At the beginning of the season, both of the Dallas area college teams were on two different paths. One team was going to be a team on the rise, and the other was trying to dig itself out of the basement and start their climb for the future. Each team had their own goals in mind, and one common goal was getting to a bowl game. But as the season has moved along, it looks like these two teams have traded roles.
The SMU Mustangs entered the season in the new American Athletic
Conference and had hopes of being able to compete for a division championship, with hopes of winning the conference, but the main goal for the Mustangs was a fourth straight bowl game. Once the Mustangs got going in conference play, it looked like the team had underestimated their new conference brothers. This team has fought, but also has suffered some tough losses that look to have put them in a hole, which nobody expected when the season began. The Mustangs can still reach a bowl game, but they have to win at least two of the last three games they have and two of those games are on the road.
The Mustangs still control their own destiny and can achieve their goal of a bowl game, but they are in a position nobody thought they would be in this season, which makes the story of this year’s North Texas Mean Green that much better.
North Texas, like SMU, entered the season joining a new conference and coming off a rough year before, the Mean Green were expected to be good and compete in a lot of games, but most experts had them topping out at five wins max. Once the season began, you could tell this was going to be a special team in Denton. Pulling off a few surprising wins early and hanging tough with some opponents nobody expected them too, now the Mean Green have already achieved Bowl Eligible status, but are in the thick of a Conference division race. Now the Mean Green has changed their goals to fit the season.
“Hit 6” was the motto of the season at the start, and thanks to a Halloween night victory against Rice, the Mean hit their sixth win and immediately everyone around the program changed their tune and now want to keep pushing for the Conference USA West division and possibly a conference title. The Mean Green is currently sitting where everyone thought SMU would be and it seems the two schools have switched roles this season.
While this tale of two college teams has reversed roles, there would be something to be said if both teams make it to a bowl game this season. Both teams are playing good football and look to be focused on the task at hand, but the Mean Green have improved by leaps and bounds over what people thought at the start of the year. Could we possibly see a Conference Champion in Denton? The next few weeks will be interesting to stay the least. But don’t sleep on the Mustangs either, they may surprise everyone and we could have two teams bowling from the Metroplex.