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Happy on the Hell-Top

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Roger Clemens is coming to SMU. So too, probably, is an NCAA soccer championship. But a football bowl bid? To our lil' SMU? Crazy as it sounds, yep. Well, maybe. OK, possibly.

Clemens, the 11-time All-Star and seven-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, will be tomorrow's guest speaker at the SMU/GTE Athletic Forum luncheon at the Anatole. And the Mustangs just completed their soccer regular season with a 15-1-3 record and No. 1 ranking. Most surprising of all, on Halloween coach Phil Bennett's Ponies put themselves in a position for the school's first bowl game in 22 years with a nationally televised 22-9 victory over Alabama-Birmingham.

With a smattering of 13,125 in the stands and former SMU star Craig James in the ESPN2 booth, SMU moved to 5-4, needing just one win in its final three games to become bowl-eligible. To be assured of a bowl game, it probably needs two more wins. With tough games against superior foes Houston, Tulsa and Rice, I'd be shocked if the Mustangs earn that coveted sixth or even seventh win. But, of course, a lot of us are shocked they even got to five. Remember, just three years ago they were 0-12. --Richie Whitt

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


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