Oil Tycoon-Linked SMU Raises Over $100 Million In Just One Week To Prepare For ACC Move

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Contributor
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Oil money ain’t no joke.

Ahead of the 2024-25 collegiate sports season, SMU is joining Stanford and Cal in becoming members of the ACC. The university announced they have raised over $100 million in just one week for the school’s power move.

The Mustangs’ funding comes from “a group of thirty donors that includes trustees and key donors” that are both alumni and non-alumni, according to the release.

SMU is currently in the AAC and has been there since 2013, per Bleacher Report.

The move has rejuvenated interest in both the university’s football and men’s basketball programs. Ticket sales for the latter shot up 30% last week, according to SMU’s release. And with the football team, they’ve seen an increase by the hundreds.

Oh, I’m loving this as a fan of the SMU glory days.

If you’re not aware or just need a refresher, the Mustangs’ college football program was an absolute powerhouse in the ’80s. As a matter of fact, they were the best. From 1980-1984, SMU piled up a record of 49-9-1, which put them at the top of all of Division I-A during that period.

Then in 1987, after repeatedly violating NCAA rules on a huge scale (Dallas oil tycoons were buying up all the talent), SMU was slammed with the death penalty, killing all the dominance the football program built up until that point.

ESPN even made a 30 for 30 documentary about this — “Pony Excess”:

SMU has so much swag, in both the past and the present, and now the future. And as a Miami Hurricanes fan — another university that’s had its fair share of shady billionaires impacting sports programs over the years — I’m happy to have them (and their oil tycoon money) in my conference. (RELATED: Los Angeles Chargers Fanbase Calling For Head Coach Brandon Staley’s Firing After Disastrous 0-2 Start To Season)

Welcome to the ACC, Mustangs. Welcome.