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
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
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