Sports Throwback Thursday: SMU’s Pony Excess

It’s Thursday! You know what that means…SPORTS THROWBACK THURSDAY! Today’s article will be about SMU’s Pony Excess and the scandal that shook up the program. 

From 1981-1984, a small private school in Dallas owned the best record in college football. Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson shared carries with Craig James and Charles Waggoner, all three blue-chip recruits in 1979. Waggoner was hurt returning a kickoff their freshman season, leaving Dickerson and James to lead SMU’s running attack, called the Pony Express. 

The Mustangs of Southern Methodist University (SMU) were riding high on the backs of the vaunted “Pony Express” backfield. 

In January 1976, Meyer was hired as the head coach at Southern Methodist University, where he led the Mustangs for six seasons. This tenure included winning the Southwest Conference championship in 1981. While at SMU, Meyer was the losing coach in the famous “Miracle Bowl” in the 1980 Holiday Bowl, where SMU held a 45–25 lead against BYU with less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, only to lose 46–45 thanks to three touchdown passes from Cougar quarterback Jim McMahon.

Meyer moved to the pros in 1982, where he coached the New England Patriots for three seasons.

On February 25, 1987, the school and the sport were rocked as the NCAA meted “the death penalty” on a college football program for the first and only time in its history. SMU would be without football for two years. 

As for SMU’s best player, Eric Dickerson has a superb career. During his NFL career, he rushed for over 13,000 yards. He holds the NFL’s single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards, set in 1984. Dickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. He is one of the greatest running backs of all time

Leave a Reply