North Texas 2012 Outlook

At LSU –North Texas opens the road in one of the toughest venues and they have never beaten LSU. While it will be a great experience for the team, they will walk out of Baton Rouge with their tail between their legs after a severe beating. Scoring more than 7 points would be a small victory.

Texas Southern – This will be the first meeting between North Texas and Texas Southern, and North Texas should win this game pretty easily in their home opener. But North Texas will have a pending trip to Manhattan, KS after this game.

At Kansas State – The Mean Green has lost 5 straight to Kansas State, and will end up at 6 in a row after this trip. The Mean Green can hang tough early in this game, but the Wildcats will have a 2nd half blitz that will seal the game for them.

Troy – North Texas will look to win two in a row over Troy when they come to Denton. This should be a close game, but North Texas will way to win but will be able to start the conference schedule off right.

Florida Atlantic – North Texas will look to extend their winning streak to three in a row over the Owls. Look for the Mean Green to find a way to win this game and be on a 2 game winning streak heading down to Houston.

At Houston – The Mean Green haven’t won in Houston since 1959, and while the Cougars are going to be on a down year this year. I don’t see North Texas winning this game, it would be close but in the end, Houston will just have too much fire power.

Louisiana Lafayette –This will be a tough game after the Houston game, but North Texas has dropped 5 straight to the Rajin’ Cajuns. This will be a tough game for the Mean Green, but I don’t see them having enough offensive power to slow down the Rajin’ Cajuns.

At Middle Tennessee – The visitor in this series is 5-2; The Mean Green will roll into Murfreesboro and walk out with a victory over Middle Tennessee.

Arkansas St. –North Texas has struggled with the Red wolves and this year doesn’t look to be any different. This will be a heart breaking loss to their rival, but they shouldn’t let it end what could be a good season.

South Alabama – This will be the first game between these two, and UNT will look to continue a winning trend at Apogee. North Texas should win the home finale and have momentum building for the final games of year.

At Louisiana Monroe –North Texas will roll into Monroe looking for a victory and will walk out with that victory and have some positive momentum heading into the season finale.

At Western Kentucky – North Texas is 4-1 against W. Kentucky and has won both their previous trips to bowling green. This year shouldn’t be any different, and finishing with a win will put North Texas in one of its most successful seasons in a long time.

North Texas will finish their season at 7-5(6-2) and unfortunately will just be shy of winning the Sun Belt Conference and just shy of getting a bowl bid. Unless they can steal an at-large bid from one of the bowls that has an opportunity to give one in the event a tie in doesn’t have enough teams to fill the slot. A good season may not end in a bowl, but it will help on building excitement for 2013 and the move to the Conference USA.

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UNT-Houston; Post game wrap up

On Saturday night, the North Texas Mean Green were opening up their new Stadium against the Houston Cougars. The game had a lot of fan fare surrounding it, not just because there was a new stadium, but there was the hope of a new era in Mean Green football. New head coach Dan McCarney was charged as leading the Mean green into their new stadium and to help build a winning program in Denton. While it takes more than one year to build something, there was still the excitement of things to come when the crowd filed into Apogee Stadium.

When the game got started, it was a raucous crowd who would scream and yell for anything positive. The game was a buzz from the opening kickoff; it started positive enough with a solid kick return and opening drive from the mean green. But the problem was not being able to score on the opening drive. The mean green defense came out and looked to rattle the Houston offense at the start, and that only helped aid the crowd into get louder and louder. For the first half it was a pretty even game and while it seemed that the mean green were poised to take control, Houston would never make that one vital mistake to give them the chance.

Case Keenum seemed to be teetering on the edge of setting Denton on fire throughout the first half, but the defense kept him in check. The feeling around the stadium was that going in down 3 at the half was a moral victory for the Mean Green. Too bad moral victories don’t equate to wins, because in the 2nd half, things went bad and went bad fast for North Texas. Houston came out and seemed like they were just going to have their way with the mean green defense.

Keenum and the Houston Cougars came out and just scored at will throughout the second half. While it was demoralizing for the crowd and the team, it was an impressive sight to see Keeum just place the ball at will anywhere on the field. It was just a clinic of what a potential NFL draft pick could do for the entire second half and for someone who enjoys the game of football, it was a sight that will not soon be forgotten. With each passing score the crowd shrunk more and more. Once the Cougars had the score at 48-16, it was time for the reserves to come in and get some needed playing time. At this point the North Texas offense was finally able to put something together and score. This made the remaining crowd happy, but at this point it was just small victories that the crowd was looking for.

Even though the Houston Cougars rained on the opening of a new stadium and seemed to put a damper on the new era of mean green football, there were some positives to be seen this night. North Texas is a sleeping giant in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and any coach who can find a way to come in and start winning, could awaken this giant and build something very special in Denton. The DFW area is a hotbed of football, and if a winning program from a non private school could start winning consistently, then Denton could become a destination for local kids who can’t get scholarships, or make it into some of the major universities in the region.

