Twenty-five players were picked to the Mountain West’s 2013 preseason team released Monday at the conference’s annual Media Days at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.
Not one of them hailed from UNLV.
That fact didn’t go unnoticed by senior running back Tim Cornett.
“I feel we were disrespected and I feel our work ethic was disrespected,” said Cornett, who rushed for 1,232 yards and had eight 100-yard games last season. “I feel me and some of my other teammates should have been on the preseason all-conference list (but weren’t). … I mean, it is what it is.”
Cornett was asked if the snub provided extra motivation heading into fall camp next month?
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“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder, not being labeled one of the more superior running backs in this conference,” Cornett said. “I definitely have a chip on my shoulder.”
Kasey Carrier of New Mexico and Adam Muema of San Diego State were picked as the running backs on the preseason all-Mountain West squad by a panel of league media members.
UNLV, which has won just two games in each of head coach Bobby Hauck’s first three seasons as head coach, was selected to finish fifth in the West Division behind Fresno State, San Diego State, San Jose State and in-state rival Nevada and ahead of Hawaii.
Considering the Rainbow Warriors embarrassed UNLV, 48-10, in last year’s season finale in Honolulu, the fact the Rebels, who finished a dismal 2-11, were picked that high might actually be considered a head-scratcher.
Cornett said he believes the team is more mature and worked harder in the off-season and that will translate into better results this season.
“I feel like we’re ready to take that next step,” Cornett said.
Boise State and Fresno State were picked to win their divisions and play in the conference’s first ever championship game on Dec. 7 at the home stadium of the team with the higher BCS ranking.
2013 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON POLL
(First place votes in parenthesis)
1. Fresno State (39) – 243 points
2. San Diego State (1) – 181
3. San Jose State (1) – 172
4. Nevada – 135
5. UNLV – 71
6. Hawaii – 59
1. Boise State (40) – 245
2. Utah State (1) — 204
3. Air Force – 143
4. Wyoming – 116
5. Colorado State – 90
6. New Mexico – 63
2013 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
QB – Derek Carr, Sr., Fresno State
WR – Davante Adams, Soph., Fresno State
WR – Noel Grigsby, Sr., San Jose State
TE – Marcel Jensen, Sr., Fresno State
RB – Kasey Carrier, Sr., New Mexico
RB – Adam Muema, Jr., San Diego State
OL – Charles Leno, Sr., Boise State
OL – Matt Paradis, Sr., Boise State
OL – Weston Richburg, Sr., Colorado State
OL – Austin Wentworth, Sr., Fresno State
OL – Tyler Larsen, Sr., Utah State
DL – Demarcus Lawrence, Jr., Boise State
DL – Tyeler Davison, Jr., Fresno State
DL – Brock Hekking, Jr., Nevada
DL – Travis Raciti, Jr., San Jose State
LB – Jake Fely, Jr., San Diego State
LB – Keith Smith, Sr., San Jose State
LB – Kyler Fackrell, Soph., Utah State
DB – L.J. Jones, Sr., Fresno State
DB – Derron Smith, Jr., Fresno State
DB – Nat Berhe, Sr., San Diego State
DB – Bene Benwikere, Sr., San Jose State
P – Ben Skaer, Sr., New Mexico
PK – Austin Lopez, Soph., San Jose State
RET. – Chase Clayton, Jr., New Mexico
Offensive Player of the Year: Carr
Defensive Player of the Year: Derron Smith
Special Teams Player of the Year: Clayton