SMU unveils 2023 football schedule in revamped AAC
SMU football fans are anxiously counting down the days until the season kicks off against Louisiana Tech in early September, and now, they know what their path will be towards a potential conference championship.
This morning, SMU released their 2023 football schedule along with all the other American Athletic Conference teams. With a few key departures, the schedule has some notable differences compared to years past.
Sat., Sept. 2 Louisiana Tech
Sat., Sept. 9 at Oklahoma
Sat., Sept. 16 Prairie View A&M
Sat., Sept. 23 at TCU
Sat., Sept. 30 Charlotte * – Family Weekend
Thu., Oct. 12 at East Carolina *
Fri., Oct. 20 at Temple *
Sat., Oct. 28 Tulsa * – Homecoming
Sat., Nov. 4 at Rice *
Fri., Nov. 10 North Texas *
Sat., Nov. 18 at Memphis *
Sat., Nov. 25 Navy *
The wait is finally over!
Our 2023 schedule is HERE! #PonyUpDallas pic.twitter.com/yadlZIHInl
— SMU FootbaIl (@SMUFB) February 21, 2023
Here are some early thoughts on today’s schedule release:
Early road blockbusters
The nonconference schedule for the Mustangs is certain to get fans excited with two major Big 12 clashes early on. They will face off against Oklahoma in Norman on Sept. 9. Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will be the largest SMU has played in since travelling to Michigan Stadium to play the Wolverines in 2018. This will mark the seventh time these two teams have squared off and their first meeting since 1995.
The second game is one fans are sure to circle on their calendars as the Battle for the iron Skillet goes down in Fort Worth against TCU on Sept. 23 in Sonny Dykes’ first home affair against the Mustangs. SMU has won the last two meetings played in Fort Worth and will look to recapture the Iron Skillet after a narrow loss this past season to the national runners-up.
Conference championship potential?
With Cincinnati, Houston and UCF leaving for the Big 12, the Mustangs are sure to be one of the favorites to bring home the AAC championship this season, and they certainly have the type of schedule to do it.
In conference play, they avoid last season’s titleholders, Tulane, who finished the year ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll with a Cotton Bowl victory against USC. UTSA, last season’s Conference USA champion, is also not on the schedule for SMU.
Instead, the eight conference opponents for the Mustangs went a combined 42-58 last season. The biggest test should come on the road against Memphis on Nov. 18 where a conference championship berth could be on the line. The Tigers have won the last four times they’ve hosted SMU.
New conference bunkmates
Six new teams enter the AAC this season of which SMU plays three with two familiar faces and one new blood.
SMU will face off against two fellow Texas teams in back-to-back weeks to start November as they travel to play former Southwest Conference foe Rice on Nov. 4 and host traditional DFW rival North Texas on Nov. 10. They also will play host to Charlotte’s AAC debut on Sept. 30.
Fridays are for college football?
Mustang fans should have their Saturdays more open this fall as the schedule features three weekday games including the North Texas clash and two more back-to-back in October.
After their bye week, SMU will embark for an east coast two-step with games at East Carolina on Thursday, Oct. 12 and at Temple on Friday, Oct 20. This stretch means that the Mustangs will go four weeks without both a home game or a Saturday game.
Key campus events
The annual traditions of Family Weekend and Homecoming are always some of the most notable celebrations on the SMU calendar. The former event is expected to be Sept. 30 against Charlotte while the latter will take place on Oct. 28 against Tulsa.