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The rebuilding North Texas Mean Green in 2016


Harry
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1. Why isn't North Texas good more often?

Back in the late-'90s, when I was busy playing EA's NCAA Football in the dorms, my friends and I noticed an interesting development. By the fourth or fifth year of every simulation, North Texas had become a mid-major power. Once or twice, the Mean Green became a top-five team.

The AI for the game eventually improved, but it wasn't hard to see why the early version would assume a team from Denton could make it into a higher echelon. If you've got to be a mid-major, being a mid-major 40 miles from Dallas isn't too bad an idea. In the simulation, UNT would land enough local recruits to be competitive, win some games, then land more local recruits.

It was so logical that UNT could become a decent program, that almost two decades later, I get a little bit thrown off when the Mean Green aren't. And to be sure, they've spent most of their FBS existence being less than decent. Since rejoining FBS in 1995, they have attended five bowls, but four came in a four-year stretch. Darrell Dickey led them to four New Orleans Bowl appearances in a row from 2001-05. Before then, they averaged just 3.2 wins per season. Since, they've averaged 3.

This doesn't make a lot of sense. The facilities could be worse. Apogee Stadium still has a bit of new stadium smell to it. The money isn't atrocious. The access to talent is solid for a mid-major.

Steven Godfrey and I mentioned UNT as a "why aren't they better?" program in last week's Podcast Ain't Played Nobody.

It looked like Dan McCarney had things figured out for a while. Combining a host of veterans with key transfers, McCarney led UNT to a 9-4 season in 2013, the Mean Green's first in Conference USA. It looked replicable. But it wasn't, at least not for McCarney. An inexperienced squad went 4-8 in 2014, and the Mean Green put a stunning level of awfulness onto the field in 2015. They were 128th, dead last, in the S&P+ rankings. They went 1-11 and came within 14 points of an opponent only one other time. They lost to Portland State by 59 points.

They lost to Portland State by 59 points.

It was predictable that McCarney would be dumped. Mike Canales played out the string, leading UNT to its only win and at least sustaining a slightly higher level of play.

read more:  http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/2/8/10916556/north-texas-2016-preview-schedule-roster

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Its really hard to argue any of that post. I think we all felt that way when we moved up to Division 1-A in 1995. I know that I thought the SBC run was a the trampoline to move us upward. Instead, the trampoline broke. We hired two other guys to bring their own trampolines, but Dodge's was broken from the start and McCarney had one that might have worked, but he refused to jump on it.

It is amazing how bad we have gotten, especially being in Texas as a university that has fielded a team for 100+ years. We will be favored, most likely, in 2016 in one game, as the post showed, against Bethune-Cookman. Maybe we do win 3-4 games, as that suggested, but I think that would be an outrageously optimistic thought. Just don't lose to Bethune-Cookman and win another game somewhere else--that would be a good sign for us, basically equaling what SMU did under Morris in his first season, after June Jones last team went 1-11.

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I can tell you why:

RV = Teflon Todd & Dan McCarney. 

That's a decades worth of futility. Now, NT has a bigger budget, a new stadium, new athletic buildings, and a student base that is ready for a consistent winner.  It can take off with several seasons of good football....

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6 hours ago, Got5onIt said:

I can tell you why:

RV = Teflon Todd & Dan McCarney. 

That's a decades worth of futility. Now, NT has a bigger budget, a new stadium, new athletic buildings, and a student base that is ready for a consistent winner.  It can take off with several seasons of good football....

I agree. We've finally got stuff in place to make it happen. Whether we will or not is another question.

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13 hours ago, Got5onIt said:

I can tell you why:

RV = Teflon Todd & Dan McCarney. 

That's a decades worth of futility. Now, NT has a bigger budget, a new stadium, new athletic buildings, and a student base that is ready for a consistent winner.  It can take off with several seasons of good football....

UNT has had all of this for the past 5 years.

This thread is a great example of the denial in this fan base. A coach that has done nothing, recruited a below average class, has an 0-0 record, yet those in complete denial think he is the messiah that will transform the program. 

Thats not the way college football works. Not at UNT, Not at Alabama, and not at any program in between. 

Seth Littrell doesn't know something that no other college coach in America doesn't know. That's not the way it works. This is a 3-9 team at best next year. Notice that people who write for a living and aren't juiced up on a cocktail of green Kool-aid mixed with a large amount of denial believe the same?

Pat RV on the back next time you see him. Tell him the distraction plan of creating faux-excitement over a new coach worked to perfection, at least on you. He will appreciate the affirmation. 

Nothing ever changes at UNT, and you goofs can't seem to process why that is. Head shakingly funny.

Edited by UNT90
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3 hours ago, UNT90 said:

UNT has had all of this for the past 5 years.

This thread is a great example of the denial in this fan base. A coach that has done nothing, recruited a below average class, has an 0-0 record, yet those in complete denial think he is the messiah that will transform the program. 

Thats not the way college football works. Not at UNT, Not at Alabama, and not at any program in between. 

Seth Littrell doesn't know something that no other college coach in America doesn't know. That's not the way it works. This is a 3-9 team at best next year. Notice that people who write for a living and aren't juiced up on a cocktail of green Kool-aid mixed with a large amount of denial believe the same?

Pat RV on the back next time you see him. Tell him the distraction plan of creating faux-excitement over a new coach worked to perfection, at least on you. He will appreciate the affirmation. 

Nothing ever changes at UNT, and you goofs can't seem to process why that is. Head shakingly funny.

 

Where in my post did you see me mention Littrell???? 

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5 hours ago, UNT90 said:

UNT has had all of this for the past 5 years.

This thread is a great example of the denial in this fan base. A coach that has done nothing, recruited a below average class, has an 0-0 record, yet those in complete denial think he is the messiah that will transform the program. 

Thats not the way college football works. Not at UNT, Not at Alabama, and not at any program in between. 

Seth Littrell doesn't know something that no other college coach in America doesn't know. That's not the way it works. This is a 3-9 team at best next year. Notice that people who write for a living and aren't juiced up on a cocktail of green Kool-aid mixed with a large amount of denial believe the same?

Pat RV on the back next time you see him. Tell him the distraction plan of creating faux-excitement over a new coach worked to perfection, at least on you. He will appreciate the affirmation. 

Nothing ever changes at UNT, and you goofs can't seem to process why that is. Head shakingly funny.

Look, few people are thrilled that we've had to get by with this type of recruiting class.  We ditched football in the 80s and fiddle in the 90s.  Nobody waited for us to catch up.  Blame lies everywhere.

However...the hope with Littrell is this:  schools like Baylor, Houston, and TCU also stumbled through years of futility until they found guys who could coach up their two-star and less recruits to overachieve year after year after year until the programs got their sea legs.

I've said before, the program won't be turned around in recruiting class, but by coaching.  It's a simple as that. 

Because of the 80s and 90s, the best we'll be able to hope for is to be a G5 power.  That would be fine.  But, Littrell...or someone else...will have to do what Franchione/Patterson did at TCU, Briles did at Baylor, and Briles/Sumlin did at Houston. 

 

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