Wyoming Cowboys

Brian Bahr

Utah and Wyoming add home-and-home series in 2020, 2025

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Former Mountain West Conference foes Utah and Wyoming are set to revive a long-time series with an upcoming home-and-home series.

Wyoming will host Utah on September 19, 2020. Utah will serve as host in the second game of the series, but not until September 19, 2020.

“This is a great opportunity for us to renew a traditional rivalry that goes back to the Skyline Conference, through the WAC and the Mountain West Conference,” said Tom Burman, University of Wyoming Athletics Director, in a released statement. “We’re excited for our fans, particularly in Western Wyoming.”

“This will be an outstanding opportunity for us to play another quality PAC-12 opponent in the coming years,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said. “We look forward to the challenge as we continue to take steps forward in the development of our football program.”

Any time a school from the Mountain West Conference can line up a home-and-home deal with a program from the power conferences is a scheduling win regardless of the outcome on the field. In 2020, Utah will be the second power conference opponent Wyoming will face. The Cowboys are scheduled to visit Texas Tech of the Big 12 the week prior to hosting Utah. As of now, Utah is the only opponent on Wyoming’s non-conference schedule in 2025, but Wyoming has a number of power conference opponents lined up in the coming years, including a road trip to Iowa to open the 2017 season and a home game against Oregon in mid-September. Wyoming also has future dates with Clemson, Washington State, Missouri, Illinois, and Arizona State.

Utah continues to keep old Mountain West Conference on the future schedules. Utah will play BYU this fall and annually through 2022. Utah also has future games against San Jose State (this season) and San Diego State in addition to this new series with Wyoming.

Utah and Wyoming have faced each other 84 times overall, with Utah owning the 51-32-1 edge in the all-time series that started in 1904, according to FBSchedules.com. The teams last squared off in 2010 in MWC play, with Utah winning by a score of 30-6. Utah has won the last four meetings and 10 of the last 11 games in the series.

Mountain West alters revenue distribution plan based on TV appearances, but Boise State keeps sweetheart deal

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One of the more obscure remnants of the realignment era in college athletics is the way the Mountain West distributes television revenue. Most notably, Boise State was allowed to keep a certain slice of the pie (slightly less than $2 million) as part of the condition that they would stay in the league, then the rest of the remaining members would split what was left — with a catch.

That catch turned out to be a form of a bonus system that gave a little extra to schools who appeared on national television on conference partners like ESPN and CBS Sports Network. It appears the MWC has had a change of heart about how things are being distributed because that is changing going forward next season.

Per the Idaho Statesman:

The conference determined the formula and bonus structure was not performing as it had been intended. Now, Boise State’s membership agreement and its ESPN deal were honored, meaning the school gets $1.8 million up front annually. That’s the average bonus payout Boise State got from 2013-15 under the contract it agreed to when deciding to stay in the Mountain West. The remaining revenue will be divided among the 11 football-playing schools outside Hawaii, worth approximately $1.1 million per year, meaning a total of $2.9 million for Boise State.

The bonus system was a bit of a sore spot for many schools in the league, something commissioner Craig Thompson conceded in an interview last July. The new deal looks to be a little more fairer to everybody in the league and probably won’t draw as many complaints as before (though that Boise State sweetheart deal from realignment remains). While the overall figures aren’t anywhere close to their Power Five peers, it’s still a nice chunk of change for many of the Mountain West athletic departments.

Wyoming announces three dismissals, five suspensions

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It was a very busy day on the punishment front for the Wyoming football program.

In a press release, the football program announced that three players have been dismissed from Craig Bohl‘s team — redshirt freshman defensive tackle Ja’Chai Baker; redshirt freshman linebacker Drew Harvey; and redshirt freshman fullback Zach Taylor.  The only reason given for the trio dismissals was a violation of unspecified team rules.

Additionally, five players have been “temporarily suspended” for, again, unspecified violations of team rules — redshirt freshman running back Mike Green II; junior cornerback Antonio Hull; senior free safety Tim Kamana; redshirt freshman linebacker Adrian King; and junior linebacker Chavez Pownell Jr.

The release added that “Bohl will not have any further comment regarding the dismissals or suspensions, nor will anyone else with UW Athletics.”

Hull (pictured) is the most notable of the names listed as he started 11 of 14 games for the Cowboys last season.  He tied for the team lead with three interceptions, while his 79 tackles were fifth.  Both Kamana and Pownell played in all 14 games in 2016 without any starts.

None of the dismissed players ever played a down for the Cowboys, nor have any of the other suspended players.

Wyoming confirms future road trip to Arizona State

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Please, mark and/or adjust your calendars accordingly.

Early Thursday afternoon, Wyoming announced it has scheduled a one-off game against Arizona State to open the 2024 season.  The game will be played Aug. 31 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

The two football programs haven’t met since 1977, the final season of play for ASU in the WAC.  The Cowboys and Sun Devils have met 15 times total, with the latter holding a 9-6 edge in the series.

In addition to ASU, UW has future games scheduled against Pac-12 schools Oregon (2017) and Washington State (2018).  ASU has four games on future slates with teams from the Mountain West — San Diego State (2018), UNLV (2020, 2021) and Fresno State (2023).

Wyoming also confirmed in the same release that they’ll face FCS Northern Colorado on Sept. 10, 2022.

Standout Wyoming safety suffers likely broken hand

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One of the top defensive backs in the country will be sidelined for a while after literally suffering a bad break.

During a Thursday practice session, Andrew Wingard suffered what is believed to be a broken hand.  It’s expected the free safety will be sidelined for the remainder of Wyoming’s spring.

“I would say there is a great likelihood that he will likely miss the rest of spring, which is disappointing, but it’s where it is,” head coach Craig Bohl said in quotes distributed by the school.

The good news is that Wingard should be 100-percent healthy well ahead of the start of summer camp in early August.

Wingard has started 25 of 26 games in his first two seasons with the Cowboys.  He’s been credited with 100-plus tackle each of those seasons, with his 131 this past season leading the team.

After his true freshman season in 2015, Wingard was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).  Last season, he was one of 16 finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive back.