Friday, September 29, 2023 Sep 29, 2023
89° F Dallas, TX

Here’s How SMU Wound Up in the ACC

A very good, very thorough story chronicling SMU's return to power conference football. Also, a totally absurd quote about how little nine-figure money can matter to some people.
By |
Behold the Mustangs running swiftly toward the ACC. Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, while writing up the news about SMU joining the ACC, I posited that “the Mustangs are positioned to be more relevant than they’ve been in three decades, presuming the big-monied boosters on the Hilltop keep writing checks into the 2030s.”

Well, once you read the latest from Yahoo’s Ross Dellenger, I think you’ll join me in presuming this will not be a problem. This isn’t the first time I’ve directed you to one of his stories—he got Sonny Dykes before last year’s Iron Skillet game, the first since Dykes left SMU for TCU—and for good reason: he’s the best college football writer doing it right now, and he has a knack for getting SMU types to talk to him.

Today’s piece, in which he breaks down the saga of the Mustangs finding its way back into a power conference with impressive detail, is the epitome of that. There’s excellent clarity on how close SMU got to joining the Big 12 (not very) and Pac-12 (very, very) prior to this, along with the revenue it will get despite forgoing TV money for its first nine years of membership in the ACC.

It also features a complete banger of a quote from David Miller, the Grand Poobah of SMU boosters, in response to the ACC’s query of whether the Mustangs could be competitive if the onus were on individuals to make up the financial gap with their prospective conference-mates.

“It’s a couple hundred million dollars,” Miller said. “I’m not losing sleep over it.”

So, yeah. That’s the sort of oil baron money powering this machine.

All in all, it’s a read well worth your time, whether you’re applauding or groaning at the Mustangs’ big move.  


Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

View Profile
Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…

Related Articles


Why, Yes, That Is Eric Dickerson Promoting SMU in a Gold Trans Am

Just in case you had any doubt that we live in college football's new era.

SMU Is Gamifying the Detection of Macular Degeneration

The research can help clinicians detect the spread of the disease more accurately.
By Jencie Tomasek

Here’s Your SMU-TCU Pregame Reading

A Sports Illustrated deep dive into Sonny Dykes’ departure, featuring a rather pointed comment about why he left.