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SMU leans all the way into Pony Express lore with new hype video

The actions that put SMU in NCAA hell in the 80s would be (largely) legal and even celebrated in 2022, and so the program is doing its best to bring the Pony Express vibe back.

One of the pleasant surprises of the NIL era is the way SMU has leaned into its Pony Express era. 

Those five seasons from 1980 to '84 in which the Mustangs went 51-7-1, won three Southwest Conference championships and finished as high as No. 2 in the country were the glory years of SMU football, which came crashing to a halt with the 1987-88 death penalty. Not only did SMU have to re-start its football program from scratch -- which happened to coincide with the collapse of the SWC and SMU's fall within the college football hierarchy -- the program basically had to pretend like its program's apex never happened.

The actions that put SMU in NCAA hell in the 80s would be (largely) legal and even celebrated in 2022, and so the program is doing its best to bring the Pony Express vibe back.

It started back in April, when SMU released a graphic with a gold Trans Am driving into Dallas, and, ahead of Rhett Lashlee's first home game as head coach, SMU unveiled a hype video with Eric Dickerson, Craig James and Pony Express QB Lance McIlhenny standing aside Lashlee and current players.

In addition to making a major statement, this is also a fantastic video. 

SMU hosts Lamar on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+).