Football Football Recaps

UTSA vs UNT — Recruiting Angle

There has been some concern that UTSA may overtake UNT in the race for college supremacy.  The angst is building at every new hint of a rumor about the RoadRunners adding a new player, or coach, or game.

Although think it is sensible to look at UTSA as a potential threat to UNT, it is equally sensible to not freak out about it.

I take a more middle-ground stance about UTSA. Sure, San Antonio has advantages, but so does Denton. When you are talking to a recruit — he likely isn’t excited by visits to the Alamo and Sea World. Denton’s mini-Austin like feel? Yeah. Dallas’ douchebag bars ? Yep. More chicks? Yes.

Fans have been looking at all the teams scheduled to play in the Alamodome: Teams like Houston, Arizona State, Arizona, Baylor, and Kansas St and wondering why we can’t get those guys in there.

Without knowing anything about UTSA’s scheduling process, I’d wager the schools that are lined up to visit are either a) planning on backing out or b ) looking to showcase their program to San Antonio high schoolers.

Why would a team want to come to a crappy stadium like Fouts? If you have to schedule a road game against a crappy team, you might as well schedule one in a decent stadium.

The good news is that we will have a bad-ass stadium with which to woo in the very very near future. Take heart, freaked out NT fan, 2011 is almost here.


July Summer Update

Again, the dog days of summer and all that good cliché stuff. Good news: NCAA 11 is out today. I played it a little. Like it. Will do it again.

In other news: Rivals saw fit to add wittle ole UNT to its list of Texas schools. Here is Troy Phillips breaking it all down. 

Welcome to, the new home for University of North Texas athletics on the network. UNT, the last FBS/NCAA Division I program in Texas not on Rivals, at last will be represented.

Why now and why Rivals? Let’s tackle that two-part question. Specifically at UNT, traditional media coverage has narrowed the past few years. I should know after covering the athletic department for three years for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Upon leaving there in March of 2009 after 17 years, I wasn’t replaced on the UNT beat and haven’t been since. Traditional media continues to shift heavily toward or be torn asunder by online platforms, so it’s get on or be left by the roadside.

So, there you go. Something about a roadside. I’m down with it. Like he mentions, Rivals has money, is serious and so can actually give us some good coverage. Good times. The Mean Green Report will be lovingly placed on the blogroll to the right of the screen.

You can head there now to read up on what Papa Dodge has to say about stuff. I’ll tell you know that you aren’t going to read anything groundbreaking there. Pretty standard “We’ve been working hard and we are excited about the up-coming season” type stuff. There may be a gem in there that I didn’t catch. I’ll admit that I just skimmed it.

So welcome Mean Green Report. And welcome Village forum and Tower forum.

I kind of have an unofficial policy about not paying for sites. I wonder if having this thing means that I’ll have to be a rivals member now. Crap. [muttering] I bet I can write it off … —- Note* the url doesn’t redirect to, oddly enough. Type in to see what I mean. Click that link though, and I’ve done it for you. 




Checked around. Yep Its still offseason

And there is nothing much to talk about.

And that is fine.

NCAA 11 comes out tuesday the 13th. Then we will have tons of fun as we take UNT to the BCS national championship game.


UNT and Conference Realignment from around the Internet

Vito does a good job of breaking down how and why we would go about convincing conferences that we are worth picking up.

It is not news that our conference could use some closer rivals and/or more prestige. Conference USA has a couple of Texas teams. That would be sweetness if we joined up with them.

However, we are not in a position of strength, no matter the improvement we’ve made in facilities and basketball.

Eagletalk breaks down what the official website said vs something or other (I skimmed it. I was watching the World Cup–gimme a break).

From what I can tell, some combination of Big XII South teams will break off and join the (current) Pac-11. A&M may or may not join the SEC (good move in my opinion– at the very least culturally). CUSA and the Big East, desperate to fight off the impending new round of expansion by the Big Ten(twelve) in the coming 6-12 months is going to try to raid the leftovers of the Big XII. They have stated as much.

