concede that 0-11 is probably a little more likely than 11-0 since it happened just two years ago. But I just don’t see it happening again. Let’s take a look at the realistic best case scenario for the upcoming season. Again, is this my prediction? No.

9/3 Sat vs. Baylor
Loss. Baylor is rebuiliding faster than SMU. The A&M win was a better indication of what Baylor is doing than anything SMU is has done in ten years. Baylor wins by double digits. 0-1.

9/10 Sat vs. Texas Christian
Loss. Coming off a shellacking in Norman, Oklahoma, TCU has something to prove and knowing that starting 0-3 would be a disaster, they place added emphasis on winning this game. With the exception of the 2003 season, these games haven’t been close and this one isn’t any different. 0-2

9/17 Sat @ Texas A&M
Loss. I predicted this would be a loss under the best of circumstances. Nothing has changed. 0-3. This is what I wrote a week ago:

While in my most delusion moments I can envision Alvin Nebufe leaping to intercept an errant throw across the middle and taking it to the sideline before cutting downfield for a late 4th quarter touchdown to ice the win, it just ain’t going to happen. The best anyone can realistically hope for is to keep it close. At Kyle Field, I can’t imagine this being anything other than ugly.

9/24 Sat vs. *Tulane
Loss. It is easy to look at Tulane’s season last year and say they are getting better. They have won four of their last six and beat UAB. The kicking game cost them games last season; it won’t happen again. 0-4.

10/1 Sat @ *Marshall
Loss. This is another game I predicted this would be a loss under the best of circumstances. Nothing has changed. 0-5.

10/8 Sat @ *Alabama-Birmingham
Loss. Yet another game I already had as a loss and a blowout on top of that. The second blowout of the year. By this point, every SMU fan is in a panic. I am not sure it wouldn’t be unwarranted. 0-6

10/15 Sat vs. *East Carolina
Win. East Carolina is terrible. Or, they should be, I will say. This has to be a win under the worst of circumstances. I will point out that on the message boards, Stallion says there is a realistic chance of starting out 0-6. If Stallion could say 0-7, he would. This game is like the 2004 San Jose State game-they have to be able to win this game. 1-6

10/22 Sat @ *Tulsa
Loss. This starting to be painful to type. Tulsa is beatable in my eyes, but starting out 1-6 destroys the confidence and playing on the road doesn’t help. 1-7

11/5 Sat vs. *Rice
Loss. Bennett’s never defeated an option team. SMU has beaten Rice just three times since 1986. 1-8

1/12 Sat @ *Houston
Loss. Clearly, SMU’s road woes continue under the Bennett era, with just a single win in four years. 1-9.

11/26 Sat vs. *Texas-El Paso
Loss. SMU gets drilled by Mike Price’s UTEP team, which I think has a decent chance of going undefeated. Price probably bails UTEP after this season and goes to a BCS school. 1-10.

What would happen if this did in fact come to fruition? I think you have to assume Bennett is gone, wouldn’t you? And surely by now, Copeland is shown the door. How can anyone have confidence in a coaching search run by Copeland at that point?

Again, is this my prediction? Hell, no. I don’t want anybody fired. I want Copeland to be right about Bennett; I want Bennett to be successful. I assure you, no matter how sour you are at the SMU athletic department and football program, Bennett being successful is what is in the best interest of SMU.

Up next, my real worst nightmare for the SMU fan.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Missing Posts

I lost two posts in the last 12 hours. I don't know what happened; I will try and fix it. And I don't know what happened but I need to somehow fix the sidebar, too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

C-USA and CSTV had Me at Hello

OK. Here is the Conference USA "Media Blitz" roundup. But before I begin, let me just say it is light years ahead of anything the WAC ever put together. They should be commended. Is it perfect? No, but the production value is good and the effort is there. I suggest you check out the interview of Bennett, D.D. Lee and Eckert for yourself.

By now, everyone has heard that the coaches were polled and picked SMU dead last in the West. Not much we can do about that; we have to start somewhere.

On the QB's:
They still refer to a three man race, though to listen to Bennett, you'd never know it. Bennett said he didn't know if Phillips could get back in the race for the starting QB job.

All right, so that means it is between Eckert and Romo, right? But Eckert was at media day. But Romo was named the team captain(?). And Bennett said he'll play both quarterbacks. And then said Eckert and Romo were his starting quarterbacks (emphasis on the plural, there). And Bennett said this was the best QB situation SMU has been in since he's been the coach. I won't deny that, but... errr...uhhhh....

On Conference USA:
Bennett likes it. More regional. More exposure. Likes the championship game.

D.D. Lee:
He's 100% healthy and ready to go. Generic defense talk. I didn't realize the turnover margin in 2004 was -19. Yikes.

On the QB battle, we got generic QB talk. "We all have strengths and weaknesses, yada yada yada." Eckert thinks the offensive line is greatly improved; the whole line is back; more experienced; understand Velarick's scheme. To that I will say, they'd better be-26 sacks is unacceptable.

Oh, and Bennett is still having fun and thinks they will be greatly improved.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Best Case Scenario

We could go 11-0!!! Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now that that is out of the way, let’s take a look at the realistic best case scenario for the upcoming season. Now, is this my prediction? No. Of course, not.

