Three hours, 37 minutes. That’s how far it is from the Cotton Bowl to North Shore High in Houston, from where some key UNLV football players will compete in the program’s first bowl game since 2000 on Wednesday to where they played for a prep program led by one of the winningest coaches in Texas history.
In the depths of failure, Jim Livengood still believed.
When Kevin Olekaibe looks at his mother, the lessons of his favorite book — “To Kill a Mockingbird” — must be plain as day. When he watches her comb his father’s hair, brush his teeth, feed him, cleanse him, talk to him, read to him.
It was, more than anything, a defense of folly.
The fifth straight win was as impressive as the previous four, which is to say UNLV’s basketball team has found a consistent rhythm in beating opponents it should. Teams that just aren’t very good.
He said it often the first month of this basketball season, said it after the 21-point home loss to UC Santa Barbara, after the close win against Nebraska-Omaha, after not getting it done against visiting Arizona State and Illinois, after playing tough but falling at Arizona.
If this is how its conference champion looks, the Mountain West isn’t close to average on a national scale. Fresno State was never in its 45-20 loss to Southern California in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, never competitive at Sam Boyd Stadium against a No. 5 selection out of the Pac-12, never close to being on an even level of size, speed, strength, skill and execution.
The NFL agent was talking about the inevitability of comparison between draft choices past and present, about how scouts and general managers might look down on a wide receiver from one school because others from it had failed, about how they might downgrade a linebacker because his was a college system that doesn’t always transfer successfully to the pros.
The Tarkanian Classic welcomed a few of the nation’s best prep teams Wednesday night: Bishop Gorman, Mater Dei (Calif.) and Findlay Prep. All own better RPIs than the Rebels today.
Look at a map of the United States. On it, you will find few places Michael Gaughan hasn’t visited to witness a rodeo. The man knows more about small towns than Rand McNally.