NCAAF SMU Mustangs

General Information

Conference: American Athletic Conference
NCAA Division: Division 1
City: University Park, Texas
Stadium: Gerald J Ford Stadium


  • National Championships: 3
  • Conference Titles: 11
  • Divisional Championships: 2

Past Conferences

  • SWC (1918-1995).
  • WAC (1996-2004).
  • Conference USA (2005-2012).

All-Time SMU Mustangs Standings & Records

Passing yards

  • Ben Hicks: 9,081
  • Chuck Hixson: 7,179
  • Shane Buechele: 7,024
  • Garrett Gilbert: 6,460
  • Tanner Mordecai: 6,408

Rushing yards

  • Eric Dickerson: 4,450
  • Zach Line: 4,185
  • Reggie Dupard: 3,772
  • Craig James: 3,742
  • Xavier Jones: 3,434

Receiving yards

  • James Proche: 3,949
  • Emmanuel Sanders: 3,791
  • Aldrick Robinson: 3,314
  • Courtland Sutton: 3,220
  • Cole Beasley: 2,959

SMU Mustangs Football History

Team History

The SMU Mustangs fielded their first football team in 1915 under coach Ray Morrison, who held the post until 1917. In 1918, the Mustangs joined the Southwest Conference. Morrison returned to SMU and coached from 1922-1934. Morrison had a very tactical approach to coaching, where he built each level of the team piece by piece. Additionally, the team gained the nickname “Aerial Circus” because of Morrison’s passing schemes. Morrison is known as the “Father of the Forward Pass” due to the number of times the Mustangs threw the ball in comparison with how many times other teams did. The Mustangs had multiple conference players under Morrison including Gene Bedford and Logan Stollenwreck. The Mustangs finished with a winning record in 11 out of 13 seasons under Morrison and won the SouthWest conference three times. His last season was 1934 and he left with an 84-44-22 overall record.

Matty Bell replaced him in 1935 and picked up right where he left off. They finished 12-1 and were crowned National Champions by the Dickinson System. Bell would go and serve the country in World War 2 from 1942-1944. He returned in 1945. Bell finished with a 79-40-8 record overall. His teams won four conference titles. College football Hall of Famer Doak Walker attended SMU from 1945-1949. Walker won a Heisman and was a three-time All-American at SMU.

From the 50s On

The Mustangs had only seven winning seasons between the 50s and 60s. In 1976, the Mustangs hired coach Ron Meyer from the Dallas Cowboys staff. Meyer ran the option offense featuring three great recruits including eventual NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson. The rushing attack led the Mustangs to be National Champions in 1981. Bobby Collins became head coach in 1982 and the Mustangs claimed a National Championship after finishing with a perfect 11-0 season. Dickerson finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in SMU history, two-time All-American, and two-time Southwest Conference player of the year.

The Mustangs were outright dominant during the stretch. They posted a 49-9-1 record from 1980-1984 and went through a dark period after this. They only enjoyed three winning seasons from 1985-2004. Their 1987 season was terminated due to boosters paying players. During that time, they joined the WAC conference. (1996-2004).

In 2005, they joined Conference USA. The Mustangs had a good stretch between 2009-2012, where they compiled a 30-23 record under coach June Jones. Their hard work paid off in 2009, and they were invited to the Hawaii Bowl where they beat Nevada 45-10. In 2010, they had some success by finishing 7-5 and would appear in their first conference USA championship game. They lost the game but attended their second straight bowl game. Jones’ tenure ended with a 3-1 bowl record and two division championships.

Sonny Dykes was named head coach in 2017. After an underwhelming first season, he led the Mustangs to three straight winning seasons. He also helped the Mustangs become ranked for the first time in over 39 years. Dykes had the Mustangs rolling but eventually took the head coaching job at TCU.

Currently Rhett Lashlee is at the helm at SMU. So far he has the Mustangs trending upward.

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What is the highest win total in program history?

The 1935 Mustangs finished with a 12-1 overall record. The Mustangs finished 6-0 in conference play. They have crowned National Champions at the end of the season. 

What was the worst season in school history?

The 2003 Mustangs finished with a 0-12 overall record. The Mustangs hadn’t gone winless since 1960. The Mustangs struggled to move the ball all year averaging just 3.9 yards per play. 

How many bowl games have the Mustangs made?

The Mustangs have played in 18 total bowl games. They currently have a 7-10-1 bowl record. Their first bowl game dates back to 1924 when they played West Virginia Wesleyan in the Dixie Classic. 

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