Best Case, Worst Case for 2024: North Texas Mean Green

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With spring football and the portal movement slowing down (fingers crossed) forecasting the 2024 season becomes an easier proposition. The 13 FBS programs in the Lone Star State share a common feeling heading into June: Hope. New faces and new opportunities provide a fresh slate for rosters and coaching staff. 

The 2024 season is a new day for the Great State. Texas reunites with Texas A&M in the SEC and SMU joins the P4 as AAC members. But what are the best- and worst-case scenarios for each team in the upcoming season? We’ll breakdown at each one.

Previous best/worst case scenario pieces for 2024: Texas | Texas A&M | UTSA | Texas State | TCU | Rice | Texas Tech | SMU 


2023 record: 5-7
2024 schedule
Aug. 31                at South Alabama       
Sept. 7                 SFA       
Sept. 14               at Texas Tech 
Sept. 21               Wyoming           
Sept. 28               Tulsa    
Oct. 12                 at Florida Atlantic        
Oct. 19                 at Memphis     
Oct. 26                 Tulane                  
Nov. 9                   Army    
Nov. 16                 at UTSA               
Nov. 23                 East Carolina 
Nov. 30                 at Temple 

Best case for 2024: The AAC isn’t an impossible climb from the middle rungs to the top of the ladder. Tulane lost head coach Willie Fritz. UTSA is without Frank Harris. SMU is in the ACC. No team in college football played in more one-possession games with four minutes left than North Texas’ nine. Win a few more of those coin flips behind an improved defense and veteran Chandler Morris at quarterback and the Mean Green could easily win 8 or 9 games. Maybe more depending on the jump defensively. 

A 4-1 start isn’t out of the question with winnable contests against South Alabama, SFA, Wyoming, and Tulsa with a tough road trip to Lubbock against Texas Tech sandwiched in between. Road games against Memphis and UTSA are tough, but Tulane, Army, and East Carolina are at home. Morris spent the spring in defensive meetings helping coordinator Matt Caponi refine the 3-3-5 defense. The staff believes bigger bodies, especially at defensive end and safety, will help in run support. 

Morris’ offense score points. If North Texas’ defense can improve from 131st in FBS to somewhere in the 65 range, the Mean Green are a sleeper in the AAC. 

Worst case for 2024: The Mean Green reached bowl games in six of the previous seven seasons prior to 2023 and haven’t missed out on the postseason in consecutive years since 2014-15 as the Dan McCarney era ended. Worst case scenario is another 5-7 finish…or worse. At South Alabama isn’t an automatic win. Neither is the home game with Wyoming in Week 4. Nearly every game in the AAC is a coin flip at best until proven otherwise. 

An emphasis on defense doesn’t guarantee success. The Mean Green were one of the best offensive teams in the country last year, but poor defensive play and slow starts put the unit in bad positions. What if Morris can’t replicate the playmaking ability of Chandler Rogers, who is now at Cal? What if the defense doesn’t take a big jump forward? Answers won’t be known until the season starts. 

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