It's Thursday here on Frogs O' War, and that generally means that it's time for an interview with an opposing blogger about this week's opponent where we break down what their expectations are and how their season is going. There is a slight issue with that winning formula this week... SMU doesn't have any bloggers. This is the third consecutive year I've looked for SMU bloggers to exchange Q&As with and have ended up with a blog with ten-ish posts (the last of which was nine months ago) and a blog whose last post was four years ago. Why let that deter us from asking pony questions and having them answered though? Much as SMU is the evil and unsuccessful twin of the TCU football program, this week I got in touch with my own evil twin- HawkeyedMustang- and delivered him our usual buffet of questions
HawkeyedFrog: SMU has been a step behind TCU in the conference realignment game after we left the WAC, sliding into CUSA after we left, trying (and failing) to get into the Mountain West and then succeeding in getting into the Big East once it was clear that no quality programs wanted to be there any more. How does it feel to get into conferences based on our track record of success and does it burn to know the Big 12 isn't interested in you ever?
HawwkeyedMustang: Ignorant Frog, SMU is definitely going to get into the Big 12. Have you not seen our overwhelming public support? That's right, almost 2,000 people like the idea of SMU getting into the Big 12. It's practically a certainty with numbers like that.. In answer to the first part of your question, if one small private Texan University can succeed in a conference people automatically assume that another one could succeed as well. It's a formula that has served SMU well, as unlike you and your roguish Frog fans, we are unfailingly polite to our conference mates, providing them ample seating for their travelling fanbases when they come to town, as well as even letting them depart with a victory when our Mustang boys could have easily turned the tide, had they desired. SMU couldn't be happier being in the Big East now, because we're finally among schools that are on our high intellectual field. Schools like Rutgers, Temple and... Boise State! An SMU man has heard of Boise State University, so they must undoubtedly be sophisticates like us. I'm certain we shall bond over our mutual disdain for you denizens of Fort Worth.
HawkeyedFrog: Amazing that you got everyone who has seen an SMU game in the last three years to like a page. Let's talk about SMU head coach June Jones. How did Jones go about getting the team back on his side after accepting the Arizona State job, only to be told that they weren't actually interested in hiring him?
HawkeyedMustang: Ignorant Frog, Coach Jones is an honorable man, one who would never dream of deserting his loyal fans here on the hilltop! I shall explain the situation so your woeful lack of insight will not be a blight on your Like all true SMU men, coach Jones is simply polite to a fault, and as a result when he answered the phone and it was Arizona State calling about their coaching position he treated them with kindness like an SMU man should. Little did he know that Arizona State was actually interested in having him be their next head coach, for like all SMU men, Coach Jones is not a suspicious sort- and it was only after he had helped them iron out the details of this contract that he realized that the name that Arizona State had filled out on the top of it was his name (an SMU man always gives a document a thorough read)! Of course coach Jones was left with no option but to inform Arizona State then and there that he would not be their coach, as an SMU man is too loyal to desert- being such a polite soul, coach Jones merely allowed Arizona State to save face by saying that they had pulled the offer from him. True SMU men know better than to doubt Coach Jones, so let the riff-raff believe what they will.
HawkeyedFrog: Fascinating stuff. SMU has struggled so far this season though, losing badly on the road to Baylor and being thunderously trounced by A&M in Dallas. Is the problem deeper on the offensive or defensive side of the ball?
HawkeyedMustang: Ignorant frog, SMU was simply showing the manners that all true SMU men show. The Baylor game was our first visit to Waco in nine years, so to defeat them would have been being a rude visitor- an SMU man is always a polite visitor, so that they are more likely to be invited back in the future, perhaps as a Big 12 member. The A&M game was in the same vein- SMU has not hosted the Aggies in eighteen years! Such a long time having passed it would have been terribly rude to defeat them on the field- we showed all Aggie fans a good time by ensuring that they would have plentiful seating and could enjoy all of their (admittedly silly to an SMU man) touchdown traditions with abandon. Scoring touchdowns against them would simply not have been what a good host does, and an SMU man is always a good host. This reputation for being an excellent host and letting the visitors win is why Texas A&M graces us with their presence and refuses to visit the hellhole that is Fort Worth. However, I will assure you though that SMU will not have the same compunction against scoring when TCU enters our stadium- you are not honored guests, but rather mangy curs who have somehow managed to steal the success that should have rightfully been SMU's. We shall defeat you and maintain our hold on the skillet that was wrongly ripped away from an SMU man all those years ago.
