UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck was far from surprised when his Rebels were picked ninth in the 10-team Mountain West Conference.
But that didn’t mean he necessarily agreed with the assessment.
“I think we’ll be competitive,” Hauck said at Tuesday’s league media days at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. “(But) those are just words. It’s easy to be good right now. We want to be good this fall. Until we start putting more points on the scoreboard than our opponent on any given Saturday, then we’re just a work in progress.”
The Rebels went 2-10 last season, the sixth time in eight years they have finished with that record. Only New Mexico, 1-11 last season, was chosen lower in the poll.
Boise State, which went 12-1 and won the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas over Arizona State, was picked to win the conference. The Broncos received 27 of 30 first-place votes.
Third-placed Fresno State received two first-place votes, and fifth-place San Diego State received the other one.
UNR was picked second.
No Rebels were selected to the preseason All-Mountain West team.
■ CARRS - Fresno State junior Derek Carr was named the preseason all-conference quarterback, but he might not be the best passer in his family.
His brother, David, also quarterbacked Fresno State and won the Johnny Unitas Award in 2001 as the nation’s top quarterback. He then was drafted first overall by the Houston Texans. Carr, now a backup with the New York Giants, has played 10 seasons in the NFL.
And then there is Darren Carr, who was a defensive lineman at the University of Houston in 2002.
“Darren can throw the ball way better than me and David, both,” Derek Carr said. “He’s 6-6 and about 280 pounds. He can sling the football around.”
■ THE FINAL WORD - Wyoming coach Dave Christensen is a confident man, able to fill his staff with three former head coaches.
They include offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon (Bowling Green), defensive coordinator Chris Tormey (Idaho and UNR) and linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Robin Ross (Western Washington). Ross also coached UNLV’s linebackers last season.
“We’ve got a lot of experience, and that certainly is a plus,” Christensen said. “Sometimes it can be a negative because they also have a lot of ideas on how to do things. It’s great having 51 percent of the vote, and I take advantage of that.”
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@review
journal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.
1. Boise State (27) 296
2. UNR 244
3. Fresno State (2) 231
4. Wyoming 213
5. San Diego State (1) 173
6. Air Force 170
7. Hawaii 116
8. Colorado State 111
9. UNLV 63
10. New Mexico 33
All-MWC preseason team
■ QB-Derek Carr, Jr., Fresno State
■ WR-Matt Miller, So., Boise State
■ WR-Colin Lockett, Jr., San Diego State
■ RB-Robbie Rouse, Sr., Fresno State
■ RB-Chris Nwoke, Jr., Colorado State
■ OL-Chris Barker, Sr., UNR
■ OL-Joe Kellogg, Sr., Boise State
■ OL-Weston Richburg, Jr., Colorado State
■ OL-Nick Carlson, Sr., Wyoming
■ OL-Jeff Nady, Sr., UNR
■ TE-Gavin Escobar, Jr., San Diego State
■ DL-Mike Purcell, Sr., Wyoming
■ DL-Mike Atkinson, Sr., Boise State
■ DL-Paipai Falemalu, Sr., Hawaii
■ DL-Jack Reynoso, Jr., UNR
■ LB-Travis Brown, Sr., Fresno State
■ LB-Shaquil Barrett, Jr., Colorado State
■ LB-Alex Means, Sr., Air Force
■ DB-Leon McFadden, Sr., San Diego State
■ DB-Duke Williams, Sr., UNR
■ DB-Luke Ruff, Sr., Wyoming
■ DB-Jamar Taylor, Sr., Boise State
■ P-Pete Kontodiakos, Sr., Colorado State
■ K-Parker Herrington, Sr., Air Force
■ Ret-Mitch Burroughs, Sr., Boise State
■ Offensive Player of the Year: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
■ Defensive Player of the Year: DB Leon McFadden, San Diego State
■ Special Teams Player of the Year: Ret Mitch Burroughs, Boise State