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  1. North Texas: Both the Mean Green and head coach Seth Littrell have a lot of respect for each other, which is why this long-term relationship might end gracefully. UNT was whipped by a moribund UNLV program last weekend, and it’s unlikely they’ll create the bounce-back season the end of 2021 seemed to hint at. Now a significant step behind C-USA/American transition programs like UTSA and UAB, this marriage is likely over. If UNT moved now, they’d only owe Littrell around $1.9 million, although that number could go down if they fired him at season’s end or later. UNT is aspiring to Houston-levels as they enter the American, and this will be a sought-after job. LINK: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/college-football-hot-seat-watch-picking-up-pieces-at-arizona-state-nebraska-whos-next
  2. 32. Grant Gunnell, North Texas (from Memphis) Gunnell is battling Austin Aune in a close battle for the starting job. The former Memphis and Arizona quarterback could give North Texas' offense a needed spark through the air. read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/college-footballs-top-50-impact-transfer-quarterbacks-ranked-for-2022
  3. 8. Grant Gunnell, North Texas Gunnell is listed here for North Texas, but the former Arizona and Memphis signal-caller has to beat Austin Aune for the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. Fall practice is Gunnell's first opportunity for snaps in the Mean Green uniform after spending the 2021 season and '22 spring at Memphis. Gunnell did not record a snap of playing time with the Tigers due to injury, but he previously played in 12 games at Arizona (2019-20) and threw for 1,864 yards and 15 touchdowns to only three picks over 248 attempts. The sample size is still relatively small, but Gunnell's accuracy has been on point (66.5 percent for his career). North Texas averaged under 200 passing yards a game last fall, but coach Seth Littrell hopes for Gunnell to be the missing piece and spark the downfield attack. read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-quarterback-rankings-2022
  4. 5. North Texas After winning 18 games from 2017-18, the Mean Green have slipped to an 8-14 record over the last two years. Scoring points won’t be a problem for coach Seth Littrell’s team in ’21. However, the defense has to show marked improvement to get back to a bowl. Previewing the Offense Strength: The Mean Green led Conference USA in scoring (34.4 ppg), yards per play (6.6), and most gains of 40-plus yards (19) last season. Littrell has to sort out an intriguing quarterback battle between Austin Aune and former North Carolina signal-caller Jace Ruder, but this unit should be explosive once again. DeAndre Torrey and Oscar Adaway III lead a strong backfield, and four starters return from one of the top lines in the league. A healthy Jyaire Shorter at receiver will help replace the production left behind by Jaelon Darden. Concern: Can Aune or Ruder claim the job and play with enough consistency to keep the offense on track all year? Shorter’s return is huge, but North Texas needs a couple of other playmakers to emerge at receiver. The offense has to do a better job at managing turnovers after losing 15 in 2020. Incoming Transfers: QB Jace Ruder; WR Tommy Bush Previewing the Defense Strength: Littrell’s hire of veteran coordinator Phil Bennett was a strong move to get a struggling defense pointed in the right direction. Tackle Dion Novil and linebackers Tyreke Davis and KD Davis are three key players among nine returning defensive starters for North Texas in 2021. Concern: This unit allowed a whopping 42.8 points a game and surrendered 6.94 yards per play last season. Even with a new play-caller and help through the transfer portal, major improvement might be a year away. Incoming Transfers: DB Logan Wilson; DB John Davis; DB TyRae Thornton; DL Kameron Hill; LB Carson Kropp; CB Ridge Texada; LB Sean-Thomas Faulkner; DL Enoch Jackson; DB Greg Francis read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-football-2021-predictions
  5. The 2020 season for Conference USA is headlined by uncertainty in the East Division and a clear front-runner in the West. UAB is Athlon’s projected champion in the 2020 Conference USA predictions, with coach Bill Clark’s squad anchored by a strong defense and an offense poised to improve with a healthy fall out of quarterback Tyler Johnston III and running back Spencer Brown. The East is one of the more difficult divisions to predict in college football. WKU is Athlon’s pick to win it, but Marshall, FAU and Charlotte should all be in the mix. Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech headline the next tier in the West Division, followed by Rice and North Texas as potential bowl teams. UTSA and UTEP round out the bottom of the West. Middle Tennessee and FIU should push for postseason trips out of the East, but Old Dominion is likely a year away from contention. Athlon Sports has released its preseason magazine for 2020, and now it's time to preview and predict the conferences. Below are Athlon's picks and projections for Conference USA in 2020: Read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-football-2020-predictions
