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Sources: UNLV-Wisconsin 2011 opener likely moving to Thursday night on ESPN

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Following a 2-11 campaign in 2010, how many games do you expect second-year coach Bobby Hauck and UNLV to win in 2011?

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Sources confirmed to the Sun on Sunday that a deal should be reached by the middle of this week for UNLV's 2011 football season opener at Wisconsin to be moved to Thursday, Sept. 1, and aired on ESPN.

Both sides and conferences have agreed to the change, with ESPN simply now needing to give the final OK to the deal.

The Rebels' trip to Madison is in return from last year's season opener, which Wisconsin won at Sam Boyd Stadium, 41-21. The Badgers went on to finish 11-1 in the regular season, splitting the Big Ten title. They were bounced, however, in the Rose Bowl by Mountain West foe TCU, 21-19.

The move makes sense for a couple of reasons on the UNLV side.

Obviously, getting on the ESPN family of networks gives the program a healthy dose of national exposure, while the team will also gain two days of added rest between that game and the following Sept. 10 trip to Pullman, Wash., to take on Washington State.

UNLV's 2011 home opener will be on Sept. 17 vs. Hawai'i in its third game of the season.

For more on this story as it develops, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.

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  1. The Mountain West should never agree to this. They are being pushed around by ESPN and that is exactly what they did not want. All Mountain West games should only be on The Mountain. If you don't
    pay, you don't play. Too bad the Mountain West is caving in on this.

  2. @rejecto: The Mtn. is the reason why teams like BYU , Utah, and TCU are leaving the conference. I'm no fan of ESPN either, but teams need to play where people can watch them. Until The Mtn. is on basic cable , no games should be played on the channel.

  3. Great. Another butt whippin on national TV

  4. Not to mention, I doubt the MTN will even show this game, prob be showing some Wyo vs Northern CO game.

  5. who cares

  6. >>Not to mention, I doubt the MTN will even show this game, prob be showing some Wyo vs Northern CO game.<<

    Well, ESPN wouldn't let them since its their game. However, if the game weren't covered by ANYONE, the Mnt STILL wouldn't cover it because it would no doubt conflict with the replay of the 2006 Field Hockey championship between Colorado State and Utah. I'm waiting for the creation of "Mountain Classic" A twice daily program where the network "features" "classic" programming from the conference. Might as well turn it into a show-they're already showing us the content.

  7. rejecto, I sure hope you are being sarcastic and the others are responding incorrectly. I tell you, the mtn is a horrible network and will always be unless they step it up. I can assure you however that the mtn will have ridiculous programmimg like william is speaking of because the highly bias 'bosses' will want to get byu, utah and the duel in the dessert on as many times as they can. What a joke it is!

  8. It's my understanding that the Mtn and it's family of networks only have the rights to every MWC home game. So any noncon away game that has a chance to be picked up by ESPN should.
    What's really tragic are the noncon road games that don't get picked up by the Mtn, and then they play some BS like mentioned above instead of the games.
    CBS college sports is now becoming CBS sports network. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. If it's trying to be a direct competitor to ESPN and trying to get bigger, while still having MWC games on as usual, I say its a good thing. If its just a reason to NOT play as many college games, like the MWC games, then I say its a bad thing.

  9. And by the way, when will the Mtn become a full HD network? This is just embarassing at this point. I don't understand how they can have an HD crew for every football game last year, but still nothing for the studio crew or anything in basketball minus the Championsip tournament. It's almost unwatchable to see a basketball game in standard def now, especially when you surf around and notice that EVERY OTHER GAME is in HD practically.

  10. The MTN was a good idea, however, it was done WAY too early. A deal should have been struck with ESPN from the get-go, and after that contract was about to expire, THEN create your own network (similar to Big 10 network for example). You have to create a base of support and viewers, then get them to pay and watch the games. Pique their interest first before you hit them with the price tag.

    Gotta go to a bar every time a game comes on, and ask the bartender if they can switch a channel to "the mtn" and they give me an awkward look every time.

  11. Sweet. Exposure is exposure. Make it happen.