In honor of last week's epic SMU win Houston let's go back to 1982, the Reagan years, and a game at the old Texas Stadium in Irving between the Pony Express and Bill Yoeman's Houston Cougars.
To the bullets:
- Houston was in year 20 of Bill Yoeman's 25 year run as head coach. Yeoman came to Houston in 1962 after assisting at Michigan State. Yeoman is credited for creating the Houston or split veer, and offense that baffled defenses during the 60's and 70's.
- Yeoman was also pioneer of sorts, when he arrived at Houston he was the first coach of a major Texas program to recruit African American athletes. His first African American recruit was "Wonderous Warren" McVea out of San Antonio Breckenridge. Move arrived on campus in 1964, the same year Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney came to play basketball for Guy V. Lewis.
- Yeomanspoke to a group of African American community leaders, shortly after arriving in Houston, and admitted, "I am prejudiced alright...I'm prejudiced against bad football players."
- The Cougars joined the SWC in 1976 and promptly won the whole damn thing.
- Houston's quarterback was Lionel Wilson, Wilson the single season quarterback rushing title until one Greg Ward Jr. passed his mark last year.
- The 1982 Cougars went 5-5-1, breaking a string of four straight bowl seasons. Bummer.
- SMU was ramping up their payroll by 1982.
- A late season tie against Arkansas likely ruined SMU's chances of a National Title. The Mustangs finished the '82 season 11-0-1.
- Craig James and Eric Dickerson formed the greatness that was the Pony Express.
- James and Dickerson combined for over 2,500 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns.
- SMU went to the Cotton Bowl for the first time since Hayden Frye's 1966 team.
- At the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day 1983 SMU beat Dan Marino and Pitt. Marino was considered on of the best players in the '83 draft but rumors of his cocaine use dropped him to late in the first round where Miami picked Marino. He went on to win three Super Bowls with the Dolphins. Ok, that last part might not be accurate. The cocaine thing though, totally legit.
Enjoy some vintage 80's SWC fun.