The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘SMU’

2017 SMU Football Predictions

Hi sports fans, here we go again.

It’s been a few years since I’ve done this – let’s recap.

  • 2011 Prediction: 8-4, Reality: 7-5
  • 2012 Prediction: 8-4, Reality: 6-6
  • 2013 Prediction: 5-7, Reality: 5-7
  • 2014 Prediction: 7-5, Reality: 1-11 (the head coach resigned in September, it was an ugly year)

Since then I skipped 2015 and 2016, perhaps I was afraid that I had played some role in the 2014 debacle, or perhaps I forgot/was lazy. In 2015 SMU hired a new coach, Chad Morris, and they went 2-10. In 2016 they went 5-7.

Now we are in the coaches third season, let’s take a wild, uneducated stab at their schedule. My knowledge of SMU’s abilities and those of their opponents are based solely on … I don’t even know what. It’s like that thing when you start saying something and you hope something good will come to your mind and you just dazzle everyone. That’s where my knowledge comes from.

  • 9/2 vs SFA … Victoryfootball-helmet-01sept2015
  • 9/9 vs North Texas … Victory
  • 9/16 @ TCU … Loss
  • 9/23 vs Arkansas State … Loss
  • 9/30 vs Connecticut … Victory
  • 10/7 vs Houston … Loss
  • 10/21 @ Cincinnati … Victory
  • 10/27 vs Tulsa … Loss
  • 11/4 vs UCF … Victory
  • 11/11 @ Navy … Loss
  • 11/18 @ Memphis … Victory
  • 11/25 vs Tulane … Victory

Total record: 7-5.

SMU football, you old friend/foe, I try to set my expectations low so that I won’t be frustrated but … I know you, you’ll still find ways to hurt my heart. LET’S DO THIS! FOOTBALL!!!

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

This weekend I welcome college football back into my life. Saturday SMU will play North Texas, a game that SHOULD be a game SMU wins, but you just never know.

The next weekend SMU plays again, this time against Baylor. A game I will describe as “missable” since I am pretty sure SMU will be a tune up for Baylor. However, West Point will be starting its football season with a game against Rice. This is a game that West Point could win, and so I will be listening with anguish, grief, agony, you name it (that is, unless Rice jumps out to a 40 point lead).

The very next day, the NFL has its first weekend of action.

Oh yes, it is an exciting time … but also terrible.

If SMU or Army are playing a game they could win and they perform poorly, or they hang in there with a tougher opponent but snatch defeat from the jaws of victory … well, it is heart-wrenching.

I recently thought out loud to my wife, “I wonder if I’d be happier if I never watched sports.” She thinks I’m nuts. But it’s like a great book, you root for a character even if they always come up short, you celebrate their occasional victories with joy but you grit your teeth and brace for the worst while hoping for the best.

Come on SMU, come on West Point, defy expectations!

(As for the NFL side I tend to be less emotional … but the Cardinals and Texans do have their own little keys to my heart.)

Experts of Small Talk

As a fan of two teams who are no strangers to getting beat (SMU and Army), I have come to know the time-killing small talk of football commentators quite well.

In a good game, the play-by-play and color commentary people will talk about the plays that are happening, momentum in the game, how the crowd is loving the game, the excitement of the competition, etc.

In a poorly played game that is close, they talk about the poor execution, the coaches, if one of the people commenting on the game used to play football he will talk about times he messed up, how important focus is, etc.

No matter what type of game it is the announcers will tell cheesy little human interest piece stories about players. The difference between a good game and a not good game is the length of these human interest pieces.

Top Five Signs You’re Watching a Blowout

5. Statistics are shown for the sole purpose of highlighting the depths of the inept play of the losing team (SMU’s offense this year for 500, Alex).

4. You learn not just about the players, but also about their siblings and even their pets.

3. The announcers become tourist ambassadors for the town – talking about the zoo or the skyline. Not just mentioning it, but actually talking about it.