That’s where we have a shot. With conferences looking to grow to behemoth-size, we have a shot to join one of those new large, lesser conferences like the Conference US-East, or Big Conference East USA.

Whatever. As long as we get some good teams coming through Denton, I am happy.


Update on the Mean Green and Conference Re-alignment talk

Inside North Texas:  What the shit, man? It looks like a ghost town in here. Letting us know what’s up with chicks and the Square.

GoMeanGreen: Howling about Obama and updates on other conferences.

Speaking of conference realignment:

I once wrote at length on the subject back when I was bored and not disillusioned.

Although somewhat interesting to see what will happen,  it is near pointless to gripe about it without doing something about it.

Most likely, the rich will try to get richer or stay rich. The poor ( That’s UNT) will get poorer or stay poor.


May Self-Exam

The previews are trickling in. I usually don’t try to read too many of them because, well, they don’t know much. So I’ll try not to do the same here, for the exact same reason.

The situation facing us:

We have an unproven quarterback, with a mildly (if that) successful offensive coordinator and a coach on the hottest of seats. Recent years have given us many embarrassing losses and a renewed sense of inferiority. Add to this the reality that the Jones’ (June and SMOO) are getting better, and the Froggies went to a prestigious bowl game last year.

Comparatively, we suck even more.

The bright side:

We have an awesome returning running back. He tore it up last year. PapaDodge will be delegating responsibilities and that means that he has a little more time to manage the game. The young up-coming receivers have a year under their belt and Tyler Stratford will get to show what made Oklahoma recruit him. 


Canales sucks. Dodge will find a way to eff it up. He will lose the team after Clemson drops 50 on us to open the year. Dunbar? Well we had the same hype (and disappointment) in 2005 when Cobbs and Jamario were coming off of consecutive awesome seasons.

Which is right?

I dunno. Right now I’m feeling a little more like the skeptic than Mr. Brightside, so take that for what it is worth.


NT Football 2010 Spring: New Offense? I Don’t Want to Be a Downer ….

… but I don’t know how much Canales will boost our production.

 A couple of quick warnings before you read this : I am not taking into account potential gains we get from growth by Kid Dodge or just general offensive growth under the system in place. I also don’t know if delegating will allow us to concentrate on little things like protecting the ball etc. I mostly based my horrible assessment on the fact that I couldn’t remember USF being anything special on offense. I knew they had a good defense and were ranked as high as no. 2 back during that crazy upset-heavy season. I also don’t know if Canales was stifled or something and has a genius offensive mind that was bound and gagged by the crazy-ass at USF.

1. He hasn’t had amazing success. And by amazing success I mean like his teams move the ball somewhat but they aren’t anything special. In fact, the dude got fired in Arizona because the offense was inept:

In an attempt to address the Wildcats’ problems on offense, Stoops initiated a modest off-season shakeup, replacing coordinator Mike Canales with Sonny Dykes, one of the architects of Texas Tech’s high-octane passing attack the last two seasons.

Crap. Now, again, giving the dude the benefit of the doubt, he could have been a scapegoat. This guy doesn’t think so, and he went to NT so he has loads of cred.* He had three mediocre years at Arizona before taking over USF and continuing the streak. Ugh. This does not portend good things.

*Not verified. 

2.  We weren’t that awful on offense. Especially when you compare us to USF. Wait a sec. I know I am kind of using circular logic or whatever it’s called. Hear me out: We are not that horrible on offense. We struggle in short yardage and have trouble being consistent. Those are the flaws of a young team. Execution is one of those oft-quoted little things that make a team a winning team.  Consistency is also.

Think about it.

On every play there is somewhere to go with the ball. Sometimes that place is out of bounds. Sometimes that is for a quick three yard scramble, or a quick dump off to the RB. Watch a veteran QB. Other than Favre types, they pretty much know where to go with the ball at all times. Making the smart plays means less frustrating situations. Less third-and-longs. Less turnovers-because-the-QB-was-holding-the-ball-too-long, and so on. They call those dudes Game Managers (horrible name, I know.) They don’t mess things up. Maybe they don’t win games, but they also don’t lose them. A lot of times you can only get to that level by experience.

