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DRC Sunday column: Guiding UNT to bowl shows why Seth Littrell is great fit with Mean Green


Brett Vito
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5 hours ago, Side.Show.Joe said:

There are no "my truth" or "your truth". There are just the facts. The facts are the truth. And the facts say Littrell is a .500 coach in C-USA. That shouldn't be acceptable to any UNT fan. How many more "one more season" arguments will we have to endure? We heard the same thing after last season's poor performance.

We are a CUSA program. We are a terrible program historically.

Edited by texx2818
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14 hours ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

Bennett is 100% here for Littrell & saved his job.  Seth would be wise to take his entire bowl game bonus & just Zelle it all to Bennett.

You mean Littrell saved his own job because he knew Bennett is a great defensive mind and was able to convince him to come out of retirement? 

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16 hours ago, greenminer said:

Meet Johnny.  Johnny is my employee.  3 years and a total ace.  Perfect attendance.  Goes out of his way to help others.  Exceeds sales.  Then one day, Johnny flips.  He shows up every other day for a week.  Grumpy.  Coworkers are complaining.  I pull him into my office to talk.  He flips me off, says he is fine, then pukes on his way out the door.

By your logic, we keep Johnny.  His career is stellar.  We don't care about this recent streak.

....isn't that absurd?

Inversely, I walk into work one day ready to fire Suzy.  Suzy has been awful from the beginning.  Why did we waste so many months on this girl? I show up ready to "have the talk", but she's clearly different.  The employees love her.  She came in on time and made a sales record.  I hold off.  After 7 days, she is employee of the week.  I pull her aside, and say "look, you've been great. Let's keep it up." I've explained to her that she needs to keep this up for her employement here to continue.

But, you wouldn't want that.  Because of Suzy's "big picture".

...I know I'm not going to change your mind.  I just can't escape the idea that you deep down think this team under SL will never be better than 0.500.  Just come out and say that, and I think it'd feel less confrontational.  This "big picture" take just seems stubborn and illogical.

What you have presented is not a good analogy to our situation. Littrell is not a cog in the machine, like your employees. The head coach is the motor that drives them. When he fails it all fails. When he succeeds it all works... like McCasland.

Old Denton is too concerned about next season. The right coach will get more out of our team's talent. Wren did a great job of finding McCasland. Now it's time for Wren to finally hire his football coach. I look at the "big picture" because that's how you build a winning program, not just try to hold together a team for next season. The right coach will get the players to stay or find even better players. Remember when Woolridge left for Gonzaga... McCasland brought in Hamlet. Great coaches find great players and develop them to win. We have to build for joining the American. I don't want UNT football to be a bottom feeder in the AAC. The American is a much tougher conference than C-USA, even with Houston, Cincy, and UCF gone.

I think overall Littrell will be a less than .500 coach if he remains at UNT. Sure he may produce a 6 or 7 win season next year in our weak C-USA, but that won't translate to success in the American. An American schedule is much tougher than a C-USA schedule, and our OOC schedules are tougher now too. He isn't the coach you think he's going to be. Do you actually believe Littrell can win the American conference title when we join? If your answer is "No", than it's time to hire a new head coach. Waiting another year equals wasting another year... maybe even more than just one year.

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50 minutes ago, 97and03 said:

Happy to talk about the first part of the season. It was shit. He totally wasted multiple opportunities to beat superior opponents despite a great chance to do so. I called for Seth’s head.
Then he adjusted and we started winning. And I am damn happy about that. And even though he beat a ranked opponent for the first time in 50 years, I would have been fine with his firing because of the entire body of work. Even the nine win seasons were somewhat of a mirage. Honestly this year and 2016 were better coaching jobs than ‘17 and ‘18. 
But I am also a realist: there was no way Wren was going to fire Seth after that winning streak. It just isn’t where we are and it honestly wouldn’t make a ton of sense to our fans and donors given the hype over the big win and bowl berth. Should we expect more? Perhaps. But unless you are giving six figures - and you are not- then you don’t really get a say. Me either. I would have fired Seth after Liberty. But like Dickey, he didn’t get fired at his lowest point and turned it around.

So rather than bitch and moan in every damn thread about how much he sucks I am going to enjoy the streak and our unexpected success. And root for SL to break his bowl drought because this team deserves my support and a win. 
And if he starts out slowly next season I will again be at the front of the line calling for his firing but always rooting he has finally figured it out. We win less than 7 next year and he should be gone. 

I support this team and program, but not this coach. He's had his chance, and hasn't done enough. Read my last post and you will better understand my opinions on why we need to make the change. By the way, the same "we need to win X number of games for Littrell to keep his job" arguments were made last season, but now those same fans are backing down. Just saying.

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12 hours ago, texx2818 said:

We are a CUSA program. We are a terrible program historically.

UCF was a pretty terrible program historically, up until they changed expectations, then MET those lofty expectations!  

I believe, with Baker & Smatresk at the helm, North Texas can do the same thing.  
 

But the idea of what success means at North Texas has been “just make it to a bowl game & we’ll be happy”. This was me too.  But if we ever want to achieve UCF’s kind of success, we have to get past our low expectations & hope for better.

If we didn’t already have a body of work to judge Littrell on, I might say let’s give him next season to see if he can’t get us back to those 9-win seasons.  But we’re also moving to the AAC in 2023, so it would be nice to have that buffer year in 2022 to break in a new, better coach (that I have full-confidence Baker can find) to have us humming as we move into the AAC in 2023, instead of what I’m fearing: another circa-.500 season under Littrell… bringing no momentum into the AAC.

 

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1 hour ago, Side.Show.Joe said:

What you have presented is not a good analogy to our situation. Littrell is not a cog in the machine, like your employees. The head coach is the motor that drives them. When he fails it all fails. When he succeeds it all works... like McCasland.

Old Denton is too concerned about next season. The right coach will get more out of our team's talent. Wren did a great job of finding McCasland. Now it's time for Wren to finally hire his football coach. I look at the "big picture" because that's how you build a winning program, not just try to hold together a team for next season. The right coach will get the players to stay or find even better players. Remember when Woolridge left for Gonzaga... McCasland brought in Hamlet. Great coaches find great players and develop them to win. We have to build for joining the American. I don't want UNT football to be a bottom feeder in the AAC. The American is a much tougher conference than C-USA, even with Houston, Cincy, and UCF gone.

I think overall Littrell will be a less than .500 coach if he remains at UNT. Sure he may produce a 6 or 7 win season next year in our weak C-USA, but that won't translate to success in the American. An American schedule is much tougher than a C-USA schedule, and our OOC schedules are tougher now too. He isn't the coach you think he's going to be. Do you actually believe Littrell can win the American conference title when we join? If your answer is "No", than it's time to hire a new head coach. Waiting another year equals wasting another year... maybe even more than just one year.

You can rebuild a basketball team in a season because you can get away with having a few great players. Football is not easy to turn around in a short period of time because you need depth. McCasland and Littrell are faced with very different sports and circumstances. Johnny Jones has shown you can win at North Texas and McCasland took it to a step above what Jones did. Littrell is the first one to put a .500 or above record together here in football in 40 years.

Edited by Cr1028
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8 minutes ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

UCF was a pretty terrible program historically, up until they changed expectations, then MET those lofty expectations!  

I believe, with Baker & Smatresk at the helm, North Texas can do the same thing.  
 

But the idea of what success means at North Texas has been “just make it to a bowl game & we’ll be happy”. This was me too.  But if we ever want to achieve UCF’s kind of success, we have to get past our low expectations & hope for better.

Pretty terrible when and compared to whom? UCF has been a good to great team for awhile. What were these lofty expectations? Go 13-0 and claim a mythical national title? UTSA was a North Texas away from doing the same thing with their “increased expectations” while playing in a borrowed 30 year old NFL stadium nobody wanted. If we somehow win 10+ games next season are you going to then talk about how we increased expectations?

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1 minute ago, Cr1028 said:

You can rebuild a basketball team in a season because you can get away with having a few great players. Football is not easy to turn around in a short period of time because you need depth. McCasland and Littrell are faced with very different sports and circumstances. Johnny Jones has shown you can win at North Texas and McCasland took it to a step above what Jones did. Littrell is the first one to put a .500 or above record together here in 40 years.

