We are back.
MGN is back from internet vacation. While I am still enthralled by this year’s unexpectedly exciting World Cup, my attention is returned to our favorite little college programs. The football team has been praised over the offseason and rightly so. There are still some worries but there is enough time — over a month — before we can get down and actually sweat the details.
I saw Mason Fine is hulking up, better to take the hits that will be part of every defensive game plan from now until the end of his career. The coaching staff has put up some early recruiting wins that will stay the rumblings from the darkest corners of Internet Fandom. The league has changed enough that everyone can feel hopeful for another major for the league title.
Yes, FAU is the favorite — 4/5 betting favorites by one listing — but they lost some coaches and defending a title is a much different task than winning the first. The quality of the division remains about the same at the contender-level: Whereas UTSA should be worse, La Tech, UAB, Southern Miss have talent and Rice will be better.
North Texas was slightly ahead of schedule — who makes these schedules? — and while the team benefitted from some fortune (NT won against UTSA, La Tech, ODU, and Army by one score) the strength of the team did not lose much. Sure, one of the best backs in program history is trying to make the 49ers roster instead of warming up in Denton, but NT has a two-year starting QB and reigning Offensive Player of the Year.
If the new guys on defense — both new recruits and injury returns — can be slightly improved on passing downs, the offense will have some room for error. The hope is that last year’s program-best offense improves and does not that need that room for error.
This is the thrust of the season’s narrative. The details will be in the upcoming e-book preview, and in blog posts near you. I am excited y’all.