Gone are the days of Daryl Dickey and Andy McCollum. This duo outlasted every other original Sun Belt coach, but their tenures have come to an end. Patrick Cobbs, Wes Counts, Dwone Hicks, and Jamario Thomas have seen their collegiate career come to an end, but the rivalry continues.
Coach McCollum was never able to topple the Mean Green. Coach Rick Stockstill has not lost to North Texas in two tries. However, Stockstill has never faced North Texas in Murfreesboro, a place that the Eagles have never tasted defeat.
The rivalry started off with a bang in 2001, a season that was supposed to be the Year of the Blue Raider until a winless North Texas squad ruined those Blue Raider plans. That win propelled North Texas on a winning streak that included a Sun Belt championship and a trip to the New Orleans Bowl. Meanwhile the 8-3 Blue Raiders sat a home for the post season.
There have been a total of 7 games between the two squads. North Texas won the first 5 and was considered the Blue Raider's Achilles heel in their pursuit of a conference championship. The last two games have been won by Middle Tennessee, including a 35-0 blow-out in 2006.
Neither team enters Saturday's game as a front runner for the Sun Belt crown. As a matter of fact, North Texas has only notched one win this season. The records may have changed. The coaching staffs may be different. There are different players on each team, but you can rest assured that this rivalry will produce another great game come Saturday.