The Nevada Wolf Pack football program is hungry for exposure, and for at least one year, the Pack will get it.
Nevada will be on television eight times this season of its 11 scheduled games. It's a chance to sink or swim, and that's all you can ask for.
This will be a tough nonconference schedule with Washington State of the Pac-10, Colorado State of the Mountain West and UNLV of the Mountain West, and then it's off to the Western Athletic Conference schedule
The Pack does have six home games, including Hawai'i, Louisiana Tech, newcomer Idaho and the regular-season finale against Fresno State.
It's not an easy way to start for a team whose offensive line was hurt by graduation and whose defense didn't stop many teams last year. Frankly, if coach Chris Ault can get six or seven wins from this team, he should be WAC Coach of the Year.
This isn't a bowl team because of its lack of experience at the four-year level. It will be a team that should be competitive, which would be a big improvement over last year. The Pack suffered through several blowout losses, including away defeats at Louisiana Tech, Fresno State, UNLV and Hawai'i.
The offense has changed some, and Ault said at the end of last year that the unit should be more cohesive. Much will depend on how will the new offensive line can protect quarterback Jeff Rowe. Ault has put in a half-shotgun formation, and we'll see if that makes a difference.
TOO MANY TEAMS
I remember the "old" days of Little League when there was no playing rule and the only all-star team was for the 11 and 12-year-olds.
Things have sure changed in the last 30-plus years, and I don't think for the better.
There are way too many all-star teams out there. The Renegades (9-10) and Hooligans (11-12) were started a few years ago. It's for kids, who didn't make the regular all-star teams and 9-10 and 11-year-old regular all-star teams have been added. Way too many. It's not out of the realm that every kid on a good team could make all-stars. All-star play is supposed to be an honor, not a given, and Little League has gone overboard in stressing participation.
I'm all for a playing rule during the regular season. I just don't think it needs to be every game in the majors. I think it's great for the minors. I think you could do it on a weekly basis or over a set amount of games in the majors.
The one rule I really detest is the playing rule in all-star games. All-star games should be played to win, and there are players that are much better than others on all-star teams. Not everybody on an all-star team is really of all-star caliber.
I think it should be one 9-10 squad and one 11-12 squad. Let's make all-stars a meaningful experience.
I've covered professional and college sports much of my newspaper career, and can honestly say I've enjoyed my two years at the Reno Rodeo.
Granted, I don't like some of the events that the rodeo offers, but the one thing I do appreciate are the cowboys. They are an approachable group, and while some might not have a lot to say, they don't act like they are doing you a favor all the time like many professional and college athletes out there.
Another positive thing about the rodeo is the comaraderie the riders share. Heath Ford said fellow riders are his family. They help get horses and bulls ready for each other. You don't see players from opposing baseball or football teams helping each other out.
I'm sure one of the reasons why cowboys help each other is the question of safety. A cowboy risks his life each time he gets aboard a steer or horse, and nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. It's refreshing to see that kind of attitude. Cowboys see the big picture. It is only a game.
While we are on the subject of the Reno Rodeo, the PRCA officials need to do something about who competes in the evening sessions and who competes in the morning sessions.
It seems ludicrous that one of the world's top all-around cowboys, Travis Brazile, has only performed in slack sessions this week. How unfair is that to the public and his fellow competitors.
A gentleman associated with the rodeo said that it should be mandated that the top 20 cowboys/cowgirls appear in the evening sessions. I definitely agree. There isn't as much pressure in the slack sessions as there is in the evening sessions. Let's even the playing field.