Greatest Moments

When you think about football in the state of Texas in 1978, you remember that as the year the Cowboys won Super Bowl XII in January, and were working their way back to the Super Bowl in the fall. But something else was happening in Dallas besides the mighty Cowboys. It was known simply as Mustang Mania. It was a promotion program on which SMU embarked that can best be described as monumental in scope. Dallas was blanketed with 100,000 bumper stickers, advertising on buses, taxi cabs, and billboards. The exciting atmosphere created by Mustang Mania takes its place as one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.

Mustang Mania was a success. It even had a song written about it by Howie Newman. One verse states, "Ford can throw, Tolbert can fly, Coach Meyer knows how and sometimes why. With our kind of line, look out for the backs, And Putt Choate'll stop'em dead in their tracks." It was an upbeat country and western swing featuring some hot fiddle licks throughout. It was also carried, fittingly, by the Mustang label, a production of Major League Records. It was received with tremendous enthusiasm both on and off campus.

The campaign also included tie-ins with fast food chains, charitable organizations and youth groups. It was symbolized by Mustang Mania T-shirts, caps, ponchos, jackets, and a whole host of other items. Even celebrities like Bob Hope could be found sporting a Mustang Mania hat. Mustang fans took up a challenge to show SMU the most amazing places they were able to spread the Mania. One could even find a Mustang Mania bumper sticker on the Eiffel Tower! The Mania spanned the globe.

The program got off to a very good start as the Mustangs played TCU in the Jerry Lewis/7-Eleven Bowl, a charity football game for muscular dystrophy. The game drew 41,112 fans to the Cotton Bowl, the largest crowd to see and SMU-TCU game in 20 years. From there SMU traveled to Florida, Penn State, and Ohio State, gaining national attention for the exciting football they brought to the field. When SMU finally returned home to face Houston, they played in front of 64,871 fans in the Cotton Bowl. Mustang Mania was at its best.

The Mustangs had the largest increase in attendance of any school in the country in 1978. In 1977, SMU's home attendance average was 25,644. Considering they were playing in the 72,000 seat Cotton Bowl, a person could notice the need for improvement. By the end of 1978, SMU's home attendance had risen to 51,960. Season ticket sales also rose from 2,200 in 1977 to 5,300 in 1978. These fans never went home disappointed because Mike Ford and Emanuel Tolbert always seemed to put on an aerial display every week. The season was built upon excitement and SMU delivered.

Mustang Mania was everything SMU hoped it would be. The following season, SMU's home attendance rose yet again, this time hitting 55,758 per game. The excitement generated by Mustang Mania also helped springboard the Mustangs to new heights in college football as the era of the Pony Express soon followed. For the excitement that it brought to SMU and Dallas, Mustang Mania takes its rightful place as one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.

