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BillySee58

Mason Plus Seth Equaled Accelerated Winning

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So was it easier to be a mean green fan when we had no expectations of winning and we did it was appreciated? I think I would rather be disappointed by a 9-4 season.

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I wonder if people will still talk about 2015 when we're flirting with 30 ppg on D again? 4 years removed and an entire roster transformation. Just trying to get the excuse train moving in the right direction early for some of you guys...

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37 minutes ago, BillySee58 said:

I posted this after the UTEP loss and, unfortunately, the events of the rest of the season seemed to back it up. 

“For the last two years Fine, the receivers, the coaching staff, and a few other stalwarts have hid the fact that, from a talent standpoint, this roster has not been built up to the level that their record would indicate

This offensive line still does not have all conference guys, and has been exposed. The defense has played well but we’ve also seen lack of depth hurt the team in recent games. 

This is a good team, and a solid roster, but this was never a UCF type, 13-0 roster. That’s why it’s not just “oh we barely beat one of the worst FBS teams, that’s not good.” It’s that there are some concerning trends and some weaknesses that we were always winning in spite of to begin with being exposed more recently.”

The question I keep seeing asked is why can’t Seth Littrell win “big games?” Well, other than Fine and a few other key players, do we really have the roster to? Who are the best teams that we have actually beaten under Littrell? This year and last year, who are the best teams we beat? Two 6-win teams in Liberty and Southern Miss this year? Last year, UAB and Army at home on last-second field goals? 

 Whenever we would win I kept seeing the “I thought this staff couldn’t recruit” comments, but this roster as a whole was made up of lower-half CUSA recruiting classes and McCarney classes that understandably failed to stay intact through the coaching change. It really isn’t that surprising that teams who are actually good seem to take us to the woodshed.

The good news is that we are finally set to sign a number 1 in CUSA recruiting class this Wednesday, and I would expect something similar for the 2020 class. The bad news is, Fine is a senior and we don’t know what we have behind him. Plus, most players from this class won’t be able to help next year and most of those that will are going to be a downgrade from the guys they’re replacing (i.e. Ejiya, Garner, Brooks, Hall).

Also, we have enough guys coming back next year where we absolutely can take that next step. Gonna be a huge offseason for this program to make sure they capitalize on the last year of Fine and make sure they are setup well for life after him.

This.

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1 minute ago, NorthTexasWeLove said:

I wonder if people will still talk about 2015 when we're flirting with 30 ppg on D again? 4 years removed and an entire roster transformation. Just trying to get the excuse train moving in the right direction early for some of you guys...

Not sure what you mean by excuse train when I point out that Littrell’s first three classes were not of good quality and it showed. Also, I just searched this page for “2015” and only one post came up mentioning that season. Let me quote post it below.

 

2 minutes ago, NorthTexasWeLove said:

I wonder if people will still talk about 2015 when we're flirting with 30 ppg on D again? 4 years removed and an entire roster transformation. Just trying to get the excuse train moving in the right direction early for some of you guys...

 

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39 minutes ago, southsideguy said:

So was it easier to be a mean green fan when we had no expectations of winning and we did it was appreciated? I think I would rather be disappointed by a 9-4 season.

Maybe. It’s college football. College football fans are always going to convince themselves that the team is more than they really are before the season. I’d rather be disappointed with 9 wins that disappointed with 4.

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3 minutes ago, BillySee58 said:

Not sure what you mean by excuse train when I point out that Littrell’s first three classes were not of good quality and it showed. Also, I just searched this page for “2015” and only one post came up mentioning that season. Let me quote post it below.

 

 

I wasn't referring to you, at all. You are level headed into reality. 

But the same suspects will jump on the 'remember 2015' next year when things get weary...almost like the Alamo or something. 

Edited by NorthTexasWeLove
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I think we're gonna be in even more shootouts next year. Our LB's behind EJ and Garner look completely lost, we lose Brooks and Hall, and Rod Young.

