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When It Comes To Joining The ACC, SMU Is Not Fooling Around

What SMU pulled off, basically in the blink of an eye, has to be some kind of fundraising record.

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: A close up view of a SMU mustang logo on a football helmet during the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs versus Maryland Terrapins game on September 17, 2022 at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium in College Park, MD.
Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We honestly haven't really thought a whole lot about the recent ACC expansion which brings Stanford, Cal and Southern Methodist to the conference.

It’s a marriage of convenience if not desperation and no one really knows how it will work out.

Academically it’s a pretty good match. Athletically? Less than ideal since football is the driving force behind everything these days and none of these schools are football titans.

SMU has been out of the limelight for a long time. Some will recall that the Mustangs got the NCAA’s death penalty in 1987. Duke and SMU have a connection there - Chancellor Kenneth Pye left Duke to take over as SMU’s president after the devastating scandal. He did a lot to restore the school’s reputation but SMU has never gotten back to the heights it scaled when cheating was rampant.

And with just around 7,000 or so undergrads and about 12,000 students total, Southern Methodist has a tough time competing against the traditional Texas powers, whether in the Big 12 or the SEC.

But it’s not for lack of ambition.

One of the reasons why SMU was taken seriously is because the school was willing to forego ACC revenue for several years.

It’s not like the athletic department is going broke though: the school has raised $100 million from just 30 donors and money like that talks.

It’s a big experiment, but clearly the school and its boosters are ready and willing to spend what it takes to improve its lot. Next up: facility upgrades and big-name coaches.