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  1. SMU, TCU, North Texas and UT-Arlington have a combined 340,000 alumni living in North Texas. Factor in the students and the corporate influence, and I find it hard to believe this town couldn't generate a couple of crowds of 20,000 in downtown Dallas in November or December for a college basketball hug. "I think it would be great for the community," UT-Arlington athletic director Jim Baker said. "It would be great for college basketball. It would be great for our fan bases to build up some rivalries. Plus everyone is looking at their budgets. There's no travel costs and no missed school. What's the downside?" College basketball is on the upswing locally. Why not celebrate it? It works in Boston, Detroit and Philadelphia. It can work in Dallas, too. http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/collegesports/2016/01/24/gosselin-celebrate-college-hoops-dallas-annual-tourney-featuring-locals-work
  2. DENTON — Let me take you back to 1999. The Boise State football program wasn’t much different from the North Texas program back then. Both schools were in the Big West Conference and both had small fan bases. Boise averaged 20,107 fans for its home schedule that season and North Texas 13,752. Only 11,648 showed up in Denton on Oct. 16 of that year to see North Texas defeat Boise State, 17-10. That dropped the Broncos to 4-3. But Boise State has not been the same program since then. The Broncos won their final five games of the regular season to capture the Big West, then upset Louisville in the Humanitarian Bowl. Since its last visit to Denton, Boise State has become a brand name in college football. The Broncos have posted a 173-28 record with victories over Arizona State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU and Virginia Tech. Boise has won 11 championships in three different conferences, participated in 14 bowls and finished seasons with a top-20 ranking nine times. If Boise State can do it, why can’t North Texas? If one underdog can do it, why can’t another, especially one that calls Texas its home recruiting base? Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20150726-gosselin-how-can-north-texas-football-emerge-from-obscurity-boise-state-provides-a-blueprint.ece
  3. AUSTIN — It took Charlie Strong all of 25 minutes to finally put the “T” back in Texas. With about five minutes left in the first half Saturday, the Longhorns were sitting on a first-and-goal at the North Texas 3. On first down, Texas handed the ball off to Johnathan Gray over the left side for two yards to the 1. On second down, Texas handed the ball off to Gray again over the left side. No gain. On third down, Texas handed the ball off to Gray once again over the left side. No gain. On fourth down, Strong didn’t trot out the field-goal team in his head coaching debut at Texas. This wasn’t a night to settle for anything. This was a night to make a statement. With the crowd of 93,201 imploring Strong to go for it, he did — and quarterback David Ash won a footrace to the right corner of the end zone on a bootleg for the touchdown. That made it 21-0 on the way to a 38-7 victory over an overmatched North Texas team. But this game was all about Strong putting his stamp on Texas football. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20140830-gosselin-charlie-strong-did-indeed-put-the-t-back-in-texas--at-least-for-a-night.ece
  4. It's a game for North Texas. It's also a paycheck. But North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal sees the season opener at Texas on Saturday as something a bit more -- an opportunity. The road to Austin may be a new one for the Mean Green. But its a road familiar to Villarreal. Opportunity awaits. When Villarreal was an associate athletic director at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles signed up for some big paychecks against national powers. Southern Miss, then an unheralded independent, visited Florida State in 1989 and both Alabama and Auburn in 1990. The Golden Eagles, shockingly, won all three games, whipping then No. 6 ranked Florida State 30-26 in the 1989 season opener, then toppling No. 13 Alabama 27-24 and No. 15 Auburn 13-12 the following season. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/unt-mean-green/20140827-gosselin-north-texas-ad-an-upset-veteran-sees-austin-trip-as-game-changer.ece
  5. DENTON The football has never been in the air on Saturdays as much as it has been in todays college game. In 2000, just one college team passed for 4,000 yards and only 17 amassed as many as 3,000 yards. That was before the explosion of spread offenses. Teams now fan out three, four and five receivers across the formation and throw, throw, throw. There were 58 teams that passed for 3,000 yards in 2013, 14 of which passed for 4,000 yards and two that hit 5,000 yards. College football has become a game of finesse. Its become fast-break basketball on turf. But not at Michigan State. The Spartans major in physical football. They run it on offense and smash you in the mouth on defense. Despite finishing 82nd in the NCAA in passing, the Spartans won both a Big Ten title and Rose Bowl and claimed a No. 3 final ranking. Stanford also majors in physical football. The Cardinal run it on offense and smash you in the mouth on defense. Despite finishing 92nd in the NCAA in passing, Stanford won a Pac-12 title and claimed a No. 11 final ranking. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20140818-gosselin-old-school-approach-does-big-things-for-unt-aka-the-stanford-of-c-usa.ece