  6. Ninety-eight yards, 57 seconds. In one, game-winning drive last October vs. Conference USA rival UT-San Antonio, North Texas quarterback Mason Fine gained a national reputation. The sequence included Fine rolling out and then delivering a bomb through three defenders into the hands of receiver Michael Lawrence. Fine completed the drive when he found wide receiver Rico Bussey up the middle a fraction-of-a-second before a Roadrunners defender made contact. Bussey took Fine's fifth completion of the possession to pay dirt for the win. The drive made highlight shows and was aired on telecasts coming out of timeouts around the nation. "I never felt we couldn’t do it," Fine said. "Looking back on it, the probability of actually pulling that off is really low. But everyone had confidence: the [offensive] line, the coaches, the receivers, and nobody blinked." Fine's assessment of the actual likelihood North Texas could pull off that rally isn't wrong. ESPN.com's Win Probability chart gave the Mean Green a 1.2 percent chance to win when they took the field for that drive. That march down the field there may not be a better quarterback at defying odds than Fine. Despite being recognized as 2014 USA Today Oklahoma Player of the Year at Locust Grove High School, Fine garnered interest mostly from Div. II programs, and just one scholarship offer from a Div. I university: Austin Peay -- which, with a 3-43 record in the previous four seasons, was arguably the worst program in the Football Championship Subdivision. "I’d be lying if I said it didn’t frustrate me, because that was a dream of mine, to play Div. I football," Fine said. "I’ve been working toward that for the past 10 years, then not seeing the letters come in, not seeing the offers come in." Read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/mason-fine-ty-gangi-andrew-ford-lead-group-5-qbs-watch-2018
  7. May 23, 2018 NASHVILLE – Junior quarterback Mason Fineheadlines a group of eight North Texas players named to Athlon Sports’ preseason all Conference USA teams. Fine was selected as the first team quarterback following his breakout season a year ago. The Peggs, Oklahoma, native set single-season program records in passing yards (4,052), passing touchdowns (31), completions (324) and pass attempts (511) on his way to C-USA Offensive Player of the Year honors. He had 17 touchdowns of 20-yards or more, six of which went for 50-plus yards. Four Mean Green players were selected to the second team, with wide receiver Jalen Guyton, tight end Kelvin Smith and Elex Woodworth doing so offensively and defensive lineman Roderick Youngrepresenting the defense. Guyton, last season’s C-USA co-Newcomer of the Year, hauled in 49 catches for 775 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns in 13 appearances in 2017. He averaged 15.8 yards per catch during his first season in Denton. Smith was versatile for North Texas in 2017, factoring heavily in both the passing and running games, while also featuring on several special teams units. He caught 27 passes for 264 yards last season. Woodworth started all 14 games for North Texas and appeared at guard and tackle at different points throughout the season. Young was a key disruptor along the defensive line, finishing with 48 total stops, 6.5 tackles for loss with a pair of sacks and eight quarterback hurries. Three more North Texas players were selected to the third team, with running back Nic Smith and center Sosaia Mose representing the offense and linebacker E.J. Ejiya doing so defensively. Smith carried 138 times for 684 yards and added eight total touchdowns in a backup role last year. Mose appeared in 13 games, making 11 starts for the Mean Green and was instrumental in paving the way for the Mean Green’s potent rushing attack. Ejiya was the team’s leading tackler with 109 total tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss and a team-best 7.0 sacks with a forced fumble. Athlon also projected the Mean Green to repeat as C-USA Western division champions in 2018. North Texas kicks off the 2018 season against Metroplex rival SMU on Saturday, Sept. 1, on the new surface at Apogee Stadium. Season tickets for 2018 are on sale and fans can purchase tickets through the Mean Green athletics ticket office. For more information, visit MeanGreenSports.com or call the ticket office at 940-565-2527 or 800-868-2366. Link: http://www.meangreensports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/052318aaa.html
  8. http://athlonsports.com/college-football/top-25/north-texas-mean-green-2016-preview-and-prediction Looks like Athlon thinks we're the worst of the worst.
