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Realistic goals for the Littrell era


Harry
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1).  Consistently competing in and winning football games.  We got a taste of this in 2013.  This will not happen overnight, but I do expect to see us have a much better 2016 season.

2).  Getting a signature win.  We had a good first half against Georgia in 2013, but truthfully - this program has not seen a signature win since the Tennessee win back in the Fry era.  This has to happen at some point if we expect to jump start our fan following.

3).  Fill Apogee.  This is an albatross hanging over the neck of the program right now.  If Littrell could make it happen it would be a defining moment in his career here.  Scheduling some teams who bring fans would help.

4). Connect and reconnect with the fan base.  Embrace them.  Move away from the secret and select.  Open up practices at least to media.  Open up social media.  With our numbers, social media is a strength that is extremely underutilized.  Every person covering the program you can connect with could be spreading the gospel to the masses.  Mac never got this and in the old days it was common to keep everything under wraps until game day.  Now, there is too much competition for the entertainment dollar.

5).  Take chances.  What do you have to lose.  Make the game entertaining.  Mac's conservative nature led to frustrating and boring games.

6). reconnect with our former players.  If we could get all of our former players to get engaged with the program again, we would easily sell out Apogee.  This is not easy, but it can be done.  I would consider creating a staff position focused on this job alone and pay them a bonus based on achievable goals.

Let's hear more!

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I have only one goal for the Littrell era. Conference Championship. I don't care if he does it in year one and jets for a P5. I want a conference championship and nothing else will meet the criteria.

 

Although beating SMU year in and year out will certainly make me like him a lot more. Beatings on the roadbirds are appreciated to.

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1. Recruit Denton. There is an amazing amount of talent in our own backyard.

2. Open practices and his door to the media. We need to be as accommodating to the media as possible.

3. Take some in game chances. Throw caution to the wind. Fake punts, unexpected onside kicks, flea flickers.

4. Hold players accountable.

 

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To me, my list is one item long.  It is nothing more and nothing less than being able to coach kids up that fit his system. 

I think when you look at every example of mid-majors being able to sustain success, that is the one absolutely critical element.  It's the story of why Boise State and TCU have been able to continue to compete at a high level and others, like UCF and USF burn brightly for a few years and then fade into irrelevance again.  You can hit on a bunch of hidden gems, but without a cohesive system with clear expectations and a coaching staff skilled at teaching and molding players to fit their vision, it won't work long term.

If we are being realistic (as was this thread's premise), then we must be honest and realize that we are not a premier destination for top recruits, and we never really have been.  Difference makers with lots of choices rarely come here.  That is not to say that they never will, but that's just the reality of it right now.  Expecting Seth Littrell to come in and immediately start raking in 4 and 5 star recruits is setting yourself up for disappointment.  We may get a smattering of 3s, but probably not enough to fill out an entire squad (and that's assuming we hit on all of them).  I'm more concerned with his ability to locate tweeners who fit his system and put them in a position to be successful.  That's how Gary Patterson did it at TCU.

All the other stuff (season ticket sales, energizing fan base, championships, bowl games) flows simply from winning.  If he wins, those will come.  If he doesn't, they won't.  Having a sparkling personality doesn't mean much without results.  We'd take Bill Belichick's dour grumpiness as long as they're accompanied by victories, right?

Winning cures all ills, but we won't get there unless Littrell has a vision, and can identify and sell his guys on achieving that vision.

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1).  Consistently competing in and winning football games.  We got a taste of this in 2013.  This will not happen overnight, but I do expect to see us have a much better 2016 season.

2).  Getting a signature win.  We had a good first half against Georgia in 2013, but truthfully - this program has not seen a signature win since the Tennessee win back in the Fry era.  This has to happen at some point if we expect to jump start our fan following.

3).  Fill Apogee.  This is an albatross hanging over the neck of the program right now.  If Littrell could make it happen it would be a defining moment in his career here.  Scheduling some teams who bring fans would help.

4). Connect and reconnect with the fan base.  Embrace them.  Move away from the secret and select.  Open up practices at least to media.  Open up social media.  With our numbers, social media is a strength that is extremely underutilized.  Every person covering the program you can connect with could be spreading the gospel to the masses.  Mac never got this and in the old days it was common to keep everything under wraps until game day.  Now, there is too much competition for the entertainment dollar.

5).  Take chances.  What do you have to lose.  Make the game entertaining.  Mac's conservative nature led to frustrating and boring games.

6). reconnect with our former players.  If we could get all of our former players to get engaged with the program again, we would easily sell out Apogee.  This is not easy, but it can be done.  I would consider creating a staff position focused on this job alone and pay them a bonus based on achievable goals.

Let's hear more!

Most of 3, all of 4, 5, and 6 are the athletic director's responsibility. Littrell has enough on his plate without trying to fix things this AD has neglected for years.

Recruit. Coach. Win. And hope you have a new boss before your first season...

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To me, my list is one item long.  It is nothing more and nothing less than being able to coach kids up that fit his system. 

I think when you look at every example of mid-majors being able to sustain success, that is the one absolutely critical element.  It's the story of why Boise State and TCU have been able to continue to compete at a high level and others, like UCF and USF burn brightly for a few years and then fade into irrelevance again.  You can hit on a bunch of hidden gems, but without a cohesive system with clear expectations and a coaching staff skilled at teaching and molding players to fit their vision, it won't work long term.

