SMU will never win a championship under June Jones.
The American Athletic Conference is growing weaker so SMU will continue to win around six or seven and maybe even eight games. But a championship? Nah. SMU will define mediocrity as long as June Jones is at the helm, which is why giving him a three-year contract was a terrible mistake.
"Coach Jones and his staff have successfully engineered our football program's journey from relative obscurity to competitive relevance," AD Rick Hart said. "Under their direction, we have participated in a conference championship game a school-record four-consecutive bowl games.
"We look forward to partnering with Coach Jones as we now set our sights on the next phase of our rise to prominence: establishing SMU football as a championship program."
The thing is I'm not so sure SMU is relevant. If anything, SMU is starting to gain some national recognition thanks to Larry Brown and the amazing job he and his staff are doing. But when it comes to football, SMU is in about eighth place in its own city. Dallas still doesn't care about SMU football. This is not Dallas' team.
And keeping Jones for three more years isn't going to change that. He doesn't embrace the university culture let alone the Dallas culture. He refuses to wear school colors on the sideline, fails to engage with students, publically humiliates the university and the list goes on and on.
Yet he says:
"I appreciate the opportunity to continue the work we began six years ago. There is no place I'd rather be than here at SMU. I am proud of the progress we have made thus far, but many goals remain unfinished, including restoring SMU football's championship tradition."
I guess he forgot about the time he left SMU for Arizona State only to get rejected and come back. While that debacle and recent ESPN comments might irk SMU fans the most, the biggest area he fails in is recruiting.
This year's class might be the worst since Jones took over the program. He does not make personal visits to local high school and doesn't talk to prospects until they make their way to campus for visits.
There is only so much success this program can have with diamonds in the rough that have to be coached up. The name of the game in college football is recruiting. If you're not out there doing everything you can to land to top tier talent, you do not deserve a contract extension. And don't think an indoor practice facility is going to magically make him improve in this area.
Jones does deserve credit for turning around the program. And he's not a bad coach. He works extremely hard when it comes to X's and O's. But he doesn't seem to understand the significance of recruiting and being not only a coach but also a salesman.
The bottom line is it's time for SMU to move on and find someone who just as passionate about X's and O's as he is about recruiting and selling the program to the community.
For the amount of money being shelled out, SMU can do better than six wins against teams with winning records, blowout losses to former SWC foes in non-conference play, meaningless bowl games and a fan base that is continuing to lose interest.
SMU has plateaued under Jones and will be stuck in neutral until 2017.
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