Schedule Analysis: SMU Mustangs

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SMU reached the mountaintop of the AAC just in time for a new voyage in the ACC as a Power Four program. The 2023 AAC title was the first conference championship in football on the Hilltop since the 1980s. And in 2024, the Ponies play a major conference schedule for the first time since the 1990s. Rhett Lashlee & Co. prepared for the move up in weight class by adding numerous P4 transfers on both lines of the scrimmage. They return a solid chunk of offensive weapons and defenders at linebacker and in the secondary. 


2023 record: 11-3
2024 record prediction: 8-4

BIGGEST GAME – vs. TCU on Sept. 21 

The Iron Skillet adds an extra shot of spiciness in 2024 for two reasons: One, the Metroplex rivalry is ending after the 2025 meeting and this is the last one scheduled at Ford Field in Dallas. And two, because the Ponies are now on even playing field as a fellow Power Four program with a roster poised to win eight or nine games in their maiden voyage into the ACC. Beating TCU, which SMU has done multiple times in the recent pass, would be proof of concept and momentum heading into the teeth of the ACC slate. 

TRAP GAME – at Stanford on Oct. 19  

The Mustangs receive a much-needed idle week following a four-game stretch against BYU, TCU, Florida State, and Louisville starting on Sept. 6. The first game after that open date is a trip to Stanford, which will be the team’s second road game since the opener in Nevada on Aug. 24. It might be easy for SMU to feel overly confident against the Cardinal after facing such tough competition in the month of September. Frankly, the Mustangs should know that every ACC game will be a dogfight. 

UPSET ALERT – vs. Florida State on Sept. 28

SMU hosts the defending ACC champs on Sept. 28, one week after facing TCU in the same stadium. The Noles are a relatively unknown going into the season because of their reliance on the transfer portal. They lost 10 players to the NFL Draft after last season’s heartbreak of being left out of the College Football Playoffs. This will be a much bigger game for SMU than FSU and that might play into the Ponies’ favor. 


Aug. 24                 at Nevada         
Aug. 31                 Houston Christian      
Sept. 6                  BYU       
Sept. 21                TCU      
Sept. 28                Florida State   
Oct. 5                    at Louisville     
Oct. 19                  at Stanford       
Oct. 26                  at Duke                
Nov. 2                    Pitt         
Nov. 16                  Boston College              
Nov. 23                  at Virginia          
Nov. 30                  Cal 

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