From the Annals of Intercollegiate Athletics – In 1914, the Southwest Intercollegiate Athletic Conference was formed at a meeting at the Rice Hotel in Houston. The name was changed to the Southwest Conference in 1925 and it existed as a major college conference until its dissolution in 1996. The inaugural members were Arkansas, Rice, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma A&M, Southwestern, Texas A&M and Texas. Southwestern was a member for only one year and the Oklahoma schools were gone in less than a decade. Major additions were SMU in 1918, TCU in 1923, Texas Tech in 1956 and Houston in 1972. With the inception of the Cotton Bowl Classic at Fair Park in Dallas, the SWC Champion was the host team and the CBC featured several games that determined the then “Mythical” National Champion.
The death came quickly with Arkansas leaving in 1991 and Texas, A&M, Tech and Baylor breaking off to join the schools of the Big 8 in forming the Big 12 (now featuring 10 schools).
Red has always blamed the break up of the SWC on the scandalous Pony Express program at SMU largely orchestrated by former Poor Idiot Governor Bill Clements – a notorious scuzzbag of a businessman. After getting a death penalty sanction from the NCAA in 1987, SMU hung around the neck of the SWC like a dead chicken. Red believes that if the conference had had the juevos to kick out the Mustangs and attempt to get a good replacement (like LSU or Oklahoma) the conference would be alive and well today. Red suspects the specter of Clements kept that from happening. Thanks for nothing Bill!
Red always thought that the SWC logo made it look like Texas had wings.
From the Annals of Journalism – In 1941, writer Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker gave a speech at Southern Methodist University in which he advocated for United States entry into World War II. After his address, HRK engaged in a heated debate with students who opposed his views. Knickerbocker was born in Yoakum, Texas and graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown. He moved to New York and began a distinguished career in journalism. HRK later relocated to Munich, Germany, with the intention of studying psychiatry, but witnessed Adolf Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923. He resumed his journalism career becoming chief Berlin correspondent for the New York Evening Post and the Philadelphia Public Ledger. In 1931 Knickerbocker won the Pulitzer Prize for his articles describing and analyzing the Soviet Five-Year Plan. With the Nazi takeover in 1933, however, due to his strong opposition to Hitler, he was expelled from Germany. He forecast the coming conflagration in his book Will War Come to Europe and after the outbreak spent much of his energy attempting to convince Americans that the U.S. should join in the fight against Nazism.
On Thursday we have the rare weekday/night Texas sports Quadruple-Header:
3:30 pm Texas Rangers at Toronto BlueJays
7:00 pm SMU Mustangs at Houston Cougars
7:25 pm Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
7:30 pm Houston Astros at Kansas City Royal
This week the brilliant schedulers have a Thursday night match-up between SMU and University of Houston at lovely but usually empty TDECU Stadium (it just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it). This normally would not matter much as the Cougars are clearly an afterthought on the Houston sports scene these days. But the Houston Texans are also playing the Indianapolis Colts Thursday night in Houston. Not only will no one be at the game, no one will be watching it either. But they might just miss a good one. The Dallas Morning News reports that the cocky Cougars are reported to have taped Mustang jerseys to the floor of the locker room so that they can walk on them all week. That’s just the sort of thing that can occasionally result in a come-uppance for a superior team. There is absolutely no rational reason to think that the 1-3 Ponies can come into Houston and upset a team that is averaging 48 points and over 600 yards a game and is on the verge of its first Top 25 ranking in years. UH quarterback Greg Ward is starting to get Heisman talk and while everyone focuses on the high-flying UH offense under new head coach Tom Herman, the Cougar defense has shown some mettle against a quality opponent like Louisville. Well, all that isn’t going to deter Red from picking the upset here. SMU 37 UH 31.