... in 2017 and '18. No other details available at the moment. UTEP is still slated to play at Texas in 2016 and a home-and-home with Texas Tech starting with a Sun Bowl game against the Red Raiders in 2014.
The first UTEP football schedule of the Sean Kugler
era will only feature one home game after Oct. 12 and just two crossover
games to go with six West Division games.
The Conference USA schedule was released Wednesday, a week after new
divisional alignments were announced for 2013-14 that included the
additions of Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic. UTEP is in the
seven-team West Division with UTSA, North Texas, Louisiana Tech, Tulsa,
Rice and Tulane. Its crossover games against the seven-team East are at
home against Florida International on Nov. 16 and to close the season at
Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 30.
The Miners have a bye on Aug. 31, the opening week of the season, and
open league play Aug. 21 at home against new member UTSA. They also play
Louisiana Tech at home on Oct. 5 and Tulsa at home on Oct. 12 before
playing five of their last six on the road, including the Nov. 2 date at
The only home game in the last month and a half of the season is against FIU.
Aug. 31 bye
Sept. 7 vs. New Mexico
Sept. 14 at New Mexico State
Sept. 21 vs UTSA
Sept. 28 at Colorado State
Oct. 5 vs. Louisiana Tech
Oct. 12 vs. Tulsa
Oct. 19 bye
Oct. 26 at Rice
Nov. 2 at Texas A&M
Nov. 9 at North Texas
Nov. 16 Florida International
Nov. 23 at Tulane
Nov. 30 at Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic will join
Conference USA sooner rather than later, as the league announced they
will join the league for the 2013-14 athletic seasons.
C-USA initially announced On Nov. 29 that Middle Tennessee and FAU would
move from the Sun Belt to C-USA "no later than July 1st, 2014," but now
that will take effect as soon as this athletic year is over.
UNC-Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Old
Dominion and UTSA will also begin C-USA play in 2013-14, joining UTEP,
East Carolina, Marshall, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane and Tulsa.
Tulane and East Carolina will depart the conference following the end of the 2013-14 season.
Franlin offensive lineman Derek Elmendorff became the third El
Paso star in five days to commit to UTEP, as he texted El Paso Time
reporter Evan Mohl and tweeted that he will be a Miner. He joins the
Burges Jones brothers, Alvin and Aaron, as UTEP commits.
"I'll be joining Metz, and the Jones at Utep!" he tweeted, shortly
after 10 p.m. Sunday night. Metz is the Andress quarterback Ryan Metz,
who commited to UTEP in the fall.
Elmendorff commited to UTEP in May, but then switched to UTSA for academic reasons after Mike Price retired. He now has switched back to UTEP.
It all starts, of course, with the fact that the Miners have to beat a good UAB team. If they do, it would be surprising if they don't move into the USA Today/ESNP coaches poll. They are currently receiving the 28th most votes.
On Saturday, No. 21 Kansas lost in Lubbock to Texas Tech 70-63, while No. 22 Syracuse lost 87-62 at No. 3 UConn. Earlier in the week, the top team in "other's receiving votes," Nebraska, lost to mediocre Illinois.
On Sunday, No. 22 Iowa State is at No. 17 Oklahoma State. On Monday, the team right in front of UTEP, Michigan, plays at home against No. 8 Penn State. The coaches poll is released Tuesday.
Nebraska, the top team in the "others receiving votes" category in the USA Today/ESPN women's Top 25, was upset at home by 10-7 Illinois, 62-52, which will almost certainly drop them behind UTEP if the Miners can beat UAB at home Sunday.
That would move UTEP up to 27th if everything else holds. Two other teams ahead of UTEP won: Michigan, the team directly in front of the Miners, won at Northwester 67-53; and No. 24 Florida State won at Boston College, 67-57.
Most of the other games involving teams directly in front of UTEP happen Saturday and Sunday.
In Conference USA games Thursday: Memphis protected home court against ECU in a battle of contenders, 66-56; SMU took a half-game lead over UTEP by beating Southern Miss 79-69 to stay unbeaten in league; preseason-favorite Tulane won at Rice 69-65; and Tulsa routed Marshall 67-49.
