The Miners came in at No. 77 in the Sporting News’ preseason top 100 announced Wednesday. UTEP was ranked No. 86 in the poll in 2009.
The ranking is sound. Besides, for most teams ranked past 50, the difference between them is a few plays throughout the season. I feel the Miners are primed for a decent campaign. Not a great one, but a bowl-eligible record is within reach.
UTEP’s schedule features four teams ranked higher in the poll this year — at Arkansas (21), at Houston (26), at Tulsa (55) SMU (67). That means eight games are presumably against lesser competition.
New Mexico State is ranked No. 100 in the poll and is the first team featured in the Sporting News’ countdown. Check out the Aggies’ profile here. The Orlando Sentinel ranks NMSU No. 99 in its countdown. UTEP hosts New Mexico State on Sept. 18.
New Mexico, another UTEP opponent, comes in at No. 96 in the Sporting News poll. The Lobos come in at No. 109 in the Orlando Sentinel poll. The Miners visit Albuquerque on Oct. 2.
San Antonio's push to join FBS
Many have chided me before for saying UTEP should be very concerned about the potential hit on its San Antonio/Central Texas pipeline if UT San Antonio’s newly minted football team experiences success. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is clear, the Roadrunners are making a big push to join the upper echelon of college football.
UT San Antonio announced this week a four-game series against Colorado State from 2015 to 2018.
It is the school’s sixth contract with a Football Bowl Subdivision school. Houston, Baylor, Kansas State, Arizona and Arizona State are the others.
The Roadrunners will play as an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Independent in 2011. They intend to notify the NCAA in June 2012 of its intent to advance to FBS by 2014. The Roadrunners will comply with FBS standards during the 2013 season and seek full FBS membership and bowl eligibility in 2014.
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