Folks, let me start this out by apprising you of some of the latest and greatest information about this here site: it has been lying fallow for a bit longer than we intended simply for the fact that Real Life has slowed some things down.
Children and real estate and new endeavors all take up precious time that could be used to think about football and whatnot. Be assured that thoughts have been thought and words will be written, electronically.
It is the last ride for the Mason Fine-Seth Littrell combination. Some part of that included the Graham Harrell thing, and the goodbyes and tears were already shed when Harrell left for USC to Fight On.
The man in charge is the one Seth Littrell, and the face of this program thus far — the QB — is Mason Fine. As Charlotte football coach Will Healy said, the QB is “going to have his face on the wall and on the stadium and we need someone okay with that”. The QB is the face and Mason Fine has been as good as ambassador as could possibly be hoped for.
Seth has been growing into the aspects of the role that require him to be anything beyond gruff cliche reciter. He is not Tech’s Skip Holtz or FIU’s Butch Davis but he is clearly more comfortable in his MG skin.
He has a team that should be competitive for the league title — something that a good coach will have at least twice within a 4-year cycle. NT has talent on the offensive side of the ball — a thing he was hired to bring — and has enough of a chance defensively that there is reasonable hope.
It very well could be the best team that NT has put out in the era. This is it, however. The entire 4-year run has led to this season of competition for both QB and coach. Barring injury — always looming and thought to top-of-mind in last year’s bowl game — Mason Fine should put the team career passing records out of reach for at least a half-decade and probably set another season record or two.
The conference title and a bowl win are all that are missing from this era to put it up near the best in NT history. Darrell Dickey’s squads had a bowl win and multiple league titles, after all. Dan McCarney won the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Littrell teams have more viral moments and one more Heisman hopeful than those teams but have only a division title to celebrate. As if we would celebrate _that_.
That kind of “pressure” can make some decisions a little more difficult than they would otherwise be. Littrell has done some self-criticism in the media, saying he needs to be better in big moments and not letting it “get” to him.
What does that mean when a chance at a league title is slipping away in a competitive division?
As for Mason Fine, he of the incredible TD-INT ratio, does the new mandate to look for a big play instead of always dumping it down mean more interceptions?
This is all a great problem to have. Having the best QB in the league at the wheel of a talented offense is always preferable to not having those things.
A reasonable goal for a reasonable fan is to enjoy the final season of _the_ greatest QB in NT history and the final attempt at the greatest HC+QB combination in school history. There will be points, there might be losses. There may be a hardware at the end of this thing but if not? Well, try not to let that spoil the fun you have along the way.