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Kody’s Sports Korner Bowl Preview; Part 3

If you  have missed the first two bowl previews I did, check out part 1 here and part 2 here

TicketCity Bowl:
Northwestern vs Texas Tech –
Sadly this New Year will begin with this lackluster bowl. In the inaugural Ticket City Bowl in Dallas, there will be a first time meeting between the Northwestern Wildcats and Texas Tech Red Raiders. While Northwestern is looking for it’s first bowl win since 1949, Texas Tech has some concerns if it’s coach will be around for next year. But all of that aside, there are a lot questions on how will Northwestern handle the pass heavy attack of the Red Raiders. Sadly to say, Northwestern will not get it’s first bowl win here. They will be lucky to stay within 21 points of the Red Raiders.
Prediction: Texas Tech 52 – Northwestern 21

Outback Bowl:
Florida vs Penn St
When this match up was announced, you figured there would be retirement talks from one coach. But the coach who is going to step down isn’t the 84 year old Joe Paterno, but the 46 year old Urban Meyer. While this is a shock to most, it isn’t that big of a shock after last years flip flop. The big question about this game will be whether or not Penn State can contain a good Florida team. After their struggles with an Alabama squad earlier in the year, I don’t see this one being pretty for the Nittany Lions.
Prediction: Florida 35 – Penn State 14

Capital One Bowl:
Alabama vs Michigan St
While most everybody will be expecting Alabama to roll in this game, I expect to see Michigan St give Alabama a run for their money and pull off a upset. Michigan State has been an underrated team all year and is probably the best team coming out of the Big Ten this season. Expect an exciting game, one that should give the Big Ten it’s few bowl wins this season.
Prediction: Michigan State 28 – Alabama 21

Gator Bowl:
Mississippi St vs Michigan
This is a very ho hum match up, there are a lot of better game to watch and I am sure Michigan won’t show up so they can assure to get rid of Rich Rod. That being said, Dan Mullen will have Mississippi State ready to play. Expect this one to be a blow out.
Prediction: Mississippi State 35 – Michigan 17 Bowl:
Middle Tennessee vs Miami(OH)
For a match up of two teams that nobody cares about outside of their respective cities. This could be a good game to watch for college football enthusiasts. Miami is going to be playing with a lot of momentum from their surprise win at the MAC championship. Meanwhile Middle Tennessee is trying to get one more win and finish with a winning record. Should be a good game and expect it to be a close one.
Prediction: Miami (OH) 24 – Middle Tennessee 21

Cotton Bowl:
LSU vs Texas A&M
In one of the more exciting bowl match ups, this game should be a lot of fun to watch. But don’t expect to see any surprises here as LSU should be able to find a way to win this game and put another notch in the belt for the SEC. Only question will be if Les Miles will have some Tiger Stadium grass available at this game.
Prediction: LSU 35 – Texas A&M 28

Compass Bowl:
Pittsburgh vs Kentucky
While everyone has Pitt as their favorite and expects them to win this game, Kentucky has been able to hang tough when least expected to. This could be a spring board into next season for the Wildcats and look for a very exciting game between these two teams.
Prediction: Kentucky 28 – Pitt 21

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl:
Nevada vs Boston College
Expect Nevada to play with a lot of pride and be able to move the ball at will on Boston College. This is not going to be a pretty game for the Eagles, but it could be a very close game throughout if Boston College can contain the Pistol.
Prediction: Nevada 42 – Boston College 21

That is the last of the bowl previews for the lesser bowl games. Check back soon for the BCS Preview.

UNT, Meet your New Head Coach

Today was a happy day for the UNT football program. They have officially hired and introduced to the public their new Head Coach. The new head coach is none other than Dan McCarney. Yes, the same Dan McCarney who was at Iowa State and turned them into a bowl team. His tenure there was not considered great, but he did take a share of the Big XII North title back in 2004.  While the job done there was a great one, he has a far greater task in Denton. But there is hope that he will be able to make the Mean Green a contender in the Sun Belt Conference.

Dan McCarney’s first job has to be able to find a few more quality players out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Todd Dodge did some of that, but for the most part, the backyard of UNT has gone relatively untouched. It is not expected that he be able to draw in 5 star recruits, but with a home town college, he should be able to find an under the radar 2 or 3 star player that likes the idea of staying close to home.  The rebuilding job of this team is going to take a couple years, but as with anything else, all fans want to see is improvement.

One thing that should help with his recruiting is the fact that North Texas will open a brand new stadium next season. So 2011 will be a new era in Mean Green Football, A new coach, and a new stadium. It should only be fitting if McCarney can find a way to christen the new stadium and new season with a winning effort.