Can the Spread Offense Defeat Karma?

I was a senior at SMU in 1989 when the June Jones-led Houston college football concern defeated SMU and its 14 starting freshmen, 95-21, accumulating more than 1000 yards of offense. I hated June Jones that day. As did SMU coach Forrest Gregg. Hated him for many years after, too, because he kept throwing deep against a clearly inferior opponent. (I can hold a grudge.) And I rejoiced when, three years later, Houston visited Michigan, a team that never runs up the score, and the Wolverines were throwing deep into the last minutes of their 61-7 victory. After the game, Michigan coach Gary Moeller secured a cushy place in my dark heart by saying, “That was for the SMUs and Eastern Washingtons of the world.” Now, June Jones is the new football coach at SMU.

I’m not saying I won’t root for the Ponies. I’m not saying I don’t wish the team well. I’m not saying I can’t let bygones be bygones. I’m. Just. Saying.

The funny thing is, before I read the comments and was, eh, REMINDED that it was John Jenkins, not June Jones, I was really, really proud of this post. [gunshot]

UPDATE: I mean, do you know how long it took me to find the photo that I linked to, the one that is supposed to look like me circa 1989? And how much it kinda DOES look like me then? I’m having a real identity crisis here, people, and we’re one week into the new year. [Reload, double gunshot]


Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...









View All

View All


21 responses to “Can the Spread Offense Defeat Karma?”

  1. Arec Barrwin says:

    Eric – do your homework! June Jones has never coached for the University of Houston. Never. He did coach for the Houston Oilers from 1987-88. In 1989, the year in question, June Jones was the Quarterbacks Coach for the Detroit Lions, and thus had nothing whatsoever to do with the 95-21 game.

    In 1989, U of H was coached by Jack Pardee, and then coached by John Jenkins from 1990-1992.

    Case closed.

  2. Long Memory says:

    Sorry, Eric, but I was at that 95-21 game, and you don’t have to blame June Jones. The offensive co-ordinator that day was John Jenkins, and the coach was Jack Pardee. What I remember, as a UH alumnus, is that a couple of weeks later when SMU played Notre Dame, Lou Holtz had his running back break the line of scrimmage and immediately turn out of bounds to keep the score down. And there were SMU player who were more offended by that than by Houston’s backup quarterback (David Klingler) throwing the football. Don’t you remember? Andre Ware, who would win the Heisman Trophy that year, only played the first half.

    Anyway, it wasn’t June Jones.

  3. Pony Pride says:

    Obviously you didn’t follow college football very closely that year. And also keep in mind that when Jerry Glanville was with the Falcons, and Jack Pardee was with the Oilers, Glanville sent SMU a game ball after they ran up the score on the Oilers.

  4. Eric Celeste says:

    Right. Jenkins. I’m an idiot. Hmmm. How to handle that.

  5. Long Memory says:

    It was Klingler who lit up Eastern Washington the next year, and I think EW could have beaten SMU. Funny how Houston got stuck with EW on its schedule. Houston beat Temple 65-7, and Temple didn’t like it so they bought there way out of the second game in the contract. So Houston looked for a game. And looked. Offer to go to OU. No thanks. Offered to go to LSU. No chance. Offered to go to Tennessee. No chance. All those schools needed a game, but they wouldn’t play Houston, which ended up with Eastern Washington. Tennessee played Temple. I loved that run and shoot, and I hope Jones turns SMU in the right direction. At least, the Mustangs will be entertaining.

  6. Pay Back is a Bitch says:

    Houston on our schedule every year.

  7. John says:

    Eric…. it’s obvious you have offended the 2 DFW fans of Couga’ High.

  8. Long Memory says:

    I’m not offended. Those were good days. They called it running up the score back then. Then Joe Paterno did it to Temple and everybody said it msut be OK. Now everybody does it, if they can. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  9. Arec Barrwin says:

    I was only offended by Eric’s lack of attention to detail (not his UofH bashing), but since he has owned up to his mistake (unlike Roger Clemens), I’m willing to let it slide.

  10. Long Memory says:

    Not to rub it in or anything, but the Cougars could have scored 100 that day. They got to the SMU 20 in the last minute and Pardee made ’em take a knee. So the quality of mercy is, uh, thin. But we got over a thousand yards of total offense that day. When Kim Helton was the coach a few years later, a thousand yards was a month of games. That was worth complaining about.

    Ah, memory lane.

  11. AJ says:

    Let’s see…a glorious Monday blog debate on SMU verus Houston. Is this what I’m forced to deal with now? Can someone come find me and kill me?

  12. Long Memory says:

    Hey, you’re killin’ time. So kill yourself. Leave me to bask in that former glory of Cougar football.

  13. Kersten says:

    I think you are still very hot, Eric. Love the hair.

  14. Shane says:

    Eric, it is obvious your attempts to get “ripped” are leaving you light-headed and, well, stupid. Stop posting until you eat a sandwich.

  15. Tiny B says:

    My Favorite Frontburner Moment Ever

    Confirmation(again) – Celeste is an idiot.

  16. Eric Celeste says:

    But a ripped idiot.

  17. Tim Rogers says:

    Eric, you’ve been explicitly told by Wick not to comment in the comments section. Please, even if your poker buddies try to draw you offsides, stay out of the comments section.

  18. Eric Celeste says:


  19. Thaddeus D. Matula says:

    Wrong again…. Jack “fight for your right to” Pardee.

    Still makes me sick and I was in 6th grade living in Denmark.

  20. Bildo says:

    Surely you aren’t whining because a team beat the pathetic ponies 19 years ago?

    It’s football, not basket-weaving. Get over it.