By Bret Bloomquist El Paso Times What the UTEP women's basketball team did last week in winning at Tulsa and dispatching Conference USA contender East Carolina to reach 14-1 was impressive, but some results that flew under the Miners' radar were probably what fueled a big jump in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. While UTEP steadily held course, six teams that were right in front of them in the poll -- Nebraska, Miami, Vanderbilt, DePaul, Toldeo and South Florida -- all lost and the Miners suddenly gained some critical mass. The Miners, who had just three points in the poll last week (likely three 25th-place votes, though coaches ballots are not made available) and were in 32nd, suddenly have 22 points and are in 28th. The upshot is that if the Miners beat UAB this Sunday, there is at least some chance they'll be ranked by next Tuesday. Specifically, three teams within their reach have games against ranked opponents: No. 22 Iowa State (12-2) plays at No. 17 Oklahoma State Sunday, No. 23 Syracuse (15-1) plays at No. 3 Connecticut Saturday and the team right ahead of UTEP, 14-2 Michigan, hosts No. 8 Penn State on Monday. No. 24 Florida State, No. 25 Colorado and the top team in the "others receiving votes" category, 12-5 Nebraska, all have games in which they will be favored. Always focused UTEP coach Keitha Adams admitted she knew where UTEP was by Tuesday afternoon. "Someone called me and told me, that made me think about it," she said. "It is what it is. It's a positive, no question, anytime you get national recognition. But that's not the goal, that's not what we are focused on. UAB is what we are focused on." "Rankings are good, but we can't let that get to us," Kayla Thornton said. "We've got to keep pushing forward." Indeed, that would be enough to do it. If UTEP keeps winning, it will be ranked at some point. AFter UAB is a road trip to play the two Houston teams next week, followed by a Jan. 31/Feb 3 homestand against Tulsa and SMU. If UTEP wins those five games, it almost certainly will be in the Top 25. Getting ranked "is something to look forward to, we'd like to be recognized for our hard work, but it's not something we worry about," Chrishauna Parker said.
A look at the six teams directly in front of UTEP and what they have this week and next week (next polls come out Jan. 22 and Jan. 29):
No. 22 Iowa State (12-2) Sunday at No. 17 Oklahoma State (13-2) Jan. 23 vs. No. 1 Baylor (14-1) Jan. 26 at West Virginia (11-5)
No. 23 Syracuse *15-1) Saturday at No. 3 UConn (15-1) Jan. 23 at St. John's (8-6) Jan. 26 at Villanova (13-2)
No. 24 Florida St (13-3) Jan. 17 at Boston College (8-7) Jan. 20 at North Carolina State (8-9) Jan. 25 Georgia Tech (8-8) Jan. 27 Virginia Texh (7-9)
No. 25 Colorado (13-2) Jan. 18 vs. Arizona (10-5) Jan. 20 vs. ASU (10-6) Jan. 25 at No. 7 Cal (13-2) Jan. 27 at No. 6 Stan (14-2)
Nebraska (12-5, 52 poll points)
Jan. 17 vs. Illinois (9-7) Jan. 20 at Minnesota (13-4) Jan. 24 Michigan St. (14-2)
Michigan (14-2, 27 points) Jan. 17 at Norwthwestern (8-8) Jan. 21 vs. No. 8 Penn St. (13-2) Jan. 24 at. Indiana (10-6), Iowa (13-4)
UTEP (14-1, 22 points) Jan. 20 UAB (11-4) Jan. 24 at Rice (9-6) Jan. 27 at Houston (7-8)
Perhaps lost in the comeback against East Carolina was the last basket of the first half, which came on Anete Steinberga's first 3-point attempt of the season and resulted in her first 3-point make since her freshman year. That cut UTEP's deficit from a season-high 11 points at 35-24 to eight, and actually started a nine-point run. It improved her to a career 2-of-12 from 3-point range, but as she was quick to point out, 1-of-1 this season. "I'm not shooting (3s) any more, I'm keeping my 100 percent," Steinberga said.
UTEP is off to its second 14-1 start, as it was 14-1 in 2006-07 before a loss at SMU sent it to an eventual 22-8 record. In the NCAA tournament year that followed the Miners started 4-2 before winning 23 consecutive games, and last season the Miners lost back-to-back games after a 10-0 start. They have a nine-game winning streak and are seeking the fifth streak of 10 or more games in program history. UTEP had two of those last year -- the 10-game streak to start the year and a 15-game winning streak after the two losses.
Despite UTEP's dominating 2011-12 season, the 13-player rotation kept the Miners from making much of a mark in the weekly awards. This year's UTEP team has already exceeded last year's in that regard. Steinberga became the third Miner to win player of the week honors on Monday, joining Kristine Vitola (Nov. 12) and Kayla Thornton (co-player on Dec. 17). Irene Gari was freshman of the week on Dec. 10. Last year, Gloria Brown was named player of the week on Jan. 9 and Feb. 20, the only weekly honors UTEP claimed. It was shutout on freshman of the week honors. Bret Bloomquist may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 546-6359. Follow him on Twitter @bretbloomquist.
Special teams coach Jeff Banks, the only coach other than Aaron Price to stay at UTEP for Mike Price's nine-year tenure, just left for Texas A&M after nine days at the University of Virginia. A&M, which should open next season in the top five in the nation with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manzeal, plays UTEP Nov. 2.
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