Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Hear me out...A change in the football winds at UW

 

December 3, 2016

COURTESY/ Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

University of Wyoming fans react to the Bronze Boot as it's passed around after the Cowboys 38-17 win over rival Colorado State University on Oct. 1 at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.

I have lived in Wyoming for 20 of my 29 years on this rock and in that time I've never really bought a stake in the University of Wyoming fan hood. I'll root for them to be successful or cheer on their players in the pro ranks, like Larry Nance of the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet for some reason I just haven't had the emotional investment in their success or failure.

My lack of emotional investment could be tied to a theme of "all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again" in all things surrounding UW athletics. For example UW football has this typical pattern.

A new coach has a surprise winning season brings renewed optimism around the program. The following seasons are a train wreck. The coach is then fired. A new coach comes in has surprise season with previous coach's recruits, brings renewed optimism. Followed by train wreck seasons, coach is fired. A new coach comes in...

Sure there are a few nuances for each coaching tenure but it always ends the same, with a firing. Sustaining any hopeful optimism and creating a respectable football program seemed out of reach.

That was until this season.

UW football coach Craig Bohl hasn't followed the typical pattern of his predecessors. His first two seasons were rough, winning only a total of six games during that span. Then this season his team flipped the script by going 8-4 and picking up big wins against rivals Colorado State and Air Force.

The biggest win this season was against Boise State. In my following, that's a game UW always seems to lose and not just lose but is typically crushed in demoralizing fashion. After that win it was the most excited I've seen UW fans. Even after the triple OT loss to UNLV, spirits were still quite high and rose even higher when they narrowly beat San Diego State 34-33.

The common thought was this was the true turning point for the program. After endless seasons of a promised coaching messiah, he had finally arrived in Craig Bohl.

The Cowboys were one win away from clinching a spot in the Mountain West Championship game. All that was left was an average New Mexico team to get past.

However...

The New Mexico game quickly turned into a shellacking and brought back that familiar feeling of "all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again" with the UW friends of mine. Thankfully though the Cowboys backed into the MWC championship game and the hope is still alive that this season is indeed the program changer every fan was wishing for.

So some advice to Bohl and his team, because I know they're avid readers of the Northern Wyoming Daily News, just like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Tony Romo.

Capitalize on this moment and win the MWC title, recapture the feelings before that New Mexico game when there was no doubt about winning and the dreams of football program power were within reach. The losing has been going on long enough, keep rewriting the script and cap off this surprise season on a high note.

I more than likely won't buy any fan hood stock, win or lose, but seeing happy fans is one of mine favorite underrated parts of sports.

 
 

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