2. The announcers end up talking more about athletes from other teams or games than the athletes in the game you are watching.

1. A 30-second commercial for a fast food place seems to have character development, emotional depth, and is more fascinating than the game by far.


This post has been brought to you by the SMU v Texas A&M game on ABC. Source for table below.

SMU Offense (after 2 games)

Scoring offense

6 points

125th in FBS

Rushing offense

-7 YPG

125th in FBS

Passing offense

178.5 YPG

105th in FBS

Total offense

171.5 YPG

125th in FBS

First downs


125th in FBS

Sacks allowed


125th in FBS

Turnover +/-

-3 (5 turnovers, 2 takeaways

125th in FBS

2014 SMU Football

Well, well, well friends – football is back. And with it, my well-informed and well-biased opinion of how SMU will do this year.

In 2011 I predicted 8-4 but instead SMU went 7-5. One game off? What a pro, am I right?

2012 you’d think I would have improved but nope, predicted 8-4 but in reality SMU went 6-6. I don’t think that’s my fault though, that sounds more like SMU should’ve just won 2 games more.

2013 I recovered well … but it didn’t warm the heart because I predicted 5-7 and was dead on.

Last year was SMU’s first year in a new conference, the American Athletic Conference (formerly known as the Big East). The expectations for SMU were low and 5-7 might actually be considered a success by some (though it’s hard to look at a losing season and see it as good). This year SMU should come in a little bit better, but they’re missing last year’s starting QB.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted last year’s QB is gone. Oh boy am I ever glad. But will the next guy be better? Eh.

Without further ado …

8/31    at Baylor    Loss

9/6    at North Texas    Win

9/20    vs Texas A&M    Loss

9/27    vs TCU    Win (on a whim and a prayer)

10/4    at East Carolina    Win

10/18    vs Cincinnati    Loss (apparently they’re going to be the hot shots)

10/25    vs Memphis    Win

11/8    at Tulsa    Win

11/15    vs USF (Homecoming)    Win

11/22    at UCF    Loss

11/28    vs Houston    Loss

12/6    at Connecticut    Win


Total Record: 7-5

Honestly I have no idea how they’re going to do. But in the past that hasn’t stopped me from making predictions …

On that high note, here’s to football!

2013 SMU Football Predictions

Ok folks, tonight is SMU’s season opener and it’ll be a tough one (so tough that I am expecting to only be able to watch a half before I am too sad to fully pay attention). Let’s ignore that for now and look back at my record so far.

In 2011 I predicted the Mustangs would go 8-4. Instead they went 7-5, winning a bowl game to bring them to 8-5. (I didn’t predict all of the games correctly, for example I thought they’d lose to TCU but they actually beat them.)

In 2012 I predicted the Mustangs would go 8-4 … Instead they went 6-6 (overall 7-6 because of a bowl game win).

My prediction skills, like the Mustangs abilities, apparently decreased.

With that in mind, here are my 2013 predictions!

Anywho, time to get down to it!

8/30 v Texas Tech Nope. Nope nope nope.
9/7 v Montana State Bounce back game!
9/21 @ Texas A&M I may skip watching this one
9/28 @ TCU Victory! (It’s unlikely but why not?)
10/06 Rutgers (Family Weekend) Loss
10/13 @ Memphis Win
10/18 v Temple (Homecoming) Win
10/27 @ Cincinnati Loss
11/03 v Connecticut Win
11/10 @ USF Loss
11/17 @ Houston Loss
11/24 v UCF Loss


Overall predicted record: 5-7. (And I have to admit, that’s optimistic.)

2013 will be a year of cheering on SMU without getting too into the games so that I can avoid frustration and anger. Or, I’ll just listen to or watch games and get angry – turn on my NCAA football game and play that while continuing to listen/watch and at least in the virtual world SMU will be good.

