This week, over at CUSAReport, we wrote about the disappointing season the Mean Green and Seth Littrell had this year. His weekly press conference confirmed some of the disappointment he must have had watching his team get dominated by the Rice Owls.
“It was a disappointing game on Saturday. I didn’t think we came out with the right mentality, especially in the first half in order to have the success that we wanted. Ultimately we didn’t do a good enough job as coaches and players in order to have the success we wanted and ultimately that falls on me. I take full responsibility, we haven’t had the success in terms of wins and losses that I believe we should have had this season. I don’t think it’s been from a lack of effort or talent, ultimately you have to do the little things right and necessary each and every week in your preparation to have that success. We need to make sure that we find a way to get that fixed for the future. This week provides a great opportunity to show what this team was capable of and it should be a great motivation for our team and our coaches to make sure we send these seniors out the right way. I will always have a special place in my heart for this senior class, we started this journey together, they’ve done some great things and accomplished a lot and they have helped us create a foundation and culture for our program. I’m going to do everything in my power this week to send them out the right way.Seth Littrell, 11/26
Soul-searching time in Denton. To reiterate the piece on CR, it was always going to be an unbalanced season considering the defensive losses to graduation. We all expected more from the offense and we were very disappointed.
Perhaps we should have expected a bumpy transition to the new Bodie Reeder offense but even I thought that would be mitigated by Seth Littrell staying involved. He and Mason Fine represented the existing knowledge, and the transition should have been much smoother.
The quotes from the head man are a little vague — something that is part and parcel of Mr. Littrell’s statements — What are those things that were not done right in preparing? What does that look like? This week Will Healy, head coach at Charlotte, mentioned the turnaround in conference came about when they were began reenforcing their ‘culture’ things.
Count me skeptical of such things as the main driver — sometimes it is the opponent and luck. There are so many factors that go into winning a game that it is silly to point to any one thing as the issue. North Texas dropped their heads when they did not execute immediately but asking the players to react with something different than “here we go again” is asking them to not recognize a pattern and thus go against human nature.
The real question is why the team was starting slowly yet again. There, we can point to some personnel things and maybe some coaching items. We will not go into detail at this point because it largely does not matter anymore. The staff may not be the same next year, and the roster most definitely will not.
Mason Fine has one more game at NT and that will be the end of it. It was record-filled and the most memorable games came in the regular season — the 2017 season in particular is filled with some gems — and that is all disappointing. The man with all the QB records should have a league title or a bowl game to their name, yeah? It underlines the importance of seizing the opportunity of the moment. That 2017 title game was not to be taken for granted, as it was the only one that Mason Fine would see in four tries.
Seth Littrell has brought a different culture and a new standard for NT. He had more than one 9-win season, something McCarney was unable to do, but has two losing seasons to his name also. In this decade (2010 season to 2019) NT has had seven losing season and three nine-win ones. Two of those are by Seth Littrell. Two of the losing season are by him also.
It is hard to pick up and win anywhere, but it is a little harder at North Texas. None of that is an excuse, however, as it is difficult to win anywhere in this league. Part of the evaluation of a coach and a staff is to properly set expectations and also to adjust for the level of difficulty.
Seth Littrell is a good coach and has brought success, but he has also coached a disappointing season. There is nothing damning about a mistake or even a disappointing season, but there is if no one learns from it.