I think there is an assumption that there would be a mass exodus of our best players if Littrell were to leave, causing us to have to “rebuild”?  I just don’t think that would be the case.  

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1 minute ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

I think there is an assumption that there would be a mass exodus of our best players if Littrell were to leave, causing us to have to “rebuild”?  I just don’t think that would be the case.  

So you are saying that we already have the players to be successful? A team that could take down an undefeated top 25 team while on a 5 game winning streak? Meaning Seth Littrell is a good recruiter and evaluator of talent? And you just need a better Xs and Os guy? Like say a coordinator?

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1 minute ago, Cr1028 said:

Pretty terrible when and compared to whom? UCF has been a good to great team for awhile. What were these lofty expectations? Go 13-0 and claim a mythical national title? UTSA was a North Texas away from doing the same thing with their “increased expectations” while playing in a borrowed 30 year old NFL stadium nobody wanted. If we somehow win 10+ games next season are you going to then talk about how we increased expectations?

You don’t remember UCF being a mainstay in ESPNs Bottom 10 up until maybe 2014 or so?  I think they also have a 0-12 season under their belts in the past 15 years.  Then, they built up different expectations, and achieved them!

I don’t know what UTSAs expectations are, but I’m fairly certain their long-term goals are way higher than ours (we often tease them for this because they don’t know any better), even before this past season.

Look, Littrell himself set these higher expectations during his first 3 seasons here.   He has failed his own expectations over the past 3 years.  So, no, as doubtful as I am that NT is going to win 10 games next season, if we somehow happen to do that, it would be a combination of things that fell into place to get Littrell back to his original expectations.  It would be great, and we could hopefully call 2019-2021 the anomaly.  

I suppose we’ll see.

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9 minutes ago, Cr1028 said:

So you are saying that we already have the players to be successful? A team that could take down an undefeated top 25 team while on a 5 game winning streak? Meaning Seth Littrell is a good recruiter and evaluator of talent? And you just need a better Xs and Os guy? Like say a coordinator?

I absolutely think we have the players in place to be CUSA Champs!

I love Luke Walerius.  We saw recruiting go from mid-low CUSA rankings to top 3 as soon as he got here.  Fantastic hire by Littrell.

And technically, we already have an OC.  Are you saying he should maybe get a new one?  I dunno if Bloesch would be OK with that.  But if Littrell could identify someone who can coach up a QB, that would be ideal, yes.

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15 minutes ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

You don’t remember UCF being a mainstay in ESPNs Bottom 10 up until maybe 2014 or so?  I think they also have a 0-12 season under their belts in the past 15 years.  Then, they built up different expectations, and achieved them!

In 2013 UCF went 12-1 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Their coach was George O’Leary who had been there since 2004. He resigned in 2015 after starting 0-8 in his 12th season at age 69.

Edited by Cr1028
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3 minutes ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

I absolutely think we have the players in place to be CUSA Champs!

I love Luke Walerius.  We saw recruiting go from mid-low CUSA rankings to top 3 as soon as he got here.  Fantastic hire by Littrell.

And technically, we already have an OC.  Are you saying he should maybe get a new one?  I dunno if Bloesch would be OK with that.  But if Littrell could identify someone who can coach up a QB, that would be ideal, yes.

Ok good, then we agree. I think Bloesch was in way over his head as OC and to my eyes it seemed Littrell took the playsheet back from him. I’m fine risking the loss of Bloesch for a top notch OC/QB coach. The hiring of Bennett shows we are willing to make a splash with coordinator hires. I hope we do that with this qb coach (hopefully OC) hire.

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4 minutes ago, Cr1028 said:

In 2013 UCF went 13-1 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Their coach was George O’Leary who had been there since 2004. He resigned in 2015 after starting 0-8 in his 12th season at age 69.

See, now you’re making me have to Google stuff.  That 2015 season was the winless one.

