Here are some news and notes from Tuesday’s first day of Mountain West football media day activities here in Las Vegas. Tuesday featured teams from the West Division. Players and coaches from the Mountain Division get their turn Wednesday.
–Nevada coach Brian Polian isn’t one to hold back his opinions, and he wasn’t happy that this season’s rivalry game with UNLV is not at the end of the season,
like many rivalry games are around the nation, or during the weekend of Nevada Day, which celebrates when Nevada became a state back in 1864. Nevada Day is Friday, Oct. 30 this year.
This year’s game is Oct. 3 at UNLV.
This reminds me of the Border War with Wyoming and Colorado State. There was a decent stretch when that game was played at the end of the season with other rivalry games. However, that usually came during the weekend of Thanksgiving, and attendance in Laramie or Fort Collins were poor with students not around, and usually one of the two teams not being very good.
I’ve written in the past that the Border War should be played more toward the middle of the season. The weather is better and there is more fan interest. Attendance figures at both schools back that up. Not sure what to say about the Nevada-UNLV game, but one thing is certain, Polian doesn’t like the set up this year.
–Two years ago, there were some big-time quarterbacks at this event. Derek Carr of Fresno State, David Fales of San Jose State, Cody Fajardo of Nevada and Brett Smith of Wyoming.
“All of those guys were big-time game-changes,” San Jose State coach Ron Caragher said.
This season is a much different scenario. Just about every team in the 12-team conference either has a new quarterback, or is uncertain about the position going into fall camp. Ironically, the two teams picked to finish last in both divisions — UNLV and New Mexico — return quarterbacks who started a lot of games last season.
For more on that, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.
–Not sure how much success first-year UNLV coach Tony Sanchez will have, but one thing is certain, he’s one upbeat and positive guy.
The former high school coach at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Sanchez takes great pride that he led Gorman to a national title this past season, and led it to a perennial national power. He’s proud of the city he lives in, and tries to sell that to his current players and potential recruits. He mentioned Tuesday how special youth sports is here, ranging from Little League Baseball to the number of No. 1 draft picks in Major League Baseball have come out of Vegas — Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant are two of the latest.
“There’s a lot of stuff we have to get better at here at UNLV, but it’s exciting and fun. Where right were we need to be this time of year,” Sanchez said.
Will post more from the Mountain Division teams Wednesday. Do you have a question you’d like me to ask UW coach Craig Bohl, running back Shaun Wick or defensive end Eddie Yarbrough? Let me know and I will try and ask it for you.