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1981 SMU Mustangs football
National champion (NCF)
Southwest Conference champion
ConferenceSouthwest Conference
Ranking
APNo. 5
1981 record10–1 (7–1 SWC)
Head coachRon Meyer (6th season)
Offensive coordinatorSteve Sidwell (6th season)
Home stadiumTexas Stadium
Seasons
← 1980
1982 →
1981 Southwest Conference football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#2 SMU 7 1 0     10 1 0
#5 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.

ScheduleEdit

DateOpponentRankSiteResultAttendance
1981-09-05Texas–Arlington*W 48-020,130
1981-09-12North Texas State*
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 34-720,400
1981-09-19Grambling State*
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 59-2745,700
1981-09-26at TCUNo. 20W 20-925,862
1981-10-10BaylorNo. 14
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 37-2033,110
1981-10-17at HoustonNo. 10W 38-2236,892
1981-10-24No. 10 TexasNo. 8
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
L 7-962,777
1981-10-31at Texas A&MNo. 13W 27-762,646
1981-11-07RiceNo. 10W 33-1228,750
1981-11-14Texas TechNo. 8
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 30-624,410
1981-11-21at No. 16 ArkansasNo. 6W 32-1843,842
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

RosterEdit

1981 SMU Mustangs football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 19 Dickerson, EricEric Dickerson Jr
OL 77 Hartnett, PerryPerry Hartnett Sr
RB 32 James, CraigCraig James Jr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DL 75 Armstrong, HarveyHarvey Armstrong Sr
DT 74 Carter, MichaelMichael Carter Jr
DL 99 Ferguson, EricEric Ferguson Sr
DL Kovar, JerryJerry Kovar 10px Jr
DB 20 Mobley, JamesJames Mobley Sr
DB 29 Carter, RussellRussell Carter So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 1 Garcia, EddieEddie Garcia Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured
  • Redshirt.svg Redshirt

Game summariesEdit

ArkansasEdit

#6 SMU at #16 Arkansas
by Quarter1234 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 NFLEdit

Player Position Round Pick NFL club
Perry Hartnett Tackle 5 116 Chicago Bears
Harvey Armstrong Defensive tackle7190 Philadelphia Eagles
Eddie Garcia Kicker10264 Green Bay Packers
[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "1982 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1982.htm. Retrieved 2015-12-24.

Template:Southwest Conference football champions

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