Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 12/9/11

I sat for a few minutes yesterday and pinched myself. I just wanted to confirm that the University of Memphis did indeed make a positive move related to its football program.

Memphis began playing college football in 1912 under the pseudonym West Tennessee State Normal School. Its first game versus Memphis University School perfectly foreshadowed a nearly century-long struggle and was anything but normal - neither team scored a single point. Between its inaugural season and now, the word that most closely resembles Memphis football is "anonymous." 

Memphis’ last championship of any kind came in 1971, when the Tigers were crowned Missouri Valley Conference Champions – a championship the Tigers won three times – with a 5-6 record.

Even looking back to what some call Memphis’ “heyday” – a period in the early 2000s under Tommy West – is underwhelming. Memphis went to five bowl games during that span [New Orleans Bowl in ‘03, GMAC Bowl in ‘04, Motor City Bowl in ‘05, New Orleans Bowl in ‘07 and Saint Petersburg Bowl in ‘08], but never seriously battled for Conference USA supremacy.

Truthfully, Memphis has made an inordinate number of crushing gaffes in its handling of its football program. Yesterday, though, it all may have changed with the hire of TCU offensive coordinator Justin Fuente.

Fuente, a 35-year-old native of Tulsa, Okla., emerged as a hot commodity in the coaching ranks after joining the Horned Frogs staff in 2007. As quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator, Fuente tutored Andy Dalton and Casey Pachall and helped build a record-breaking offense. In both of Fuente’s first two seasons as coordinator, TCU set single-season school records for touchdowns, points scored and first downs while also ranking among the nation’s most productive units. From 2009, Fuente’s first season as offensive coordinator, to 2011, TCU averaged 450 total yards of offense per game.

Having recruited Texas high-schoolers to TCU, Fuente also understands the challenges of competing for talent at a program of a lesser brand than area heavyweights such as Tennessee and Arkansas. 

After further review, I don't think I was dreaming. Memphis got it right.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Way-too-early look at Heisman favorites in 2017
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Draymond Green mocks LeBron James after flop

Romo likely to pick team he wants to be traded to

David Ortiz slams door on rumors of potential comeback

JJ Watt said to be ahead of schedule in back injury recovery

Seahawks expect Earl Thomas to be ready for 2017 season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

SD moving companies refusing to help Chargers relocate

Brown could be fined for sharing Tomlin's speech on Facebook

Future denies being on Falcons sideline to mess with Wilson

Bill O'Brien refuses to commit to Osweiler as Texans' starter

Report: 'Good chance' Chip Kelly gets offer from Jaguars

Sportsbooks take 'colossal' hit with Cowboys, Chiefs losses

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The Mulligan: Why Chip Kelly deserves a second chance after the Niners

College coaches on the NFL's radar as the coaching carousel starts spinning

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name every Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Pro-Bowler in the Super Bowl Era

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker