By Steven Bartolotta, October 19, 2011, 11:52 a.m.
The fall season for the men's golf team is over and the newest batch of rankings from Golfstat.com has the Mean Green moving up to No. 35 in the nation. That could have.... make that should have been higher.
In golf terms, Brad Stracke would kill for a mulligan this fall. North Texas had three really good tournaments, starting in Minnesota where they finished second at the Gopher Invite, behind only No. 8 Arkansas.
At the William H. Tucker, North Texas tied for fourth. Respectable when you consider they finished behind No. 17 UNLV, No. 15 New Mexico, and No. 20 San Diego State.
This past tourney, the Lone Star Invite, only No. 15 New Mexico finished ahead of the Mean Green. Stracke's group beat No. 25 Baylor and No. 43 Arizona, as of today, as of yesterday Baylor was No. 18 and Arizona No. 34.
Heck of a fall season except....the Golfweek Conference Challenge. The mother of all fall golf tournaments. You get there by being selected, no chumps allowed in this field. It turned into an unmitigated disaster for the Mean Green.
North Texas finished in 13th place. In what was going to be a possibly showcase for the Mean Green against the nation's top teams, it turned into a 9-iron over the head. And it wasn't even Thanksgiving.
To the credit of the guys, they rebounded nicely after that performance in the last two outings, but no doubt that one stung.
North Texas has a stacked schedule in the spring, which should help bolster their ranking, but all eyes will be on the Sun Belt Conference Championship with another run to NCAA Regional and possibly the NCAA Championship as the ultimate prize this spring.