The SMU football team appears to have a high school football problem.
The Mustangs are on the verge of a bowl berth, entering Friday night’s game against Tulsa with a 5-2 record. Despite the most successful season in years and plenty of excitement around Mustangs, this was the crowd greeting SMU’s attempt at locking down their postseason eligibility Friday night:
In contrast, here’s the crowd at an earlier Plano game, not far from this SMU game:
Notice the difference?
For years, complaints have been raised about playing college football games on Friday nights because of the scheduling conflict with high school games. Now we’re seeing just how significant an impact it can make, firsthand, in the cradle of prep football fanaticism.
Now, there could be other mitigating factors that impact the Mustangs’ attendance. It’s unseasonably cool in North Texas right now (though certainly not cold in a conventional sense), and Texas college football fans (who are traditionally great fans) just aren’t attuned to games on Friday nights.
Yet Dallas Morning News reporter Adam Grosbard made one thing clear: the high school games were the better crowd on Friday night: