DMN: NT Is a Sleeping Giant, Nationally Relevant

Kevin Sherrington wrote a column praising North Texas the other day. He touched on the usual, including the reasons for the way things were.

Too many reasons to cram into such a small space, but you could start with the fact that it’s never been affiliated with a major conference, and the facilities were modest, to say the least.
But now UNT plays in sweet little Apogee Stadium, with additional plans on the horizon and a team on the rise.

Check it out.


Football Broadcast Schedule Released

Conference USA announced a deal with ESPN that completes the mystery of the other games on the schedule.

We knew CBS Sports/Facebook/Stadium were going to be the primary partners but we did not know how or if the rest of the league’s inventory was going to be divvied.

The schedule for NT is short on the national games, in case you wanted a little reality for your narrative, but the showdown with FAU will be nationally broadcast.

Unfortunately the Arkansas game will be on the mysterious SEC Alternative channel which is usually one of the local network channels that sometimes forgets to put the information on the guide. So we have that to look forward to.

Seriously, this is all good. If you remember (like I do) the Sun Belt days when we simply hoped that the games were watchable you realize the good fortune here. Obviously, a nice nationally broadcast deal wherein we could reliably predict the channel and time of the game would be the ideal. As it is, there is no silly midweek game (FAU excepted) like the Mountain West.

So that’s nice. Here is the schedule.

Date Opponent Time Network
9/1 SMU 6:30p Stadium
9/8 Incarnate Word 6:30p ESPN+
9/15 at Arkansas 3:00p SEC Network ALT
9/29 La Tech 6:30p beIN
10/6 at UTEP 6:30p beIN
10/13 Southern Miss 1:00p ESPN3
10/20 at UAB 6:30p beIN
10/27 Rice 3:00p ESPN+
11/10 at ODU 2:30p ESPN3
11/15 FAU 8:30p CBSSN
11/24 at UTSA 6:00p ESPN+
Basketball CUSA Stuff

UPDATED: BEIN Sports Connect Is Hard to Connect To

UPDATE: We found the stream. It was on BEIN 3 — There was no indication of this, so MGN had to click through each of the 11 streams hoping to find it. (I started at 10 and went down).

Original post:

Tonight’s Rice vs North Texas game was supposed to be on BEIN Sports Connect but good luck finding it.

If you browse the offerings you are greeted with the following:

That is a whole lot of nothing available.

It at least was supposed to be broadcast.


247 NT Profile

247 Sports

The turning point for North Texas a year ago came at halftime against Rice in a Week 4 road contest. One week after Florida held the Mean Green to 57 yards total yards in a shutout loss, the Owls were up 17-0 deep in the second quarter. A 14-point surge made the game 17-14 at halftime, and Littrell told his team in the locker room: “We’re going to win it. We talk about adversity every day. This is the adversity I was talking about.”

This is a good profile but you can see the outlines of the Year 2 narrative taking shape. While I generally agree with author Chris Hummer’s point about the slight improvement in the passing game visible in the Bowl outing, we who watch a bit closer should remember that Alec Morris mostly took what was available, and there was plenty of meat left on the bone.

There is much work to do, and the four-game improvement is not guaranteed, no matter how iffy the conference is.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled viewing of the world ending.


The (Half-Ass) 2014 North Texas Sports Media Awards

2014 started with so much promise. We traveled deep into the Heart of Dallas, felt its rhythmic, tribal beating, and took what was rightfully ours. I remember when the game started and UNLV marched right down and scored early, that familiar “ol’ North Texas can’t have nothin’” dread quickly washed over and started numbing my extremities in a way only this fan base understands. Then, the team just beat the crap out of them and there was joy and a sense that anything was possible.

Now, we’re a year out and all of those happy thoughts have been replaced by anything ranging from this

to this

depending on a number of factors ranging from world view, age to political preferences. On the plus side, the last sports match of the year featured our Hoops Benfords on the road holding Texas Tech to 43% shooting (and still losing by 15.)

Wait — was that last sentence a compliment?

I’m glad you asked, because the only thing that seemingly evolved this season was the media coverage around the program, including how things were reported out, spun and otherwise covered. That is why I am proud to present the first Mean Green Nation media year in review. This is by no means comprehensive or coherent, so please direct any and all hate mail to your personal twitter account and hashtag appropriately to fully capture your outrage.

The Quoner Memorial “Hey – Remember When Johnny Quinn Was Everywhere?” Award: Johnny Quinn, for being everywhere
Who else but Olympic hero Johnny Quinn. Now that he broke down the walls to everyone’s hearts, we surely won’t hear the end of him, right? See, he’s right there between the TCU/Baylor controversy and Donald Sterling forever!

The George Dunham Bravado Award: SMU speech at the coach’s show
George usually finds ways to show how little he cares for the message board/blog crowd on his show, but that didn’t stop him from firing up his own YouTube comment section-worthy “HOT TAKE” on SMU before the game:

“I am a North Texas grad,” Dunham said on the radio show. “That is our rivalry. I hate SMU and always have. If they were playing Russia State, I would root for Russia State to beat them by four touchdowns.”

Two theories here – he’s been watching Red Dawn between film study and show prep, or he just hadn’t fired up the old Taketronic 6000 since the Reagan years. Don’t worry, those sea legs come back quick.

“I Bet Coach Wants This One Back” Award: Dan McCarney on how hard it is to win at North Texas
Of all the Dan McCarney decisions that can be second guessed this year, I think the one to complain about his situation is the worst one – because if he doesn’t win next year, you’re going to read it endlessly from every angry internet hot take artist with a pulse.

Weirdest Twitter Feud Award: The SID and Student Body President
It all started with an attempt by the North Texan to explain why people aren’t attending basketball games anymore (probably a major mystery we should put out best men on), and ended with a very weak quote to come out of a student representative’s mouth. That said, I think most of us would have missed it if not for some hot Twitter action a few days later. It looks like they hashed it all out and even came to an understanding, but it just seemed weird to do it publically. Thanks internet.

Best Rehash of an Untrue Origin Story Award: Each CUSA Broadcast team who recited the Mean Joe Greene story.
We didn’t name the team after the player. It is a fun story but untrue. Do we want it to be the origin story? Doesn’t matter. Do we think it would be easier to just let the announcers run with it and keep up the fun? Doesn’t matter. Is it laziness on the part of the announcing crew, who are either inexperienced weatherman doing a gig where they get to be Pat Summerall and John Madden; or a couple of pros who actually wish they got the TCU/Baylor game on FSSW? Doesn’t matter. Is it on the SID’s plate o’ facts that are always ignored? Doesn’t matter. Where is Snopes when you need them?

I Hope That Guy Does Well Award: The kid that did the sideline reporting during the CUSA broadcasts that writes for NT Dailyit turns out he doesn’t write for the Daily. Where did I get that from? — and also does the Green Guys show. Green Guys isn’t particularly great, but it is a show about MG and I love them for it. Three cheers for good ol’ Evan Nemec, who was miles ahead of any of the other school’s sideline kids. A special shoutout to UAB’s sideline reporter lady, whose less-than-awesome dispatches spawned a bit on the Deranged Pengwin Podcast that no one understands. Woot!

Most Random/Optimistic Tweet in the Face of Sorrow Award: Mean Green Sports Social Media
Running the official social media feed is a thankless task – so why start thanking anyone now? They knew what they signed up for. Sometimes, when things are going poorly or the situation is a little odd, you got to just dive in and make the best of it. [You can totally pick which one here]

SID Intern Working OT Fun Fact of the Year Award: (Tie) November Record vs. Four Year Record
We won November, which is more than Indians can say. Also, it was pointed out we have 22 wins in fours years in some game notes. Don’t be depressed about that – just the number make you feel like you just got 4 Dodges worth of wins.

Best North Texas State Reference: All of Them!

I didn’t get a chance to see the LHN coverage of the first game from the crowd, but dammit I know one of them called us North Texas State. Damn you 1961-1988! Damn you SCOTT BAKULA!!

Craig Miller Memorial Allegiance Award: Mike Taylor of the Ticket in San Antonio
Imagine if Randy Galloway’s less talented clone from another dimension was trying to do Ticket (Dallas) bits and you have imagined Taylor. In his defense, he is the best San Antonio has on the air and when his bosses let him be fun he was fun. He went to NT (for a while) , but insists on rooting for TCU (he’s from FW) and throwing shade this-a-way. Like purposefully calling us NT State in the lead-up to the UTSA-UNT game (it’s as genius as calling a guy named Chuck Charles until he politely asks you to stop for the 50th time.)  Its grating after a while and when you are in San Antonio and the only bit of Fortune 500-funded-media (iHeart Radio, neé Clear Channel) that is talking UNTvUTSA is Taylor, it is relatively inescapable.

Citizenship Award for Classiest Opponent Play-by-Play: Rice Owls Soccer Announcer Calls Our Soccer Coach a Prick on the Air
Watching women’s college soccer is an interesting activity when placed in the context of larger college sportsball watching activities. One of the things you realize is that the broadcasts are unrestrained, un-good, and sometimes unhinged.

Here is the audio!


Cold Hard Facts Basketball Style

Disclaimer I’m tired of the negativity that continues to poor out of me. You may not believe me when I say that I’m generally not a negative person. I want to be positive. I want to share with you my thoughts of why this UNT basketball team can turn it around. Unfortunately I cannot do that with you today. So if you were looking for a positive post please exit now and stop reading. If you want to hear a little bit of the truth then stick around.


