I had a ton of stuff to do today and got to thinking while plowing through it all — Could UNT’s win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday be the biggest of the Dan McCarney era?
Hear me out.
UNT has not really been at it that long under McCarney, but he has posted a few memorable wins during his short time in Denton.
UNT beat Indiana for its first win at Apogee Stadium, its first win of the McCarney era and its first win over a BCS AQ school since the Mean Green beat Baylor in the height of the Glory Days back in 2003.
That one was big, probably the biggest of them all so far, but Indiana finished 1-11 with its lone win coming over South Carolina … State. Not South Carolina of the SEC.
UNT beat traditional Sun Belt power Troy last year, but that was in the midst of the Trojans worst season in years.
UNT also posted some other Sun Belt wins last year, including a season-ending 59-7 beating of Middle Tennessee, but the Blue Raiders finished 2-10. I’m still holding on to the unpopular opinion that MTSU had stuck a postage stamp on the season and mailed it in.
UNT has wins over Texas Southern, a bad FCS team, and Florida Atlantic this year. FAU is terrible and has a win over Wagner. That might be all the Owls come up with this year.
And that brings us to ULL. The Ragin Cajuns are 4-2 and might not be as good as a lot of people — me included — thought. Troy might make a run at six wins, but does not look like an elite Sun Belt team. And ULL’s win over Troy might be its best win so far.
Florida International is struggling, Lamar is Lamar and Tulane is just bad.
Still, ULL has a very good chance to be bowl-eligible at the end of the season.
UNT beat ULL without star running back Alonzo Harris and a few other key players, but that should not diminish the magnitude of the win.
UNT would have been pretty much toast in terms of a lot of its goals at 2-5 and 1-2 in the Sun Belt. A 3-4 mark with a 2-1 record in league play looks a whole lot better. Don’t underestimate the power of being in the conference title race when it comes to motivating a team.
And then you throw in the fact that the game was on ESPN2. A lot of people saw that game, and UNT put a lot of emphasis on getting people there.
That makes a big difference as well. It would be tough to put all that time and effort into promoting a home game only to lose it. Don’t think that wouldn’t have mattered to UNT’s players.
Throw it all together and one could really make a case that win is the biggest of the McCarney era.