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Perception vs Reality vs Expectations


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19 minutes ago, meanrob said:

Over the summer someone pondered the thought of where we are perceived amongst G5 teams. So I looked into a bunch of G5 W-L records for a post but never got around to it. Then in another thread someone talked about the possible perception of it being a miracle that Littrell has won so much here. I dug up those W-L records to see if that perception is right. 

In doing this I didn't want to compare us to all of the G5s, just test the idea that it's hard to win here based on other similar G5s, not past success. By doing that I didn't even compare us to successful or more prominent G5s, just similar ones. So no Boise, SDSU or any AAC teams. No ULL or App State. Even left off FAU. So the comparison isn't skewed by teams that are perceived to be bigger than us or have had more obvious recent success. Here are the records since Littrell's first year (2016)-

North Texas  37-38

Utah State  39-32

Western Kentucky  43-35

Arkansas State  37-37

Central Michigan  35-36

Eastern Michigan  34-36

Western Michigan  45-26

Northern Illinois  35-36

Ohio  38-30

Georgia State  33-39

Toledo  44-27

Nevada  38-33

Marshall  42-32

MTSU  37-37

Out of all these schools these are the only coaches in the top three in salary of their conference (based on 2021)-

Seth-  1.9 mil

Toledo coach- 1.2 mil

Central Michigan-  840k

Western Michigan- 800k

MTSU- 900k

Arkansas State- 825k

(As a comparison, Napier at ULL was making 2.1 mil in 2021, their W-L during this time was 52-24)

 

None of the schools have big advantages over us. Some have more historical success than us but I have a hard time believing that amount of success overrides facilities, recruiting area, location, coaching salaries and those factors. Does Toledo have a more winning perception that North Texas? Sure, but does Eastern Michigan. Western Kentucky? MTSU? 

With all these factors is it really a miracle to win at North Texas? Or are we so beat up by the past that we think it is? It can't be hard to have the SL amount of success at every G5 because a lot of teams are doing just as well or better than us with worse stadiums, worse locations, lower budgets and coaches that cost a lot less. The point of this isn't that SL should be doing better (although he should), the point is we are not poor ol little North Texas anymore dipping our toes into FBS football. We should be having more success because other schools with a lot less going for them than us are doing better. 

 

 

 

 

Great post #LittrellOut

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23 hours ago, meanrob said:

 

With all these factors is it really a miracle to win at North Texas? Or are we so beat up by the past that we think it is? 

 

This is everything. Not only are we so beat up by the past, public perception follows that as well. Look at what happened when Littrell won 9 games two years in a row. Everyone outside of UNT, local media, radio hosts....some national media as well...all basically said "lock Littrell up for a lifetime contract......someone actually won 18 games in 2 years AT NORTH TEXAS. or "He'll be gone...you just don't do that at North Texas...Littrell will have his pick of big jobs."

After the Arkansas win (the peak of Littrell's tenure) we got so much attention. Not because we beat an SEC team on the road....but because North Texas doesn't do that. 

That's why it is seen as a miracle to win at North Texas. I've often said...as long as we view this program though the lens of our history, we'll never get past the absolute abysmal standards that are here. Where a coach actually gets to bowl games with half the other teams in the nation is always pointed out when listing his resume. (just ignore his performance in the games....because after all, NT actually GOT to a bowl game and we should just be happy with that)

When anyone adds "for North Texas" after a positive comment about the program....that tells you all you need to know about perception vs reality vs expectations.

Edited by TheColonyEagle
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On 7/29/2022 at 2:46 PM, meanrob said:

Over the summer someone pondered the thought of where we are perceived amongst G5 teams. So I looked into a bunch of G5 W-L records for a post but never got around to it. Then in another thread someone talked about the possible perception of it being a miracle that Littrell has won so much here. I dug up those W-L records to see if that perception is right. 

In doing this I didn't want to compare us to all of the G5s, just test the idea that it's hard to win here based on other similar G5s, not past success. By doing that I didn't even compare us to successful or more prominent G5s, just similar ones. So no Boise, SDSU or any AAC teams. No ULL or App State. Even left off FAU. So the comparison isn't skewed by teams that are perceived to be bigger than us or have had more obvious recent success. Here are the records since Littrell's first year (2016)-

North Texas  37-38

Utah State  39-32

Western Kentucky  43-35

Arkansas State  37-37

Central Michigan  35-36

Eastern Michigan  34-36

Western Michigan  45-26

Northern Illinois  35-36

Ohio  38-30

Georgia State  33-39

Toledo  44-27

Nevada  38-33

Marshall  42-32

MTSU  37-37

Out of all these schools these are the only coaches in the top three in salary of their conference (based on 2021)-

Seth-  1.9 mil

Toledo coach- 1.2 mil

Central Michigan-  840k

Western Michigan- 800k

MTSU- 900k

Arkansas State- 825k

(As a comparison, Napier at ULL was making 2.1 mil in 2021, their W-L during this time was 52-24)

 

None of the schools have big advantages over us. Some have more historical success than us but I have a hard time believing that amount of success overrides facilities, recruiting area, location, coaching salaries and those factors. Does Toledo have a more winning perception that North Texas? Sure, but does Eastern Michigan. Western Kentucky? MTSU? 

