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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SMU Mustangs
First season 1915
Athletic director Steve Orsini
Head coach June Jones
2nd year, 9–16–0  (.360)
Home stadium Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Year built 1999
Stadium capacity 32,000
Stadium surface FieldTurf
Location Dallas, Texas
League Division I
Conference Conference USA
Division West
Past conferences Southwest Conference
Western Athletic Conference
All-time record 439–477–54 (.480)
Postseason bowl record 5–6–1
Claimed national titles 3
Conference titles 11
Colors Harvard red and Yale blue            
Mascot Peruna
The Mustangs in action against Texas Tech in 2007

The SMU Mustangs football program is a college football team that represents Southern Methodist University (more commonly "SMU"). The team competes in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as a member Conference USA. The Mustangs have competed in the West Division of Conference USA since 2005.




Death penalty

In 1987, SMU football became the first, and currently only, football program in collegiate athletic history to receive the NCAA's "Death Penalty", that is, having a sports program terminated for a determined amount of time. SMU's football program was terminated for the 1987 season because the University was allegedly making approximately $61,000 in booster payments from 1985 to 1986. It later emerged that a "slush fund" had been used to pay players as early as the mid-1970s, and athletic officials had known about it as early as 1981.

SMU was eligible for the "death penalty" because it had been placed on probation in 1985 for recruiting violations. Since many players were poor, boosters would pay for rent or other bills for the parents of the athletes, and several key boosters and administration officials felt it would be unethical to cut off payments. When the sanctions were handed down, SMU had only three players - all seniors about to graduate - receiving payments.

Not long afterward, SMU announced that its football team would stay shuttered for the 1988 season as well after school officials received indications that they wouldn't have enough experienced players to field a viable team.[1] As it turned out, new coach Forrest Gregg was left with an undersized and underweight lineup; he was taller and heavier than virtually all of his players.

The Mustangs struggled for 20 years to recover from the effects of the scandal. Gregg compiled a 3-19 record in two seasons as coach. He became Athletic Director for SMU in 1990 and held that job until 1994. The Mustangs had 3 more head coaches and only one winning season until the school hired June Jones away from the University of Hawaii in 2008. In Jones first season the team had a 1-11 record. In his second season, they were the most improved team in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), compiling a regular season record of 7-5. On December 24, 2009, the team defeated the University of Nevada 45-10 in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl, its first bowl game in 25 years.

National championships

The NCAA's website states that "the NCAA does not conduct a national championship in Division I-A football and is not involved in the selection process." It goes on to say that "a number of polling organizations provide a final ranking of Division I-A football teams at the end of each season." SMU officially claims three national championships (1935, 1981 & 1982). (The NCAA officially changed the "I-A" designation to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2006.)

Year Coach Selector Record Bowl Result
1935 Madison Bell Dickinson, Houlgate System, and Sagarin Ratings 12-1 Rose Bowl SMU 0, Stanford 7
1981 Ron Meyer National Championship Foundation 10-1 -- --
1982 Bobby Collins Helms Athletic Foundation 11-0-1 Cotton Bowl Classic SMU 7, Pittsburgh 3
Total national championships: 3


Conference championships

Southwest Conference championships: 1923, 1926, 1931, 1935, 1947, 1948, 1966, 1981, 1982, 1984 (Co-champions with Houston)

Individual achievements

Heisman Trophy

Maxwell Award

  • Doak Walker: 1947

Sammy Baugh Trophy

Bowl appearances

Season Bowl Game Opponent W/L PF PA
1924 Dixie Classic West Virginia Wesleyan L 7 9
1935 Rose Bowl Stanford L 0 7
1947 Cotton Bowl Classic Penn State T 13 13
1948 Cotton Bowl Classic Oregon W 21 13
1963 Sun Bowl Oregon L 14 21
1966 Cotton Bowl Classic Georgia L 9 24
1968 Bluebonnet Bowl Oklahoma W 28 27
1980 Holiday Bowl BYU L 45 46
1982 Cotton Bowl Classic Pittsburgh W 7 3
1983 Sun Bowl Alabama L 7 28
1984 Aloha Bowl Notre Dame W 27 20
2009 Hawaii Bowl Nevada W 45 10



  1. ^ Frank, Peter (1987-04-11). "'88 football season canceled by SMU". New York Times. 
  2. ^ [[1]]
  3. ^ See Sun Belt Conference #Interconference rivalries.

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