It would be easy to sleepwalk my way through an article, and climb atop the pile of pity that is on an already gasping SMU football program. But, that really isn't what this space is for. It's for reflection and looking to the future. The results are the results.
Watching SMU stumble through their 2015 campaign left me with different feelings. First, it was hope that maybe the Mustangs will put together something respectful. That then turned to hopes of preservation of the team and the players. Then, it turned to feeling downright sorry for how the season ended in Memphis.
I do enjoy when certain team lose (Baylor, Texas) and it makes me happy that the purple lenses that I see the world through, are okay to wear for now. I used to feel that way about SMU, as they were a rival. But after this season, if someone says that they are an SMU fan, I feel deflated for them. I want to give them a hug and send them to the best psychologist in the area that can deal with sports-related PTSD.
Matt Davis needs to find a way to stop being an okay quarterback that can run. There were a few times this season that looked like when Davis had confidence in his passing, he could be seriously dangerous. I think his best games this year was against pretty darn good teams.
Against Houston he finished 21-35 for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added 46 yards on the ground with another touchdown. Those aren't Trevone Boykin-esque numbers, but shoot, he surely wasn't getting much rest on the sidelines. With Courtland Sutton, Xavier Jones, and Braeden West all being freshmen, it's no wonder Davis had to do it all himself. But with that youth, comes promise.
Good lord. The Mustangs finished 127th in the nation in points allowed this season. This has to be fixed in the off-season. Recruiting and developing defensive talent to take the pressure off of Davis and Co. has to be priority numero uno.
Sigh. Honestly, I should give you guys more. I'm afraid if I think about SMU's defense another second, I'm going to start openly weeping.
Things to remember
It was 21-28 at the half in week 1 against Baylor. Pre-neck brace Seth Russell and all. It was 34-42 at the end of the 3rd quarter against a healthy TCU offense. And SMU took Temple to the wire. There is a theme to all of this: Finish strong.
The Memphis game was an easy one to predict being a crippling blowout. SMU hadn't been finishing games all year. Why would the season be any different. Chad Morris will turn this thing around. There was so much buzz about his attitude and energy, now he needs to get that same mental outlook from his players in 2016.
Mark my words, SMU will be back. There is far too much money, talented recruits, and tradition for there to be any other alternative.