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Current State of the Program


untjim1995
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Now that we have finished the OOC and go back to playing CUSA schools the rest of the way out, it’s a good time to take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of our program.

The Good: The fans are there in bigger numbers than we have ever seen around Denton. They want a winner so bad, which is just so amazing to consider when the culture of apathy has been so strong around here for decades. And we have money to spend on athletics, which is unlike almost any other time in our history.

The Bad: (Offense) The team just doesn’t look right. Fine isn’t on his game and his receivers aren’t in tune with him. This is where Graham Harrell is missed. GH didn’t call a good game,  but he did have a great command of his personnel. 

The Bad: (Defense) We look like a Leach protege program would look—no emphasis on defense and very little playmakers on that side of the ball. Poor tackling and very poor angles. Anyone with decent QB play just kills us. And we put almost no emphasis on recruiting defensive players to help us, since Texas HS puts their best players on offense these days.

The Ugly (Truth)—CUSA sucks donkey balls. It’s SBC 2.0, but worse than the current SBC. How wonderfully North Texas is that? Finally get out of the worst conference in FBS, only to find our new conference fall below the previous one. We have gone from dominating SBC and losing to everyone else to now beating CUSA teams and losing to everyone else. Again, just perfectly North Texas in every way.

SL will get us to a bowl berth, but he is running out this clock with Mason Fine. Someone above us, whether it’s a P5 or an Upper G5, will hire him away. And when he leaves, history of choosing the next coach here isn’t real good (see Fry and SL as the only winning coaches here in the last 50 years). I’ll be optimistic we get it right this time because of Wren Baker and Neal Smatresk, but I won’t be surprised at all if we don’t get it right, either. You never know what you are going to get at a Lower G5 school when you replace a coach and this will be no exception. 

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Lots to feel good about.  Frustrating climb for sure but we have accelerated our program light years in the last three yrs (facilities, recruiting classes, bowl consistency).  Seth is solid and getting lots out of these 3 stars.  Growing pains with Reeder will settle.  Perhaps some changes are due (Biagi) but I was proud to show my UH letterman father our product this week.  Long road ahead but 2015 was a long way back too.  Wren and Smat got this. I believe in them firmly. 

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I really wish we could have seen UTSA play this last weekend.  I think we would have a better gauge of where we actually sit in the conference...

I do think the Texas college football pecking order has been established though... We fall below the P5s, AAC schools, and sit right in front of UTSA, RIce, TX St, and UTEP. 

I think we are still on the upswing... I think we just didnt realize how much we would miss the guys we lost on defense, GH, and not having our elite receivers.

I am still semi-hopeful we can do ok in conference play... but I am kind of glad to know where we sit. Time to focus on conference and not worry about trying to make "statement wins" in OOC.

 

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8 hours ago, untjim1995 said:

Now that we have finished the OOC and go back to playing CUSA schools the rest of the way out, it’s a good time to take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of our program.

The Good: The fans are there in bigger numbers than we have ever seen around Denton. They want a winner so bad, which is just so amazing to consider when the culture of apathy has been so strong around here for decades. And we have money to spend on athletics, which is unlike almost any other time in our history.

The Bad: (Offense) The team just doesn’t look right. Fine isn’t on his game and his receivers aren’t in tune with him. This is where Graham Harrell is missed. GH didn’t call a good game,  but he did have a great command of his personnel. 

The Bad: (Defense) We look like a Leach protege program would look—no emphasis on defense and very little playmakers on that side of the ball. Poor tackling and very poor angles. Anyone with decent QB play just kills us. And we put almost no emphasis on recruiting defensive players to help us, since Texas HS puts their best players on offense these days.

The Ugly (Truth)—CUSA sucks donkey balls. It’s SBC 2.0, but worse than the current SBC. How wonderfully North Texas is that? Finally get out of the worst conference in FBS, only to find our new conference fall below the previous one. We have gone from dominating SBC and losing to everyone else to now beating CUSA teams and losing to everyone else. Again, just perfectly North Texas in every way.