If we are being realistic (as was this thread's premise), then we must be honest and realize that we are not a premier destination for top recruits, and we never really have been.  Difference makers with lots of choices rarely come here.  That is not to say that they never will, but that's just the reality of it right now.  Expecting Seth Littrell to come in and immediately start raking in 4 and 5 star recruits is setting yourself up for disappointment.  We may get a smattering of 3s, but probably not enough to fill out an entire squad (and that's assuming we hit on all of them).  I'm more concerned with his ability to locate tweeners who fit his system and put them in a position to be successful.  That's how Gary Patterson did it at TCU.

All the other stuff (season ticket sales, energizing fan base, championships, bowl games) flows simply from winning.  If he wins, those will come.  If he doesn't, they won't.  Having a sparkling personality doesn't mean much without results.  We'd take Bill Belichick's dour grumpiness as long as they're accompanied by victories, right?

Winning cures all ills, but we won't get there unless Littrell has a vision, and can identify and sell his guys on achieving that vision.

Great post @mad dog. Let me add my two cents.  I believe we CAN recruit players we need to win in C-USA certainly and perhaps even beyond that.  Dickey was able to with crappy facilities and salaries, heck even Dodge landed enough quality players to lead us to a bowl victory.  So my position is we DID NOT do a good job of identifying and recruiting under Dan McCarney.  We are bringing in a guy who can and will do this.  He HAS to have  a staff that can do it and I think we will do that.

We will never bring in 4-5 star recruits but we can bring in good players, it take work and like you said a consistent plan and focus.  Here are the things I think we sell in no particular order or you base it on the prospect:

1).  Wide open offense, Littrell's history of success with both players, stats and wins.  If you are a QB you would be crazy not to consider being under Littrell.

2). Proximity to your family and friends.  You do not have to leave the state/area to play the game at a high level.  I can promise you, this will help us land some guys we wouldn't otherwise be able to land.  La. Tech knows this as does UTEP and UTSA.

3).  Diversity.  UNT is a good school where you will fit in and be successful.  SMU, Rice and to a lesser extent TCU are private universities who create bubbles for their athletes.

4), Facilities.   Apogee stadium is a jewel and the new Student Union puts UNT in a very respectable place certainly in C-USA.

5).  Academics.  Say what you want about DMac but he did get us to the top of C-USA in terms of academics and graduation rates.  This is important to parents.  We should use it to our advantage.

6). Transfers - there are tons of players who initially choose to go out of state and hate it.  Make it very easy for them to come back here, get closer to home and play.

7).  Walk-ons -- Mac used our walk-on program as a crutch to hide his inefficiencies in scholarship recruiting.  I still believe we have a tremendous opportunity with our lower tuition to really find some gems here as we always have been able to do.  It should not comprise half of our roster however.  It should be a key strength that we have AGAIN due to our location and proximity to DFW.

8).  Potential -- yes we have stunk it up as of late, however less than 2 years ago we brought 40K fans to a January bowl win.  It can happen here and now we have the right staff to maximize our potential.

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Assuming RV won't be here to see a game under Littrell.

Win baby win

Discipline

stacked deck of recruits

Hard slobber knocking tackles

Player development

Develop offensive plans that use our player strengths

A very disciplined weight training program

Discipline

I think we can be bowl eligible in his first year. 

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My hope for the Littrell era is that when it ends, it is because another program is so impressed with what he has done here that they offer him a contract that we can't afford to match. As opposed to the way the last several coaching eras have ended.

What will it take for him to really impress other programs? Would back-to-back 6-6 seasons be enough? That is where this program is at...For him to have a 2 year run of 6-6 at poor lil ole North Texas could sway a larger (richer) program to swoop in. 

Are contract details out yet? Woohoo, Brett....

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7+ win seasons.  Conference championship games at least every other year.

Competitive in our "body bag" games.  Win one every now and then.  See some fight in our dogs, and make plays that shut the home crowd up.

Would love to see Apogee get capacity crowds 6 times a year, assuming RV can schedule more than five home games in a single season?

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My hope for the Littrell era is that when it ends, it is because another program is so impressed with what he has done here that they offer him a contract that we can't afford to match. As opposed to the way the last several coaching eras have ended.

I think with his OU ties his dream job would be there.  With his family proximity it's feasible he could be here for a good amount of time if things play out as we hope.  The compensation package we are offering has put us in a better place.

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1. Beat SMU, and go 6-6 in year one, missing out on a bowl game but drawing enough interest from new recruits to bring in a quality QB. 

2. Year two: go 7-5; bowl game, and continue the upward trajectory of the program. 

3. Year three: 8-4 Playing the CUSA championship or securing a bowl win. 

4. Thereafter: building another 3 years of winning seasons. Or, retain him as long as we can 'till a big school pays to have him as a HC. 

 

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4). Connect and reconnect with the fan base.  Embrace them.  Move away from the secret and select.  Open up practices at least to media.  Open up social media.  With our numbers, social media is a strength that is extremely underutilized.  Every person covering the program you can connect with could be spreading the gospel to the masses.  Mac never got this and in the old days it was common to keep everything under wraps until game day.  Now, there is too much competition for the entertainment dollar.

6). reconnect with our former players.  If we could get all of our former players to get engaged with the program again, we would easily sell out Apogee.  This is not easy, but it can be done.  I would consider creating a staff position focused on this job alone and pay them a bonus based on achievable goals.

 

I really can't stress how important 4 & 6 are.  Our program ranks last in local coverage versus the other metroplex FBS programs even when we have a recent bowl and former player that has made a significant on the field impact for the Dallas Cowboys.  If you do enough winning and take care to 4 & 5.  I think getting a 4 star recruit or 2 every year is not impossible here.  Especially 4 star recruits who don't want to sit on the bench or leave the state in order be on a depth chart that looks easier to conquer.

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