Another lost Lobos season nears its end
Time to put a bow on another seven-game losing streak to end a University of New Mexico football season.
Losers of six straight heading into Saturday’s season finale at home against Wyoming, the Lobos are staring down the barrel of a second straight 3-9 season that started with three wins in the first five weeks.
To hear UNM football coach Bob Davie explain it, things are about as bad as they ever have been.
At his midweek news conference, he touched on subjects ranging from his job security to the low pay of his assistant coaches, from the program’s airtight budget to a second straight year without a postseason awards banquet to honor his players.
Davie said it’s premature to suggest that now is the time for speculation about whether the program can be turned around next season. He said it’s time the UNM administration think long and hard about the logistical factors he faces with a limited budget and facilities that don’t equal a number of conference rivals.
“At some point somebody probably has to decide: Have I done more with less or have we done less with more?” he said. “That’s the reality of that.”
The underlying theme to Davie’s message: money.
In a day and age where the college football “haves” solve problems by throwing money at them, the college football “have-nots” sit in the back and pinch pennies.
“The elephant in the room is: What are the expectations based on the commitment in the support for the program?” Davie said. “Are we doing more with less, quite honestly, even though we’re 3-9 [in 2017] and 3-8 [this season]. Certainly, I have my opinion, but that’s somebody else’s opinion.”
Davie said he “absolutely” plans on being back next season and, “absolutely I think I’m the best guy for the job, but in this profession, the coach isn’t always the number one voter.”
Athletic director Eddie Nuñez has been tight-lipped about the situation. It has been said that the buyout for the remainder of Davie’s contract, which runs through the 2021 season, is upward of $1.5 million — which includes buyouts for all of his assistants.
Attendance is at its lowest point in
27 years. The team is drawing just 17,051 per game this season, not once topping 19,000. The 1991 Lobos averaged just 15,822, but average attendance has been above 20,000 every year since 1993.
Davie didn’t address cuts to the athletic budget, but did mention that the team’s postseason banquet will not be held for a second year. He said honoring the team’s 22 seniors falls to whatever the coaches can cobble together this week leading into the finale against Wyoming.
Regardless, the time has finally come to bid adieu to another forgettable football season at UNM.
Kickoff at Dreamstyle Stadium is 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Fans can pull off the rare football/men’s basketball doubleheader on UNM’s South Campus. The Lobos play host to UTEP at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
They’ve had a week to recover from a four-point loss in the Pit to New Mexico State, the latest example of how UNM’s lineup of power forwards and big men absolutely need to keep guards Anthony Mathis, Drue Drinnon and Keith McGee out of foul trouble and on the floor.
Mathis has had four fouls in all three games this season and sat out considerable time against the Aggies.
The team also announced the details for its Dec. 30 game against University of the Southwest in Hobbs.
The game will be played at Hobbs High School’s Ralph Tasker Arena and tickets can be purchased for $10 (general admission) and $20 (reserved).
Kids ages 2-12 can get in for $5.
Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.