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Gosselin: How can North Texas football emerge from obscurity?


Harry
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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

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Boise State is to Idaho what The University of Arkansas is to Arkansas. They are the biggest school situated in the largest city in the state with no competition.[ unless you consider Idaho and Idaho State ]. I don't understand why we can't have a program as good as ULL. They excel in men's baseball,women's softball,football, and are on the rise in basketball, and do it with far less money than UNT.If ULL can do it,why not North Texas?

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So what is the Boise Model?

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1902241-blueprint-for-building-a-powerhouse-college-football-program

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbelzer/2013/04/04/boise-state-football-and-the-blueprint-for-organizational-greatness/

Have we hired the right coach?

We had a couple of shots at a Signature Win

Have we gotten noticed? Not really

"In other words, the media doesn’t show up to do a feature on your team when you hold opponents to under 10 points per game. No, you’re more likely to stir the pot when you rack up yards and score points."

We dont really have an exciting style of play. We are just now hopefully getting on par with the uniform game, but we are still behind.

We dont really have "THE GUY" yet maybe Mr. Wilson becomes the guy. I have a feeling that with the way we play offense it will most likely be a RB.

 

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I don't believe there is a G5 program out their with the same set of circumstances North Texas faces. What other G5 program is located in a top 10 media market that has two other FBS level programs and an NFL team?

I'm not saying this is an excuse. I just think it is a different set of issues from what Boise had to deal with. Also, I really didn't read anything new in this article.

We all know what North Texas needs to do.

1. Out recruit the other G5s in Texas

2. Win consistanly

3. Improve scheduling

4. Increase marketing throughout the North Texas region

If we do these thing, attendance takes care of itself.

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I don't believe there is a G5 program out their with the same set of circumstances North Texas faces. What other G5 program is located in a top 10 media market that has two other FBS level programs and an NFL team?

As another thread started this morning noted, San Jose State does.  And there are actually two NFL teams in the Bay Area.

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Key Difference:  Chris Peterson.

Chris was hired 2001 as a coordinator by then Boise Coach Dan Hawkins.

He went on to be head coach at Boise in 2005 and the thing just exploded.

In 2006 they went undefeated and the BOR approved an $850K a year salary because they realized his immense value.  He would stay until 2013 despite many suitors and tons more money.

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Key Difference:  Chris Peterson.

Chris was hired 2001 as a coordinator by then Boise Coach Dan Hawkins.

He went on to be head coach at Boise in 2005 and the thing just exploded.

In 2006 they went undefeated and the BOR approved an $850K a year salary because they realized his immense value.  He would stay until 2013 despite many suitors and tons more money.

They found their right coach and they chose to take football seriously. 

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Would love to do an impromptu quiz of Lee Jackson, the BOR and mayor of Denton, city council etc..

1).  What conference is UNT in

2).  Who is their football head coach

3).  What was their record last year?

My guess is if you asked the same questions in Boise they would know the answers and be able to go even deeper...

 

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Key Difference:  Chris Peterson.

Chris was hired 2001 as a coordinator by then Boise Coach Dan Hawkins.

He went on to be head coach at Boise in 2005 and the thing just exploded.

In 2006 they went undefeated and the BOR approved an $850K a year salary because they realized his immense value.  He would stay until 2013 despite many suitors and tons more money.

Excellent point.  At that time Dickey was on a roll, taking the Mean Green to 4 straight bowls, but he was never able to consistently beat P5 programs, and never beat a ranked team. He struggled and in December 2006 we spent peanuts ($225,000) to hire Dodge (6-37). I assume we believed we were getting the next Art Briles. It was a gamble and we lost.

Two very different paths over that time period.

 

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Would love to do an impromptu quiz of Lee Jackson, the BOR and mayor of Denton, city council etc..

1).  What conference is UNT in

2).  Who is their football head coach

3).  What was their record last year?

My guess is if you asked the same questions in Boise they would know the answers and be able to go even deeper...

 

We don't need a quiz.  What we need is a "no shit"  series of meetings between the people you mentioned, Lee Jackson, the BOR and Mayor of Denton, City Council President, and the President of UNT, Neal President Smatresk.  The purpose of the meeting:  How can we move University of North Texas Athletics to a higher level, benefiting the University, the students and student athletics, the City of Denton, and the County of Denton.  The success of Boise State should be used as the benchmark.