SL will get us to a bowl berth, but he is running out this clock with Mason Fine. Someone above us, whether it’s a P5 or an Upper G5, will hire him away. And when he leaves, history of choosing the next coach here isn’t real good (see Fry and SL as the only winning coaches here in the last 50 years). I’ll be optimistic we get it right this time because of Wren Baker and Neal Smatresk, but I won’t be surprised at all if we don’t get it right, either. You never know what you are going to get at a Lower G5 school when you replace a coach and this will be no exception. 

 

7 hours ago, tmjerm said:

Lots to feel good about.  Frustrating climb for sure but we have accelerated our program light years in the last three yrs (facilities, recruiting classes, bowl consistency).  Seth is solid and getting lots out of these 3 stars.  Growing pains with Reeder will settle.  Perhaps some changes are due (Biagi) but I was proud to show my UH letterman father our product this week.  Long road ahead but 2015 was a long way back too.  Wren and Smat got this. I believe in them firmly. 

 

Spot on. Solid foundation. Building for the future, and there are some good and bad to be noted. People are noticing our push in the facilities arm race, recruiting is continually trending upward, and fans are taking notice and coming out. The offense has been bad but I mainly put that on a new OC and his guys getting on the same page as each other, which will take time. Changes need to be made on defense and special teams. Bottom line. And C-USA is absolutely pathetic. Getting curb stomped by everyone from Sun Belt to AAC and up. The only thing I question from your post is, is Littrell still as hot a commodity prior to this season? Do teams look at the regression and think "that's our guy." Of course you look positively on the whole body of work but I just wonder if a P5 really does poach him this off-season given the noticeable regression? 

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7 hours ago, Moobs said:

SL was Neal’s hire.  RV was (thankfully) cut out of that hiring process. I believe Neal and Wren will make another good hire when the time comes. 
 

But the overall state of the program is doing well. It’s the best it’s been in decades. It’s a long road to the top. 

That has been my guess about RV being cut out of the process but are we 100% sure this was the case?

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8 hours ago, Moobs said:

SL was Neal’s hire.  RV was (thankfully) cut out of that hiring process. I believe Neal and Wren will make another good hire when the time comes. 
 

But the overall state of the program is doing well. It’s the best it’s been in decades. It’s a long road to the top. 

I agree the overall state of the program is doing well and it is in the best shape it has been in for many years. 

That being said, your first statement about RV being cut out of the hiring process is incorrect. He was involved from beginning to end!!!

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3 hours ago, GreenFlag said:

That has been my guess about RV being cut out of the process but are we 100% sure this was the case?

Yes, as best I know, RV was not involved in the selection process for Seth. 100% sure would require proof, and you'd need to contact somebody directly involved for verification.

Either way, I love what RV had done for this program, and I am thrilled with the way that athletics are progressing with Baker.

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2 minutes ago, 9299 said:

I agree the overall state of the program is doing well and it is in the best shape it has been in for many years. 

That being said, your first statement about RV being cut out of the hiring process is incorrect. He was involved from beginning to end!!!

Glad you're back RV.

How's Rock N Roll Sushi going? Business booming? I haven't gone to the Denton location yet

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NT is back where it always is: Competing in the bottom rung conference of FBS football. In the end, I guess that’s where we at least want to be. Having the ability to compete for a conference title every year. 

As for a Texas pecking order, NT is right where it always is: Well below any P5, enviously staring at Houston, looking up at SMU’s butthole, and one click above Texas St, UTSA, & Rice. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. 

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9 hours ago, untjim1995 said:

The Bad: (Defense) We look like a Leach protege program would look—no emphasis on defense and very little playmakers on that side of the ball. Poor tackling and very poor angles. Anyone with decent QB play just kills us. And we put almost no emphasis on recruiting defensive players to help us, since Texas HS puts their best players on offense these days.

