Brett Vito wrote a pretty standard column on Sunday — one that was unsurprising, uninspired, and added nothing new to the conversation. As best as I can tell, this is the reason a good number of Mean Green fans disliked it.
To be sure, a good amount of the internet grumbling stems from the tenuous relationship that the fans have with the local beat writer and that fact has to be taken into account.
Still, the substance of the column is innocuous and again, pretty standard fare for the situation.
The fact is that Seth Littrell winning in Denton was always going to bring attention. This is the way college football (and any industry) works after all. Even Nick Saban himself was rumored to be swayed by UT-Austin before staying at ‘Bama.
No actual rumor has been reported by any one reputable, or otherwise. No discussion has been had, nor has anyone expressed interest outside of a tweet or two by random football writers taking a peek at the scoreboard and the standings page.
The fact is that any good football program has to have the overall program direction in mind, and while a good coach can and should be a large part of that vision, he cannot be all of that vision.
In the same vein, a head coach has to be prepared to replace his staff and keep up the same quality — or improve it if that be the case — at any time. Seth Littrell has already had to make those types of decisions during his short two years as head man.
For AD Wren Baker, he faces a similar scenario. He and President Neal Smastresk have worked toward changing the perception of the university from one that gets in its own way to one that is fulfilling its considerable potential.
Yes, replacing a successful football coach is an inescapable part of life of a successful G5 program. Providing the infrastructure and atmosphere where success is possible and even likely is how a smart and wise administrator 1) keeps successful coaches and / or 2) attracts others.
North Texas football is good again and Seth Littrell has been a very large part of that. If some other program wants to hire him away there is only so much that can be done about that. The real important question and the more interesting column is to explore if that has been done.
Right now, Seth Littrell is doing well in CUSA and yet is still the second-most talked about coach in the league — at best. Lane Kiffin will get the first look, and is already getting the most attention. Last year UTSA’s Frank Wilson was getting the hype, and even DMN’s Ben Baby continued that line of questioning at CUSA Media Days.
All it takes is a decent season and every writer starts bringing your name up, and meanwhile the Athletic Directors, search firms, and bloggers put you on a short list.
Lose, and the opposite happens. After this UTSA season, the Wilson hype has died down considerably.
For the Mean Green fan worried about the situation, consider the following: Seth Littrell has not accomplished nearly as much as the last man hired away from CUSA — Jeff Brohm.
When and if NT wins back-to-back league titles here in Denton, there will be real and actual rumors to report on and not just anticipatory columns and tweets.
So sure, enjoy the ride or whatever, but also remember that the Seth Littrell portion need not be the only enjoyable part of the overall journey.
Once again, this blog and the various internet fandoms have long expressed that the real source of the suffering in Denton has been because of the lack of support and not necessarily the coaches (although one or two of the coaches contributed to the suffering) and that is where the worry and the attention should reside.