UNLV's Mike Sanford: Worst Coach in America or Blessing in Disguise?

Chris GolightlyCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2009

ST. LOUIS - MARCH 23:  UNLV fans cheer as they take on the Oregon Ducks during the midwest regionals of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Edward Jones Dome on March 23, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)

After back-to-back demoralizing losses, football fans in Las Vegas are fed up. Something has got to change.

Fans see only one solution:

Fire the coach.

Not so fast, Rebel fans. Although justifiably upset, perhaps UNLV supporters are not taking all factors into account. In an effort to present the other side of the argument, listed below are 35 very good reasons not to fire Sanford.

Mike Sanford is a good guy. For some reason, that seems to matter.

He makes the rest of the conference look good. Forty-point road victories for BYU and Utah bolster their BCS résumés.

He takes the time after each game to teach fans about all the things that are out of his control that cause his teams to lose games. I had no idea the reason we can’t tackle is because so many BYU players are married.

It is impossible to pull off a dramatic comeback if you never fall behind. Sanford falls behind a lot. That creates lots of opportunity for drama. 

We can count on a hope-inducing five-win season one out of every five years.

There will always be plenty of available good seats at home games.

Frequently, the games are over by the third quarter, allowing fans to file out in groups and preventing traffic jams.

Supporting UNLV football under Sanford is like riding a roller coaster and getting punched in the face at the same time. Where else can you experience such a sensation?

Since the players never have a bowl game to prepare for, they have ample time to study for finals.

With the football team flaming out in October every year, the fans can get a head start on scouting our conference rivals in basketball.

He's a good guy—who cares how many games he wins?

He's never been accused of bending or breaking the rules to win. Actually, he might not even be trying to win, so NCAA violations are not a concern.

There are fewer fights in the stands lately due to general indifference.

Poor tackling leads to fewer injuries for the opposition. No one likes injuries.

Gamblers can make a killing betting the over in every game. Defense wins championships. Terrible defense wins money.

UNLV fans don't have to worry at all about having any involvement whatsoever in the phony, ludicrous BCS system.

The Fremont Cannon can enjoy some stability. Changing hands every year, being painted red, then blue, and then red again; it’s got to be stressful for a replica 19th-century Howitzer cannon.

Residents of Las Vegas and Albuquerque will be able to enjoy an exciting new rivalry between the Rebels and the Lobos for worst team in the MWC.

Sanford looks a little bit like Tommy Lee Jones and a little bit like Kathy Bates.  

The running game is boring anyway, and Sanford's teams always execute it poorly and abandon it early.

Sacking the other team's quarterback is mean.

He is one of the most consistent coaches ever.

He may not win many games, but he loses games in spectacular fashion.

They have to spend the money Lon Kruger and the basketball team are bringing in on someone to run the football program. It might as well be someone relatively cheap.

His coaching credentials go so well with our dusty, unpaved parking lot and poorly located stadium. UNLV football and unpleasantness go hand in hand.

The program has nowhere to go but up.

The intrasquad scrimmages are always competitive.

Fans can take advantage of reasonable prices and great promotional offers, since they have to get people to go to the games somehow.

They say you learn more from losing than winning. If that's true, Sanford is one of the most knowledgeable coaches in America.

The school will save money on postgame fireworks after victories. I hear that can get pretty expensive.

Sometimes, after a big win, fans storm the field and school property is damaged. This will never happen under Sanford.

Team depth: The second and third string defenses are just as good at blowing assignments and missing tackles as the first string; there's virtually no drop-off.

The odds of players looking past an opponent, or believing they can win without maximum effort, are slim to none.

No expectations mean no pressure. Don't worry, be happy.

Lastly, Mike Sanford is a good guy. That’s the most important thing for a football coach. It’s all about being a good guy, even if you lose every game.

UNLV knows exactly what they have in Sanford. Fans, alumni, and administration know exactly what they can expect. As long as we are all content with two to three wins a season, with the occasional four- to five-win year, we won’t be disappointed.


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