The SMU football team is going to “The Big House.”
The Ponies have agreed to face Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sept. 15, 2018. It will be the second all-time meeting between the two teams.
From the university’s press release:
“While it’s still several years down the road, we’re excited about this game,” SMU athletic director Rick Hart said. “It will give us a chance to showcase our team and university on a national stage and will allow our student-athletes a chance to compete in one of college football’s legendary stadiums.”
Even though it was just one game, the 1963 game at Michigan plays a big part in SMU lore. Legend has it that when Ford Motor Company was preparing to introduce the sports car that would gain fame as the Mustang, it was considering other names such as Cougar, Bronco, Cheetah, and Colt. But on Sept. 28, 1963, SMU took an undersized but quick team to Ann Arbor to play a massive Michigan Wolverine squad. Michigan gained the early advantage, but had to fight off the feisty Ponies for a 27-16 win.
The story continues that after the game, Ford’s Lee Iacocca entered the SMU locker room and addressed the disappointed Mustangs.
“Today,” Iacocca said, “After watching the SMU Mustangs play with such flair, we reached a decision. We will call our new car the Mustang. Because it will be light, like your team; It will be quick, like your team; And it will be sporty, like your team.”
Ford’s new car got its name, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The 2018 meeting will be SMU’s first against a Big Ten opponent since playing at Wisconsin in 1995.