To get a better idea of where the North Texas program is at right now, it's good to know where the Mean Green have been in the past, especially as the program inches closer to the sort of relevance that former head coach Hayden Fry envisioned in the 70s. Back then, Fry thought UNT was a sleeping giant, with the campus perched just a bit north of what the Metroplex was in those days (nowadays, it's considered part of the whole Dallas-Fort Worth region). Fry pushed for membership in the old Southwest Conference, even scheduling some games in the Cowboys' old Texas Stadium not far away in Irving, and spearheaded a move out of the Missouri Valley into A-A Independent status. This was after the Eagles had made some marks in the mid to late 60s, having broken the color line well before any of the old SWC schools, and featuring an all-timer on the field in Mean Joe Greene, plus some other familiar NFL names of the 70s like Cedrick Hardman and Steve Ramsey.
But the SWC wasn't interested, and when the door was finally shut on membership, Fry bolted to Iowa, and UNT's program entered a generation in the wilderness, including more than a decade campaigning in the I-AA ranks. An arduous climb back up the hill began in the mid 90s by joining the Big West (when it still played football), then moving to the Sun Belt, Conference USA, and now to the American for 2023. It's not quite what Hayden Fry first envisioned an eventual landing spot, but at least the Mean Green are getting closer...
Bruce Marshall's full breakdown of North Texas' 2023 outlook, which includes how he's playing their win total, can be found below as part of SportsLine's preview of the AAC season.
2023 North Texas at a glance
- Last Year: 7-7 SU, 8-6 ATS, 9-5 O/U
- Returning starters: Offense 7; Defense 6
- Win total: 6 (Over -125, Under -110)
What do you need to know about North Texas before locking in your AAC futures bets? And which side of their win total makes for the best play? ... Join SportsLine right now to see AAC futures betting strategy from a veteran college football expert!
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