01 November 2006

Dare to believe it.

With a 3-2 record in Conference USA and 5-4 overall, SMU could end up in a bowl game this year. It's too early to start making airline reservations but they did come up big in a win over UAB and are now looking to finish with Houston, Tulsa, and Rice.

Rice is a walkover even in C-USA terms so eligibility shouldn't be an issue. But even 6-6 won't clinch it for the Mustangs. There are only 5 (possibly 6) bowl ties for C-USA. They need one of those wins over Houston or Tulsa to clinch a bowl and even then I won't believe it until I see the invitation. Sadly, Tulsa is almost certaily a loss for the Mustangs. Tulsa is 7-1 and has wins over both Navy and UTEP. Houston is having a decent season, but Houston is playing SMU at home and that may mean trouble for the Cougars who are just as bad on the road as SMU is good at home lately.

The way the bowl ties work, it doesn't look like an SEC matchup is possible. SMU would have to come out #1 in C-USA to face an SEC team in the Liberty Bowl. The only way that happens is if SMU wins out and gets help from Houston, Rice, or Tulane in beating Tulsa. That's not going to happen. There is still a regionally interesting matchup possible if SMU and TCU meet in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. And maybe based on regional interest SMU could land a spot in the Texas Bowl in Houston and play a mid-range Big 12 team but the way the Big East is playing this year, I can't see SMU getting the slot over a Big East mid-leveler.

The season is far from over but Mustangs fans can finally be proud of the team. Maybe there is life after the death penalty.


At 2:00 PM, Blogger Patrick Armstrong said...

So, what SEC team do you think is likely to face the CUSA champ in the Liberty Bowl?

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Dante said...

Smart money is on South Carolina but it's kind of hard to tell since this is the first year of SEC affiliation (and the first time since 1991 that an SEC team has played there). It's a bottom barrel for the SEC. Unless Georgia loses to Kentucky, I'd think they have better prospects. That leaves Bama and South Carolina. It also leaves Vandy if they can upset Florida or Tennessee AND beat Kentucky. But I have to think that South Carolina is almost a lock due to proximity.

There's also the slim possibility that the SEC won't have enough teams to put in the Liberty Bowl but I find that hard to believe with the new 12 game schedule. The NCAA really should've made 7-5 the cutoff for bowl eligibility.

At 12:06 AM, Blogger Dante said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Dante said...

Wow, thanks to Houston's upset over Tulsa and Georgia utter collapse at the hands of Kentucky, an SMU vs. Georgia bowl game is not out of the question. SMU would have to win out and Take the CUsa crown and Georgia would have to lose to what is going to be a very overconfident Georgia Tech team that will almost certainly be looking ahead to the ACC title game but it could now happen.


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