MI Miner Maniac
- Jun 15, 2014
That's the question every Miner fan across the world wants an answer to. Some feel it's taking too long and UTEP should have blown out NAU and held their own vs UNLV. Others say it will take three to four years to put out the flames left by the previous administration. There is no psychic we can consult to give us a sneak peek into the future. Instead, we will compare UTEP to other similar historical terrible G5 programs and see how long they took. Or if they could even find success.
Using this list https://www.cheatsheet.com/sports/the-15-worst-college-football-teams-of-all-time.html/ I picked three teams that are comparable to UTEP. The only requirement was that their head coach is in year four or above in the rebuilding process.
In the decade before Sanchez took over UNLV experienced only one winning season and had a combined record of 31-92. In his first year in charge, he took care of business vs the home FCS opponent beating them 80-8. The next week they traveled to rival Nevada (7-6) and beat them in front of an almost sold out game. Sitting at 2-3 with only losses to two P5 teams and what would become an eight-win Northern Illinois squad it seemed like the rebuild would be quick and painless. It wasn't to be as they finished the season on a 1-6 skid.
Year two saw improvements in the overall win total. The high point of the season was defeating eventual Mountain Division champion Wyoming in a thrilling 69-66 triple OT. The low points were losing in senior night to rival Nevada in a blow out fashion and once again a bad ending to the season at 1-4. Year three stated as a nightmare with a loss at home to FCS Howard. A 2-5 start with only wins vs lowly Idaho and San Jose St many in Las Vegas might have thought if Sanchez was the right man for the job. When all hope seemed lost, they traveled to West Division champion Fresno St and gave them their only conference loss of the season. They picked up a pair of victories to finish at 5-7. How painful the season-opening loss to their guarantee must have been since it prevented them from going bowling.
In year four UNLV seems on track to get their team turned around. With an overall of 13-25, it hasn't been an easy ride. There has been a lot of growing pains but also some joyful moments. It will be interesting to keep an eye on them and see if this is the year they reach a bowl.
Ah, the Aggies where do I start? Let's keep it simple since most of us here are familiar with their history. The past ten years prior to Martin taking over they went 32-89 with only one winning season. A very similar record to that of UNLV. In four years they had won only ten games. In most universities that would be a good enough reason to hit the reset button and try again. They stuck with him and he produced the first bowl victory in 57 years. In 2018 they are off to a 0-3 start and a difficult independent schedule awaits them with not too many opportunities to reel in wins. Has the program being rebuilt or did they have a flash in the pan season?
Rated the worst football program of all time. Unlike the other two, they hadn't experienced a winning season in the previous ten years and had amassed a 28-90 record. At first, it seemed like nothing had changed with the hire of Creighton as he led EMU to their third straight season with double-digit losses. Then it got worse as he only won one game his second season. We could only imagine the chaos going on in their message board as fans bickered with each other remembering how things were better when they were winning two games per year. Then the unspeakable happened in year three as he produced the first winning season in 21 years and took them to the Bahamas Bowl.
In year four after having to replace their offensive coordinator, they fell back to 5-7. Six of those losses were by five points or fewer. Had a couple of calls gone differently they would have had consecutive bowling seasons for the first time in their history. Now in year five, they are 2-0 with a win over a P5 team. It seems Creighton has done what seemed unimaginable and turned the worst team in the country around.
All eyes on us now. Dimel takes over a program that has a record of 41-69 with one winning season the last 10 years. On paper, we have more wins and bowl appearances than the above examples. This rebuilding job will be as difficult as the three other programs. No overnight miracles should be expected or demanded from Dimel. When it looks like we have it figured it out don't get too comfortable or they will surprise us with a head-scratching loss or season.
This adventure has just begun there is a long journey ahead for the fans, coaches, and administration. The key will be to remain patient and have faith the right pieces are falling into place. We have endured a lot of bad sports moments the past twelve years. Unfortunately, there are still more dark moments to go through. We are assured that Senter will make the tough conversations if athletic standards aren't met. With the impending hire of the university president, we can expect that they will hold Senter accountable for his department.