Congratulations to our football program! Thanks to our 26-21 victory over Tulane this past Saturday, we are now guaranteed a bowl game. For the first time in 25 years, we actually have a team to root for; a team to support. Over the past few years, it seems like most SMU students would avoid going to games, with the notion that we would lose. As an avid football fan, I would try to convince my friends to come but their excuse has been that they were busy or that we were going to lose. I felt like one of the few with the belief that we would get into a bowl game this year. Now that dream is a reality and I hope that a few things change during our next football season.
First of all, we need more school pride for our football team. We should abandon the notion that every time we lose, it is expected, and every time we win, it is an upset. We have the players capable of success with a balanced offensive attack coupled with an awesome pass defense. All we need to do is build a little more on both side of the ball and we can eventually beat out the top tier schools and be ranked. We will win games because we honestly deserve to win, so jump on the bandwagon and come out to the games.
We need everyone to come out to the games. It seems like only a fraction of the student population comes out. At other top football programs, football tickets are so hard to find and they actually have to pay to get into games. For us, even with free tickets we still do not fill up our student section to max capacity, sometimes even half. With this bowl trip, I hope people take full advantage of the free student tickets and come up to our games.
Look at our team. We won six more games than last year as well as beating a tough East Carolina team, which will play Houston in the Conference-USA title game. Yes, we lost a few games, the worst being to a 1-11 Washington State team, which means that they only beat us this year; however, we still managed to overcome adversity and win the last 4 out of 5 games to put us into a bowl game. The amount of improvement over the past years is astronomical. We are now a team that everyone has to beware of, not a team that everyone forgets about. They need every bit of our support and I hope we can give it our all at every home games and fill up that empty space in our student section.
As for our football team, you guys have honestly done an excellent job this year. It seems like you all have improved in every category, both offensively and defensively. I am truly excited that Coach Jones will be with you all for another two years. He honestly deserves a lot of credit by recruiting some of the best talent and brought it here for all of us to watch in amazement.
As a member of the student body, I want to extend our thanks to each member of the SMU football team, staff and coaches for giving us victory after victory this season. I know you guys had a rough past, but you all persevered. This is the best way to send off your senior players: with a bang. I know we will lose some good players, especially Emmanuel Sanders, who ended up with over 3500 receiving yards and over 30 touchdowns over his career; however we are built strong with lots of young talent. With time, I have very little doubt that we will be a national contender, just like our rivals, TCU. I hope our team success in the future and I hope they enjoy celebrating their Hawaiian Christmas with a bowl victory.
Bryan Manderscheid is a freshman engineering major and can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org