THE COUNTDOWN
No. 90 :: First School Win (1915)
No. 89 :: Rutledge sets two school records (2003)
No. 88 :: Phillips 100 yard INT (1984)
No. 87 :: McCown completes 19 straight (1999)
No. 86 :: Brownlee kicks 57 yd. field goal (1985)
No. 85 :: Bennett records first career win (2002)
No. 84 :: SMU closes out the Cotton Bowl (1999)
No. 83 :: Ownby Stadium opens (1926)
No. 82 :: James sets SWC record (1982)
No. 81 :: Stewart named All-American (1993)
No. 80 :: Briggs sets new Mustang mark (2002)
No. 79 :: SMU defeats Arkansas 31-9 (1997)
No. 78 :: The 1980 Holiday Bowl (1980)
No. 77 :: Hopkins records 4 INTs (1981)
No. 76 :: Pony Express heads to Japan (1983)
No. 75 :: SMU plays in first ever bowl game (1924)
No. 74 :: Hayden Fry named head coach (1962)
No. 73 :: McIlhenny leads SMU over Baylor (1982)
No. 72 :: Flanigan sets total offense record (1997)
No. 71 :: Bell inducted into CFHOF (1955)
No. 70 :: Dickerson runs wild against A&M (1980)
No. 69 :: Charles breaks freshman record (2001)
No. 68 :: Johnson sets sack record (1999)
No. 67 :: Dupard leads pouding of Texas (1985)
No. 66 :: Sanders named first All-America (1928)
No. 65 :: Rossley breaks reception record (1994)
No. 64 :: First win over Texas (1924)
No. 63 :: Gregg returns to SMU (1988)
No. 62 :: Mann leads SMU over TCU (1926)
No. 61 :: Berry defines excellence (1954)
No. 60 :: Birth of the Mustang Name (1917)
No. 59 :: Ford scores first TD in Ford (2000)
No. 58 :: Wolf sets SWC record (1992)
No. 57 :: Meredith sets SWC record (1957)
No. 56 :: Choate Anchors SMU Defense (1978)
No. 55 :: SMU downs Texas (1965)
No. 54 :: Tolbert leads win over BU (1978)
No. 53 :: SMU downs Texas in Austin (1982)
No. 52 :: Partee kicks win over Baylor (1966)
No. 51 :: Hopkins recovers Pitt fumble (1983)
No. 50 :: Dickerson scores 19 TDs (1981)
No. 49 :: Romo breaks completion record (1990)
No. 48 :: LeVias breaks reception record (1968)
No. 47 :: SMU records 400th win (1997)
No. 46 :: SMU clinches winning season (1997)
No. 45 :: Walker on Life Magazine (1948)
No. 44 :: Rote No. 1 NFL Draft Pick (1951)
No. 43 :: SMU blanks TCU (1966)
No. 42 :: SMU downs UNT on Homecoming (1989)
No. 41 :: SMU RUNS over Razorbacks (1980)
No. 40 :: Richardson sets rushing record (1968)
No. 39 :: Wolf breaks NCAA record (1989)
No. 38 :: SMU downs Arkansas (1984)
No. 37 :: The Decision (1945)
No. 36 :: Doak Walker Day at SMU (1998)
No. 35 :: SMU Upsets A&M (1974)
No. 34 :: SMU Ties Ohio State (1978)
No. 33 :: SMU ties Penn State (1948)
No. 32 :: The Army game (1928)
No. 31 :: The TCU Game (1947)
No. 30 :: SMU comeback against Baylor (1975)
No. 29 :: Hixson leads nation in passing (1968)
No. 28 :: Back to the Cotton Bowl (1949)
No. 27 :: Smith picks off Marino (1983)
No. 26 :: The Aloha Bowl (1984)
No. 25 :: Mustang Mania (1978)
No. 24 :: First SWC Title (1923)
No. 23 :: LeVias Baffles Texas A&M (1966)
No. 22 :: Debut Of The Pony Express (1980)
No. 21 :: Undefeated SMU Beats Texas (1947)
No. 20 :: The Ohio State game (1950)
No. 19 :: Dickerson breaks SWC record (1982)
No. 18 :: Revenge against Houston (1992)
No. 17 :: Tie versus Texas A&M (1994)
No. 16 :: Win over Notre Dame (1951)
No. 15 :: Walker career accolades (1949)
No. 14 :: SMU ranked No. 2 (1982)
No. 13 :: The House That Doak Built
No. 12 :: Bluebonnet Bowl in 1968
No. 11 :: Opening of Ford Stadium (2000)
No. 10 :: The Navy Game (1963)
No. 9 :: Carter's block against Arkansas (1982)
No. 8 :: Miracle on Mockingbird (1989)
No. 7 :: The 1949 Notre Dame Game
No. 6 :: National Champions (1935)
No. 5 :: Signing of Jerry LeVias (1965)
No. 4 :: McIlhenny Cotton Bowl TD (1983)
No. 3 :: The Miracle Man (1982)
No. 2 :: The $85,000 Pass (1935)
No. 1 :: Doak Wins the Heisman (1948)