When Dan McCarney looks around the North Texas practice field, the coach is finally seeing what most NCAA Division I programs take for granted.
For the first time in McCarney's three seasons, the Mean Green have 85 scholarship players.
''More guys that look like Division I football players,'' McCarney said. ''It's taken quite some time to replenish this roster to get it to where we can be competitive.''
That translates to players, even the 16 returning starters, having to work harder for jobs.
''Where there's been no competition going on in many positions the first two years that I've been here,'' the coach said. ''There were bodies there, but I'm talking about real competition, Division I competition, guys that have a chance to play winning football at this level.''
That comes at a good time with North Texas stepping up to Conference USA after the past 12 seasons in the Sun Belt. The Mean Green won Sun Belt titles and went to bowl games from 2001-04, but won only 13 games the ...