Rice–SMU football rivalry
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|First meeting||November 17, 1916|
Rice 127, SMU 3
|Latest meeting||November 4, 2023|
SMU 36, Rice 31
|All-time series||SMU leads, 49–41–1|
|Trophy series||Rice leads, 9–7|
|Largest victory||Rice, 127–3 (1916)|
|Longest win streak||SMU, 10 (1977–1986)|
|Current win streak||SMU, 1 (2023–present)|
The Rice–SMU football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Rice University Owls and Southern Methodist University Mustangs. The game was first played in 1916, and since 1998 the winner was awarded the Mayor's Cup. SMU leads the series 48–41–1.
The football squads of Rice University and Southern Methodist University, two of the smallest schools in NCAA Division I FBS, first played in 1916, with Rice winning 127–3. In 1918, both schools joined the Southwest Conference, and from 1926 they played every year except for 1987 and 1988, after the NCAA gave SMU's football program the "death penalty" following a cheating scandal. They played in the same conference until 2012, beginning with the Southwest (1918–1995), then the Western Athletic Conference (1996–2005) and Conference USA (2005–2012). In that time they had met 90 times, with SMU leading 48–41–1.
In 1998 a traveling trophy, the "Mayor's Cup", was introduced to the series, and has been awarded to the winner each year. SMU currently holds the trophy after the 2023 game, but Rice leads the trophy series 9–7. However, SMU and Rice did not play each other from 2013-2022 as SMU left Conference USA for the American Athletic Conference for the 2013 season. On June 15, 2022, Rice announced they would be officially joining the American Athletic Conference for the 2023 season, renewing the series. On November 9, 2022, the American Athletic Conference announced the football scheduling model for the 2023–26 seasons, with Rice–SMU scheduled to meet in 2023, 2024, and 2026.
However, on Sept. 1, 2023, SMU accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic Coast Conference starting in 2024, which once again puts the future of the Mayor's Cup in doubt after 2023.
|Rice victories||SMU victories||Tie games|
- "Winsipedia - Rice Owls vs. SMU Mustangs football series history". Winsipedia.
- "Rice to begin play in American Athletic Conference next year". Rice News and Media Relations. Retrieved 2022-11-09.
- "American Announces Football Scheduling Model for 2023-26 Seasons". theamerican.org. Retrieved 2022-11-09.