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2011 SMU Mustangs Gambling Odds | Predictions

2011-2012 Football Previews – Conference USA – Southern Methodist Mustangs

In January 2008, the SMU Mustangs made the announcement that June Jones had been hired to take over as head coach of the football program. It was a surprise to many, and it was a terrific hire for the Mustangs.

Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter

Conference USA 2011-2012 Football Previews: SMU Mustangs
Head Coach: June Jones
2010 Record: 7-7
SMU Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win BCS: +1,500 (Part of Field)
SMU Odds from 5Dimes to win Conference USA Championship: +800
SMU Odds from 5Dimes to win Conference USA West Division: +365
SMU Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>


Jones has proven his ability to turn around a program that has been on the mat for several years, and he appears to be doing the same at SMU. In 2009, SMU reached a bowl game for the first time in 25 years.

Last year, the SMU Mustangs won the Conference USA West Division, but they finished just 7-7. SMU was able to beat the teams they were supposed to beat, but they struggled against the upper echelon of teams they played. It was a slightly disappointing year for a team that had fairly high expectations. The Mustangs return 18 starters, which is more than anyone in the conference. Can SMU take another step forward in 2011?

Team Strengths:

Zach Line quickly emerged as a great runner last year. Going into last season, SMU expected to give a number of runners plenty of carries each game, but Line grabbed hold of the job with some terrific performances. He averaged an astonishing 6.1 yards per carry in 2010. He ended up leading Conference USA in rushing, and I fully expect him to have another big year in 2011.

The defensive line improved remarkably in 2010, and every single player from the first and second string on the defensive line returns this year. This is a defensive unit that allowed just 3.7 yards per carry last season. Taylor Thompson is the best of the bunch, but SMU’s depth on the line will be a big strength moving forward.

The SMU offensive line returns their entire two-deep roster, and they will also get a lot of help from Josh LeRibeus. LeRibeus was ineligible last year, but is ready to go this season. No team in college football has offensive linemen with as much starting experience as the Mustangs. Expect this line to shove their opponents off the ball frequently this year.

Team Weaknesses:

SMU has had a serious problem with turnovers in the last couple years. Last year, SMU was ranked 10th in Conference USA in turnover margin at minus 12. The Mustangs offense must improve in the red zone, where they often either stall out or turn the ball over. SMU racked up 415 yards per game last year, but they averaged just 25.7 points per game. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The linebackers were a strength for this team last year, but SMU lost a couple of their top linebackers from that team. The Mustangs defensive scheme relies heavily on the linebackers roaming all over the field and making plays. Since SMU will have some young and inexperienced linebackers in 2011, this could be an area of weakness.

2011-2012 SMU Football Prediction: 7-6

Conference USA’s West Division is much stronger than it has been in the past few years, which will make life a lot more difficult on SMU this year. The schedule in 2011 is much more difficult than it has been the last couple years.

SMU must travel to Southern Miss, Houston, and Tulsa. Kyle Padron needs to progress and make better decisions with the football if SMU is going to take a big step forward this year.

I expect SMU to be improved from a year ago, but the tough schedule will keep them from making a big leap. SMU should qualify for another bowl berth, but I don’t think they’ll win the West this year.

2011 SMU Mustangs Schedule

9/4/11 7:30 PM ET @TXAM
9/10/11 12:00 PM ET UTEP
9/17/11 12:00 PM ET NWST
9/24/11 12:00 PM ET @MEM
9/30/11 8:00 PM ET @TCU
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET CENFL
10/22/11 12:00 PM ET @SOMIS
10/29/11 12:00 PM ET @TULSA
11/5/11 3:00 PM ET TULNE
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET NAVY
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET @HOU
11/26/11 12:00 PM ET RICE

Click here to check out MORE 2011 college football previews for the 2011-2012 NCAA Football Season!


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About Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter sports picks – A degree in finance and a great ability to follow important trends and statistics set him apart from the rest. Totals are Kyle's specialty, so look for a lot of totals picks from NBA, NCAAF, & the NFL. Check out his plays today.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Will SMU have more or less than 7 wins in 2011?