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Which "Big Game" this year do we have the best chance of winning? Which do you want?


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Title says it all. Assuming all our opponents perform as advertised for 2021, which game can we realistically sneak in and upset? If you had to choose which game you want/think we can win, would it be SMU, Mizzou, Liberty, UAB?....

In my humble respectful opinion, Northwestern State and UTEP are games we "should" win based on the talent on the roster. I personally choose to believe we have the advantage in both staff and talent over So. Miss, FIU, and Rice. Realistically, I think we've all kind of centered between 5-7 and 6-6 ish for this year, but my thoughts we absolutely must win a really big game or show massive defensive improvement to trend upwards as a program. I.e. If we go 6-6 but beat SMU and/or Liberty I'm content.

I feel like we're still waiting for Seth to really give us a memorable win over a great team. I'm hoping this is the year. 6-6 and a bowl win would even make me ecstatic. We just need to win a big one.

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A bowl win would be a big deal given the state of the program. That means we finished 6-6 or better and finally got that coveted bowl championship under SL. That's optimistic me. 

Pessimistic me... We aren't beating anyone that would be considered a "big" win. We might sneak up on the likes of USM and win one we aren't supposed to win, but that's all I got for you. 

I realistically can't see us beating Mizzou or SMU right now. Or even Liberty for that matter. 

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I'm going to say Mizzou. Outside of hard-core NT fans, nobody will remember if we beat SMU or UAB or Tech. But beating Mizzou would be talked about for a long time and Tiger fans would have to stew on that loss until the next game, years from now. We need every win against the SEC and their ilk.

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You're including UAB in that list?  I would put that game at close to 50/50, especially with it being at home.  So I think we can very realistically win that game, even if we are not favored.

As far as which of those 4 I would most want to win?  Tough call...SMU would seem to be the most important for recruiting, but Mizzou would make somewhat of a national splash.  I guess give me SMU, because then I not only get to see UNT win, I get to see SMU lose.

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23 minutes ago, Magic95Fan said:

I'm going to say Mizzou. Outside of hard-core NT fans, nobody will remember if we beat SMU or UAB or Tech. But beating Mizzou would be talked about for a long time and Tiger fans would have to stew on that loss until the next game, years from now. We need every win against the SEC and their ilk.

I agree entirely. Mizzou has a not great secondary and lost a lot of talent to transfers. Their front seven will be tough to handle but I don't think they have the weaponry to blow us out if we're at our best. By no means do I think we win but I think if all the cards fall into the right places it is possible. 

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I think la tech is a game we can win and would be a huge win early in the season but if you’re asking me what win I want most? It’s smu every time. Missouri would def do more for exposure but beating smu in dallas would be one of our biggest wins in school history considering we haven’t beat them there in decades. 

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18 minutes ago, Mean Green 93-98 said:

You're including UAB in that list?  I would put that game at close to 50/50, especially with it being at home.  So I think we can very realistically win that game, even if we are not favored.

As far as which of those 4 I would most want to win?  Tough call...SMU would seem to be the most important for recruiting, but Mizzou would make somewhat of a national splash.  I guess give me SMU, because then I not only get to see UNT win, I get to see SMU lose.

Seth has beaten UAB once and it was a last second miracle in 2017. The games are consistently fun and competitive but Seth is 1-2 against them. We're also facing them at home fresh after the SMU game, and if we play the ponies like we did last year it could absolutely destroy a lot of the optimism we do have surrounding this team. I don't know. I just don't see UAB being a safe bet. Maybe! Screw it. 12-0.

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Seems like I feel the same as several others:  I want to beat SMU the most, but I feel like beating Mizzou would be the better win, especially from a national perspective.  
 

I’m also of the opinion that no win in CUSA should be considered an upset for us.  We should expect to have a chance every game and we should be competitive every game.