A Little Too Comfortable

What toilet paper does for people’s derrieres contributes considerably more to the abyss between the classes than a good many external signs.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

My junior year of college I found myself at a friend’s campus housing, loading my backpack with the free campus toilet paper. When the backpack was zippered up I looked like an industrious, hard-working student who had just spent a day expanding his intellectually curious mind with a backpack full of books. What my friend and I knew was that I was a cheapskate, and I had either just hit a new low, or discovered something great: a new way to not spend money.

It was toward the start of the year and I had my own apartment for the first time. When I had started the year my mom had driven down with me to SMU with all of my belongings and she helped me move in. We ran to Sam’s/Costco/Target/Bed Bath and Beyond/whatever (it’s all a blur) and she bought a lot of stuff for me. One of the things we got was a big package of toilet paper. The nice kind.

The campus toilet paper was obviously bought for quantity, not quality. Where Quilted Northern can describe itself as plush, this stuff would describe itself as vengeful and angry. “Dear spoiled college students, go take your naps and enjoy this carefree time of your life … I’ll bring you down a notch.”

When I got home I unloaded the haul – I would be set with toilet paper for a while, and when I ran out?, who cares!, a quick walk to my friend’s campus housing and wha-la, I was set yet again. I didn’t know how much toilet paper cost, but I felt like a champion of thriftiness.

Then, the dreaded day. The last of my mom-purchased, high quality toilet paper and the switch back to the campus stuff. WAIT A MINUTE!, my body seemed to say, I thought we’d moved past this stuff! Apparently, apartment life had spoiled me some (in other ways – the ants, the forgetting to pay the electricity that one summer month, it had not).

I was talking with a few friends and toilet paper came up, and what I said surprised my cheap self (and my friends for my over-sharing): “You know, I think one thing I don’t mind splurging on is toilet paper …” (This statement was greeted with surprised/confused/amused looks.) “WHAT?!,” I said not at all casually in defense, “it’s … I mean, come on!, it’s worth the comfort!”

It’s All About Perspective

Yesterday a good friend of mine (never mind the fact that I haven’t called him in a long time) had his birthday. I thought about this (and didn’t call him) … but I did decide to write about this funny story!

He went to West Point, or the United States Military Academy, and I went to Southern Methodist University, or rich-kid private liberal arts college. He and I probably had very different college experiences.

Before my freshman year of college I attended “Mustang Corral.” It was a couple of days where incoming freshman went off to some place, and we were supposed to bond and befriend each other and such. The group I was assigned to had some good looking, fun, outgoing, happy people – this made me sort of shut down. If I’m uncomfortable and around people who seem very comfortable, it’s time for my inner kid-who-sits-in-the-corner-and-just-daydreams to shine. Real wallflower power.

There are a few funny stories from that camp but that’s for another time.

I got back from the few days and had not managed to make any friends. I had spent the time hanging out with a guy I called Big John (in my head, not to him). He was a big fella from Texas who just didn’t talk. He and I could hang out, not talking, for up to an hour at a time. It was splendid. Thankfully I ended up seeing this guy Big Red (who I had met at some other orientation thing) and I found out he would be living right next door. Other than that, I left the camp worried.

I don’t know anyone here, my family lives super far away, I’m in college and what if I fail? … All this mess is scary.

Then, a phone call. It’s my best buddy from high school!

I answer the phone and he is PUMPED. Super excited and happy. You know why? Because he had finished Beast (the “orientation” cadets go through before their freshman year). And he was walking around in circles, because no one was around to tell him what to do.

He was so excited … About walking in circles …

It may be cruel, but I was really happy at that moment. I realized just how stupid my worries were – of course I was nervous, and of course I didn’t have friends (I didn’t TALK to anyone). After I got off the phone with my buddy I went next door and met Big Red’s roommates (I didn’t care much for any of them – but it was still a good thing to do).

Happy birthday to my friend who has helped me without knowing it more times than one! And … I really should call you sometime.

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