 

I disagree looking at our recent recruiting.  Our defense played well last year and we lost a lot.  The system we run is the result of the P5 programs hording DL talent, so we end up taking flyers on players like the DT out of Oklahoma that didn't have the grades.  

Class Reviews:

2020:  Currently two of the top three commits are LB's with size.  We also have commits from a DT, DE, 3 S, and a CB, so out of 17 current commits 8 are for defense.

2019: 14 commits were to the defensive side of the ball.  Unfortunately a DT and a DE didn't make their grades.  The remainder were highly rated.

Previous classes were pretty balanced as well.

I think the bad is our OL.  Brammer got torched a number of times by the speed rush, as did Plantin.  Plantin is a guard playing tackle.  The Mose brothers are good, but Sosia has to snap better.  If I had a coach on the hot seat, it would be Chuck Langston.  The OL has not improved under his tutelage.  All they ever show is him drawing up stuff on the dry board and the players appear to be tuning him out.  Go pull Spencer Leftwhich out of retirement, hire the Badger to come in and kick some ass, or go beg Andy Brewster to come back to Denton, but find someone that will teach technique.  Langston came in with some red flags and he hasn't proven to me that he is the man for the job.

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Just now, UNTLifer said:

I disagree looking at our recent recruiting.  Our defense played well last year and we lost a lot.  The system we run is the result of the P5 programs hording DL talent, so we end up taking flyers on players like the DT out of Oklahoma that didn't have the grades.  

Class Reviews:

2020:  Currently two of the top three commits are LB's with size.  We also have commits from a DT, DE, 3 S, and a CB, so out of 17 current commits 8 are for defense.

2019: 14 commits were to the defensive side of the ball.  Unfortunately a DT and a DE didn't make their grades.  The remainder were highly rated.

Previous classes were pretty balanced as well.

I think the bad is our OL.  Brammer got torched a number of times by the speed rush, as did Plantin.  Plantin is a guard playing tackle.  The Mose brothers are good, but Sosia has to snap better.  If I had a coach on the hot seat, it would be Chuck Langston.  The OL has not improved under his tutelage.  All they ever show is him drawing up stuff on the dry board and the players appear to be tuning him out.  Go pull Spencer Leftwhich out of retirement, hire the Badger to come in and kick some ass, or go beg Andy Brewster to come back to Denton, but find someone that will teach technique.  Langston came in with some red flags and he hasn't proven to me that he is the man for the job.

Yes!!! Langston should’ve been gone last year after the meltdown with Murray

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Ok...the athletic department overall is in great shape. This year's Football team, well.....if your happy with the record your # old Denton. Blown out in two of your more high profile ooc games doesn't move the peg forward.

I'm headed to Hattiesburg for the USM. Drop this one...just don't see NT winning the west. THIS USM game is now a must win.

 

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5 hours ago, 9299 said:

I agree the overall state of the program is doing well and it is in the best shape it has been in for many years. 

That being said, your first statement about RV being cut out of the hiring process is incorrect. He was involved from beginning to end!!!

Gee, he was sent 3 or 4 names. RV was told to pick his choice and if it wasn't Seth he better have an iron clad reason for the choice! Or else...

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I do not believe that Seth Littrell is getting hired away any longer. CFB is an extremely what have you done lately business. He faded toward the end of last year (predictably) and the start this year is horrible. Not sure how or why anyone would take Seth Littrell and put him as their top dog. It's a very Chad Morris sort of situation...And look where that has brought Arkansas. 

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2 hours ago, NorthTexasWeLove said:

I do not believe that Seth Littrell is getting hired away any longer. CFB is an extremely what have you done lately business. He faded toward the end of last year (predictably) and the start this year is horrible. Not sure how or why anyone would take Seth Littrell and put him as their top dog. It's a very Chad Morris sort of situation...And look where that has brought Arkansas. 

Chad Morris did very little at SMU. Seth has done way more. Just wait until Bowl season. If NT gets another invite he’ll be mentioned as a hot up and comer....

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