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I will go with SMUt, in part because we definitely need a win in their house, but also because it is the second game of the year. A “big” win right off the bat could make this team believe it can win more big games. Also helps in local head-to-head recruiting battles, as I am sure there will be recruits invited to the game by SMUt with interest or offers from both of us. 

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58 minutes ago, 97and03 said:

I will go with SMUt, in part because we definitely need a win in their house, but also because it is the second game of the year. A “big” win right off the bat could make this team believe it can win more big games. Also helps in local head-to-head recruiting battles, as I am sure there will be recruits invited to the game by SMUt with interest or offers from both of us. 

Harry said it on the barbershop pod last episode - and I agree - that we just need to compete with them this year. I obviously want to destroy them every year but I would find a way to live with a 28-20 type game or whatever, as long as it's competitive into the fourth. We have to narrow the gap between us and them as Harry said.

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Some may think I’ve been sippin’ too many margaritas, but I think UNT could pull an upset against SMU.  Let’s be real,  the Stangs’ have not been getting portal transfers from the NFL... (yet). Their 2021 edition of “who wants to be a millionaire” newbies will have not played as a unit but for a 2’nd game in a row.
I don’t know about their OU QB transfer that much, but we will have on the field of play a QB more familiar with most of his tandem of receivers than who SMU will start. 

You’ll drink til’ it hurts, SMU, but this could be a Hilltop shocker for all of Stangdom heard ‘round the entire investments world.  
 

❇️🐎 🦅❇️ 03685E4F-81BF-4A61-B74C-F2FD6019E2E0.gif.91de1ba10f5eabfa9ea9eacce3b8faa6.gif76A2809E-AE1C-4B03-B6F9-45616E3360C4.jpeg.7ad4af1ddcad21a4121ae2ce1122cfde.jpeg

Edited by PlummMeanGreen
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10 hours ago, Mean Green 93-98 said:

You're including UAB in that list?  I would put that game at close to 50/50, especially with it being at home.  So I think we can very realistically win that game, even if we are not favored.

As far as which of those 4 I would most want to win?  Tough call...SMU would seem to be the most important for recruiting, but Mizzou would make somewhat of a national splash.  I guess give me SMU, because then I not only get to see UNT win, I get to see SMU lose.

With my expectations fully-tempered this season, I cannot expect any non-conference wins outside of NESt.

And until Bill Clark is no-longer the coach at UAB, they're a top dog in C-USA West.    You may see it as 50/50, and on-paper, it should be.  But as long as he's there, UAB should get another 25% in their favor.   Dude is just a fantastic coach & will have his team ready.

With that game being so early in the season, a lot rides on it.   This is the "big game" I'd really like to see us win.   Simply because I think it could provide us some momentum in C-USA play.

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49 minutes ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

With my expectations fully-tempered this season, I cannot expect any non-conference wins outside of NESt.

And until Bill Clark is no-longer the coach at UAB, they're a top dog in C-USA West.    You may see it as 50/50, and on-paper, it should be.  But as long as he's there, UAB should get another 25% in their favor.   Dude is just a fantastic coach & will have his team ready.

With that game being so early in the season, a lot rides on it.   This is the "big game" I'd really like to see us win.   Simply because I think it could provide us some momentum in C-USA play.

To me, UAB and LT are the gold standard we have to get to beating to be any good. Clark and Holtz have both programs running just fine. They have a physicality that is up there with AAC schools. We don't have anything to match their physical talent or their coaching talent--its not even close, either.

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11 minutes ago, untjim1995 said:

To me, UAB and LT are the gold standard we have to get to beating to be any good. Clark and Holtz have both programs running just fine. They have a physicality that is up there with AAC schools. We don't have anything to match their physical talent or their coaching talent--its not even close, either.

I don't believe this part.  I think NT has a TON of talent.  It just needs to translate on the scoreboard a little better.

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19 minutes ago, MGNation92 said:

Big games and Seth Littrell don't mix.

