McCarney Speaks To The Masses

I was watching through my computer screen. There he was, pacing back and forth, winning me over again. The first time was back in November. Then he sold hope. This time he sold facts. Stinging facts about the guys who ran this joint before he stepped in.

His honesty is refreshing. Instead of trite cliches, he admitted that “There’s not anybody respectin’ what we’re doing here.” When talking about waking the sleeping giant that is North Texas, he pointed out that “you better get guys that know how to coach and recruit and develop and motivate young men.” Ostensibly, he was talking about his staff and how good they are. Good is a relative term, however, and in this case, in relation to the previous staff. After all, he had just finished listing the problematic state he found the program in.

It is all true. No one respects North Texas, no matter what happened in the early 2000s. Acknowledgement is the first step, guys. The next step is fixing it and for that he has a plan.

The guy loves to talk. He did a little Kevin Smith up there, taking a question and stretching the answer into a story. That’s the kind of stuff that will win over the media. All three of them. It can get a little tiresome if you have to hear it everyday … but that is a future complaint.

On that checklist of coaching traits we know Danny Mac can recruit and handle the media. Can he handle glad handing? You know it. Why did we even ask? Among the videos available was the highlights of the golf classic. There you can find Danny Mac making (poor) jokes and shaking hands with any and everyone. You know that had to be a beating.

Still he soldiers on with enthusiasm. Makes me like the guy even more.

[Mean Green Premium]

Football Sunbelt Stuff

Linking: Revisit 2010, Todd Dodge’s New Home and More

Football Study Hall

This is a good, objective look back on last year. It is fairy accurate (he missed some of the details) and provides the statistical version of the story your local season ticket holder would tell you without the harping on the use of tight ends.

Quick version: UNT was predictable on offense. Given the injury situation, it was understandable. The defense was terrible defending the big play.

Favorite quote:

To that end, does it really matter that the Mean Green only return six starters, few of which made much of a statistical impact in 2010? Does it matter that they lose both starters at defensive tackle … when the line was basically a sieve anyway? Their 2011 performance will be based on how quickly McCarney and incoming defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, who previously served four years as Mark Mangino’s D.C. at Kansas, can tweak UNT’s scheme, conditioning, skill, mentality, etc.

Couldn’t agree more.

Pitt Panthers Preview

Care where the Worst Coach In UNT History is now? At Pitt helping Todd Graham spread ’em and shred ’em as QB coach.

Crimson Quarry

The Hoosiers SBNation site lamely previews our upcoming clash.

Pre Snap Read

No doubt you’ve read the Pre Snap Read preview. If you haven’t — shame on you.

Favorite quote:

Take note: North Texas outgained 14 opponents over the last two seasons but won only five of those games. In those 14 games, the Mean Green gained an average of 445.6 yards per game while allowing an average of 345.0 yards per game — 100 more yards per game — yet still lost nine times. So coaching played a role.

FAU Blog

FIU’s TY Hilton for Heisman? I know the dude is smoothness but if the Sun Belt is going to produce a Heisman candidate my vote is with our own Lance Dunbar: Touchdown Machine.

New Stadium

This guy went. Took pictures. There are around 50 or so. Sweet. MGN wishes it could have attended the cookout yesterday but sadly that wasn’t possible.

Fave quote:

Everything is amazing from the sight lines, to the huge concourse with monitors everywhere, to the team store, to even small things like having bathrooms on the student side accessible pre-game for tailgaters without opening up the rest of the stadium.

[Football Study Hall]
[Crimson Quarry]
[FAU Blog]
[New Stadium]


2011 Season Preview

The start of the season is upon us. How do you feel?

Compared to last year, this season should fill you with dread. Maybe disillusionment.
Looking from last July 26th, I was reasonably pessimistic about this 2011 season. Papa Dodge had loaded up for one last hurrah in 2010 and much depended on it. Multiple draft classes had failed to blossom. The roster was loaded with JUCOs and BCS-castoffs who had yet to prove their hype. Todd’s job depended on it.

It failed him.

The team that should have been the best of the four-year term only managed to lose valiantly in the opening games. Canales stepped up and arguably steered the ship to a finish we could be proud of — yet one that looked a lot like the start.
It is difficult to be optimistic. The QB spot is either going to be filled by JUCO Brent Osborn or newbie Derek Thompson. With only 24 snaps of experience on this level between the two, neither inspires confidence. Lance Dunbar is going to face stacked fronts and for all his breakaway ability, asking him to carry such a load in a winning campaign is ridiculous.

