The new conference digs bring a whole new level of competition to North Texas track & field for the 2013 season. Conference USA brings together a collection of schools that can compete against each other more often than at the conference championship events.
"Perhaps the thing that we as a program are most excited for is proximity," said head coach Carl Sheffield. "With schools like Louisiana Tech, Tulsa, Rice and UTSA, we will be able to see them on a more regular basis during the regular season, unlike a majority of the SBC schools that we only compete against at the Indoor and Outdoor Championships."
North Texas will now have four conference members within just over 300 miles of Denton, which translates to more open track meets against each other.
Track & field as a conference championship will not change for the Mean Green. The marks are still there and with NT's aspirations of NCAA Championships, the national marks fare well in C-USA.
"Our top of the end athletes won't differ much from those we'll see in C-USA in 2013, but the difference that we will have to work on in the next year or so is getting some more depth," said Sheffield. "Our top-three sprinters are very comparable, but where they'll gain ground and pick up points is further down the chart."
A major factor in the move for NT T&F will be recruiting. The Mean Green will be able to go after a high caliber of athlete that at one point not too long ago would rather spend their four years in El Paso with UTEP just to be in a more renowned conference.
"We'll be able to go after those higher status kids," added Sheffield. "It's going to help tremendously in the long run to be competing against other schools that Texas kids are being recruited by. Until now, we've never been able to say we're on the same level as programs like Tulsa and Rice."
The goal of winning a conference championship will be harder for North Texas as it enters the C-USA in 2013, but with the right time and recruits, the overall program will see a massive lift and has a bright future.