Our OL/DL is not good enough to win anything. We'll probably end up going 7-5 or something next year because we lose so much defensively. It's a sad reality. We have wasted the years of arguably the second greatest player in the history of our program. It's a damn shame Fine won't get at least one bowl win.

Littrell is not an elite coach. LaTech fans bitch about Skip Holtz all the time, but I'd rather got 7-5 every year with a bowl win than go 9-3 and get completely embarrassed on national television.

We basically have to hinge on this class to be immediate stud players as true freshman, because our depth is clearly depth for a reason. 

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32 minutes ago, NorthTexasWeLove said:

I wasn't referring to you, at all. You are level headed into reality. 

But the same suspects will jump on the 'remember 2015' next year when things get weary...almost like the Alamo or something. 

While I appreciate that, I don’t see it that much. Maybe we’re looking in different spots. There will only be about 5 McCarney recruits left next year. This is Littrell’s roster going forward and there is no argument otherwise.

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Great analysis Billy.  It is very clear to me that to take the step up to the next level is going to require building improvement in the offensive and defensive lines.  Everything about the program should be building towards that.  If we can’t get it done with high school players than be like USU and sign jucos.  If you aren’t developing them then address the coaching.

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On 12/16/2018 at 11:10 AM, MGNation92 said:

I think we're gonna be in even more shootouts next year. Our LB's behind EJ and Garner look completely lost, we lose Brooks and Hall, and Rod Young.

Our OL/DL is not good enough to win anything. We'll probably end up going 7-5 or something next year because we lose so much defensively. It's a sad reality. We have wasted the years of arguably the second greatest player in the history of our program. It's a damn shame Fine won't get at least one bowl win.

Littrell is not an elite coach. LaTech fans bitch about Skip Holtz all the time, but I'd rather got 7-5 every year with a bowl win than go 9-3 and get completely embarrassed on national television.

We basically have to hinge on this class to be immediate stud players as true freshman, because our depth is clearly depth for a reason. 

The same fears about the defense were expressed before this year.   I am sad that you were embarrassed by a football game.   

Littrell may not be an elite coach, but he is clearly the closest NT has had in decades. 

Out of McCarney, Dodge, Dickey, Simon, Parker, Nelson, Tyler and Moore; which were better coaches than Littrell.   An argument might be made for Dickey and Nelson if they had the resources NT has now.  The problem with that analysis is  that most teams they beat had similar or less resources.  

Littrell has people complaining about nine win seasons and a very predictable bowl game loss to a very good team.  

Next year's team should be even better on the offensive side.  The defense loses a lot but does return 5 starters and most of the backups.  I think there is a very good chance the defense by the  conference schedule will be better than this year.   

Edited by GrandGreen
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If it’s a talent issue then how is it that we drilled SMU and Arkansas this season?

SMU Beat us last year and made a bowl game.  This year after we drilled them they got coached up and beat 7-6 Tulane, 8-4 Houston, beat Navy for the first time in 20 years and lost to 10-2 Cincinnati by 6.

And regardless of how poor they played this year Arkansas was 7-6 in 2016.  Some of that team and it’s SEC recruits, as well as their 2017 SEC recruits are still on this year’s team.

Sorry but I’m not buying yet another late season embarrassment on our lack of talent.  

 

Rick

 

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3 solid Mean Green recruiting classes in a row beginning this Wednesday  & I think we hurdle over all this happening now. With 3 solid classes I think we finally start being the program we anticipated becoming after Apogee Stadium made its debut in 2011.  Never thought  McCarney recruited to Apogee as he should have & later stories on his staff’s recruiting practices explained why. 

I think it’s been a total mind-bender for our players & fans the more SL’s agent started doing what he was hired to do.  The last 3 weeks have been hell for all of us who give a damn about our school’s football future.

Maybe it’s even time for a come to Jesus meeting from the AD with all varsity teams as to how coaches actually do come & go at P5 & G5 levels; that is except at about 12-15 final destination schools like OU, UT, Bama, USC, Penn State, Notre Dame, etc. 

