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Mitch Moss: UNLV Football Improves, But Still Disappoints


(AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers throws against Nevada in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev., Saturday, November 25, 2017.

UNLV and UNR football continued to inch toward improvement with their performances this season, but their basketball teams are lighting up the court.

Meanwhile, college football's bowls and playoffs are set as the NFL's season starts to draw to a close.

Here to break it all down for us is Mitch Moss.

He hosts a daily program on VSIN, the Vegas Stats and Information Network.

What grade would you give UNLV Football and Coach Tony Sanchez? Do they pass?

No. I would give them a D at best. I thought it was a miserable season for that football program and I'll give you multiple reasons why. First off, to start the season by losing as a 45-point favorite against Howard -- which isn't even an FBS school -- it is the biggest point spread loss in the history of college football. That is absolutely unacceptable and pathetic.

And then, you blow a 27-nothing lead to Air Force to lose to that team, and then -- I know there is a lot of pride up north [in Reno] and they love beating this team -- but [the Wolfpack] were 2 and 9 going into that game. Nevada was favored by three points, they want to keep the cannon blue and they did again this year. And so, you lost the rivalry game. You only won five games, and you lost in the other two situations. They should have been an eight-win team minimum and made a bowl game. And yet here they are -- 5 and 7.   

Support comes from

In my opinion, the heat is absolutely on Tony Sanchez next year just because of the way 2017 unfolded for him.

What about UNR? What grade should they get?

Much higher than UNLV. Give them whatever you want. But because they kept the cannon blue and they won that game -- that's huge for that school and that program and for their fans. [Jay Norvell] was a first-year coach coming into a bad situation where there wasn't a lot of talent for him to work with there. So, to win three games, you can give it a C or so. You can go even higher if you want because they won the rivalry game, but I would not panic. You knew it was going to be a down season for this team. They happened to beat UNLV so all things considered I think it was pretty decent.

Do you think UNR and UNLV men's basketball can keep it up?

I absolutely do. Nevada -- great job by [Eric] Musselman. They were a great story last year. They [have] lost to Texas Tech on the road in overtime [this season] -- a game they lead the entire way. That was a heartbreaker. But they are legit. They are very good yet again. I think they are a tournament team.

We're a month into the season and clearly, UNLV is not even close to the same team they were last year or the previous years when it was under a different coach.

They are fun to watch. They have tons of talent. They're exciting. Their two losses were against good teams -- one on the road against Northern Iowa. There is no shame in that to lose on the road in that spot in overtime. It sucks that they lost an 11-point lead at halftime against Arizona and Arizona wasn't ranked at the time. That was really their chance to have a terrific quality win in the non-conference. They're not going to have too many of those chances left.

They can play. They're good. Both teams are really good this year.

Does UNLV have a chance of making into the tournament?

It is certainly possible. When you look at overall bids for the Mountain West Conference -- this is a sport where you hope that other teams win big non-conference games on top of it because that will only help out the conference RPI [rating percentage index] and BPI [basketball power index]. So, I don't know how many non-conference wins the other teams will have, including UNLV to help really help their resume.

It is early. They have the look of a tournament team certainly. It would great for the city and for that team to make it back in. But for me, it is too early to say.

What is behind the turnaround of the L.A. Rams?

100 percent the coaching change. Jeff Fisher was there for years. He's awful. He should never coach in the NFL again. He's up for the Bears job. I would tell the fan base there that, if Jeff Fisher lands that job or any other head coach job, I would cancel my season tickets immediately. He is awful.

What has gone wrong with the Raiders this year? Or were our expectations too high?

I think the expectations were exceedingly high. First of all, they changed their [offensive coordinator] after a 12-win season. Baffling to me why they would do that. When you look at 2016, almost everything went their way, except for the Derek Carr injury at the end of the year. But when you look at their 12 wins, they were 8 and 1 in one-score games, which means they won every single one of their games that were basically coin-flip games.

Plus, they went to the East Coast and they were a perfect 5 and 0. That doesn't happen. That's a one-year aberration. Plus, their turnover margin was so great. And that is a blip on the radar. When a team can do that for a full year, that tends to regress back to the norm the next year and all that has happened.

What do you think about the college football playoff picks: Clemson v. Oklahoma and Georgia v. Alabama?

No. I thought Alabama was disgusting, actually. I get it. The three teams that were locks to get in were Clemson, Georgia, and Oklahoma. So, really it was going to be a lose-lose situation but I hated the fact that it came down to an SEC team, like Alabama, because they get the benefit of the doubt -- or Ohio State with two losses -- and yet zero consideration was given to USC -- and I know this is never going to happen -- but Central Florida ran the table. I would love to see a team like that in. I know people are going to say, 'They're not a power five so forget about that,' but just the fact that Alabama lost in the Iron Bowl and their resume stinks. I get it.

Spend Mitch's Money

I will put it on Georgia over Oklahoma.

I will have to get the latest number, but this number has moved quite a bit so far -- Oklahoma opened up around point and half favorite or so and now Georgia is right around a pick or one. I'll go with Georgia. I'll put $100 on Georgia to win the game. 



Mitch Moss, VSIN

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