There are a lot of UNT fans who are a little depressed today following what was generally considered a disappointing 4-8 season in the second year of the Dan McCarney era.
But I do have good news. Four loyal blog readers/UNT fans hit the jackpot by being huge pessimists in a MGB tradition — the annual “Get Your Rear on the Record” contest.
We had 66 people send in guesses this year, which is a pretty good amount considering we did away with anonymous comments on the blog. People put their names on their guesses this year, or at least their handle on GoMeanGreen.com, the invention of Harry, the mastermind behind hundreds of wasted work hours.
And our winners are — Marc Hernandez, FilmerJ, Samuel Peters and Adam Rosenfield. They all picked UNT to go 4-8.
Please take your victory lap around the office and enjoy your football record prognostication glory.
Part of the fun of the exercise is that it provides a feel for the expectations of people who follow the program.
So, what did we learn this year?
That 5-7 season two years ago now sent expectations way out of whack, at least if one judges it by the results.
There were only five people who picked UNT to finish 4-8 or worse.
There were 52 people who picked UNT to be bowl-eligible at 6-6 or better.
The embarrassing homer award goes to — well we won’t single anyone else — except me.
I picked UNT to go 6-6 and said I did so with trepidation. When I looked back at 2011, I was utterly amazed that UNT somehow managed to win five games in the first season after the Todd Dodge … era.
I looked at UNT heading into the 2012 season and really wondered if this team could be as effective offensively without Lance Dunbar, maybe the best running back to ever play for the Mean Green, offensive lineman Matt Tomlinson and four starters in the defensive secondary, including Freddie Warner, who was lost in spring practice with a knee injury.
I picked UNT to go 6-6 anyway.
Moral of the story — If you have a feeling that you are being a massive homer, you probably are.
UNT still ran the ball effectively, but wasn’t quite as explosive. Everyone sat on UNT’s running game because they had no respect for the Mean Green’s passing game. The loss of Brelan Chancellor made that situation worse.
People suggested that UNT would be dramatically better in the secondary, even after losing four starters because of the talent level of the players the Mean Green would plug in to replace them. UNT finished fifth in the Sun Belt in passing defense with an average of 251.5 yards allowed a game.
I also thought the “buy a win game” against Texas Southern would loom large in getting to six wins.
I have been close on guesses the last couple of years, missing by a game or two.
I was way off this year after buying into the philosophy I have never subscribed to — that college athletics is all about coaching. It all comes down to the players on the field. You either have them or you don’t. Good coaches can mask some deficiencies. McCarney has at times in his two seasons at UNT.
You can’t mask them all when the other team has better players.
In the end it just wasn’t enough for UNT to get to where I picked the Mean Green to finish.
So enjoy looking back at a MGB tradition, and thanks to those who put their “Rears on the Record” again this year.
9-3 – LD Stacey 3
8-5 — Andrew Hinojosa, FloMoGrad (Damon Gochneaur)
8-4 – ATXScrappy, Jeremy Roden
7-6 – SHOSS, Lynn Ramsey, Kellen Jemeyson, John Davidson, Grant Hawley (Pastor Grant), Gregory Goedecker, Andrew Price, John Douthitt
7-5 – Joe Eckstein, Andrew David Morris, Harry, Amber Morrow, BobFam, Eagle MBA, James Stinson, bstnsportsfan3 (Tony DeSousa), Joe H., Chris Hensley, RPP79, An Aquairan, Travis Miller, Derek Murray, Devin Axtman, Rick Herold, Nathan Harvey, Von, Warriorfan, UNT_Rocket09, Steven Pettit
6-6 – Brett Vito, Steve Baker, BenW, Bruce Lathrop, Chris Ballard, Matthew Taylor, Zachary Hallak, CodyCarissa Valle, Joe McAtee, Philip Watson, Dr. Seuss, David Gilliam, Len Yarbrough, Pat McLaughlin, Valley Boy, Robert Middaugh, OXatUNT
6-7 — Todd Samuels
5-7 – GreenFlag, Bryan Graves, Jim Hull, Skip Scott, Brandon Cooper, Lee Hughes, Kevin Bradley, Sardina, John Carnes
4-8 — Marc Hernandez, FilmerJ, Samuel Peters, Adam Rosenfield
3-9 — Tom Hamilton