Iron Skillet Trip – TCU at SMU 2010

October 5, 2010

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In my ever growing list of college tourism sites, I recently made the trip into Dallas to catch a game at Gerald Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

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Coming up from Tyler, I was really impressed by the area around SMU. The campus is nestled up between a very affluent neighborhood and a freeway. The neighborhood reminds me much or the Rice area of Houston. Big mansions dotted the side streets. Side streets full of free parking. A true treat if ever I’ve seen one.

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The weather was questionable riding in. A cold front was rolling in from the north carrying clouds and light rain. Luckily, that held off until after the game. Only the steady wind, keeping us cool in the stands

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SMU’s campus was really nice. The brick was all uniform, and the trees really filled in the holes between buildings nicely. Hell, even the church day-care center had field turf. We’re talking money.

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If there is one thing I was most impressed with at SMU, it was the organized tailgate area. The Boulevard is the center street through campus that is shut down and given to the tailgaters. The area was packed full of tents barbequing, drinking, doing the whole thing.

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When you’ve got full size tunnel helmets to your tailgate, you know you’re doing something right.

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As for the stadium, it wasn’t overly huge, but it had a nice look when walking up from campus.

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Inside, the stadium is obviously a horse shoe, which isn’t necessarily my favorite configuration, but for this team, it makes sense. The Mustangs are all about the horse shoe. You may also notice the grassy area on the other side of the stadium. That’s not called the grassy knoll as it supposedly once was. Something about being and Dallas and calling a place a grassy knoll just didn’t work for SMU fans.

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The concourses were nice. That was typical all the way around the stadium. Restrooms had 20-30 toilet/urinals in SEVERAL restrooms. It wasn’t as glorious as the old troughs of Michigan Stadium, but they were almost adequate at keeping lines only 30 deep out of the door. Food selection was bad. $4 hot dogs, $8 mini-pizzas, or $4 sausage on a stick were the only real food options. Nachos, popcorn, and candy were it for the rest. Real let down.

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SMU’s band does a special "diamond M" as their big thing. The band comes out before the game in all white shirt and pants with red vests and red bandanas on their heads. They come back later with navy blazers. They were alright. Nothing to write home about. They did play Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, so I’m obviously not a fan.

P9240056 Look at the stands. Who was the home team?

This was the view from the seat I got at the last minute. Not bad, I must say. I was in the last section on the home side, which, like the entire area across the stadium, was packed with TCU fans.

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Actually, it was closer to 70% SMU fans. They did set an attendance record for the game though. Always good to be part of the biggest crowd in a stadium’s history.

P9240076 TCU fan poses with an SMU kid’s sign

I had to love the TCU fans. As a closet Horned Frog fan, they treated me well even in my Michigan shirt. What’s funny about that poster above though, a kid no older than 10 years old was waving it around yelling "Hey Horned Frogs, You Suck!" Kids are awesome.

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Final score was 41-24, TCU. SMU actually lead early in the 3rd quarter. That’s against the supposed top 5 team in TCU? Let’s just leave it as I left unimpressed. Maybe it was a bad day. Maybe Dalton just couldn’t deal with the winds that his coaches would only call draw plays even on 3rd and long. Maybe they just aren’t as good this year.

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I have to give it to the SMU student section in the far corner. They were there early, filled their sections, and were loud. I was thoroughly impressed. Most even stayed through the 4th quarter to sing the school son with the team after the game.

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You’ll also notice SMU too has a hand symbol. It’s a less than crisp peace sign, in the shape of a horse shoe, of course.


NCAAF Power Poll

September 20, 2010

Bummed with a lot of the resume ballots. Also bummed with other power poll ballots with too much inertia. Thoughts:

Major conference (Mountain West included) power breakdown:

Big 12 Big East Big Ten MWC PAC10 SEC
OSU TCU Stanford Bama
Texas Wisconsin Oregon Arkansas
Nebraska Arizona
OU Iowa Utah Az St Auburn
OSU WVU AFA USC
Pitt Penn State BYU Florida
Michigan UCLA So Car
MSU OR St LSU
Indiana Kentucky
Georgia
Rutgers
K-State USF jNWU
TAMU
Tx Tech
Mizzou Tenn
Vandy
Colorado Purdue Cal MSU
Baylor Syracuse Illinois
Kansas Cinci
UCONN SDSU Uwash
Louisville Wyoming Miss
Iowa St CSU Wazzou
New Mex
UNLV

Teams on the same level are more or less level. Teams bunched in conferences tend to represent tiers. For example, Utah/Air Force/BYU could all approximate Arizona State or USC as they are along the same lines and grouped.

With that, my power ballot:

1 Alabama
2 OSU
3 TCU
4 Stanford
5 Oregon
6 Boise State
7 Arkansas
8 Texas
9 Wisconsin
10 Nebraska
11 Arizona
12 Oklahoma
13 Arizona State
14 Utah
15 Auburn
16 Iowa
17 Oklahoma State
18 Air Force
19 West Virginia
20 Southern Cal
21 Florida
22 Penn State
23 NC St
24 BYU
25 Nevada

Boise State and Nevada both get inserted from the WAC, who wasn’t included in the above conference listing due to the rest of their conference showing up below any other major conference team.

The 8 teams sitting just outside the ballot are Pitt, LSU, South Carolina, Michigan State, Michigan, Oregone State, UCLA, and Wake. All fall in clusters right around the 24-25 mark, but I’ve been less than impressed with each. At least less impressed than Nevada’s win over Cal.

Conference Breakdown:

ACC 1
Big 12 4
Big East 1
Big Ten 4
MWC 4
Pac10 5
SEC 4
WAC 2

Bayou Bucket Trip

November 29, 2009

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It’s been a while since I’ve had enough time to enjoy something enough to write about it, but this weekend I happened to make it out to the University of Houston to catch the Bayou Bucket rivalry game between the Cougars and cross-town rivals Rice Owls. The game was in Robertson Stadium on UH’s University Campus, which is also home to the Houston Dynamo of the MLS.

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