Time's are a-changin', but not for North Texas
Mean Green still the envy of this conference

The Sun Belt is yet another conference that is undergoing a raft of changes, part of the shock wave that has engulfed conferences from the Big East to the Mountain West.

The Sun Belt felt the first ripple this season, with former independent Troy State coming on board. Next season, though, Idaho, New Mexico State and Utah State will be in the WAC, while Florida International, playing its first year of Division I-A football, and Florida Atlantic will join the Sun Belt.

Amid all these changes, there's one thing that most likely won't change -- North Texas should again be the Sun Belt's top dog. The Mean Green are gunning for their fourth straight conference title (sharing the 2001 championship with Middle Tennessee State).

The Mean Green enter the season with plenty of exclamation points -- an offense led by running back Patrick Cobbs, the nation's leading rusher (152.7 yards per game, 1,680 yards in 11 games, 19 TDs) and a defense led by end Adrian Awasom, the conference's preseason defensive player of the year, safety Jonas Buckles and tackle Evan Cardwell.

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Houston Chronicle

MICHAEL MURPHY