By Joe Gulick
Baylor had clinched a Southwest Conference championship and a trip to the Cotton Bowl with a 16-6 victory over Rice three days before this Nov. 18, 1980, Dirk West cartoon was printed.
The Bears finished the season undefeated in Southwest Conference play the following Saturday after defeating Texas 16-0.
SMU had come to Lubbock on Nov. 15 with a 7-2 record and a No. 18 national ranking. Holiday Bowl officials were in town to scout the Mustangs. Tech stunned SMU with a 14-0 upset, but the Ponies got the Holiday Bowl invitation anyway.
Tech was 5-4 after the SMU victory but lost to Houston and Arkansas to finish 5-6 in Rex Dockery’s final season as head coach. John Conley, who had been an assistant coach for 14 years and an assistant athletic director since 1976, was named Tech athletic director. He served there until 1985.
Dirk didn’t miss the chance to needle SMU coach Ron Meyer about the Tech upset. Meyer coached SMU from 1976 to 1981 before moving to professional football, where he was head coach of the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.
SMU is in Dallas, and Dirk made reference to that with the brand name on the Mustang’s collar. However, he misspelled “Neiman.”
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