  1. North Texas just lost at home to one of the worst teams in CUSA. Not that playing at home is that much of an advantage for UNT, because there were only 1628 people in attendance. Watching the game from home I’m not so sure that attendance number is correct. Anyways you can’t lose that game if you’re UNT. Yes you were without 2 key players in T.J Taylor and Maurice Aniefiok, but you still have enough talent to win that game. If you want fans to take your program seriously then don’t consistently lose to bottom dwellers.
  2. The defense is good statistically not fundamentally. The one thing that UNT has hung its hat on this year was its defense. Well the past two games it hasn’t been that good. UTSA broke down the zone early with good crisp ball movement. Almost every team has been able to penetrate against the UNT zone and get open looks with kick outs. UNT is not a bad defensive team, but they aren’t great either. Let’s just say that UNT is average on defense and could be in for a rough stretch during conference play.
  3. Talent is not the issue. Fans will immediately look at the talent on the floor as the issue. Well folks that is not the issue. UNT has plenty of talented guys. The problem is that it’s just a group of guys. It’s not a team. It doesn’t function as a team on the court. All I see when I watch them play is 5 guys playing basketball individually. I don’t really blame them. They were brought here for that purpose. Tony Benford is pretty good recruiter. He has brought in talented guys. I get the feeling that he trying to collect as much as talent as he can and hope that it somehow produces a winner. The end result is the pieces don’t fit or the system is flawed.
  4. We have a Coach who can’t reach his players. I’m not one of those that argues that Coach Benford can’t coach. I believe the man knows basketball. He has been around at a lot of places. He has been at places as an assistant where they won too. So the man knows what a winning program looks like. The problem is he can’t convey that to his players. For whatever reason since he has been here his players have not bought in or the message isn’t clear. Coaches have to be great communicators. I get the sense that Coach Benford is not a great communicator. You don’t have so many guys walk away from a program like UNT has had if you have a great communicator at the top.
  5. We have an athletic department who is willing to settle. At some point you hope that the athletic department hears or sees the message. Fans don’t believe in this basketball program. They aren’t going to show up until the AD and administration starts to take this seriously. Right now UNT is being passed in almost every sport by other programs within the state. It’s not that far off to state that UNT is dead last in men’s basketball and football amongst Div 1 schools in this state. The message coming from the AD’s office is one that is he okay with that. He is okay with no change. He is okay with minimal standards. When is UNT going to take athletics seriously?


After yesterday’s loss I have hard time seeing this team win more than 4 or 5 games in conference play. It would not surprise me if they go 10-20 this season. It’s a sad thought. Jordan Williams and Colin Voss deserve better. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like things will get better.


Mean Green Stadium Draws an Observer’s Diss

Thanks to for the link. The Dallas Observer’s Unfair Park did a pretty standard rip job of the new stadium’s projected economic impact.

Observer guys (and gals) are paid to bring a cynical perspective and question the establishment. It’s important stuff and of use to the readership and community.

My biggest issue with the piece is the shortsightedness. It matters little whether the team is doing well. This isn’t a pro outfit looking to subsidize his profit machine. It is a public good. It beautifies the city and by extension the Metroplex. It’ll be there for the Glory of Rome (Denton) for a long while and that is cool stuff.

While the rubber stamp on the economic impact maybe is a little glass-half-full spin, it isn’t a lie. It is the news people want to hear. It will make them feel a little better. You could tell them the truth and tell them about all the factors involved but people really just want to know how it will effect them in their pocketbook (they still have those?) right now. Which is why I can’t be too angry at Joe Tone for his little write-up. He was just providing the other thing people want to hear.

His little spew on “even though it isn’t public money it will be kind of public when you look for enough down the line, yo” is what draws my ire. You can make the same argument about a lot of stupid shit and then feign anger over it.


Your tithes go to prostitutes. You give money to the church for the new Steeple Fund. Church contracts Bob’s Steeple installer. Bob gets paid with Steeple Money. Bob gives $50 to his loser brother always beggin’ for cash so he can leave him a lone because dammit he just needs one night where he isn’t hanging around lying about how he will get a job eventually.

Brother goes buys drugs and prostitute. Boom! Tithe to prostitute! WHOA!

That is the very long way around but it isn’t really unusual. Money circulates. That isn’t (always) sinister.

[Dallas Observer]


Vito on Positivity


Apparently someone is complaining about Vito being too negative on the blog and spouts the oft-repeated mantra touting positivity and the “correct” way to refer to the school’s athletic department.

Bret set the record straight:

First off, our style is to use UNT on second reference. It doesn’t matter how UNT is branding itself this week.


And finally, I have never understood the attitude that the local media is an extension of the university public relations machine. That attitude isn’t just one you run into in Denton. It’s something people assume everywhere you go. . . What we — and every other paper out there tries to be — is realistic and truthful.

Yeah, I hate that stuff, too Bret. Tell ’em!

[Denton RC Blog]