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Posts Tagged ‘U.N.L.V.’

P.S.R. 1-124: Week 5 Re-Ranking

With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, even if we’re now four weeks into the year. As promised, everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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    For 13 Teams, Losing Culture Carries Over

    Middle Tennessee State is in the same boat as 12 other programs in college football. The Blue Raiders, like the dozen others, enters 2012 on at least a five-game losing streak. How this team stumbled over the second half of last season raises some important questions about the program’s future under Rick Stockstill, whose career record at Middle Tennessee now falls under .500 after six years with the program. For nearly half of the 13 teams, last year’s sluggish finish has led to significant changes: six have since made a coaching change. Middle Tennessee opted to stand pat, but like every team that heads into the fall on at least a five-game losing streak, changes are afoot.

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      Once Again, Youth Will Define U.N.L.V.

      At some point, U.N.L.V. will no longer be able to rely on youth as an excuse. For the third straight year, Bobby Hauck and the Rebels prepare for the fall with startling youth on each side of the ball. A redshirt freshman should start at quarterback. Three sophomores lead the way at wide receiver, just as they do along the offensive line. Freshmen, sophomores and JUCO transfers share top duties at end. A redshirt freshman and two sophomores are in line for starting roles in the secondary. In all, the Rebels will start as few as two seniors; as of the end of spring ball, only six seniors were listed on the team’s two-deep. It’s a new year, but a similar story.

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        No. 115: U.N.L.V.

        U.N.L.V. hasn’t had a winning season since 2000, back-to-back winning seasons since 1983-84 and three straight winning seasons since 1978-80. Since 2004, the program’s final season under John Robinson, the Rebels are 22-73. Over this eight-year span, U.N.L.V. has been outscored by an even 1,300 points — by 555 points over the last two seasons. It’s not a stretch to call U.N.L.V. the most disappointing program in college football since 2004. See, Las Vegas was born from dirt, sand, tumbleweeds and the wholly American idea that if you build it, people will come. U.N.L.V. football has roots in the same idea: Las Vegas, America’s boomtown, surely has the backing, wherewithal and wall-to-wall moxie to house a thriving football program — and for the program’s first generation, this was undoubtedly the case. Given the last eight years, however, the idea that U.N.L.V. should win has been replaced by a question: Does U.N.L.V. have what it takes to ever win again?

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          Mega Millions-Level National Title Odds

          As you may have heard, the odds of pulling the winning ticket in a Mega Millions jackpot is 175,000,000 to 1. You are far, far more likely to win a gold medal at this summer’s Olympics than you were of picking six correct numbers last Friday. Not that the odds stopped me from buying a $5 ticket at my local convenience store, or prevented another risk-taker – as I witnessed while waiting in line – from stepping up to the teller and plopping down five crisp $100 bills. Do you have any idea how long it takes to print out 500 lottery tickets? To put the Mega Million odds in football perspectives, let’s consider one scenario: What odds would you give Hawaii to win every game for the next decade?

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            In Case of an “Unresolved Tie” in the M.W.C.

            A quick housecleaning tidbit. Last Friday’s breakdown of the Mountain West’s 2012 schedule included one still-unanswered question: What are the league’s procedures when it comes to a two-way tie atop the final conference standings among teams that don’t play in the regular season? The question was raised because the M.W.C. has 10 teams but will play an eight-game conference schedule. Therefore, a handful of would-be contenders — I cited Boise State and Air Force as one example — won’t meet during in conference play. So it’s possible, if fairly unlikely, that the final Mountain West standings could find the Broncos and Falcons, or Hawaii and Wyoming, tied for first at 8-0 in conference play.

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              For One Last Time, the M.W.C. Schedule

              It’s the end of the Mountain West as we know it, but not just yet. Come 2013, the league formerly known as the Mountain West and the league formerly known as Conference USA will merge, creating one awkwardly-named super conference. Super in size, at least. But the Mountain West will still exist in its current, non-Conference USA-affiliated form for this coming season, albeit with its own slight degree of awkwardness. Boise State and San Diego State will play out the string in the Mountain West before taking their wares to the Big East in 2013. A few of Boise’s former pals from the WAC will join the fold, but it’ll be a short-lived reunion.

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                An “Unprecedented” F.B.S. Hiring Cycle

                Only 17 staffs in college football have not had a coaching change this off-season including only 5 non-BCS programs. http://t.co/Xn4HpxzXWed Feb 08 02:52:31 via web

                All legwork here belongs to the indispensable Pete Roussel, whose Twitter account, seen above, is one of the must-follow feeds for every college football fan. I suggest making both Pete’s Twitter feed and his Web site one of your daily visits, especially if, like me, you’re interested in seeing how this current hiring cycle wraps up over the next three or four weeks. Pete’s always at the forefront; again, his work is nearly indispensable. For example, take note of a story he published yesterday on the vast number of coaching changes on the F.B.S. level, not merely at head coach but also at the coordinator and position coach level.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.