COLUMN: Big (12) aspirations for the Mean Green?

COLUMN: Big (12) aspirations for the Mean Green?

COLUMN: Big (12) aspirations for the Mean Green?
November 28
18:05 2018

Pick any NFL team, and there are proably several football players who played their college ball in any Power 5 conference. Now look around and try to find Conference USA players. There aren’t as many, and that’s why North Texas should attempt to join a larger conference — preferably the Big 12.

Look, I get it. It seems like yesterday that the Mean Green left the Sun Belt Conference and joined C-USA, but if the Mean Green want to be taken seriously, they should take a hard look at joining the Big 12.

Stop for a second and imagine what the atmosphere would like be if the Oklahoma Sooners came into Apogee Stadium: The game would almost certainly be sold out, and we could have a new rivalry start to develop. Imagine this Mean Green defense trying to slow down Heisman-hopeful Will Grier.

One thing to keep in mind is if this were to come to fruition, North Texas would probably have a losing record in the first few seasons because it would be adjusting from playing in the C-USA to a Power 5 conference.

One issue that comes up is that the Mean Green might need someone else to join the Big 12 with them, which is where the Houston Cougars could come into play. If Houston joined the Big 12 at the same time as North Texas, both teams would benefit in several ways.

One benefit is that both teams would be able to offer local high school prospects a chance to showcase their skills on the biggest and brightest stage, all while staying close to home. Furthermore, this would allow North Texas to keep some of the local athletes who leave to go to Texas Tech, Baylor or even Texas.

Another way that would surely help North Texasis more money would likely flow through Denton. Playing bigger-name schools gives a team more national exposure, which means more people are aware of your school. This means North Texas could sell more merchandise, fill up Apogee Stadium, sell out the Super Pit and more. After all, Arkansas did pay North Texas $1 million to get their tails whooped at home.

North Texas would also have a better shot to sign more high-profile coaches, especially with the expectations of Seth Littrell leaving at the end of this season. North Carolina recently fired head coach Larry Fedora, and reports have surfaced that former Tar Heels coach Mack Brown will return to the helm. I don’t think Brown would come to Denton to coach in the C-USA, but if North Texas was in the Big 12, maybe Brown would think about it.

If North Texas were to stay in C-USA, they would never be taken seriously as far as athletics go. Just look at Central Florida, for instance. They have not lost a game in two years, but they’re not even in the college football playoff picture. Heck, this Central Florida team is barely one spot ahead of the Michigan Wolverines, who just got dominated by the Ohio State Buckeyes. Central Florida is also barely ahead of teams like Washington and Florida. 

North Texas received the same criticism when they were 4-0 and hot off a victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks, all because they “don’t play anyone.” If the Mean Green want a realistic shot to compete for a national championship, they need to join the big boys in the Big 12.

Yes, I just put North Texas and national championship in the same sentence. Isn’t that every teams’ goal at the beginning of each season? If you’re North Texas and you don’t have national championship aspirations, you should look at yourself and wonder. What if? What if we were in a Power 5 conference? What if we had more impressive competition to go up against? What could we prove on a bigger stage?

Well, if North Texas would have gone undefeated, they would be in the exact same boat as Central Florida — the “they-don’t-play-anyone” boat.

If North Texas wants to be taken seriously, join the Big 12 and start some rivalries with other Texas schools.

I’m sure Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas or Texas Christian wouldn’t feel like they’re playing nobody.

They would be playing the North Texas Mean Green.

Featured Image: Sophomore running back Deandre Torrey runs with ball during a game against Southern Miss. Sarah Shaw

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Dillon Swan

Dillon Swan

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