Somehow UNT needs to set a new path.  If it means "clearing the air" between the University and the City, then get it all out in the open and discuss, solve the problem, get UNT back(?) on track to succeed in sports.  What is our vision for UNT athletics and how are we going to get there.

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Other than a few years of scattered success, we have been this way since I became a fan many, many years ago. I'm not confident our situation will ever change in my lifetime. 

We do have good company however; the Chicago Cubs, New Mexico State, Charlie Brown, Brazil, and Adlai Stevenson to name just a few.

 

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Key Difference:  Chris Peterson.

Chris was hired 2001 as a coordinator by then Boise Coach Dan Hawkins.

He went on to be head coach at Boise in 2005 and the thing just exploded.

In 2006 they went undefeated and the BOR approved an $850K a year salary because they realized his immense value.  He would stay until 2013 despite many suitors and tons more money.

Ding, ding, ding!

We could pore over all the countless factors that give one FBS-level program natural advantages over another, but all of those really pale in comparison to these two:

1.  Make a home run head coaching hire.  If you really do this right, the guy you hire will bring with him a coaching staff loaded with potential so that when this home run hire leaves for more money, you'll be just fine.

2.  Give the aforementioned home run head coach a winnable schedule.  Even if you are lucky enough to land the home run hire, he has to string together two or three double-digit win seasons.  Then, and only then (after reaping the immediate benefits of winning:  breaking into the rankings, huge recruiting bump, sold-out home games), can you really start thumping your chest and challenging the big boys.  If you wait until that moment in your program's development to take on those mountainous challenges--well, then you just might win one.  And, winning against the big boys, folks, is how you you take your program from obscurity to relevance in the eyes of the casual college football fan who only really gives a rat's ass about the big boys.    

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I don't believe there is a G5 program out their with the same set of circumstances North Texas faces. What other G5 program is located in a top 10 media market that has two other FBS level programs and an NFL team?

I'm not saying this is an excuse...

 

And then you give several. 

 

This is is a huge problem with our fan base and donors. What about S. Florida's situation? La. Tech's 3 years ago? 

 

Again, maybe we should consider the AD and the school administration as the "set of circumstances" that most limits this program.

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Other than a few years of scattered success, we have been this way since I became a fan many, many years ago. I'm not confident our situation will ever change in my lifetime. 

We do have good company however; the Chicago Cubs, New Mexico State, Charlie Brown, Brazil, and Adlai Stevenson to name just a few.

 

Adlai Stevenson only lost twice. And both times were the "big event". North Texas would take that.

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We don't need a quiz.  What we need is a "no shit"  series of meetings between the people you mentioned, Lee Jackson, the BOR and Mayor of Denton, City Council President, and the President of UNT, Neal President Smatresk.  The purpose of the meeting:  How can we move University of North Texas Athletics to a higher level, benefiting the University, the students and student athletics, the City of Denton, and the County of Denton.  The success of Boise State should be used as the benchmark.

Somehow UNT needs to set a new path.  If it means "clearing the air" between the University and the City, then get it all out in the open and discuss, solve the problem, get UNT back(?) on track to succeed in sports.  What is our vision for UNT athletics and how are we going to get there.

Here's my worry about doing a meeting like that...I don't think that they all like UNT Football, as a matter of fact, I strongly believe that many of them loathe the program because of its costs and its "boorishness". These people like arts and music, just like their constituents. I wouldn't put it past all of them to get together in a confernece room and decide to drop football altogether, then use Apogee for high school games and concerts, as well as to make it the home of The Green Brigade.

There's no way you can convince me that all of those people care about UNT Athletics, much less want to raise them to a higher level--that would cost money. I do think that all of them would want to make sure that music got taken care of properly, though...and Apogee would make for a fine marching band venue in their minds.

