Cowboys Playing Most Hectic & Crazy Season in UW History

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Cowboys Playing Most Hectic & Crazy Season in UW History

During University of Wyoming home football games, War Memorial Stadium in Laramie becomes the fifth largest city in the state.

And just about every one of those fans on Saturday, Nov. 19, was jumping for joy after a big cliffhanger victory. It has been a long, long time since Wyoming sports fans could enjoy their UW Cowboys sporting an 8-3 record.

I am writing this on Nov. 19. We have a lot to cheer about.

The Cowboys are pretty much guaranteed to play in a bowl game, and as of this moment, have a legitimate chance to win their division of the Mountain West conference.

Coach Craig Bohl has put together a team of superstars named Brian Hill, Josh Allen, Carl Granderson and Tanner Gentry plus a host of others who seem to be playing over their heads. These are strong-minded young men who never quit and who have a knack for winning close games. They have played six overtime periods so far this year- - probably more than any other team in the country. They won one three-overtime game against Northern Illinois and lost one three-overtime game against UNLV.

Over the last decade there has been some talk around Wyoming about how maybe our team should no longer be Division I. We are the smallest populated state in the country, and with the economy tightening, perhaps all that money being spent on our football team just does not meet the reality check.

Bohl’s team this year has changed that. You rarely hear downsizing ideas from anyone.

Earlier this year, their win over number-13 ranked Boise State 30-28 propelled the Cowboys into the limelight. Then on Nov. 19, they knocked off number-24 ranked San Diego State, 34-33. Wow, what a game. I was one of the 19,112 people there and the electricity was palpable.

After trailing most of the game, the Cowboys pulled off the upset. They outplayed the Aztecs but gave up two big kickoff return touchdowns that just about spelled their doom.

It had been a while since I had attended a football game in person and it is always surprising to see the “TV timeouts,” which always makes you look around wondering what is going on? At home in front the tube, of course, you are not aware of these unusual delays.

On Nov. 28, the Cowboys play a critical game against New Mexico, the result of which we believe will be a win, but this column is written before that game.

But perhaps their 69-66 loss to UNLV might have been the most exciting game in the country this year. It missed by just one point of being the highest scoring football game in recent Division I history. That game included two of the best catches in Wyoming history by Gentry. They were highlighted as top plays of the week of ESPN’s Sports Center show.

The game on Nov. 19 in Laramie against San Diego State provided a watershed moment for a team trying to prove to everybody that they are the real deal. SDSU came into the game with a sparkling 9-1 record and had outscored its conference opponents by a margin of 226-42. Yet they had been pretty much ignored all across the country by the sports writers.

It was Wyoming’s hope that the warm-blooded Aztecs arriving in Laramie from sea level to an elevation of 7,220 feet would give the Cowboys the extra power they needed to pull off an incredible upset.

What was most surprising about the game was that the weather was almost San Diego-like. With these sea level-dwelling, warm weather characters invading our turf, the least we could have done was throw them 40 mph winds and -20 wind chill. At game time, it was 55 degrees and the American Flag flying in the south end zone was limp. Limp! Dedicated Wyoming fans came dressed in the familiar parkas while I saw a few dressed in shorts. Wow.

It appears to me that Craig Bohl will soon be seeing his last name spelled “bowl” by Wyoming fans.

Under the discussion topic of trivia, was this the first time in history that the football team played SDSU (San Diego State U.) in the afternoon and then the basketball team played another SDSU (South Dakota State U.) that evening. Quite a coincidence to folks who keep track of such trivia.

The 2016 Cowboys are possibly playing the most amazing and interesting football in the school’s history.

Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written six books. His newest is “Wyoming at 125,” which is now on sale at fine bookstores. His books are available at

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