The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Goin’ bowling

With two games left on the regular season schedule, fans still need to fill Ford

In the four years I’ve spent at SMU, never before have I seen fans this excited about SMU football. Students, parents and members of the Dallas community actually rushed the field when the Mustangs defeated the UTEP Miners last weekend, as they celebrated the team becoming bowl eligible for the fifth time in 25 years. Just like the athletes, the students are starting to buy into what head coach June Jones is doing to the program. With the average attendance of the season at 22,110, students are actually staying through halftime to cheer their team to victory.

Good news keeps coming for SMU, as texasfootball.com has SMU ranked as the No. 4 team in the state of Texas, ahead of Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Baylor, UTEP, Rice and UNT. The Mustangs, if they host the Conference Championship, would also be the second team in Dallas, next to the Big 12 conference, to host a conference championship in Dallas. If we win, it’s a safe assumption June Jones would win Coach of the Year.

However, with this weekend’s game against Marshall being played on the road and the final home game being played over Thanksgiving Break, the Mustang fan base could see a decline in their numbers. What fans needs to realize, though is that if SMU wins out (meaning they finish the season 2-0) they will host the Conference USA Championship on Dec. 5. Joining C-USA in 2005, SMU has never made an appearance in the conference championship. However, while members of the WAC and SWC, SMU did make it to the SWC championship in 1984, the same year SMU went on to defeat Notre Dame in the Aloha Bowl.

With their win over UTEP putting them at 6-4, SMU is just one win away from being guaranteed an appearance in the post season. If the Mustangs host the C-USA Championship and win, they will play the lowest bowl eligible SEC team (think Auburn, Georgia or Arkansas). The Auto Zone Liberty Bowl would give SMU more national attention than the program has seen in years, but putting a Conference USA team against an SEC team is pretty much guaranteeing a win for the SEC contender. To put it in perspective, Georgia has beaten teams like South Carolina, Arkansas and Arizona State. Sure, these teams may not look great on paper, but size-wise, SMU would be screwed.

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, the Mustangs could make the 5,000 mile journey to Hawaii to play a bowl eligible team from the WAC. Possible contenders include Hawaii (if they win out to become bowl eligible ), Idaho or maybe Fresno State. Thankfully, SMU won’t have to play Boise State (10-0, 5-0) or Nevada, as both teams will likely receive bids to a BCS bowl.

While many fans are hoping for the Christmas Eve game in Hawaii, fans would be more likely to attend (not to mention, afford) a trip to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl. It would especially help the Mustangs bring a larger fan base to the game. Yes, the payout for the Liberty Bowl would be much, much larger, the implications of the Mustangs playing in Hawaii have a higher appeal to the team and Dallas community.

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