The New Mexico Lobos have been the worst team in FBS-level college football over the last three seasons, to put it bluntly. So far this season the Lobos have only one win and posted identical 1-11 records each of the previous two seasons.
Quite simply, the Lobos are absolutely terrible. Right now, University Stadium in Albuquerque is a pit of despair that sucks all traces of hope and happiness out of those few poor souls unfortunate enough to venture into its confines.
It wasn't always that way, though.
Since joining the Mountain West Conference in 1999, the Lobos have been to a bowl game on five different occasions, winning once. They also finished second in the conference three times, a pretty impressive feat considering they were in the same conference as BYU and Utah at the time (TCU joined the conference after New Mexico's success started to fade).
Things started to unravel for the Lobos after head coach Rocky Long resigned following the 2008 season. The Lobos decided to replace him with Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.
The hiring of Mike Locksley now stands as the bleakest day in the history of New Mexico sports. In retrospect, it's probably the single-worst coaching hire in the history of college football.
Locksley managed to take a middle-of-the-road football program and turn it into the absolute worst football team in the country. As if the football failure wasn't bad enough, Locksley also presented severe public-relations problems for UNM, as he was the target of several lawsuits, police investigations and NCAA investigations, all for offenses committed while at UNM. He was finally fired earlier this season after losing to FCS team Sam Houston State.
In short, Locksley turned the Lobos into the college football equivalent of a toxic waste site—a disgraceful mess that most sane people wanted to avoid at all costs.
In the last week, UNM showed the first traces of hope for its football program. The Lobos beat UNLV on Saturday for their first win of the season.
On Thursday, the New Mexico faithful finally had a strong reason for hope, as Bob Davie was announced as the new head coach of the team.
Davie is an absolute steal for the Lobos, as he is a former Notre Dame coach who left South Bend with a winning record. If he can win while coaching what was at the time one of the most prestigious programs in the country while playing fierce competition, winning in Albuquerque against much lesser competition seems like a pretty safe bet.
New Mexico football may have been horrendous the past few years, but that futility is hardly ingrained in their history. One bad coach is all it took to change the Lobos into a bad program.
Bob Davie may very well be the one good coach the Lobos need to revert back to their winning ways and possibly lead them to an even higher level of success.