They're on the eve of a special season at North Texas. The 100th season of North Texas football also happens to coincide with the program's first year as a member of Conference USA. Combine that with year three under Dan McCarney and 16 returning staters, and you can see why they're excited in Denton.
McCarney brought a great deal of legitimacy to North Texas upon his hiring, and part of that is the new tradition of Champions Night. It's a night during fall camp when one of the biggest names in the game speaks to the Mean Green; in 2011 it was former Dallas Cowboy and Super Bowl XII champion Drew Pearson, and last year North Texas brought in Super Bowl XLIV champion coach Sean Payton. As big as those guys are, this year's guest blows them away, at least to that audience. He's a four-time Super Bowl champion, a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team, ranked No. 13 all-time by NFL.com and, on top of all that, the namesake of the entire program - Mean Joe Greene.
For who made his name playing defensive tackle in the 1960's and '70's, Greene's talk unsurprisingly was just like his game, hard nosed. "My bad, my bad? My ass. My bad, in old time terminology, means that 'I didn't really mean what I was saying. It wasn't my fault, it was somebody else's.' We didn't play that," Greene says. "That's why it's incumbent on each and every one of you guys to be as good as you can be as often as you can be."
In its first home opener since 2001, North Texas will honor its All-Century Team in some throwback uniforms as the Mean Green take on Idaho.