Team Preview: SMU
Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005 college football season, exclusively on Insider.
- Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 119 Division I-A teams. To order the complete 2005 edition of Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255). (All information as of July 1, 2005)COACH AND PROGRAM
Phil Bennett is not promising miracles, but he is promising progress for the once-proud SMU program.
If fact, that single word -- progress -- could serve as the motto for the Mustangs.
It has been almost 20 years since the NCAA shut down the SMU program for multiple recruiting violations. Since resuming play in 1989, SMU has had exactly one winning season -- 6-5 in 1997. The first five years of the new century has produced just 13 wins and 45 losses.
The program hit rock bottom in 2003, when the youngsters Bennett was trying to force-feed onto the field finished 0-12. That makes last season's 3-8 record a mark of -- here's that word again -- progress.
"We played an extremely tough early season schedule [in 2004]," Bennett said. "Four of the first six were on the road. We saw progress ... we lost some kids defensively and that hurt us, but it allowed a lot of kids to get playing experience. We now have 34 players who have started eight or more games for us."
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