In the movie, the fictional Texas State University plays a football game against Southwest Texas State University, a real university located in San Marcos, TX. In 2003, Southwest Texas State University changed its name to Texas State University at San Marcos.
The predicament of the fictional Texas State football team is based on the scandal surrounding another Texas college, Southern Methodist University. SMU had been placed on probation three times in the 1980s for repeated recruitment violations, such as giving monetary enticements to players and their families. In 1987, SMU was punished under the Repeat Violator Rule, better known as the "death penalty." All football was canceled and scholarships were revoked for 1987, and only away games were allowed in 1988, although the school canceled the 1988 season anyway. The team was refielded in 1989 with an all-tryout squad. The Mustangs did not have a winning season until 2009.