At long last, the Safeway Bowl! -
02-09-2005, 01:38 PM
SMU, North Texas to resume football series
08:48 PM CST on Tuesday, February 8, 2005
By CALVIN WATKINS / The Dallas Morning News
The countdown to the Safeway Bowl is under way.
SMU and North Texas officials agreed Tuesday to a two-year deal to play in football starting in 2006.
The schools last played in 1992, with the Mustangs winning, 28-14. SMU leads the all-time series, 27-3-1.
In 1994, then-UNT coach Matt Simon expressed frustration about trying to play SMU.
Said Simon: "I'd like to play because I think we could beat them. And my players feel the same way. If they'd like to play on a Safeway parking lot ... just give us a date and time."
The Mustangs will visit Fouts Field on Sept. 9, 2006, with the Mean Green playing at Ford Stadium on Sept. 8, 2007.
SMU athletic director Jim Copeland said he didn't know why the schools haven't played in such a long time.
Coaches Phil Bennett (SMU) and Darrell Dickey (UNT), close friends who served as assistant coaches at LSU from 1991-93, are part of the reason the schools came together.
"It's a good game for both of us," Copeland said. "It's a Metroplex team with ties to us. If it's not a home game, our people can go up there."
SMU officials are seeking more regionally based nonconference teams to play. Boston College, Northwestern and Wake Forest have been dropped from future SMU schedules. Oklahoma State was eliminated last year to make way for UNT.
Copeland said Texas Tech is also on the 2006 nonconference schedule and that discussions are ongoing about adding Arkansas State.
There are many ties between the teams. Dickey was SMU's offensive coordinator before taking over the UNT job in 1998. Ramon Flanigan, UNT's offensive coordinator, was SMU's quarterback from 1992-96.
Hayden Fry coached SMU (1962-72) and North Texas (1973-78).
"It's good for both schools," Fry said. "All the fans can enjoy watching a game more when they are familiar with the players and the teams. I'd love to see North Texas play TCU, SMU, Baylor and Texas Tech, schools that are close. A game like this also is good for SMU."
The schools, separated by 35 miles, almost became conference mates. UNT was denied entry to Conference USA last year during that conference's realignment. SMU enters C-USA this summer. UNT remains in the Sun Belt.
"We're trying to get support and create rivalries," Dickey said. "It's a natural; a lot of players from both teams know each other. It's a home game for both teams and creates interest for fans."
At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
A fool's paradise is a wise man's hell.
– Thomas Fuller