Nation's top 'sleeping giant' programs 

November, 16, 2012

UCLAStephen Dunn/Getty ImagesJim Mora and the Bruins may not have to wait long to reach the ranks of college football's elite.
Three weekends ago, I was sitting in the sparkling new press box of Apogee Stadium, home of the North Texas Mean Green, with my mouth agape. Why? Because I hadn't been on the Denton, Texas, campus in more than a decade, and I couldn't believe where I was sitting and what I was seeing. It was as nice a press box as I've seen in college football, the product of a nearly $80 million stadium construction project and a larger Mean Green athletic village that will soon be home to 13 of the school's 16 sports teams.

Looking out the south end of the press box tower, over the three giant turbine fans that sent power through the village, I saw cars rumbling by on I-35, the main corridor between Oklahoma City, Okla., and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. One thought kept rumbling through my mind, the same thought repeated after the game by Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn.