The 1920s was one of the most important decades in the history of SMU football. The Mustangs won their first Southwest Conference championship, produced their first All-Conference players, moved into a brand new football stadium, and made their first appearance in a post-season bowl game. Unlike today's bowl season, very few schools participated in bowl games. However, thanks to a 19-game unbeaten streak, SMU was invited to their first post-season bowl. The Mustangs made their first bowl appearance following the 1924 season, playing against West Virginia Wesleyan in the Dixie Classic on New Year's Day, 1925 at Fair Park Stadium in Dallas. Playing in the Dixie Classic is without a doubt one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
The 1924 team was an experienced team that owned a 19-game unbeaten streak that began with a tie at TCU on December 7, 1922, more than two years prior to the Dixie Classic. Coach Ray Morrison was in his second stint as head coach implementing college football's first "aerial circus" with the Mustangs dynamic passing game. The team was comprised of captain Logan Stollenwreck who along with Gene Bedford had been the first SMU players named first-team All-Southwest Conference in 1922. The 1924 Mustangs entered the Dixie Classic with 5 wins, 0 losses, and 4 ties.
The Dixie Classic was a post-season college football bowl game played in Dallas following the 1921, 1924, and 1933 seasons. It was the precursor to the Cotton Bowl Classic which has been played every year since 1937. The SMU-West Virginia Wesleyan University game was a match-up of two schools started by the United Methodist Church. In fact, some football historians have referred to the game as the very first "Methodist Bowl." It was a low scoring game with both teams fighting for field position. In the end, Wesleyan prevailed 9-7 on three field goals. Exactly 11 years later, on January 1, 1936, SMU returned to post-season action with an appearance in the Rose Bowl against Stanford. Including the Dixie Classic, SMU has played in 11 post-season bowl games with a record of 4-6-1 in those games. Because it was SMU's first taste of post-season football, the 1925 Dixie Classic will be remembered as one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.