Nine years. We have changed presidents, ended our presence in Iraq, heck, a lot of history has gone down in those years. It has taken that long for UNT to become bowl eligible again. The first year in CUSA is a historic one for UNT. Coach Dan McCarney has taken the Mean Green and made them viable again. This year UNT is headed for a bowl game.
While projections for UNT’s bowl appearance have them slated for the Heart of Dallas Bowl, the teams that have been predicted to take on the Mean Green (at least according to ESPN) is either Notre Dame or Northwestern. Look at those two names again. Either one would bring attention to the Mean Green on a national level, and since the game is scheduled for New Year’s Day, there could be a lot of eyes watching.
This season UNT has not only won six of their nine games, but have won in commanding fashion. They even gave Georgia a little scare. Derek Thompson the quarterback is 177:264 with 2080 yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Brandin Byrd the running back, has a 4.1 YPC over 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. They are ranked 77th in the NCAA and 5th in CUSA on offense. But it is the defense that is the stars. They are ranked 39th in the NCAA and 4th in CUSA in total defense, and 19th in the NCAA and 1st in CUSA in points allowed.
Imagine if this team can hold Notre Dame or Northwestern on national television on New Year’s Day. It would be a huge boost for the Texas school many have forgotten about in football. This team has the chance to do special things, and not just this year. Coach Dan McCarney has put UNT back into the conversation of Texas football, somewhere “Mean “Joe Greene is smiling.
Now UNT must finish the season. First up is UTEP for the Homecoming game this weekend. Come New Year’s Day I know I will be sitting on my couch cheering for UNT to beat whoever they face. Those of us who are attending, have attended, or will attend UNT are excited and we can thank Dan McCarney and the guys on the field.