SMU, TCU, North Texas and UT-Arlington have a combined 340,000 alumni living in North Texas. Factor in the students and the corporate influence, and I find it hard to believe this town couldn't generate a couple of crowds of 20,000 in downtown Dallas in November or December for a college basketball hug.
"I think it would be great for the community," UT-Arlington athletic director Jim Baker said. "It would be great for college basketball. It would be great for our fan bases to build up some rivalries. Plus everyone is looking at their budgets. There's no travel costs and no missed school. What's the downside?"
College basketball is on the upswing locally. Why not celebrate it? It works in Boston, Detroit and Philadelphia. It can work in Dallas, too.
DENTON — Let me take you back to 1999.
The Boise State football program wasn’t much different from the North Texas program back then. Both schools were in the Big West Conference and both had small fan bases. Boise averaged 20,107 fans for its home schedule that season and North Texas 13,752.
Only 11,648 showed up in Denton on Oct. 16 of that year to see North Texas defeat Boise State, 17-10. That dropped the Broncos to 4-3.
But Boise State has not been the same program since then. The Broncos won their final five games of the regular season to capture the Big West, then upset Louisville in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Since its last visit to Denton, Boise State has become a brand name in college football.
The Broncos have posted a 173-28 record with victories over Arizona State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU and Virginia Tech. Boise has won 11 championships in three different conferences, participated in 14 bowls and finished seasons with a top-20 ranking nine times.
If Boise State can do it, why can’t North Texas? If one underdog can do it, why can’t another, especially one that calls Texas its home recruiting base?
Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20150726-gosselin-how-can-north-texas-football-emerge-from-obscurity-boise-state-provides-a-blueprint.ece
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