9/3 Sat vs. Baylor
Win. The game two years ago was a borderline pathetic experience for all involved. What will make the outcome different this time? First, the game is at home. Second, one could argue SMU is a year ahead of Baylor in rebuilding. Third, the SMU team has more experience than the one that lost two years ago- only a terribly inexperienced team could have come up with the inept four minute stretch that included (in order) a partially blocked punt, a fumbled punt return and an interception. SMU wins 31-20 in a game that is closer than the final score indicates. 1-0

9/10 Sat vs. Texas Christian
Win. Coming off a shellacking in Norman, Oklahoma, TCU is left to ponder what to do with its upcoming week. Prepare for its cross-town whipping boy SMU or prepare for its home and conference opener just five days later against a team that finished in the top five a year ago. Overconfident, and with SMU in the past showing nothing to make them think otherwise, TCU chooses the latter and devotes a portion of each days film, meetings and practice to Utah. SMU wins 21-17. The only question is whether Gary Patterson is even allowed to take the team bus back to Fort Worth. 2-0

9/17 Sat @ Texas A&M
Loss. While in my most delusion moments I can envision Alvin Nebufe leaping to intercept an errant throw across the middle and taking it to the sideline before cutting downfield for a late 4th quarter touchdown to ice the win, it just ain’t going to happen. The best anyone can realistically hope for is to keep it close. At Kyle Field, I can’t imagine this being anything other than ugly. 2-1

9/24 Sat vs. *Tulane
Win. What can I say, Lester Ricard never materializes and Tulane’s kicking woes continue. The SMU defense starts to come together allowing a TD in the first and one in garbage time while Tulane misses two long distance field goals. Final score 24-14. 3-1

10/1 Sat @ *Marshall
Loss. The ponies lose a close one, 16-13. Marshall’s Ahmad Bradshaw runs and runs and runs. The SMU offense never gets in sink. 3-2

10/8 Sat @ *Alabama-Birmingham
Loss. The second blowout of the year. Considering we are two weeks into October, that is cause for celebration. UAB launches to an early three touchdown lead and SMU never really recovers, losing 45-20. 3-3

10/15 Sat vs. *East Carolina
Win. Just when you need to get back on your feet, the team that will most likely be one of the worst in the country rolls into the friendly confines of Gerald J. Ford Stadium. This one is a rout. Final score 41-13. Lou Holtz disowns his son; adopts Steve Spurrier. 4-3

10/22 Sat @ *Tulsa
Win. The Cedric Dorsey show makes a move into prime time. The Tulsa run defense is abysmal. The juco talent that Tulsa acquired simply never pans out. Dorsey has 178 yards on 20 carries and two scores. First road win for the Ponies since November 2002. Final score 24-7. 5-3

11/5 Sat vs. *Rice
Win. Wow. A bye week. The SMU faithful are abuzz; a win over rice means SMU is bowl eligible. Naysayers point out that SMU has beaten Rice just three times since 1986. The sunshiners prefer to note that SMU has won its last six home games. Bennett spends the entire off week stressing that this will be the year SMU figures out how to stop Rice’s option attack. Oh, they say they intend to pass more, but you and I know differently. The first official rout of the season: 44-10. The following week, Sports Illustrated puts Bennett’s mug in the corner picture over the caption “SMU-Back from the Dead?” 6-3

11/12 Sat @ *Houston
Win. John O’Quinn sucks. Kolb’s freshman season was an aberration. Ponies have their best three game stretch since 1997, SMU wins 41-16. Holy crap, they are 7-3.

11/26 Sat vs. *Texas-El Paso
If you have been paying attention, SMU undefeated in CUSA-West, which leads to a showdown moved to Saturday night for FoxSW. Why? Because UTEP is 10-0 and looking at an undefeated season. The game has less drama for SMU than it appears, even with a SMU win, UTEP goes to the CUSA Championship game. SMU plays it close but loses 33-28. Regular season record 7-4.

12/20 Tues vs. University of North Texas (New Orleans Bowl)
Frankly, SMU should be thankful it got here. No place better for SMU’s first bowl game since the death penalty. It is the first bowl game of the season; it is the closest to SMU save the sponsor-less Fort Worth Bowl; and well, it is New Orleans. More Ramon Flannigan and Phil Bennett human interest stories than you can shake a stick at. SMU wins 31-10. I’ve come this far, you think I am going to pick SMU to lose? Of course not, but it doesn’t matter. It is a dream season. Bennett cries; Copeland cries; Turner cries; I cry. And then we all wander down to the Harrah’s casino and ride our luck as long as we can. And when that is over, we stagger onto Bourbon street in the early morning light, wishing the season never had to end.

Again, is this my prediction? Hell, no. Anybody that is not satisfied with that season is delusional about what we can expect from this team. If you didn’t figure it out, all I did was pick SMU over the teams with losing records. But this is about the best we can do. In reality, I don’t expect to win some of these games I identified. But it was fun putting it together.

Somebody asked me why, after all the losing, I still follow SMU. By the way, this was in the presence of a classmate from SMU who makes five UT home games a year, but can’t find the time to go to one SMU game even though he lives less than five minutes away from Ford Stadium. This was my reply: When UT wins, most alumni feel good for an hour or two, the win is expected; when UT loses, they feel bad for a week. When SMU loses, I feel bad for an hour or two; when SMU wins, I feel good for a week.

Does this mean I am satisfied with the state of SMU football? Absolutely not. I want to win. I am sick to death of the losing. Frankly, I don’t know what direction this blog will take as the season progresses. I can foresee the scorched earth profanity laden tirade in the future. But I am going to bite my tongue on that one for a little while.

There is a worst case scenario coming, too. I actually have two worst-cases. And then sometime before the season starts, a real prediction.