Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's time to give the area's other football team a little more attention

I picked up a hard copy of the Dallas Morning News today, something unusual for me. I glanced at the Metro section, then went to the Sports section and quickly realized why I feel hard copies of the Dallas Morning News are largely irrelevant (and I'm a former reporter/writer/editor for that publication).

On the front page of the Sports section was another story -- this time a column by Kevin Sherrington -- about TCU's possibilities to play in the BCS National Championship. Of course there was the obligatory front page story with the equally obligatory oversized color picture on the Dallas Cowboys. The Mavericks are playing their main rivals, the San Antonio Spurs, tonight so there's a story on the local NBA franchise. Along the far left-had column there are brief, one-paragraph, items on the Texas Rangers, the AL Cy Young Award winner, the Stars and Texas A&M's football fortunes.

Page 2 is virtually all-soccer, page 3 is all-NBA, page 4 is NHL and college hoops, and then we get to page 5 devoted to college football. On that page you'll find another story about A&M, the continuation of Sherrington's ode to TCU and briefs on Kansas, Texas, Baylor, Nebraska, North Texas and, for heaven's sake, Fresno State, Mississippi State, New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and the all-popular and all-powerful Portland State.

I scanned the other four pages of today's SportsDay, as the section is called, and could not find a single reference to SMU.

C'mon, folks. SMU is currently in first place in the Conference USA West Division (When was the last time you read "SMU" and "first place" in the same sentence?) ahead of the University of Houston. But even more important than that, it now appears the Mustangs will be playing in a bowl game this year. A bowl game!!! SMU has not played in as bowl game in 25 years. SMU is 6-4 this season and 5-1 in conference play, a season record that is the equal of such so-called Big 12 powerhouses as Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Missouri and a conference record that is superior to every Big 12 team except unbeaten Texas, of course, and Oklahoma State, which is also 5-1.

SMU has two games left on its regular schedule, this Saturday at Marshall (5-5, 3-3) and a home finale at 3 p.m. a week from this Saturday against Tulane (3-7, 1-5). Both games are winnable for the Mustangs but even breaking even (SMU should defeat Tulane at home) will give them a 7-5, a record that should guarantee them a bowl invite.

So it's ;pmg past time for the local media to begin paying more attention to the miracle that second-year coach June Jones is performing with the football program at SMU.

Speaking of college football, here is Sports Illustrated's weekly 16-team playoff bracket after the games of last weekend:
(1) Florida vs (16) Penn State
(8) Pittsburgh vs (9) LSU
(5) Cincinnati vs (12) Stanford
(4) TCU vs (13) Oklahoma State
(3) Alabama vs (14) Iowa
(6) Boise State vs (11) Oregon
(7) Georgia Tech vs (10) Ohio State
(2) Texas vs (15) Wisconsin

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