There was no doubt Larry Brown would make Southern Methodist relevant again. That happened as soon as the Hall of Famer surprisingly became the Mustangs coach in April.

But SMU already is making noise on the court, too, improving to 8-1 with last weekend's 73-47 pasting of Hofstra. It was SMU's first trip to Brown's home state since 1950, not a bad tour stop for the man who is now the school's biggest celebrity.

Nine games into last season, SMU was 5-4, and Brown has been helped by transfer Nick Russell (15.1 ppg, 4.7 apg), a former Kansas State guard who sat out last season and is the Mustangs' second-leading scorer behind Jalen Jones (15.8 ppg). The schedule will get harder once the Conference USA slate begins, but Brown is the owner of NCAA and NBA titles for a reason.

Regardless of how SMU finishes, the bigger question is how long the 72-year-old coach sticks around. Those around Dallas might actually hope for the pace to slow. The sooner Brown wins, the sooner he will get itchy feet.

- Craig Stouffer