  9. As I was digging around about college rankings in a discussion, I stumbled across this article. Puts Alec as the favorite here and ranked as 107 out of 128, ahead of several of our peers (in terms of QB situation). That perception jump from dead last to over 20 spots ahead is a decent boost. Now let's take the upward momentum and actually do something. *Insert Princess Leia hope hologram gif* I'll go on record as saying I don't think we win a whole lot in 2016, but I sure hope we see a lot of fun football games playing Air Littrell . http://athlonsports.com/college-football/college-footballs-pre-spring-1-128-starting-quarterback-rankings-2016
  10. An Offer is Not an Offer Until the LOI is Signed It’s an instant-information, instant-gratification recruiting world we live in, and nothing has proven to be more ambiguous than the scholarship offer. Prospects get lost in coach-speak and half-hearted overtures, oftentimes confusing interest for a concrete, all-expenses-paid invitation to join the program. In taking steps to avoid misinterpretation, assistant coaches Mark Elder and Darrell Dickey say they try to be as crystal-clear as humanly possible. “We don’t deal in committable vs. non-committable,” Elder says. “We’re not offering someone that (we wouldn’t accept) on the same day. That’s not how we do business.” Dickey, the former head coach at North Texas, says he tried to avoid casting an overly-large net knowing he had only 25 spots to fill. “There’s places out there that have 150 offers out and only so many spots,” Dickey says. “I never felt very comfortable having thousands of offers out there and then all of a sudden you’ve got to tell kids you can’t take them.” There’s an important difference, however, between rescinding an offer and a prospect being misled. Unlike in basketball, where coaches can afford to ride out an elite-level prospect’s recruitment until the end due to smaller numbers on the roster, the task for college football coaches is more complex. Every year, there’s a (usually) set number of holes to fill. If a prospect waits too long and a school takes another player at the same position, it’s not that he was lied to about having an offer — he was simply beaten to the spot. “The offer is good at that moment,” Elder says. “But it may not be good all the way up to Signing Day, because we may offer, for example, a couple of other tight ends. It’s good until we fill up at that position.” - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/college-football/13-things-you-need-know-about-college-football-recruiting#sthash.gU1xjArh.dpuf
  11. Athlon picks 2013 All Conference C-USA read more: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-football-2013-all-conference-team
  12. After finishing 2012 on a five-game winning streak, Rice should be Tulsa’s top challenger in the West. The Owls return 18 starters and won’t play Marshall or East Carolina during the regular season. Louisiana Tech and UTEP are neck-and-neck for the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. The Bulldogs suffered a plethora of personnel losses, but welcome Texas Tech transfer Scotty Young at quarterback. The Miners also have a transfer at quarterback – Jameill Showers from Texas A&M - but return only three starters on defense. Both teams have a new coaching staff, with UTEP under the direction of former player Sean Kugler, and Louisiana Tech led by former USF and Connecticut coach Skip Holtz. Tulane, North Texas and UTSA round out the West Division predictions. The Green Wave should show some signs of improvement in 2013, and the schedule is favorable enough to expect a run at bowl eligibility. North Texas is also making progress under third-year coach Dan McCarney, but expecting a huge jump in win total is unlikely for 2013. The Roadrunners went 8-4 in their first season on the FBS level last season. However, the schedule is very challenging, and coach Larry Coker needs another year or two to build depth in the program. Read more: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-football-2013-predictions
  13. No. 13: Is Tony Mitchell an All-American for North Texas? North Texas lost its successful long-time coach Johnny Jones to LSU, but the Mean Green didn’t lose its star player. The 6-8, 235-pound Tony Mitchell, a former Missouri signee before he was an academic nonqualifier, may be North Texas’ top player since the 1970s and could make a run at some postseason hardware after averaging 14.7 points and 10.3 rebounds last season. Read more: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-basketball/college-basketballs-great-68-questions-17-south-region
  14. How good is their latest class? Who knows? Check back in three years or so. But in the around-the-clock world of college football recruiting, there are winners and there are losers. And they get declared now. Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports all take turns ranking players and teams in a lucrative business that makes recruiting a 365-days-a-year obsession for some fans. Recruiting rankings matter. Until they don’t. Five-star players are great. Unless they’re not. Nothing matters more in college football than recruiting. Hire the best coach and it usually doesn’t mean a thing without exceptional players. Yet on the flip side, teams can have exceptional talent and underachieve without proper coaching and discipline. How good are recruiting rankings at predicting future college football success? That’s the difficult question Athlon Sports set out to answer by reevaluating past rankings — all by Rivals, for consistency purposes — and seeing how those results played out on the field. If you talk to coaches, they’re all pleased every single year by their recruiting class. The next coach to stand up on Signing Day and declare, “We did poorly, my bad,” will be the first. Yet privately, coaches know there are winners and losers in recruiting, even if it may take several years for that to become evident. Eight of the past 10 teams with a No. 1 recruiting class by Rivals played for the BCS championship within three years, and seven won the title. The only Rivals No. 1 not to play for a national title within three years was 2006 USC, which would have played for the BCS championship in the 2006 season if the Trojans had not lost on the final weekend. The other No. 1 class not to play for the title within three years is 2010 USC, whose clock is still ticking. Between 2007 and 2011, Alabama produced the best average ranking from Rivals. Nick Saban’s stockpiling of elite talent translated into two national championships in the past three years, plus four straight 10-win seasons. But recruiting rankings aren’t the end-all, be-all, either. If they were, why have Texas, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Georgia all experienced relatively poor seasons recently despite being among the 10 highest-ranked classes over the past five years? Or, the question needs to be asked, were those classes also misevaluated by the analysts from the beginning? Read more: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/college-football-recruiting-rankings-do-they-matter-1
  15. Read more: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/college-football-realignment-winners-and-losers
  16. There’s a drop off after the top three teams in the projected standings, but Louisiana-Monroe, Western Kentucky, North Texas and Troy are all capable of pushing for a fourth-place finish and a winning record. The Warhawks are led by junior quarterback Kolton Browning, who should be healthy after dealing with a sternum injury most of the 2011 season. The Hilltoppers are on the rise, but must replace star running back Bobby Rainey. The Mean Green is in a similar position to Western Kentucky, as they have to replace running back Lance Dunbar, but should have an improved passing attack in 2012. Troy was the conference’s biggest disappointment last year and need a big year from quarterback Corey Robinson to get back in the mix for the conference title. Read more: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/sun-belt-football-2012-predictions
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