Over the next several weeks, Horn Sports will countdown the most important games of the 2014 football season. For this series, "most important games" will be defined as those having the biggest impact on the program's outlook and the 2014 season.


Texas Longhorns 2014 Most Important Games: #12 - North Texas

It's the season opener - after an extremely long nine month break from college football, the opener is always a big game in terms of fan anticipation. This fall, the first game figures to be equally important to a Charlie Strong team that will be ready to hit someone in a uniform that isn't burnt orange.

However, this game is essentially a tune up for the Longhorns to see where the team is in their development under Charlie Strong. After eight months of tough love from the new coaching staff, it will finally be time to work out all the kinks and jitters. After so much change in the program, this isn't likely to be an "easy" game no matter what the scoreboard says, not to mention it is important to the overall outlook of the season.

Overview of North Texas

The University of North Texas is located in Denton - an hour north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. With an undergrad enrollment of 35,778, it's a popular choice for Metroplex students. Famous alumni of UNT include Roy Orbison, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Lorene Lane Rogers, and former US Congressman Ray Roberts.

The North Texas football team began play in 1913 and the current head coach is Dan McCarney. Formerly Iowa State's Head Football Coach, McCarney seems to have the midas touch...he made ISU relevant in the Big 12 and he is doing the same thing with the Mean Green. In only three seasons, McCarney reached 18 wins - that's faster than any UNT coach since Rod Rust in 1967-69.

After two rebuilding seasons in Denton (5-7 and 4-8), the Mean Green went 9-4 in 2013 with a victory in the Heart of Dallas Bowl over UNLV. The nine win season is only the sixth time in the last 100 years that UNT has won that many games. 2014 brings bigger expectations for the Mean Green who host SMU in non-conference play, and then will try to improve on last year's 6-2 record in Conference USA contests.


Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the rest of the "The Countdown" series.
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