No respect for Rebels

The phrase "From worst to first" has a nice ring to it if you are a UNLV football fan. But don't try selling that notion to the folks who took part in the Mountain West Conference's preseason media poll. No, after back-to-back 2-10 seasons, that's too tough a sell.

The Rebels, who were picked eighth in the 2006 MWC poll, were picked to finish ninth this time around. The poll was released as part of Mountain West Media Day festivities on Monday at the Green Valley Ranch Hotel.

TCU (202 points, 18 first place votes) was picked to finish first followed by defending champ BYU (178, 3), Utah (165, 2), New Mexico (120), Wyoming (110), Colorado State (107), Air Force (62), San Diego State (56) and then UNLV (35).

"We have a lot to prove," third year UNLV coach Mike Sanford said when asked his reaction to the poll. "I'd say that's probably the simplest way to look at it.

"I don't think polls mean anything. I think it's about how you play on the field. But at the same time that is how people view us right now so we have something to prove."

UNLV had two players named to the 2007 All-MWC team: sophomore wide receiver Ryan Wolfe and linebacker Beau Bell.

TCU junior running back Aaron Brown was named the preseason offensive player of the year while Horned Frog defensive end Tommy Blake was named preseason defensive player of the year. Utah placekicker Louie Sakoda was selected as special teams player of the year while Colorado State linebacker Ricky Brewer was named freshman of the year.

UNLV reports for fall camp on Aug. 2 with the team's first practices on Aug. 3 at 8 a.m. (newcomers) and 6 p.m. (vets).

The Rebels leave for an 11-day camp at White Pine High School in Ely on Friday, Aug. 10.


Running back David Peeples, expected to battle junior college transfer Frank "The Tank" Summers for the starting tailback spot, will be sidelined for three to four weeks with a stress fracture in his foot.

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