Former North Texas quarterback Dajon Williams celebrates after scoring a touchdown in a win over Nicholls in the 2014 season. UNT will play a series of other teams that compete in the FCS ranks over the next several years. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)
North Texas will play teams that compete in the Football Championship Subdivision in each of the next six seasons and will host Houston Baptist and Rhode Island in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
We reported the addition of Houston Baptist and Rhode Island to UNT’s schedule yesterday.
I knew that was going to go over like a fart in a Baptist church, and I fully understand why.
One of the big selling points when it came to building Apogee Stadium was that the facility would help UNT bring in more attractive opponents.
Houston Baptist and Rhode Island don’t exactly qualify. They won’t bring in big crowds, or get UNT fans excited.
There is another point that is being overlooked, though.
Those are games UNT should win. And aren’t wins the one thing the program really needs more than anything anyway?
UNT has enjoyed exactly one winning season in the last 11 years. At this point, bringing in attractive opponents isn’t what I would be worried about.
Bringing in teams UNT can beat would rank a whole lot higher on my scheduling priority list.
It’s been a few years now, but the big complaint at UNT used to be that the school was sending its football team on the road to play a host of guarantee games early in the year. UNT played road games against Texas, Alabama, TCU and Arizona in the first five weeks of the season in 2002.
Two years later, UNT played at Texas, Colorado and Baylor in the first four weeks.
Darrell Dickey would have killed for an early-season game against an FCS school in those years, when he coached some of the best teams in recent program history. Dan McCarney was also a big advocate of playing FCS games.
People say that playing FCS opponents isn’t exciting, but I seem to remember a whole lot of excitement when Dajon Williams led UNT to a 77-3 win over NIcholls early in the 2014 season. And more than 21,000 fans showed up for that game.
The bottom line is that UNT fans will get excited and show up if the Mean Green win, period. If UNT pulls a stunner and somehow manages to come home to face Middle Tennessee next season with a 2-2 record, no one is going to give a flip if one of those wins came against Bethune-Cookman, this year’s FCS opponent
UNT has gone the route of sending its teams on the road early in the season for multiple guarantee games. It’s scheduled home-and-homes with regional foes like Houston and MAC schools like Ball State and Ohio.
What it hasn’t done in years is gone out and won consistently early in the season. A UNT official made a great point today.
Guess when the last time UNT was 2-0 to start a season.
It was 1994, when UNT was playing in the FCS ranks.