  6. Question: There's some scuttlebutt that North Texas is going to beat Texas in their first game of the football season. What say you? Also, how disastrous would that be for Charlie Strong? Gosselin: I doubt that's the scuttlebutt in Austin. Maybe in Denton. I'll be attending and columnizing from that game, by the way. I think North Texas will be competitive with Texas. We saw how competitive the Mean Green could be a year ago at Georgia. But the schools from the power conferences tend to wear down the smaller schools with their depth in the second half of games. Texas has better players than North Texas, and the better players win most games. But Dan McCarney has it up and running at North Texas. Charlie Strong is trying to get the program up and running again at Texas. A loss to North Texas would rankle the Orangebloods to no end. But I'll go with the Longhorns in a closer-than-you'd-expect game. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/headlines/20140811-gosselin-why-unt-texas-in-week-1-will-be-closer-than-you-expect.ece
  7. UNIVERSITY PARK — The NCAA pronounced the SMU Mustangs guilty by association Sunday. Guilty of association with the new American Athletic Conference. There were five basketball teams from the fledgling AAC in the final Associated Press basketball poll last week: No. 5 Louisville, No. 13 Cincinnati, No. 19 Memphis, No. 21 Connecticut and No. 25 SMU. Four of those teams were extended invitations Sunday to participate in the 68-team NCAA Tournament. SMU was not and will settle for the National Invitation Tournament, in which it will host UC Irvine in a first-round game Wednesday night. “At the end of the day, I don’t think they felt our conference was worthy of having five teams in,” SMU coach Larry Brown said. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20140316-gosselin-smu-suffers-because-american-athletic-conference-an-afterthought-in-ncaa-tournament.ece
  8. UNIVERSITY PARK — The Big East represented SMU’s return ticket to the big time. It had been a long and arduous climb back for the Mustangs since the NCAA shut down the football program with its death penalty in 1987. Then came SMU’s departure from the Southwest Conference in 1996 and low-mileage stops in the Western Athletic Conference and Conference USA. But with the announcement in December 2011 that SMU had accepted an invitation to join the Big East, the Mustangs were back on the map. Football rivalries loomed with rising powers Boise State and Louisville plus basketball rivalries with the likes of Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette and Notre Dame. An automatic conference bid in the BCS, a league basketball tournament in New York City and millions of dollars in television revenue figured to enhance SMU’s marriage to the Big East. June Jones had taken the football team to three consecutive bowls, and the Mustangs hired legendary coach Larry Brown to resurrect the basketball program. SMU envisioned a glorious, uplifting future when the school hired Rick Hart as athletic director last July. Then came the nightmare. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20130401-gosselin-as-former-big-east-withers-smu-must-win-now--or-get-left-out-in-the-cold.ece
  9. For the first time ever, all three schools hired new coaches in the same off-season. You’d have to go back to 1975 to find the last time two of the schools hired new coaches the same year, much less three. And that’s great news for high school basketball in Dallas, Fort Worth and all the suburbs that surround the two hubs of the Dallas area. The stakes have been raised. All three coaches — Larry Brown at SMU, Trent Johnson at TCU and Tony Benford at North Texas — plan to make local talent an emphasis in their recruiting. “I was shocked when I saw the talent here,” Brown said. “I’ve seen some kids who are pretty special. I don’t know that we have a chance [at them], but I don’t want to lower the bar for us.” Don’t look for any of the three new coaches to lower the bar. Brown has the cachet. He’s the only coach in history to have won an NCAA and NBA title and has already been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. What recruit isn’t going to answer the door when Larry Brown comes a knocking? Johnson has been selected coach of the year in three different conferences — the WAC (Nevada) in 2003, Pac-10 (Stanford) in 2008 and SEC (LSU) in 2009. He’s taken teams to five NCAA Tournaments and reached a pair of Sweet 16s. What recruit isn’t going to answer the door when Johnson comes a knocking? This is the first head coaching opportunity for Benford, but he arrives in Texas with a slight edge over Brown and Johnson. His primary recruiting responsibility over the last 20 seasons as an assistant at New Mexico, Arizona State, Nebraska and Marquette has been the state of Texas. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/headlines/20120510-gosselin-new-smu-tcu-unt-basketball-coaches-to-pan-area-for-gold.ece
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