homecoming weekend; a time for ECU alumni to return to Greenville and
relive the glory days of their undergrad years, and then pay for it for
several days. Thousands will flood the tailgating fields, and a few
will even make it into Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to watch the game. Those
that can't put down the cold beverage and fried food of choice will
miss a visit by one of the most storied football programs in NCAA
Here are some interesting tidbits about the Southern Methodist
*The private university was founded in 1911 and currently has 11,000
*The Mustangs have three national championships (1935, 1981 &
1982), 11 conference championships and 11 bowl appearances, but are
also the only school to have their football program suffer the death
penalty in 1987 and have been rebuilding ever since.
*SMU has the second highest graduation rate among athletes in
Conference USA (89%, just behind Rice's 93% success).
*SMU's great football players read like a who's who of gridiron
greatness: Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker, All-American running
backs and hall of famers Kyle Rote, Eric Dickerson, Reggie Dupard, two
time All-American QB Don Meredith, wide receiver Raymond Berry, and
offensive lineman Forrest Gregg.
*First Lady Laura Bush attended college at the Dallas, Tx. school.
Other prominent SMU alumni are actress Kathy Bates and the late great
golfer Payne Stewart.
*The Ford Mustang sports car is named after the SMU mascot. According
the the school's media guide, then Ford president Lee Iacocca watched
SMU play at Michigan in 1963. The Mustangs lost the game 27-16, but
Iacocca was impressed with the fight of the undersized SMU team and
went in their locker room told the team "After watching the SMU
Mustangs play with such flair, we reached a decision. We will call our
new car the Mustang because it will be light, like your team. It will
be quick like your team. And it will be sporty like your team."
Enjoy the homecoming festivities this weekend, and maybe a prominent
car man will catch the Pirates in action and name his next car the