❇️ I think SL & staff will maximize the IPF as the golden recruiting tool that it is & one which will (according to one article) have the largest weight room of all FBS schools who have similar venues in Texas.  

We have so many positives no matter whose running the ship.

GMG!

Edited by PlummMeanGreen
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1 hour ago, FirefightnRick said:

If it’s a talent issue then how is it that we drilled SMU and Arkansas this season?

They were 5-7 and 2-10 respectively. That’s how. They weren’t good football teams. Colorado State finished 3-9 and they beat that same Arkansas team the week before.

Also, in our game against Arkansas, Arkansas had more first downs than us and we only had 376 yards of offense that game. We didn’t move the ball well offensively against Arkansas. Offensively they were a train wreck, and we did play well defensively, but we honestly struggled offensively.

We had a punt return for a touchdown that had zero to do with talent, and their QBs kept throwing us the ball. 

1 hour ago, FirefightnRick said:

SMU Beat us last year and made a bowl game.  This year after we drilled them they got coached up and beat 7-6 Tulane, 8-4 Houston, beat Navy for the first time in 20 years and lost to 10-2 Cincinnati by 6.

So they got coached up. Which implies that they made noticeable improvements from when we played and still finished 5-7. So we beat a team that finished 5-7 before they had been coached up to become a still below average team. And that’s an impressive win?

1 hour ago, FirefightnRick said:

And regardless of how poor they played this year Arkansas was 7-6 in 2016.  

Somehow the fact that they were 2-10 says more about their football team than how they did 2 years ago. Here’s a depth chart from two years ago. Almost none of their key guys were still there when we played them in 2018. Most from graduation, a few from transfer, and one had to retire due to injury (Rawleigh Williams).

http://arkansasrazorbacks.com/pdf/football/2016/depth-charts/uf-depth.pdf

1 hour ago, FirefightnRick said:

Some of that team and it’s SEC recruits, as well as their 2017 SEC recruits are still on this year’s team.

What does that mean? SEC recruits? They’re still in the SEC, so every signee of theirs is an “SEC recruit.” Didn’t change the fact that they were an awful 2-10 team.

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2 hours ago, PlummMeanGreen said:

3 solid Mean Green recruiting classes in a row beginning this Wednesday  & I think we hurdle over all this happening now. With 3 solid classes I think we finally start being the program we anticipated becoming after Apogee Stadium made its debut in 2011.  Never thought  McCarney recruited to Apogee as he should have & later stories on his staff’s recruiting practices explained why. 

I think it’s been a total mind-bender for our players & fans the more SL’s agent started doing what he was hired to do.  The last 3 weeks have been hell for all of us who give a damn about our school’s football future.

Maybe it’s even time for a come to Jesus meeting from the AD with all varsity teams as to how coaches actually do come & go at P5 & G5 levels; that is except at about 12-15 final destination schools like OU, UT, Bama, USC, Penn State, Notre Dame, etc. 

❇️ I think SL & staff will maximize the IPF as the golden recruiting tool that it is & one which will (according to one article) have the largest weight room of all FBS schools who have similar venues in Texas.  

We have so many positives no matter whose running the ship.

GMG!

What did you hear about the recruiting practices during the McCarney era?

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16 minutes ago, Big Z said:

What did you hear about the recruiting practices during the McCarney era?

Others may have more details, but word was  some of McCarney’s buddy hires were told they didn’t have to leave the Denton city limits during recruiting season.  I heard this from what I would call 2 reliable sources.

i think Gray Eagle & others (including myself) commented at the time how we could not understand why the new Apogee was not making the impact recruiting it should have. Schools in old cookie cutter stadiums were kicking our butts.

GMG!

Edited by PlummMeanGreen
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5 hours ago, BillySee58 said:

They were 5-7 and 2-10 respectively. That’s how. They weren’t good football teams. Colorado State finished 3-9 and they beat that same Arkansas team the week before.

Yeah...you mean the same Colorado State team that started celebrating their last second touchdown win over Utah State....until it was reviewed and showed the WR had a toe on the sideline prior to the catch earlier this year? 

