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  1. 1. Why isn't North Texas good more often? Back in the late-'90s, when I was busy playing EA's NCAA Football in the dorms, my friends and I noticed an interesting development. By the fourth or fifth year of every simulation, North Texas had become a mid-major power. Once or twice, the Mean Green became a top-five team. The AI for the game eventually improved, but it wasn't hard to see why the early version would assume a team from Denton could make it into a higher echelon. If you've got to be a mid-major, being a mid-major 40 miles from Dallas isn't too bad an idea. In the simulation, UNT would land enough local recruits to be competitive, win some games, then land more local recruits. It was so logical that UNT could become a decent program, that almost two decades later, I get a little bit thrown off when the Mean Green aren't. And to be sure, they've spent most of their FBS existence being less than decent. Since rejoining FBS in 1995, they have attended five bowls, but four came in a four-year stretch. Darrell Dickey led them to four New Orleans Bowl appearances in a row from 2001-05. Before then, they averaged just 3.2 wins per season. Since, they've averaged 3. This doesn't make a lot of sense. The facilities could be worse. Apogee Stadium still has a bit of new stadium smell to it. The money isn't atrocious. The access to talent is solid for a mid-major. Steven Godfrey and I mentioned UNT as a "why aren't they better?" program in last week's Podcast Ain't Played Nobody. It looked like Dan McCarney had things figured out for a while. Combining a host of veterans with key transfers, McCarney led UNT to a 9-4 season in 2013, the Mean Green's first in Conference USA. It looked replicable. But it wasn't, at least not for McCarney. An inexperienced squad went 4-8 in 2014, and the Mean Green put a stunning level of awfulness onto the field in 2015. They were 128th, dead last, in the S&P+ rankings. They went 1-11 and came within 14 points of an opponent only one other time. They lost to Portland State by 59 points. They lost to Portland State by 59 points. It was predictable that McCarney would be dumped. Mike Canales played out the string, leading UNT to its only win and at least sustaining a slightly higher level of play. read more: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/2/8/10916556/north-texas-2016-preview-schedule-roster
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