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UNLV Football:

Rebels picked 8th in MWC preseason poll, Payne honored

UNLV lands receiver on league’s preseason team for fourth straight year


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV wide receiver Phillip Payne reaches for an Omar Clayton pass against BYU on Oct. 10, 2009, at Sam Boyd Stadium.

UNLV's football program will enter the first year of the Bobby Hauck era with some low expectations.

The Mountain West Conference preseason poll was unveiled Tuesday to kick off the league's football media days at Red Rock Resort, and the Rebels, coming off back-to-back 5-7 seasons, were picked eighth out of nine teams.

The poll, which was compiled by votes from the league's media, was topped by defending champ TCU, who went undefeated in last year's regular season before falling to undefeated Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Horned Frogs nabbed 279 poll points and got all 31 first-place votes.

TCU is followed, in order, by Utah, BYU, Air Force, Wyoming, San Diego State, Colorado State, UNLV and New Mexico.

Some positive news came, though, for UNLV, as junior wideout Phillip Payne — a Western High product — was voted to the preseason All-MWC team.

The 6-foot-3 red-zone specialist has piled up 87 catches, 1,097 yards and 14 touchdowns in 21 career games.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that UNLV has a receiver on the preseason All-MWC team, as Ryan Wolfe was on the list each of the last three seasons.

UNLV's fall camp opens Aug. 6.

For full coverage from media days as they unfold, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com.

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  1. I'm a little surprised we had anyone on the MWC preseason team, but still very happy to see the recognition.

    8th is probably about right, as first year coaches frequently experience a dip as they work on getting things in place, etc.

    That said, I think we're perfectly capable of a mid-table conference finish.

  2. Way to represent for unlv and western high school phil! go have another 7+ touchdown season.

  3. definitely could get up to 4th or 5th. Let's see what ya got Hauck!! Can't wait for Sep 4th!

  4. UNLV football is still around? I see the lights on at Sam Boyd on Saturday nights in the fall but trust me "Ain't nothin goin on" GOOD LUCK REBELS! Show me something...

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  6. What a complete joke this poll is.

    UNLV finished in 6th place the last two years (2008 and 2009) but somehow we are going to now finish eighth with a REAL COACH? Get Real.

    vs. Wisconsin (HUGE WIN vs. TOP 10 TEAM)
    at. Utah (LOSS AT TOP 25 TEAM)
    at. Idaho (WIN)
    vs. New Mexico (WIN)
    vs. UNR (WIN)
    at. West Virginia (LOSS AT TOP 25 TEAM)
    at. Colorado State (WIN)
    vs. TCU (HUGE WIN vs. TOP 10 TEAM)
    at. BYU (WIN vs. TOP 25 TEAM)
    vs. Wyoming (WIN)
    vs. Air Force (WIN)
    at. San Diego State (WIN)
    at. Hawaii (WIN)

    11-2 Overall and 8-1 in Conference.

    Welcome to UNLV Football 2010. Our Decade of Greatness has begun!

  7. We are positioned to shock the league! Go Rebs!

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  10. If not for the brutal schedule, I think the Rebels would be picked no worse than the middle of the pack. This is not a bad team, and most people respect Hauck, but it's tough to overlook nine bowl teams, especially in the first year of a program.