Prior to that, yes, OLeary built up some great expectations!  Then, after OLeary left (I’m sure there were some fans that were afraid of what would be coming, and how it would stack up to OLeary’s previous CUSA contending expectations), Frost came on board & took them even higher!  
 

I think the same thing can happen here.  Seth’s 9-win, CUSA-contending, expectations can be even higher!

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1 minute ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

See, now you’re making me have to Google stuff.  That 2015 season was the winless one.

Prior to that, yes, OLeary built up some great expectations!  Then, after OLeary left (I’m sure there were some fans that were afraid of what would be coming, and how it would stack up to OLeary’s previous CUSA contending expectations), Frost came on board & took them even higher!  
 

I think the same thing can happen here.  Seth’s 9-win, CUSA-contending, expectations can be even higher!

Haha well George was 25 years older than Littrell and left of his own accord. And while I agree, we could be better, the odds are that we would be worse, potentially much worse, as you and I have seen over these last decades.

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12 minutes ago, Cr1028 said:

Ok good, then we agree. I think Bloesch was in way over his head as OC and to my eyes it seemed Littrell took the playsheet back from him. I’m fine risking the loss of Bloesch for a top notch OC/QB coach. The hiring of Bennett shows we are willing to make a splash with coordinator hires. I hope we do that with this qb coach (hopefully OC) hire.

Bloesch was able to rebuild Langstons mess quickly.  He proved to be a nice hire himself.  Not sure what all went into giving him the OC job, but if he got stripped of that, I dunno if he’d stick around, so yeah, we’d have to replace him too.  I’d hate to lose him.  That’s a lot of turnover on that side of the ball, so we may have to reinvent ourselves offensively again.   But it could be even better, especially if Littrell hit on both hires (OC & OL).

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Just now, MeanGreenTexan said:

That simply cannot happen unless he gets back to his previous 9-win expectations next season.   Even then, it’s gotta be like 2-3 years only (but I doubt Sexton goes for that).

I think its very possible he gets an extension by:

Beating Miami (OH) in this upcoming bowl game

or

Winning 7+ games next year, which will be very, very possible. FCS Spare, SMU, @Memphis, and @UNLV for OOC should be 2 wins at a minimum. Then CUSA West will see UTSA lose a ton of talent, LT break in a new coach, UTEP and Rice improving but still below us, USM, and UAB, then @Marshall and home against FIU who will be breaking in a new coach.

Its hard not to see at least 7 wins IF we have decent QB play and have Phil Bennett's defense back here and running. This schedule is very soft in 2022, as compared to what we have played.

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1 hour ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

UCF was a pretty terrible program historically, up until they changed expectations, then MET those lofty expectations!  

I believe, with Baker & Smatresk at the helm, North Texas can do the same thing.  
 

But the idea of what success means at North Texas has been “just make it to a bowl game & we’ll be happy”. This was me too.  But if we ever want to achieve UCF’s kind of success, we have to get past our low expectations & hope for better.

If we didn’t already have a body of work to judge Littrell on, I might say let’s give him next season to see if he can’t get us back to those 9-win seasons.  But we’re also moving to the AAC in 2023, so it would be nice to have that buffer year in 2022 to break in a new, better coach (that I have full-confidence Baker can find) to have us humming as we move into the AAC in 2023, instead of what I’m fearing: another circa-.500 season under Littrell… bringing no momentum into the AAC.

 

I follow UNT because I enjoy the games and it’s a fun small community of fans. I have given up on us ever becoming “the next UCF”. 

My Vito prediction was like 1-11, so I guess this season was a success. I don’t get my blood pressure up over UNT games anymore.

Guess I’m #OldDenton.

Edited by texx2818
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6 minutes ago, Cr1028 said:

Haha well George was 25 years older than Littrell and left of his own accord. And while I agree, we could be better, the odds are that we would be worse, potentially much worse, as you and I have seen over these last decades.

Oh, I agree it would be a risk for sure.  But again, for me, it comes down to the night/day difference between Smatresk & Baker VS Battaille/Villarreal.  I think those dark days are behind us.   I have faith!

Just yelling at clouds, as I know Littrell is back next year.  I’m absolutely rooting for him to succeed, because it means success for the Mean Green.

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