Wyoming Football: First Look At The 2023 Schedule

Wyoming Football: First Look At The 2023 Schedule

Mountain West Football

Wyoming Football: First Look At The 2023 Schedule


Wyoming Football: First Look At The 2023 Schedule

The Cowboys have been consistent in recent years, but is their 2023 schedule the one that can help them break through?

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Could this be the year?

Following the release of the full Mountain West football schedule earlier this month, the stage is set for the Wyoming Cowboys to take advantage of a slate littered with home dates and make a push for their first appearance in the conference championship game since 2016.

Here’s what the week-by-week schedule looks like with Bill Connelly’s preseason SP+ rankings, where Wyoming is 101st overall, in parentheses:

Saturday, September 2 – vs. Texas Tech (35)
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Portland State (68th among FCS teams)
Saturday, September 16 – at Texas (9)
Saturday, September 23 – vs. Appalachian State (86)
Saturday, September 30 – vs. New Mexico (132)
Saturday, October 7 – vs. Fresno State (67)
Saturday, October 14 – at Air Force (77)
Saturday, October 28 – at Boise State (68)
Saturday, November 4 – vs. Colorado State (119)
Saturday, November 11 – at UNLV (108)
Saturday, November 18 – vs. Hawaii (131)
Saturday, November 25 – at Nevada (107)

What are the biggest initial takeaways?

1. Plenty of opportunities for Laradise to show out.

Wyoming always seems to get one really interesting home game against a Power 5 opponent every several years — remember their upset win over Missouri back in 2019? — but what’s most interesting this time around is the fact the Cowboys get so. Many. Home games.

War Memorial Stadium will open for business seven times next fall, including five of Wyoming’s first six contests. That stretch culminates in what should be a stiff test against defending Mountain West champion Fresno State in early October, the first of a few litmus tests which will do a lot to determine whether the Cowboys are primed for a big year.

2. If the Cowboys are legit, we’ll know in October.

That’s because, following the home clash with the Bulldogs, Wyoming hits the road two weeks in a row to face Air Force and Boise State. They’ll get a bye between this pair of contests, but it’s arguably the toughest three-game stretch any team in the Mountain West will face in conference play this year. If they can come out of that stretch with two or three wins, it could be a memorable stretch run.

3. Championship bids are for closers.

Where the first half of Wyoming’s conference schedule will feature a few fistfights, the second half could put the Pokes in a strong position to finish in the top two if they emerge relatively unscathed. They’ve won the Border War at home against rival Colorado State three times in a row, but:

  • They’re 2-3 in their last five trips to Las Vegas.
  • They’re 3-3 in the last six contests for the Paniolo Trophy against Hawaii.
  • Six of their last seven games against Nevada have been decided by eight or fewer points.

On paper, Wyoming could be favored in most of all of their November matchups, but the Cowboys won’t want to look past anyone.

Hardest stretch: vs. Fresno State, at Air Force, at Boise State

Easiest stretch: at UNLV, vs. Hawaii, at Nevada

Guaranteed wins: vs. Portland State

Guaranteed losses: at Texas

Worse than 50/50 games: vs. Texas Tech, vs. Fresno State

50/50 games: vs. Appalachian State, at Air Force, at Boise State, vs. Colorado State, at UNLV

Better than 50/50 games: vs. New Mexico, vs. Hawaii, at Nevada

Preliminary projected record: 7-5



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