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Once a powerhouse, SMU falter from NCAA penalty


By Shawn Mastrian

The MIT football program is alive and strong. The team record is 3-1-1, a winning season is guaranteed with patsy Assumption in town Saturday, and no team members have been arrested recently. With this in mind, it's time to look down on some less fortunate programs. This week, the obvious choice is Southern Methodist University.

SMU used to be a perennial football powerhouse. They produced the likes of Eric Dickerson and Craig James not so long ago. But they were naughty. They broke NCAA recruiting rules time and time again.

The Mustangs have just come off the NCAA's "death penalty", which eliminated football from their school for the last two years. They have fielded this season a team of first year players with no experience. They played Saturday against a University of Houston team which leads the nation in offense. They lost, 95-21.

Seventy-four points is a lot to lose by. Ninety-five points is a lot to have scored against you (the Cleveland Browns have allowed seven less over six games). Just imagine how badly the Mustangs would have lost by if the first stringers were not pulled at halftime by Houston.

The porous SMU defense allowed the Houston offense to move the ball 1021 yards against them. If you think about that, that's nearly two-thirds of a mile. I can barely run that far in a 60 minute time span, let alone with 11 guys trying to prevent me from doing it.

Andre Ware, Houston's first string quarterback, threw for 517 yards in the first half, on only 25 completions. If he kept that up for the entire game, he would have thrown for 1034 yards. By comparison, the Patriots have thrown for 1122 yards in their first six games.

Poor SMU. Having to face such a team after getting off the "death penalty". Almost makes you feel sorry for them. Almost.