Sin City–Sinful Football Program”———
San Diego State plays a Friday night game against a team no one cares about because it does not win.
They did once upon a time, but that was a long-long time ago.
Nevada-Las Vegas, where Randall Cunningham played before he became a star with the Eagles. Where Glen Carano starred before he went to the Dallas Cowboys. It’s had few good days, fewer good seasons since the mid 1980s.
Running Rebels football has been in the gutter for over 3-decades and there seems no way out.
College football has seen programs rise from the ashes.
Marshall-West Virginia became a 1AA power years after the program was destroyed by the fiery plane crash on that hillside in 1970 that killed all the players and coaches..
Kansas State, forever without a winner, became one thanks to Bill Snyder.
Oregon State rallied to good times with Mike Riley-Dennis Erickson
New Mexico was brought back to life by Rocky Long
San Jose State is relevant now thanks to Brian Brennan.
But not UNLV, despite increased budgets, improved facilities, but a non-entity in that city.
Running Rebels basketball is no longer a neon-lights program either, despite the great things (legal-illegal) Jerry Tarkanian accomplished on the strip. March Madness has marched on without them for a couple of decades. But they did it for a ton of time.
UNLV has had 3-winning seasons in 35-years. Been to 3-bowl games in that span, despite hirings-firings, optimism-pessimism.
It’s weird they have never been able to resurrect a program in a vibrant city of casinos, restaurants, Hollywood shows and the like.
Now it seems hopeless, because of the arrival of the Raiders, the NHL Knights, and possibly the future home of the Oakland A’s.
Las Vegas is becoming an ‘oasis’ in the desert for sports franchises.
Not since the 1980s, when they were a Division II power under Tony Knapp, has UNLV enjoyed anything.
They tried big name coaches, like John Robinson. Hot coordinators Bobby Hauck, Jeff Horton. NFL coaches like Wayne Nunnelly. A high school coaching sensation like Tony Sanchez.
Harvey Hyde went (11-2) one year and that was the high water mark.
I really thought John Robinson’s re-emergence from his storied years at USC would vault him to Tarkanian-excellence levels. One good season and that was all, and then he was done.
Since 1987, the Rebels are (124-279) and show no signs of turning it around.
The JUCO transfer pipeline dried up. They don’t keep what few Nevada stars there are in-state. The NCAA transfer portal hasn’t brought them the numbers of players who can flip a program. And over to the West Nevada-Reno, has gone from 1AA-Big Sky Conference football to excellence in the Mountain West.
Is it the market place? Too many distractions on the strip? No legacy to lure anyone there?
When you look at all the other foreign outposts, where losing teams were revitalized, it’s amazing no one has been able to flip the switch and win at Nevada-Las Vegas.
Sin City has a Sinful Football program that just cannot get up out of the gutter.