Poor, poor Rebels, they've found their way into the New York Times' crosshairs this weekend, as The Quad previews all 119 college football teams. Today, UNLV comes in at a pitiful 111th. Here is a look at what they had to say about the struggling football program in Sin City.
When it comes to U.N.L.V. football, maybe what happens in Vegas really should stay in Vegas. The Rebels are perennially at the bottom of the Mountain West Conference, compiling a 17-49 record in league play since joining the Mountain West in 1999. They have had one winning season since 1995. The decision to hire Mike Sanford after the 2004 season has turned into a questionable one; Sanford has only six wins in three years, making 2008 a make-or-break season for the Urban Meyer disciple. With little history to speak of, the Rebel football program will always be an afterthought with college sports fans, who think of U.N.L.V. as a basketball school first and a football school second. For fans of college golf, the Rebel football program may be running third; U.N.L.V. men’s golf is currently ranked 15th in the nation.
Ouch, they don't hold back on the punches and unfortunately for Utah, they find their way into the article as well.
High point: A 27-0 whitewashing of Utah on Sept. 22 evened the Rebels’ record at 2-2 and put them at 1-0 in Mountain West play. It was the program’s first shutout since blanking North Texas, 38-0, in 2000.
Ok, well I guess you can take this two ways. It still totally sucks the Utes lost to UNLV last year (revenge will be mighty sweet), but at least we're a big enough program that this win warrants a spot at the highest point of last season. Then again, the Rebels would only win another game the rest of the way, so it's not like they were overflowing with good moments in '07. Though they did manage to almost stun Wisconsin and surely that would have made our loss sting less had they done that, right? Eh, probably not.
Finally, their season prediction seems to suggest UNLV will be shopping for a new coach come December.
There are four Mountain West teams head and shoulders above the rest: Air Force, B.Y.U., Utah and T.C.U. The Rebels will be competing with Wyoming, Colorado State and San Diego State to stay out of the Mountain West cellar for another year. Unfortunately, my guess is a 3-9 finish and another year at the bottom.
It's an interesting read and a fairly solid write-up for an east coast paper, so check back here to see when they do entries on other Mountain West teams and of course, Utah.