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Guns Up 49, Pony Up 9

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Uh-oh. For SMU’s over-matched, underwhelming football team, Labor Day felt a lot like Groundhog Day. Before a hopeful (that is, naïve) crowd and horrified (which is to say, realistic) national television audience, the Mustangs got absolutely plastered and humiliated by Texas Tech. Again. Tech has beaten SMU 12 straight times, annually unmasking the Ponies as a team that, no, in fact, isn’t finally ready to compete with even the medium-sized boys of college football.

But this time, even in a 40-point defeat, we unearth some good news. Like, um, OK, SMU has the same exact record as Michigan. And, since they don’t tailgate but instead “boulevard” at Ford Stadium, I think it’s safe to say this Green Day diddy can already be declared the Mustangs’ 2007 theme song.

As for the bad news, Carter High School product Michael Crabtree torched SMU for 12 catches, 106 yards, three touchdowns and one huge braggadocio. “If my number gets called three times,” Crabtree promised, “you can expect three touchdowns.”

I’ve lauded Tech coach Mike Leach for years. His offensive system is pure genius. But yesterday’s game was embarrassingly easy. SMU absorbed penalties for failing to call plays quick enough, and got burned on a 49-yard touchdown pass when ESPN microphones -- and, we can assume, Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, duh -- picked up Mustangs defenders screaming, “All out!” in the worst disguised max blitz in the history of organized football.

Bottom line: SMU may still have a winning season and sneak into a bowl game, but it's still light years from being a legit Division I program. And another thing: Considering the opposing teams lost by a combined 109 points (128-19) in their openers, good luck selling those tickets to Saturday’s SMU-North Texas showdown. --Richie Whitt

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