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July 27, 2021

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UNLV football picked last in preseason MWC poll

April 6, 2021: UNLV Football Practice

Steve Marcus

UNLV Rebels head coach Marcus Arroyo calls out to players during practice at Rebel Park Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

If the UNLV football team wants any respect in 2021, it’s going to have to earn it on the field.

The Mountain West released its preseason poll on Wednesday, and the scarlet and gray were picked to finish last in the West Division. UNLV received the fewest total points (26) of any of the league’s 12 teams.

UNLV went 0-6 last year and gave the poll’s voters—local media members from MWC markets—plenty of reason to doubt their prospects for 2021. In Marcus Arroyo’s first season at the helm, they lost by an average of 20.7 points per game, and no contest was closer than 13 points.

In-state rival UNR was picked to finish atop the West Division, claiming 19 of 25 first-place votes. San Jose State nabbed five votes to claim second place, while San Diego State was projected third, Fresno State was projected fourth and Hawaii was fifth.

In the Mountain Division, Boise State earned 23 first-place votes to take the top spot. Wyoming received the other two votes and was projected to finish second.

Arroyo met with the media shortly after the poll was released and said it would have no bearing on anyone within the UNLV program.

“We can’t control that,” Arroyo said. “What anybody decides on where you get picked has nothing to do with our football team. We have zero control about where anybody decides where they put us. The only thing we can control is how we play and how we work together. We pay very little attention to it.”

Sports books have set UNLV's over/under at 1.5 wins. UNLV will open its season on Sept. 2 with a home game against Eastern Washington.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

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