The Implications Of The Cowboys Missing A Bowl For Wyoming and The Mountain West
Four of Wyoming’s losses came against 10 win teams
Cowboys bowl chances are down to slim and none
It’s easy to look at a 6-6 team and declare them as a mediocre squad but when you dig deeper into Wyoming’s season, defining what they were becomes a much more difficult situation. There are fair arguments against Wyoming in that they are the 7th best team according to final records in the conference and that they didn’t really beat anyone but many of the fellow programs in the 6-7 win category fall in the same boat.
In dissecting Wyoming’s six losses, five of the teams they played finished in the top 25 of one of the major polls (College Football Playoff, AP, or Coaches) and four of their opponents finished the regular season at 10-2. The Cowboys worst loss of the season was a last minute heartbreaker against Hawaii who finished 8-5.
Wyoming had their chances this season to get a 7th win and couldn’t seal the deal. The Pokes had a 21-19 lead on Washington State going into the 4th quarter before the Cougars finished the game on a 21-0 run to take a lopsided 41-19 victory in a pretty competitive game.
Perhaps the most painful loss of the season was at Hawaii in early October sandwiched between matchups with 2018 conference championship participants Boise State and Fresno State.
Wyoming completely shut down Hawaii’s high scoring offense for the entire game and before losing the lead on a touchdown pass with 1:43 remaining, The Cowboys took the gut punch and responded with a drive to Hawaii’s 14 before running out of time in a crushing 17-13 loss.
Finally, there was the 6th loss of the season before the 4 game winning streak to finish the year against Utah State. The Cowboys defense played a great first half against the explosive Aggies and made it into the break down 10-3. On the first play of the second half, Tyler Vander Waal threw an interception that was run back to Wyoming’s 3 and Utah State scored a touchdown on the next play.
Wyoming made the quarterback switch to Sean Chambers who led the Pokes back in the second half to get the score to 24-16. The Cowboys would get the ball back with 2 minutes needing a touchdown and 2 point conversion to tie the game but Craig Bohl made the switch back to Tyler Vander Waal and Wyoming finished with a 4 and out on 4 incomplete passes.
After seeing the success of the team in the final 4 games, there are many questions that could be asked such as “Why didn’t you make the quarterback change sooner?”, “Why were you so reluctant to run more of a spread offense earlier in the season?”, “Do you regret the decision to bench Chambers in the final drive against Utah State?”. Those are all important things to Wyoming fans what does it really mean to anyone else in the Mountain West?