North Texas will be a part of a tight race down the stretch in Conference USA’s West Division. (JDenton Recoord-Chronicle/KJeff Woo)
Mondays are usually a day we have a lot to talk about, from how North Texas fared in its last game to what happened in the rest of Conference USA.
That changed a little with UNT on a bye week, but there are still a few points worth going over today, including the fact that C-USA’s West Division appears to be stacked at the top.
Louisiana Tech won its third straight by knocking off UMass, UTSA continued its surprising season by beating Rice, while Southern Miss hung with LSU early before being blown out.
When it all shook out, UNT, LA Tech, Southern Miss and UTSA are all sitting at 2-1 in league play.
UNT is 3-3 and has a shot to get to a bowl, but will have to win at least three of its last six. The Mean Green have a host of tough games coming up beginning with a trip to Army this weekend.
The Mean Green are a 16- to 18-point underdog in their game against the Black Knights, depending on where one looks.
UNT also still has games with the three other teams tied atop C-USA’s West Division. The Mean Green also have just two home games left.
UNT has improved throughout the season. What transpired over the weekend showed the Mean Green will have to continue that trend to ensure they play in a bowl.
And in other news …
We learned today that the Big 12 will not expand.
That’s probably what UNT should have been hoping to see happen. If the Big 12 had expanded, it could have set off a new round of realignment that quite frankly the school was probably not in position to capitalize on.
UNT is improving in football, but still has posted just one winning season in the last four years in the three high profile sports — football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.
That streak might end this year, but the bottom line is UNT still has a long way to go. A pair of UNT consultants reviewed the state of the program this summer and issued a scathing report.
Whether that report provided a clear and accurate picture is up for debate, but it wouldn’t have been a big selling point if UNT was competing against a school like Middle Tennessee for a spot in the American Athletic Conference. MTSU could point to a huge upset of Michigan State in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, a highly successful women’s basketball program and a football program that is a bowl regular.
UNT has played in a bowl game just once in the last 11 years.
Now UNT can go about aggressively improving its program under new athletic director Wren Baker and hope that it has its ducks in a row if the issue of conference realignment comes up again.