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6. Seth Littrell, North Texas - After an encouraging 5-8 debut season in 2016, North Texas burst on to the scene last year with a surprising 9-5 record and captured their first C-USA West division title. Littrell’s Air Raid offense has been a perfect fit for UNT and the Mean Green should be in store for another dynamite season as star players Mason Fine, Jalen Guyton and Michael Lawrence all return. Littrell has turned around North Texas without the recruiting success you’d expect from a coach who’s located in the talent-rich DFW metroplex, nor the coaching stability as his staff was raided by P5 schools before last year’s breakthrough season. The former tells me that Littrell is a great developer of talent who knows how to get the most out of his players, while the latter shows that Littrell has a good eye for coaching talent. read more: https://www.underdogdynasty.com/2018/5/7/17174894/g5-head-coaching-candidates-on-the-rise-neal-brown-bryan-harsin-mike-norvell-group-of-five-p5-fcs
From Underdog Dynasty... "UTSA vs. UNT is the Texas Rivalry the Conference Needs Strange but true— UTSA vs. UNT is the most heated active college football rivalry in the state of Texas. The Roadrunners turned in an impressive defensive effort to gain a 3-1 series lead over UNT in what has turned into a really fun rivalry. While the Halloween weekend attendance was underwhelming (19,553), the atmosphere in the Alamodome was boisterous as Roadrunner and Mean Green fans jawed with one another as UTSA built their lead. Former UNT offensive lineman Mason Y’Barro infamously described UTSA as “soft and unphysical” after their loss to the Roadrunners in 2013 and UTSA sophomore running back Jalen Rhodes sniped back after last night’s win on the post-game radio show, claiming that “we were told they weren’t a physical team and that turned out to be right”. Additionally, varying accusations of Mean Green players urinating on the Alamodome turf have been floating around messages boards and social media this morning. Whether true or not, this rivalry is clearly ratcheting up in intensity with each passing year. Conference USA would be wise to work with the individual schools to brand and promote the rivalry as well as ensuring that it will be broadcast on national television or ESPN3 in coming seasons." http://www.underdogdynasty.com/conference-usa/2016/10/30/13471682/cusa-week-nine-three-things-david-bailiff-rice-charlie-partridge-fau-unt-utsa
Dan McCarney is your classic Big 10 guy. He preaches smashmouth football, clock control, and teams that are led by defense. His first year at North Texas featured an offense led by 1000-yard rusher Lance Dunbar (now a Dallas Cowboy). His second year at North Texas featured a stable of young running backs, and a stout defense. Brandin Byrd anchored is third year with another 1,000 yard performance. The defense is and was always anchored by a middle linebacker- in 2011, 2012, and 2013 it was Zach Orr (now a member of the Baltimore Ravens) who was the heart and soul of the defense. In 2014, it is Derek Akune. At Iowa State he did much of the same- run, run, run, control the clock, and play good defense. He had one or two 1,000 yard rushers during his tenure, but his defenses had the unfortunate task of going up against Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri, rather than UAB, Rice, UTSA, and Marshall (no knock on any of those programs). Read more: http://www.underdogdynasty.com/2014/9/16/6149955/dajon-imo-the-zone-read-era-starts-at-north-texas