The SMU Mustangs have canceled their 2013 home game vs. the Baylor Bears, SMU athletics director Rick Hart announced Wednesday evening.
SMU was scheduled to host Baylor at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas on Sept. 14, 2013. Instead, the Mustangs will now host the Montana State Bobcats, an FCS team, on Sept. 7.
“While this is a rivalry that both schools value, we decided it would be best if we did not play this season,” said SMU A.D. Rick Hart. “This was not an easy decision and was made only after careful deliberation. With three Big 12 games and one SEC matchup on our nonconference schedule and an upgraded conference schedule as we join the BIG EAST, we felt we needed to bring some balance to our 2013 schedule. This decision does not, however, impact our long-term agreement. We will play at Baylor in 2014 when they open their new stadium and have them scheduled for annual games for numerous years.”
The game against Baylor was canceled, as Hart indicates, to lessen the difficulty of SMU’s 2013 non-conference schedule. The Mustangs are also slated to host Texas Tech and travel to Texas A&M and TCU.
SMU will also be playing their first season in the Big East in 2013. The Mustangs host UCF, Connecticut, Rutgers, and Temple and travel to Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, and USF.
News of the possible cancellation of the Baylor game broke yesterday when Montana State announced that they had canceled a game at North Dakota State in order to play SMU. Montana State will net $200,000 after receiving $300,000 from SMU and paying NDSU $100,000 to buy out the contract.
SMU and Baylor have a long-term agreement to play on a home-and-home basis through at least the 2019 season. It’s not clear if the canceled 2013 game will be added to the end of the contract or bought out completely.
Baylor is now left with a hole in their 2013 schedule. Open dates include Aug. 31, Sept. 14, Sept. 28, and Nov. 2. Syracuse and Western Kentucky could have openings as each has yet to announce their final non-conference game. Old Dominion is also searching for an additional FBS game.
In addition, Army, Fresno State, San Diego State, and San Jose State each play at Hawaii in 2013 and could conceivably add a 13th game. Failing any of those options, Baylor could schedule an FCS team and still have it count towards bowl eligibility.