With all these factors is it really a miracle to win at North Texas? Or are we so beat up by the past that we think it is? It can't be hard to have the SL amount of success at every G5 because a lot of teams are doing just as well or better than us with worse stadiums, worse locations, lower budgets and coaches that cost a lot less. The point of this isn't that SL should be doing better (although he should), the point is we are not poor ol little North Texas anymore dipping our toes into FBS football. We should be having more success because other schools with a lot less going for them than us are doing better. 

 

 

 

.....AND I would suggest that (historically) those schools have administrators who made better decisions about athletics than our administrators. 

The best decision our administration ever made (coach wise) was when JItter Nolan hired Hayden Fry. Fry was a master of recruitment. But one of the first things he recognized was that he had to do something about the "perception" that the general public had about NT before he could optimally recruit. Hence the new shade of green, new logo, and emphasizing "Mean Green" over "Eagles". When Hayden Fry left, the administrative old guard took back over, and the rest has pretty much been North Texas Perception Hell.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, SilverEagle said:

.....AND I would suggest that (historically) those schools have administrators who made better decisions about athletics than our administrators. 

The best decision our administration ever made (coach wise) was when JItter Nolan hired Hayden Fry. Fry was a master of recruitment. But one of the first things he recognized was that he had to do something about the "perception" that the general public had about NT before he could optimally recruit. Hence the new shade of green, new logo, and emphasizing "Mean Green" over "Eagles". When Hayden Fry left, the administrative old guard took back over, and the rest has pretty much been North Texas Perception Hell.

 

 

Yes, Fry was a master at re-branding and football program image makeovers.  He did the same for Iowa that he did for North Texas football.  They were losing a lot.  He changed their logo and their uniforms and culture.  They started winning. 

The difference in Iowa's continued rise is they were already in a good conference, the BIG10.   Fry tried to get NT into the SWC but fell a few votes short.   One can only imagine how our athletic history might have changed if that happened and he stayed.

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On 7/29/2022 at 2:46 PM, meanrob said:

The point of this isn't that SL should be doing better (although he should), the point is we are not poor ol little North Texas anymore dipping our toes into FBS football. We should be having more success because other schools with a lot less going for them than us are doing better. 

Man this was a great post.  Escapulates the underlying truth that flavors every comment I make on GMG.  Older folks in this space are understandably appreciative of just having Mean Green Sports on the extreme edge of the local sports media radar.  But that bare minimum comes from actually putting in effort and investing resources.  I WANTED Seth to get hired away.  Not because I thought he was a bad coach, or just a little better than mediocre.  I knew if he were going to be a truly Great coach Here it would have manifested itself in a Conference title and/or a Bowl Game win against a team with a brand that matters.   But he got a raise and extension like he was going to be great.  And I don’t closely follow the more prominent G5 programs but it seems to me they don’t hand out raises and extensions out pacing the rest of their conference for anything but the best seasons.  Hell Seth with the benefit of a better brand name Football program behind him might have great results.  But after the first 3 years with a generational G5 QB talent it was hard for me to understand why almost everyone understood that we only had a good coach here.  Moreover if that good coach had a huge injury on his roster, transfer portal loss, or important coach defection that he would not be able triumph over those challenges.  The fact that is got 2 raises and extensions without a single bowl win or conference championship is ridiculous.    He has ended EVERY season ineligible for a bowl game or losing a bowl game that is uncompetitive for most of the second half or more of the entire game.  We want AND need a program bigger than just one good coach.  You hand out multiple extensions and raises to coaches that transform your program positively. Seth hasn’t done that so letting him go at the end of 2021 should have been relatively cheap.  But we chose to over pay and over commit to someone who only demonstrated he could only get above mediocrity when everything was virtually perfect.  And I hate that.  
 

Crunch the numbers and you will find that in no one complete season nor at any point in his career has Seth been at or above a 0.700 win rate.  I just can not square that with the proportionally high salary he has with multiple raises.  What the heck is the goal here?

Edited by Mike Jackson
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