The defense showed signs of life but is still stocked with guys recruited by Papa Dodge. There is more hoping and wishing.

Really, if any of the three units play like they did under Canales, I am sure we will be satisfied. That is the odd thing. All optimism comes from Danny Mac and his coaching staff. We are all hoping that he can magically motivate, coach and conjure up a decent squad despite even despite his words of reason.

How much of the slight improvement that the 2010 team showed will carryover and how much of it can be attributed standard New Coach Motivation is up for debate. It doesn’t matter. Mac can motivate. His introductory press conference and history in the coaching ranks has more than proven that he can coax effort from a college athlete. That effort mixed with a modicum of decent defensive scheming has me expecting a half-way decent squad less prone to allowing 50-yard trots through the middle of the park.

Things are looking up.

Unfortunately, there will be no shocking the world this season –at least not over the long haul. A surprising win here, a close loss there, maybe a late-season long mathematical chance at snatching the Sunbelt crown may be all the drama and hope we can expect.

Danny Mac is not hot young prospect with a crazy high-octane offense. That isn’t what we need right now. He is a guy that will, as Bret Vito has said, get us looking like an honest-to-goodness college football team.


We can expect more of the same from Mike Canales: Spread offense with tight-ends to open up holes in the running game. He mixed in some stuff that Brian Kelly uses at Oregon and so we will likely see more runs and fakes from the QB spot. Stuff that Brent Osborn does well. Derek Thompson will likely start and that doesn’t change much. Any coordinator worth a damn will modify his offense to suit the players on the roster. We saw some Nate Tune read options in his brief appearances.

It will all funnel through Lance Dunbar, of course. The guy projects to 1400 yards and 15 scores rushing along with 300 or so and a couple scores receiving. Did I mention that he has something like ten or eleven long scores a year? Dude is productive and entertaining. He should more than make it easy on the two newbie quarterbacks and the still unproven receiving corps.


We once again lost a linebacker/leader. Once again we have questions about the front line. Once again the defense looks to be without obvious playmakers.

The good news is that Danny Mac’s specialty is defense and in particular the defensive line.


Its good for the long term. Here we find the area that requires the most patience. As was often the case last year, if the defense can keep it close, we might have a shot to win a few.

That is ridiculously simplistic analysis but likely the most true. There is no evidence that these guys will be a force –nor anything resembling a force– as of yet. The smallish defensive line was even a point of emphasis for the new coach upon arriving. They won’t be getting much bigger and we will not have reinforcements for at least another year.

This is it.


The new staff has plenty of slack. Dan McCarney has plenty of skins on the wall to prove that he can coach on this level and win. If the players can muster up the same level of effort they displayed (or if the staff can coax it from them) we can surprise some teams with a few wins.

There are certainly some guys with some talent. Look at Tyler Stradford, Brelen Chancellor and of course, Dunbar. If we can stay within reasonable striking distance those guys have the talent and ability to break a 60-yarder. That is really all we can hope for.

All that said, I will forget I mentioned any of this on the first of September and complain that we don’t score on every possession.



So you are a UTSA hater?

If you happen to browse the most popular UNT-centric message board you might have noticed the concern over UTSA and its progress toward prominence. That isn’t to say that UTSA is making large steps toward prominence. Well, none that are amazing. The basketball team is in the NCAA tournament again and won a play-in game. The football team begins play in the fall. They join the struggling WAC conference in 2012.

All cool stuff if you are a Road Runner, are from SA, or root for them because of some ties, family or otherwise. Nothing that hasn’t been seen before, though.

Why are we afraid?

UTSA is very similar in both population, community support, perception and even endowment. Both schools are in the 30K range in student population, are or were fighting the stigma of being long time commuter schools, hit-and-miss athletic performances and are not rich.

There. With momentum seemingly in UTSA’s favor, surely they will ride it to success? Probably not. The audacity of Lynn Hickey, UTSA’s athletic director, to move so quickly into full FBS status when so many have struggled even after maintaining successful FCS programs for years no doubt rankles some.


I can’t say if UTSA’s plan is a smart one. It is bold. Some people don’t like bold. Especially fans of teams that have struggled so often and are perennially “on the verge of success” like UNT.

It is understandable that we as a fan base are looking at a program with an excited (and minting new blowhards by the day) fan base and get a little jealous. After 94 seasons of mediocrity with blips of relative success, it is only natural to get a little miffed at the boasts of an upstart proclaiming their planned awesomeness. We are the grumpy old men who like to boast of what could have been.

