First, I must thank A for allowing me the opportunity to take the helm. I am keenly aware of the awesome influence this blog has on the lives many. Her insight, humor and amazing photographs have entertained, encouraged and enlightened us over the past year and will certainly continue for many more.
Today’s rant will focus on the state of SMU football. As a proud Alumnus of the university with a few receipts to prove both attendance and payment in full (yes, A has 3), I feel somewhat qualified to spout meaningless nonsense about this establishment. As a native Dallasite, I can remember our last heyday in the early 80’s and even had an economics class in the very room where the death penalty was announced later that decade. As a member of the Mustang Band in the early 90’s I proudly supported our team while wearing polyester in shades of red and blue. But today, I must admit I am tired.
Last Saturday, Amy and I attended the season opener at Ford Stadium, named for the Dallas banker and not the former President, against Stephen F. Austin. While we both enjoyed the pre-game festivities along the boulevard, my interest of the game waned early in the first quarter. Yes, SMU did manage to win the game against a team of a lesser NCAA division, but their performance on field was pathetic.
Since the death penalty and no football on the hilltop during the ‘87 and ‘88 seasons, SMU has enlisted five coaches to guide this once storied program to prominence again. In that time, we have only experienced one-yes one-winning season. Yet, our latest installment, at the tune of $10MM over 5 years, is to be the one who can finally break through the barrier that has haunted us for over twenty years.
During that time, SMU has managed to produce a rather successful athletic department winning both conference and national championships in several of the 16 other sports it fields. But for the one played on the gridiron-the one that somehow continues to generate the most attendance-even minor success eludes us.
If one analyzed this collection of teams as business units, one could argue continued investment in the football program should cease and resources should be allocated elsewhere. Applying the Boston Consulting Group's Growth-Share Matrix, the football program is a Dog and is tying up cash that could be better deployed elsewhere. Unless such Dogs provide a strategic purpose, they should be liquidated.
Is such a statement extreme? Yes. Will it occur? Probably not. But greed landed us in this position and the reality is we just might wander aimlessly in the desert of mediocrity, never destined to reach the Promised Land again.
Thanks for giving me the day, A, and A's readers.
The Ate Up One will see you again tomorrow.