One of the challenges facing North Texas because it looks like it will bounce back from the 4-8 season is a difficult schedule.
The Mean Green will handle Texas A&M on the road, high school at home and travel to Houston.
Games against Power Five teams like Texas A&M are a big hill to climb UNT. The Mean Green also lost to High School and Houston last season in a match that was not too close.
That all adds to the difficult road for UNT.
We break down everything today in our annual display which is too early on the schedule.
UNT 2020 schedule
September 5 – Houston Baptist
September 12 – at Texas A&M
October 17 – in Central Tennessee
November 7 – Louisiana Tech
The biggest non-conference game: vs. High School, September 19
The biggest non-conference game this year has never changed when it comes to UNT. That’s high school. That’s not even a question.
There are a number of reasons why this is so. Setia UNT always feels like their neighboring private schools to the south look down on them and avoid playing them regularly before the series is revived in 2014.
Former UNT coach Matt Simon once said he would play high school anytime, anywhere, including the Safeway parking lot. George Dunham, an old voice from Mean Green, once sang an epic about how he and many supporters of UNT felt about high school.
“If they play the Russian State, I will root out the Russian State to defeat them with four goals,” Dunham said.
High School leads the all-time series 32-6-1, but is getting closer over the past few years. Mustang leads 6-4 in the last 10 matches.
UNT’s victory makes everything seem so much more late. If high school wins, it will require five of the last six matches.
Seeing as SMU continues to tighten its grip on competition it will be difficult for UNT fans to swallow.
The UNT game must win, but maybe not: Charlotte, October 10
Charlotte played her first game as a program in 2013 and quickly rose to join the Football Bowl Subdivision and Conference USA.
One would think that with such a big start, UNT would have the upper hand.
That did not turn out to be the case in the team’s first meeting last season. The 49ers recovered from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter and won 39-38 with Chris Reynolds’ 34-yard breakthrough to Victor Tucker with 18 seconds left.
UNT will have a lot of motivation to repay those losses and profits at home.
Proper revenge will not be easy. Charlotte has had most of the formation back and added Northern Illinois ran back and twice rusher Tre Harbison 1,000-times as a graduate transfer.
The UNT game shouldn’t win, but maybe: at UAB, November 14th
UNT will be thrown into the fire earlier this fall.
The hope is that Mean Green will grow from the experience they gained in matches against Texas A&M, High School and Houston and will be able to run in a bowl match in C-USA matches.
UAB won the Western Division C-USA last season before running to Florida Atlantic. Lane Kiffin and Owl blew Blazers in the conference title game.
The UAB will be loaded again next year, but it is likely that some of the high-ranking recruits brought by UNT in the last two years will settle on the Mean Green trip to Birmingham.
If they do, UNT might be able to do it.
VITO BRETT can be contacted at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.