If only. If only.

When UT-San Antonio was founded on the fifth of June, 1969, we were in the offseason following Rod Rust’s second season in the midst of what would become a .476 career record in Denton.


In the time before Rod, UNT had four coaches who managed a better-than .500 winning percentage. Since, they have squeaked out only the revered Hayden Fry and his .629 mark. (Jerry Moore went exactly .500.)

Long story short: UNT has been pitiful. The die-hards and long-timers will tell you all about the “great” defenses of the Dickey era and how, when the circumstances are considered, the records don’t tell the entire story.

They have a point.

It still doesn’t inspire fan appreciation. Dallasites are stereotypically fickle, fake and fans of shiny things. Cranking out boring football and losing seasons did not grow the fan base outside of those long-timers with stories and a soft spot for Saturdays full of disappointment. It is our legacy. Losing at North Texas is what was done, at both football and basketball, all the way until Johnny Jones decided he liked winning better.

The past is the past. It can be overcome. The losses have no doubt hindered our abilities to attract students with pure allegiances and our endowment has no doubt suffered for it.


Just as the start of a new season holds the promise of possibility, of what could be, of hope, so does the start of the tenure of a new coaching staff.

Yes we can and all that.

The easy solution to our problems is just to win. On our end, there isn’t much to do other than offer support. Do that. Enjoy the wins and don’t be so damn cynical. Don’t be a hater. Quit comparing the team to other squads.

If you really need the advice women’s magazines give then here it is: be the best you you can be. Don’t compare yourself to other [programs].

There is nothing to be gained from hating on UTSA. Nothing. Unless it is good old fashioned rivalry hate.

Even that can get stupid, though so just watch yourself. You don’t want to end up killing 100-year old trees like that ‘Bama guy.



Switching to Nike, Goodbye Southlake Carroll Unis

Seriously, they look the same.

It was along running joke that Papa Dodge brought with him the Southlake Carroll Jerseys.

In fact, I once imagined the conversation that started it:

RV: You know, Todd Dodge is sooo awesome.

Friend: Yeah. Too bad he coaches high school.

RV: We should hire him.

Friend: Yeah.

RV: You know? We should hire him and change our jerseys to look like Carroll’s, then we’d never lose! WOOT!

And so it came to pass.

Thankfully, Danny Mac has seen fit to change the garb of Losing Time to yet-be-determined Nike attire.

We’ll have to wait for UniWatch to give us the deets on the actual look. Apparently it won’t be available for a while.



Riley Dodge To Transfer

Riley Dodge doing stuff

Per MGR, espndallas and MGB,


“I have loved my time at North Texas. I have many friends and teammates that I will miss greatly. I hope all the best for North Texas football as it enters a new era and a great new stadium. Under the circumstances that I have been presented, I feel it is in the best interest for all, for me to seek a transfer at this time.”

Basketball Recaps

Conference Play! UNT v UALR 12/30/10

Can we have this gain?

Catching Up

Johnny Jones is happy

If you hadn’t noticed, MGN has been rather silent on matters lately. Just a small little break for personal matters (car accident and parents coming up for Christmas).

So what did I miss? Well, it seems that we went to the Pete Maravich Center for a little combo Johnny Jones — Josh White homecoming and kicked the Tiger’s ass. Did you know we hadn’t beaten an SEC team in ANYTHING up to this point? What the hell?!

So, we are sitting here at 10-2 with a nice win over a name team. Sure, LSU sucks ass this year, and sure no one is really impressed when you look closely. Hell if you don’t know who LSU is though.

I won’t get into a This Is Good For The Program speech, but it means good things. Good things, yo.

Fo sho.

Now then. Tonight we play OK-Panhandle State. Exactly. A WhoInTheHell team. We should rock them by 30. No. Let’s win by 50 and get one of those wins that Big 12(ten) teams get versus these guys.

Is that too much to ask?


McCarney’s Staff

It is really hard for me to care about this but here you go:

So, this is the lineup so far:

OC/quarterbacks: Canales
Running backs: ?
Receivers: Quartaro
Offensive line: Frye
Tight ends: Riddle
DC/safeties: Bowen
Defensive line: Nelson
Linebackers: ?
Cornerbacks: Gaines
Special teams: Riddle
Strength/conditioning: Wintrich


[Mean Green Report]

Basketball Recaps

UNT v Grambling Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

They won’t be bringing this guy

UNT is 5-1, Grambling is 1-5. The Sun Belt is 130-26 against the SWAC since 1980.

All signs point to a win, no?