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Doc Hancock’s Grand Tour of C-USA: SMU Mustangs

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on August 18, 2008

Southern Methodist Mustangs

Head Coach: June Jones (1st season at SMU, 76-41overall)

Stadium: Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)

2007 Record: 1-11 (0-8 C-USA West)

Postseason: None

Key Returnees on Offense: QB Justin Willis, RB DeMyron Martin, WR Emmanuel Sanders

Key Returnees on Defense: LBs Will Bonita, Justin Smart, CS Bryan McCann, SS Bryce Hudman, FS David Haynes

The Skinny: In the two decades since SMU was hit with NCAA sanctions, the Mustangs program has been searching through the wilderness for a savior. Enter June Jones, who led Hawaii to its best season ever in 2007 and a berth in the Sugar Bowl where they lost to Georgia and is no stranger to turnarounds. In his first season at Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors finished 0-11 and the second season followed it up with 9 wins, an NCAA record.

Now after success at Hawaii, Jones is now trying to do the same thing that has been hard to do over the last two decades, win at SMU.

Going into the 2008 season, the Mustangs’ last bowl appearance was 1984, their last winning season was 1997, and since the “Death Penatly”, they’ve been 58-135-1, unimpressive numbers for a program that for a time was one of the country’s best progams.

And after close calls against Tulsa, Houston, and Memphis last season, the Mustangs look to use those close calls as confidence-builders for 2008.

Doc’s Prediction: Looking at the schedule, the Mustangs’ slate is filled with September games against Texas Tech and TCU, plus a road trip to Central Florida along with Tulsa and Houston at home in October. The Mustangs will close the season with UTEP on the road and Southern Mississippi at home.

Projected Record: 4-8 (2-6 C-USA West)

2008 Southern Methodist Mustangs

August 29th-@ Rice

September 6th-Texas State

September 13th-@ Texas Tech

September 20th-TCU

September 27th-@ Tulane

October 4th-@ Central Florida

October 11th-Tulsa

October 18th-Houston

October 25th-@ Navy

November 8th-Memphis

November 15th-@ UTEP

November 29th-Southern Miss

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