Wednesday, July 19, 2023 | 8:57 a.m.
Someone really, really believes in UNLV football.
The Mountain West released its preseason media poll on Wednesday, and while there was no drama at the top — perennial favorite Boise State was picked to finish first — there was a surprise toward the bottom of the rankings, as UNLV received a first-place vote.
The Scarlet and Gray were picked to finish ninth overall, which is more in line with expectations for the program in its first year under head coach Barry Odom.
The poll is voted on by media members who regularly cover the Mountain West. Ballots are not made public unless the voter chooses to release their own picks.
Boise State garnered 28 of 39 first-place votes and finished with 433 points. Air Force received two first-place votes and placed second overall (364 points), while Fresno State actually got more first-place votes (five) and settled in at third place (351 points).
San Diego State came in fourth in overall voting (338 points) and received one first-place nod. UNLV was the only other team to pull in a first-place vote.
UNLV is coming off a 5-7 campaign in which the team came out hot with a 4-1 start before crashing back to earth with a 1-6 finish. That late-season implosion cost former coach Marcus Arroyo his job, as he was fired shortly after the season ended.
The Mountain West also released its preseason All-Conference team on Wednesday, and no UNLV players were selected. San Jose State quarterback Chevan Cordeiro was picked as the Offensive Player of the Year, while Wyoming linebacker Easton Gibbs was the choice for Defensive Player of the Year.