HawkeydFrog: What happened to being a good host? Ah well. SMU has won seven games in the regular season in each of the past three seasons, are fans happy with that level of production or is it something that they'll grow frustrated with if there is no conference championship season here and there?
HawkeyedMustang: Ignorant Frog, being a good host doesn't mean you break out the fine china to host the bum from down the street! As for the seven win seasons, coach Jones is merely building the character of all SMU men by not delivering the success that we rightfully deserve right away. Beating TCU and winning Conference USA would be a simple feat for us every year, but coach Jones knows that that sort of consistent performance would mean that SMU men would grow complacent with it and would end up being snooty and full of themselves-something that has never happened in the history of SMU! This is why the one year that SMU won the conference USA west championship coach Jones insisted we not only lose the championship game, but the bowl game as well. However, this will be the year that Coach Jones lets us win the Conference USA, as it will ensure that all SMU men will have something to hold their heads high about for a year- as being a gracious guest and good host will require SMU not win any games against current Big East teams next year. It would be improper!
HawkeyedFrog: Of course that will be the reason SMU won't win any games against the Big East. Don't forget the season after you'll be visiting and hosting the opposite teams, so you wouldn't want to win those either. The big new face for SMU this year is quarterback Garrett Gilbert, best know for almost not losing the national championship for Texas against Alabama. However, Gilbert hasn't looked good so far this season, chucking four interceptions to only three touchdowns. Will he turn it around against TCU, or will the Mustangs try to win on the ground?
HawkeyedMustang: Ignorant Frog, it's typical of you to point out statistics that you think would dishearten an SMU man, but I will turn that right back around you in one fell swoop! You think we're surprised by Garrett Gilbert's performance so far? Far from it, because we saw his performance against those teams in 2010. Garrett Gilbert wasn't a high completion or high touchdown percentage quarterback- he's simply an SMU man, skilled in academics and manners, that he can throw the ball the full length of the field is simply a perk. What is most important about Gilbert is that he was highly rated coming out of high school, but nobody questions him coming to SMU, least of all the NCAA...
HawkeyedFrog: Are... are you saying that Gilbert didn't transfer to SMU just because there was no playing time for him at Texas?
HawkeyedMustang: Ignorant Frog, how long did you think SMU would be content while the best players in the state went to other programs where they would go through school without even basic knowledge of how to handle extremely large sums of cash? It is the civic duty of an SMU man to enrich the community, and the best way to do that is by enriching some of its highly ranked talent. That was made difficult by the uncultured dolts of the NCAA, but at last we've found a new way of getting the best players in state to be SMU men- through intermediaries that no one would suspect! Gilbert was simply an experiment to see what the reaction would be if a five star player came to SMU through transfer, now the pipeline can truly begin!
HawkeyedFrog: A grim view for the future to be sure. Well I suppose all that's left is to cover is the prediction for what you think will happen for SMU this year and what you predict the score will be on Saturday.
HawkeyedMustang: Ignorant Frog, an SMU man never goes into specifics. SMU will win Conference USA this season with ease, and we will depart the conference with the championship- an exit that will make them miss us when they're gone. As for the game against the unwashed TCU masses, SMU will pile up as many points as there are SMU fans in the stadium, while allowing TCU to score only twenty four.
HawkeyedFrog: You heard it here first folks, TCU wins 24-13. Let's hope next year SMU has a blog somewhere so that we never have to tap into the dark recesses again.