1981 SMU Mustangs football team

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1981 SMU Mustangs football
National champion (NCF)
Southwest Conference champion
Conference Southwest Conference
Ranking
AP No. 5
1981 record 10–1 (7–1 SWC)
Head coach Ron Meyer (6th year)
Offensive coordinator Steve Sidwell (6th year)
Home stadium Texas Stadium
Seasons
« 1980 1982 »
1981 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#5 SMU $ 7 1 0     10 1 0
#2 Texas 6 1 1     10 1 1
Houston 5 2 1     7 4 1
Arkansas 5 3 0     8 4 0
Texas A&M 4 4 0     7 5 0
Rice 3 5 0     4 7 0
Baylor 3 5 0     5 6 0
TCU 1 6 1     2 7 2
Texas Tech 0 7 1     1 9 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1981 SMU Mustangs football team represented the Southern Methodist University in the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Mustangs offense scored 365 points while the defense allowed 137 points. At season's end, the Mustangs were given the National Championship Foundation's (NCF) national championship and secured the Southwest Conference championship.

However, the Mustangs had been put on probation by the NCAA for recruiting violations and, per its terms, were banned from participating in any bowl game in 1981 should they have won enough games to qualify. Since SMU's performance would have given them an automatic berth in the Cotton Bowl, the team decided to treat its final regular season game against Arkansas as their bowl game and nicknamed it the "Polyester Bowl".

SMU finished at #5 in the final Associated Press poll of the season. Because its rules prevent schools under probation from being considered, the Mustangs were not ranked in the UPI Coaches Poll at all during the season.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
1981-09-05 Texas-Arlington* Texas StadiumIrving, TX W 48-0   20,130
1981-09-12 North Texas State* Texas Stadium • Irving, TX W 34-7   20,400
1981-09-19 Grambling State* Texas Stadium • Irving, TX W 59-27   45,700
1981-09-26 at TCU No. 20 Amon G. Carter StadiumFort Worth, TX (Battle for the Iron Skillet) W 20-9   25,862
1981-10-10 Baylor No. 14 Texas Stadium • Irving, TX W 37-20   33,110
1981-10-17 at Houston No. 10 AstrodomeHouston, TX W 38-22   36,892
1981-10-24 No. 10 Texas No. 8 Texas Stadium • Irving, TX L 7-9   62,777
1981-10-31 at Texas A&M No. 13 Kyle FieldCollege Station, TX W 27-7   62,646
1981-11-07 Rice No. 10 Texas StadiumIrving, TX (Rivalry) W 33-12   28,750
1981-11-14 Texas Tech No. 8 Texas Stadium • Irving, TX W 30-6   24,410
1981-11-21 at No. 16 Arkansas No. 6 Razorback StadiumFayetteville, AR W 32-18   43,842
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

Game summaries[edit]

Arkansas[edit]

#6 SMU at #16 Arkansas
1 2 3 4 Total
SMU 3 9 0 20 32
Arkansas 7 0 11 0 18
  • SMU wins first conference title since 1966 (ineligible for Cotton Bowl Classic berth).


Team players drafted into the NFL[edit]

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Perry Hartnett Tackle 5 116 Chicago Bears
Harvey Armstrong Defensive Tackle 7 190 Philadelphia Eagles
Eddie Garcia Kicker 10 264 Green Bay Packers

[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1982 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-12-24.