Only exception being Arkansas and they were an absolute laughingstock the year we beat them. Otherwise I expect to lose every "big game" by at least 3 scores

Guess our beat down of Arkansas was a fluke or "they were terrible anyway"..

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26 minutes ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

I don't believe this part.  I think NT has a TON of talent.  It just needs to translate on the scoreboard a little better.

Well, up to this point, since 2018, when we have played them both, they have absolutely killed us on both lines. Like what SMU and UH have done to us at the line of scrimmage,

Until I see that change, it is what I expect to see when we line up against both of them.

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Big game I think we are mostly likely to win:   UAB at home

Big game I want to win the most: SMU

SMU won't get us any national cred.  But, we need to close the gap on these guys, mainly for local recruiting.   We should not be seen on a level lower than them.    Period.

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10 hours ago, 97and03 said:

I will go with SMUt, in part because we definitely need a win in their house, but also because it is the second game of the year. A “big” win right off the bat could make this team believe it can win more big games. Also helps in local head-to-head recruiting battles, as I am sure there will be recruits invited to the game by SMUt with interest or offers from both of us. 

This

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39 minutes ago, untjim1995 said:

Well, up to this point, since 2018, when we have played them both, they have absolutely killed us on both lines. Like what SMU and UH have done to us at the line of scrimmage,

Until I see that change, it is what I expect to see when we line up against both of them.

The main problem there was let go :
langston.jpg?width=300

Bloesch had the OL looking decent by the end of last season, and I expect them to take another step up this season.

As for defensive line...   You tend to get bullied when you only have 3 down linemen and the LBs supporting them are lost because they don't understand the scheme.   That issue has also been addressed (we hope) with Bennett.

The proof will be in the pudding.

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32 minutes ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

The main problem there was let go :
langston.jpg?width=300

Bloesch had the OL looking decent by the end of last season, and I expect them to take another step up this season.

As for defensive line...   You tend to get bullied when you only have 3 down linemen and the LBs supporting them are lost because they don't understand the scheme.   That issue has also been addressed (we hope) with Bennett.

The proof will be in the pudding.

This.

If we played UAB and LT later in the conference schedule, I might agree. 

I do think Bennett will have a better effect on our defense, especially as the season goes on and we get into CUSA play that isn't against good teams. It's a lot like Dan Quinn coming over to coach the Cowboys defense. I expect them to be better, just from scheme and motivation. But I don't expect them to be anything better than a bottom third defense in the NFL, as they have lots of players who would have to have sudden turnarounds and be better tacklers than they've shown to ever be. This is what we saw under Phil Bennett when he was the Baylor DC. It took two years to get the players to run the scheme necessary for them to be anything other than a horrible defense for Art Briles. Seeing what PB has inherited, I am taking the approach that I will believe it when I see it. But I do expect that by the second half of the season, when we get Rice, UTEP, FIU, and USM, we should be able to compete with them.

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7 hours ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

With my expectations fully-tempered this season, I cannot expect any non-conference wins outside of NESt.

And until Bill Clark is no-longer the coach at UAB, they're a top dog in C-USA West.    You may see it as 50/50, and on-paper, it should be.  But as long as he's there, UAB should get another 25% in their favor.   Dude is just a fantastic coach & will have his team ready.

Fair enough.

My point was, I see UAB as being more equivalent with LaTech than SMU, Liberty, or Mizzou.  The first two we'll be underdogs in winnable games (IMO), the latter 3 we'll be big-time underdogs with little chance on paper to win.

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22 hours ago, RBP79 said:

Guess our beat down of Arkansas was a fluke or "they were terrible anyway"..

They finished 2-10 that year so yeah I'd say they were terrible.

That being said, we're supposed to beat bad teams like that. No excuses. 2018 was arguably our best year under Littrell. Even then, he was losing big games. Games that would matter in the conference standings, games that would give us a trophy.

I don't trust his in game management/coaching staff enough to have much hope in big games. They've failed more than they've succeeded

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