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SMU vs. Memphis Odds: Mustangs actually a big favorite

SMU hasn't exactly gotten out to the most impressive start of 2012, but they're not even close to the worst program in C-USA.

Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

It may be hard to believe for SMU fans after embarrassing drubbings at the hands of former SWC rivals Texas A&M and Baylor and a loss to a previously win-less Tulane squad in 2012, but the Mustangs are still a program to be reckoned with in the barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland that is Conference USA football.

On Saturday, they're hosting one of the true dregs, a Memphis program that has gone 6-37 in the last four seasons. As a result, even after their disappointing 3-4 start to the season, SMU is a healthy -20.5 point favorite over the Tigers.

Memphis is on their third coach in four seasons, former TCU offensive coordinator Justin Fuente. At 36, he's one of the youngest head coaches in FBS and he'll have to hope that he's given more rope than his predecessor, Larry Porter, who lasted only two years in Graceland while putting up a 3-21 record.

It hasn't been any prettier for Fuente so far, as the Tigers are 1-6 in 2012, including a home loss to an FCS team (Tennessee-Martin).

They're equally bad on offense (114th in the country) as they are on defense (95th) and this should be a game the Mustangs use to get themselves healthy and continue building some chemistry between Garrett Gilbert and his receiving corps. In a timing-oriented offense like June Jones', Garrett Gilbert's 50.8% completion percentage is just not going to get it done if SMU hopes to make noise in the C-USA race this year.

The odds makers certainly don't expect a very entertaining game, as they set the over/under at 48.5 for Saturday.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.