So, you know how Lance Dunbar was tearing it up? Remember how JJ and Carey were taking those quick -3 yard passes and racing up the sideline?

You do? Okay.

Those are our chain movers, unfortunately. Lance got a ton of his yardage on three or four big runs, in most games. The most frequent whine after games was why didn’t we give it to LD more? I am sure PapaDodge has insufficient answers to these questions.  Here is my answer: The defense did not respect the deep ball. Probably for a lot of reasons. The obvious one is that Kid Dodge didn’t make ’em. Maybe he doesn’t have the arm strength. Maybe he doesn’t have the time to look deep. Maybe he doesn’t have the full playbook available to him. Maybe he doesn’t have the awareness to know he actually can look through all his progressions. I don’t know.

So how does that equal big screens and big draws? Well, when they are packing it near the line of scrimmage, all it takes is a good block/missed tackle and then– if you have speed like LD– you are off.

That wasn’t the only thing though. I mean, the other team knew that they could get beat on those things. Still, they weren’t scheming elaborately for us. Lots of times they were in their base coverages/run defenses. You know, the ones we practice on.

Anyway, my point is that we were pretty decent for a young squad. We made plays. Now, combine that with some more experience in the same (now similar) offense, and you have improvement.

This is of course, assuming that PapaDodge is a decent coach.

Which brings me back to Mike C. Where does he come in? Well, I am wondering how much impact he really is going to make. Like I’ve said before, no matter who Dodge brings in, and what responsibilities he gives him, this offense will always be a Dodge baby. It is what he hangs his hat on. Methinks this was a please-the-boss type move. A move that could mess it all up.

Here is what I hope doesn’t happen: Mike C, gets all “gotta prove myself”-y and decides to put his signature on the offense. When things don’t go that awesomely (just going off his past production here folks) Dodge who is feeling “gotta save my job”-y decides to make some ‘helpful suggestions.’

The sort-of-power-struggle creates a crappy situation for the offense, and then we stink it up. Again.

3. He signed on to be our coordinator. For cheap. I know that we aren’t hot shit. I also know that Ohio has Frank Solich. That June Jones once was banished to Hawaii. That big time coaches sometimes find themselves at small time schools. I know. It seems like this guy is going backwards, though. That concerns me. I could see if he was coming in to be our head coach. It just don’t pass the smell test for me, guys. An automatic bid conference to the worst FBS Conference? Really? For small money? Hurm.

I am sure he has his reasons. Maybe he took the first job available after Leavitt went crazy. Who knows. I’d still rather have an up-an-comer though. Kind of like this dude. But, RV probably wanted experience to soothe the fans and maybe to cool his own warming seat.

Of course, I hope that we score 40 a game while putting up 500 yards of total offense a half.



JJ Safe … For Now, Fans Rejoice

Via some website. 

Auburn signed some other guy. The Nation rejoices.

As some rightly pointed out, I figure that we have JJ for one more year. Although the iron is arguably the hottest now, leaving UNT would leave the university in a precarious position recruiting-wise. All of which I would rather not think about.

Thank goodness the crisis is averted (for now).


To: Johnny Jones From: Mean Green Nation

Basketball Basketball Recaps

Watching the Tourney- North Texas Loses 62-82

I’ll be cracking lame jokes on Twitter

Check back for updates on the biggest game in UNT history!

Their defense was beastly. We couldn’t get a shot off that wasn’t by Tristan Thompson or Odufuwa. We needed a guy that could cash some threes to open it up (like Clemente’s speed and shooting did) and get some points.

So that is that.

Still, it was an amazing season. If that 2007 tourney trip got us the talent we have now, I hope this year’s run and record setting number of wins does the same.