Athletics won't get elevated here unless the BOR/administration make a concerned pivot towards increasing funding of the program. I don't care if our budget is top 3 in CUSA right now. If it means that we are stuck with bad coaches, then that figure doesn't equate to anything good. And right now, Tony Benford is getting a 4th year as our coach because we can't/won't buy him out, just as we did with Todd Dodge and Vic Trilli in years past, as well as Darrell Dickey back in 2001 when a BOR member flat out told RV he couldn't fire him in the middle of a season, even tough he was 0-5 at that point in his 4th year, following three seasons where he went 8-26. Until winning at revenue sports becomes the ultimate goal, which would require a complete sea change at the top levels of the BOR and administration, you are going to see Coach Mac get three more years on his contract, bar none. He can literally go 0-12 this year and next and keep his job witht he current mindset. And RV is here for life, no matter what. That part cannot even be debated. If you get 14 years here with the records of the revenue sports he has had, you know he really can just stay here until he wants to retire.

I don't see us going down a different path. The city doesn't want it, the university's leadership doesn't want to fund it, and the overwhelming amount of students and alumni don't care. My guess is that the diehards on here will continue to follow and fund the program, while the 5 or 6 big money donors will still get RV's undivided attention so they can brag to their friends about being tight with the AD, and we will still enjoy games at Apogee, because its not decrepit old Fouts, even if the opponenets are basically the same as those we played when we were playing at Fouts. Its just how it works around here...it has been for decades, some a bit better (the 60s and 70s) and some a lot worse (the 80s and 90s).

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untjim1995, if it's that bad then stick a fork in me.  We'll never get anywhere if that's the attitude from the leaders.

How long have you followed UNT Sports? Its been a long time, as in many decades, correct? That fork has already been stuck in you and me for years--we just continue to go and watch the team(s) play, unlike the other 98% of the university's family.

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Here's my worry about doing a meeting like that...I don't think that they all like UNT Football, as a matter of fact, I strongly believe that many of them loathe the program because of its costs and its "boorishness". These people like arts and music, just like their constituents. I wouldn't put it past all of them to get together in a confernece room and decide to drop football altogether, then use Apogee for high school games and concerts, as well as to make it the home of The Green Brigade.

There's no way you can convince me that all of those people care about UNT Athletics, much less want to raise them to a higher level--that would cost money. I do think that all of them would want to make sure that music got taken care of properly, though...and Apogee would make for a fine marching band venue in their minds.

Athletics won't get elevated here unless the BOR/administration make a concerned pivot towards increasing funding of the program. I don't care if our budget is top 3 in CUSA right now. If it means that we are stuck with bad coaches, then that figure doesn't equate to anything good. And right now, Tony Benford is getting a 4th year as our coach because we can't/won't buy him out, just as we did with Todd Dodge and Vic Trilli in years past, as well as Darrell Dickey back in 2001 when a BOR member flat out told RV he couldn't fire him in the middle of a season, even tough he was 0-5 at that point in his 4th year, following three seasons where he went 8-26. Until winning at revenue sports becomes the ultimate goal, which would require a complete sea change at the top levels of the BOR and administration, you are going to see Coach Mac get three more years on his contract, bar none. He can literally go 0-12 this year and next and keep his job witht he current mindset. And RV is here for life, no matter what. That part cannot even be debated. If you get 14 years here with the records of the revenue sports he has had, you know he really can just stay here until he wants to retire.

I don't see us going down a different path. The city doesn't want it, the university's leadership doesn't want to fund it, and the overwhelming amount of students and alumni don't care. My guess is that the diehards on here will continue to follow and fund the program, while the 5 or 6 big money donors will still get RV's undivided attention so they can brag to their friends about being tight with the AD, and we will still enjoy games at Apogee, because its not decrepit old Fouts, even if the opponenets are basically the same as those we played when we were playing at Fouts. Its just how it works around here...it has been for decades, some a bit better (the 60s and 70s) and some a lot worse (the 80s and 90s).

who told you a member of the BOR told RV he couldn't fire Dickey? If RV is the source, I would be highly suspicious of that ever happened.

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How long have you followed UNT Sports? Its been a long time, as in many decades, correct? That fork has already been stuck in you and me for years--we just continue to go and watch the team(s) play, unlike the other 98% of the university's family.

How long?  Long enough to watch Joe Green in August two-a-days at the practice field near Fouts.  Took a hiatus when the Government hired me(drafted) after graduation.  Only since the internet and GoMeanGreen.com have I been firmly attached to UNT football.  Costly mistake on my part.

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