Saturday, August 16, 2008

Barnhouse's Bottom 25: Nevada Las Vegas

Legendary sportswriter Wendell Barnhouse recently left the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and is now a correspondent for Big 12 With 30 years experience of observing the college scene, his expertise is unmatched. In the spirit of Steve Harvey's Bottom Ten, Wendell will provide us a capsule look at college football's less fortunate, counting down the Bottom 25 teams in Division I-A football.

No. 15 Nevada Las Vegas
Location: Las Vegas.
Nickname: Rebels.
Conference: Mountain West.
Coach: Mike Sanford, 6-29 in three seasons.
Division I-A history: 209-237-4 in 40 seasons, .469 winning percentage.
Last bowl season: 2000.
Best record last five years: 6-6 in 2003.
Rank(ed) because: These are neither the runnin' nor the passin' Rebels. They can't do much of anything on the football field. Sanford was Urban Meyer's offensive coordinator at Utah but his offensive acumen was lost in the transition. In 34 games against Division I-A teams, UNLV has scored 30 or more points five times.
Negative number: UNLV's record has been four of a kind, all deuces. As in two victories each of the last four seasons.
Possible victory: Utah State, Aug. 30. The Rebels have a shot at beating the Aggies, mainly because they're residing in the Bottom 25 (where? just keep following the daily posting; yeah, it's a shameless plug.) Utah State should provide an end to UNLV's eight-game losing streak.
Biggest blowout: At Arizona State, Sept. 13. The Sun Devils will want to put up a big number in order to impress the poll voters.
Is there hope?: Las Vegas is one of the nation's fastest-growing locales. The Mountain West is one of the best non-BCS leagues. UNLV should be able to field a winning football team. But like what happens in the casinos, it's not a sure bet.

Thanks to the Helmet Project.

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