This team didn’t just squeek by Arkansas like that same Colorado State team did...., they kicked the living shit out of them.  That same North Texas Defense that looked like a sieve yesterday... didn’t give up a second first down to SMU till the 4th quarter.  But suddenly when they get embarrassed on national TV the excuse is that those same players just aren’t talented enough on paper or by some rating service.  

This team has problems for sure but none more damn obvious than the annual pattern of second half collapses..  And I just can’t see how that pattern has anything to do with talent?

 

Rick

Edited by FirefightnRick
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11 minutes ago, FirefightnRick said:

Yeah...you mean the same Colorado State team that started celebrating their last second touchdown win over Utah State....until the play was reviewed to show the WR had a toe on the sidelines prior to the catch this year? 

This team didn’t just squeek by Arkansas like that same Colorado State team did...., they kicked the living shit out of them.  That same North Texas Defense that looked like a sieve yesterday... didn’t give up a second first down to SMU till the 4th quarter.  But suddenly when they get embarrassed on national TV the excuse is that those same players just aren’t talented enough on paper or by some rating service.  

This team has problems for sure but none more damn obvious than the annual pattern of second half collapses..  And I just can’t see how that pattern has anything to do with talent?

 

Rick

It doesn't. Collapses are on coaches. All 3 conference losses we were the better team. Vs USU we were not. We are not 39 points worse than USU though. MF has a bad play caller he has to play through. But for the staff not to get creative with the run game when we had to pull Fine was a mistake. They just kept with the game plan with inexperience at QB and it resulted in an embarrassing blowout. That's on coaches. When are we going to throw in jet sweeps, outside zones, sweeps, etc. We run 2 variations of the same exact run play over and over and over. Good defenses will stonewall Jackson that bs to the tune of 2.9 ypc like yesterday. 

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4 hours ago, FirefightnRick said:

Yeah...you mean the same Colorado State team that started celebrating their last second touchdown win over Utah State....until it was reviewed and showed the WR had a toe on the sideline prior to the catch earlier this year? 

This team didn’t just squeek by Arkansas like that same Colorado State team did...., they kicked the living shit out of them.  That same North Texas Defense that looked like a sieve yesterday... didn’t give up a second first down to SMU till the 4th quarter.  But suddenly when they get embarrassed on national TV the excuse is that those same players just aren’t talented enough on paper or by some rating service.  

This team has problems for sure but none more damn obvious than the annual pattern of second half collapses..  And I just can’t see how that pattern has anything to do with talent?

 

Rick

The dangerous thinking here is that it’s all one thing or all another thing. I’ve never claimed this coaching staff to be the best or said that this team gave the best they had in these losses this year or big game losses last year. The team played awful against Utah State. 

And yes, they had enough talent and confidence to beat foundering teams that had little confidence in themselves. But the depth and overall talent on this roster never suggested that this was a team capable of going undefeated.

You swap out Fine with an average CUSA-level QB and we maybe win about 6 games last year and about the same this year. Having a stalwart at the most important position will accelerate the winning of any college team. 

Look at what happened at Texas when Colt McCoy graduated, or at Oregon when Marcus Mariota left for the NFL. They went from national title appearances to below .500 teams almost instantly.

My point is Fine has somewhat disproportionately been responsible in leading us to 9 win seasons with average CUSA rosters comprised or recruits from average/below average ranked CUSA signing classes. The roster building has not been good enough to this point, and it shows when you play teams who actually have their stuff together. Even if you jump out early on them because of said stud QB. 

Edited by BillySee58
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3 hours ago, BillySee58 said:

The dangerous thinking here is that it’s all one thing or all another thing. I’ve never claimed this coaching staff to be the best or said that this team gave the best they had in these losses this year or big game losses last year. The team played awful against Utah State. 

And yes, they had enough talent and confidence to beat foundering teams that had little confidence in themselves. But the depth and overall talent on this roster never suggested that this was a team capable of going undefeated.

You swap out Fine with an average CUSA-level QB and we maybe win about 6 games last year and about the same this year. Having a stalwart at the most important position will accelerate the winning of any college team. 

Look at what happened at Texas when Colt McCoy graduated, or at Oregon when Marcus Mariota left for the NFL. They went from national title appearances to below .500 teams almost instantly.

My point is Fine has somewhat disproportionately been responsible in leading us to 9 win seasons with average CUSA rosters comprised or recruits from average/below average ranked CUSA signing classes. The roster building has not been good enough to this point, and it shows when you play teams who actually have their stuff together. Even if you jump out early on them because of said stud QB. 

No doubt Mason is special.  Too bad he doesn’t play defense.  Makes me laugh at the thought that a few weeks back we had people claiming had he not have gotten hurt and Shanbour not come in we wouldn’t have beaten FAU?

I certainly didn’t expect us to go 13-0,..although 12-0 was within reach.  But for whatever reason this team has the same issues as last year’s and it’s becoming a very concerning pattern.  

Rick

 

 

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Mason Fine is once in a lifetime player.  We're not going to see one like him again.  It's incredibly rare for a kid with no other offers to come in and become you best player at that position in school history.  Especially when that position is QB.

Mason covers up a ton of problems.  One of them being the poor recruiting we had at the start of SL's career.  The one glaring lucky exception being Fine.  Without him we are more or less the same team that SL took over, talent wise.   

That is why signing this upcoming class is so important.  Land it, and I think the way HS coaches and recruits look at NT is changed.  

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I think the one positive of SL’s recruiting has been the percentage of those recruits that are contributing (or have contributed) versus the Mac years. I went back to look at the recruiting since 2011 and it really stood out to me how many either never made it to campus or never played. SL had a couple of big misses the first year, but overall it seems they are signing and coming in and contributing to the team’s success. 

Edited by 97and03
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21 minutes ago, Cerebus said:

Mason Fine is once in a lifetime player.  We're not going to see one like him again.  It's incredibly rare for a kid with no other offers to come in and become you best player at that position in school history.  Especially when that position is QB.

Mason covers up a ton of problems.  One of them being the poor recruiting we had at the start of SL's career.  The one glaring lucky exception being Fine.  Without him we are more or less the same team that SL took over, talent wise.   

That is why signing this upcoming class is so important.  Land it, and I think the way HS coaches and recruits look at NT is changed.  

Would Mason be as good if he didn't have Guyton & Bussey to throw to?
It's not like recruiting from the first 2 classes (the ones we would expect to see start producing) were atrocious without Mason Fine.    As pointed out before, we missed on some of the JUCO gambles.   And some other players didn't pan out either.   The glaring weakness so far have been at OL: Outside of the Mose brothers & Henson, we just haven't really hit there.   I think a fresh "perspective" would help our OL recruits perform better.
Ejiya, Hamilton, Jenkins, Muhammad, Henson & Wheeler were huge for us over the past few years from that first class.
The 2nd class is a little more lackluster (so far) but gave us Hall, Guyton, Darden & Novil.  We also saw the emergence of the Mose brothers this year.  This was really the first year to get to see a lot of the guys from 2017 because of redshirting.
It's VERY DIFFICULT to expect anyone from 2018's class to jump right in and contribute much of anything outside of JUCO RB Torrey, since they're redshirting for the most part, but some of those guys may step in and produce right away next year (looking at Davis, Morris & Gibbs on defense & Shorter/Ogunmakin on offense).

This 2019 class is killer on paper.    Do we think we'll see many of these guys break out in 2019?   Likely no.

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That poor recruiting at beginning of SL’s career is most evidenced in probably the hardest positions to recruit, offensive and defensive lines. There are a lot of speedy skill position guys out there for the taking, 300+ pound guys who can move their feet, not so much. Our blowout losses last two years have been them shutting down our rushing game and running the ball all over of us due to larger, more athletic lines on both sides. Hard to win those recruiting battles when your program has little respectability. The last two years in my opinion were important to bring us to respectability in the eyes of recruits. This recruiting class and those going forward are so important for the future of this program. 

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