SMU is still attempting to recover from the football saga of 1987, where the NCAA punished SMU's football team with the "death penalty," sanctioning the team for one year. SMU has had several setbacks within the past two decades. The school has joined the Western Athletic Conference, changed coaches, and moved to a new stadium. Recently, SMU saw its first win in the fourth game of the season and experienced the ritual of taking down the goal posts for the first time. This may seem a bit overdramatic for other schools that are used to going home happy, but for SMU, it was a milestone. Faith in the team and attendance may finally have a chance.
Where there's a will, there's a way . . . well, maybe to tailgate incessantly. SMU is home to some of the top teams in the nation, yet the majority of students would rather check out the weekend bar specials than actually go to a sporting event. In the past, some of the school's athletes competed in the Olympics. It is surprising that the athletes are doing so well, because if they were to look up into the stands, they might become discouraged by such a low turnout. Football only stands a chance because there is somewhat of a pre-party before the game with tailgating. Maybe if $1 beer specials were offered to students at all sporting events, the attendance would not be so depressing. The ability to be a sports-oriented school is on the tips of the students' fingers, but SMU is still waiting for the students to rise to the occasion.