Thursday, November 16, 2006

Futball loses and football must win

In quite an upset, SMU men's soccer lost to the University of California-Santa Barbara 3-1. Very disappointing as SMU was ranked no. 1 in some polls and no. 2 in others; UCSB was unranked. This may very well be Schellas Hyndman's last game at SMU; he is once again being considered for the FC Dallas job and it is probably (once again) his if he wants it.

In other news, to get to a bowl, SMU probably needs to win out. NCAA rules say a conference bowl tie-in must take an above-.500 team over a .500 team. This is not news to those that have been paying attention. The situation is this: Conference USA has five bowl tie-ins and two seven win teams and two six win teams that are likely going to get to seven wins. There are three teams that can get to seven wins by winning out: UTEP, Rice and SMU. UTEP has the easiest shot at seven wins and since Rice and SMU play each other, only one of them can get to seven.

To guarantee a bowl, SMU needs to win out and UTEP needs to lose. If SMU and UTEP win out, then the bowls can pick between the two. This is where SMU's losses to NTSU and UTEP (without Willis) sting. If everybody (Rice, UTEP, SMU and add Marshall, too) finish with six wins, then the bowls get to pick. And this is where SMU's attendance woes come back to haunt SMU.

If SMU finishes with six wins and there are five seven-win Conference USA teams, it is bowl eligible and can take an at-large spots. There is one at large spot (the Poinsettia Bowl). As most conferences will meet all of their bowl tie-ins, there are unlikely to be many other at-large spots. The Big 10 may not fill all of its spots and if things fall right, the ACC may not either. But now you are talking about SMU rooting for Iowa to beat Minnesota; Purdue to beat Indiana; Virginia to beat Miami; Western Michigan to beat Florida State; Arizona State to beat UCLA. I am not making any of these games up, SMU fans have to actually hope these things happen-and that is just this Saturday.

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