UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas -- There's a difference between bowl eligible and bowl bound. SMU has six wins, making it eligible to go to the school's first bowl game since 1984. But all of the 7-5 teams in Conference USA must have bowl spots before a six-win team can go. That's why beating Marshall on Saturday or Tulane at home the following week is important so that the Mustangs can be absolutely sure they are going bowling.
There's no doubt, though, that there's more excitement and attention when it comes to the program. SMU SID Brad Sutton was busy Wednesday morning borrowing cell phones from co-workers to handle on the phone interviews that various media outlets were seeking from players and coaches. SMU head coach June Jones has heard from plenty of Mustang fans about how proud they are of what the team is doing.
"It's been interesting," Jones said. "Certainly the emotion from the game last week on the field was different than anything that's happened. I think all the players are feeling it walking on campus with professors that weren't real excited about football have a different feeling about it. That's what winning does and hopefully we can prove that we can build a consistent, winning program here."
* Add quarterback Braden Smith to the list of crazy sports injuries. Smith, who is the third quarterback and holder on PATs and field goals, was celebrating after SMU got a sack to clinch Saturday's win and twisted his knee. Jones said someone bumped Smith as he jumped in celebration. Bo Levi Mitchell will now hold as Smith is out for a few weeks.
* OL Jimmy Chase pulled a hamstring Monday and he isn't practicing. "We're just thin," Jones said. "We don't have the depth we had at the start of the season."