Team preview: North Texas

Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 119 Division I-A teams. To order the complete 2005 edition of Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

(All information as of July 1, 2005)


That old football sage William Shakespeare once said, "Heavy is the head that wears the crown." Few teams in college football today can relate to those words any better than North Texas.

After losing its first-ever Sun Belt game to Louisiana-Monroe in 2001, the Mean Green has won 25 straight conference games and four straight conference championships. Only 10 other teams in the history of college football have ever won four straight league titles.

Every year the Sun Belt has handed out a conference championship in football, it has been handed to North Texas. Darrell Dickey has made a clean sweep of the Sun Belt's coach-of-the-year honors as well.

Dickey has a 37-46 record in his seven seasons as head coach at North Texas. He has built the premier program in the Sun Belt conference by convincing many of the talented players from the recruiting hotbed of Texas to stay at home and play for the Mean Green. Virtually every player on the roster is from either Texas or Oklahoma.

Dickey has been successful at recruiting players who fit into his system. North Texas has found success by coupling a battering defense with a smash-mouth running attack that has produced back-to-back national rushing champions, both of whom return to share the backfield this season.