LAS VEGAS — It's no secret Las Vegas is positioning itself as a premier sports market in America. In the last ten years Sin City has added a WNBA team, NHL team, NFL team, soon will add an MLB team, while also on deck to host a Super Bowl, a Final 4, and an NCAA College Football National Championship.
So for conference commissioners focused on adding major media markets and the revenue that comes with it, UNLV stands out as an obvious realignment target.
However, Locked on Big 12 host Josh Neighbors believes the priority for Brett Yormark should remain their pursuit of Pac-12 schools - and concedes it is hard to buy what UNLV is selling outside of their location.
"UNLV has not been good at the whole athletics thing," Neighbors said. "Their football and basketball, the two prominent sports, just have not been very good...The thing is, all the infrastructure about where you want to be is there."
UNLV has not posted a winning record in football since they went 7-6 back in 2013, and to find the next one you have to go all the way back to 2000. A new era starts in 2023 with former Missouri coach Barry Odom, but this program has been irrelevant at the non Power-5 level for decades and it's hard to stomach adding them until they have proven otherwise.
The Rebels have had far more historical success on the hardwood, but even then they have not made an NCAA Tournament since the 2012-13 season - and while they posted winning records in eight of the last 10 campaigns it's hard to imagine they'd find much success in the daunting Big 12 hoops landscape.
Yormark has his eyes on potential Pac-12 defections like Colorado and Arizona, and if they end up needing to look elsewhere the expectation is San Diego State, Gonzaga, and even Memphis might be more appealing than a struggling UNLV program even located in the heart of Vegas.