7220sports.com Most-Read Stories of 2023
LARAMIE -- OK, we're a few days late getting to this.
It was not easy getting on an airplane in Phoenix and leaving 70-degree weather en route to reality. Here we are, though, back in the saddle. Before we shift out focus completely to offensive coordinators, buzzer beaters, more recruiting and a headline-filled offseason, let's take a look back at the year that was.
Craig Bohl's swansong was one for the record books. Wyoming, for the first time since 1996, won nine games in a season, starting with a double-overtime thriller over Texas Tech.
There was the miracle victory over Appalachian State, the upset of No. 24 Fresno State and yet another win over Border War rival Colorado State, the seventh in the last 10 meetings.
Bohl certainly owned that series, didn't he?
The Cowboys capped the 2023 campaign in walk-off fashion, John Hoyland connecting from 24 yards out as time expired to upend Toledo 16-15 in the Arizona Bowl. Bohl, Manhattan in hand, rode off into the sunset with a 61-60 record in Laramie.
Now, it's Jay Sawvel's task to do do what he couldn't -- win a Mountain West championship. That clock started ticking the minute the ball dropped.
Here are the Top-10 most-read stories on this website in 2023. Some are obvious. Others, hell, even I was shocked. Let's check it out:
10. Wyoming football staff punching back in NCAA Transfer Portal
If you only look at the sheer numbers, it appears Wyoming has been getting worked in college football's version of free agency. It hasn't. Harrison Waylee, Andrew Peasley, Jakorey Hawkins, Ayir Asante, and other Cowboys who led this program to nine wins this fall, all came from other schools. Check out that story right HERE.
9. Rants and Raves: Fresno State Edition
Ahh yes, the ever-popular weekly feature, Rants and Raves, which comes out every Saturday after a Wyoming football game. This is a mishmash of fan comments on the internet. It's funny, it's maddening, it's real. Check that out right HERE.
8. Tuck's Take: Wyoming, this is your wake-up call
The Cowboys always seem to struggle with that one FBS team on the schedule each year, don't they? While Bohl's 'Boys handled Portland State last September, the Vikings -- fresh off an 81-7 loss at Oregon -- made things a little too interesting in the fourth quarter. Wyoming held on for the 31-17 victory, but in this column I asked the simple question: Why does this program consistently not show up for this annual meeting? You can read that HERE.
7. Tuck's Take: Craig Bohl, Wyoming football is at a crossroads
Roughly a month before Bohl announced his retirement, this subject became a quick headline after Wyoming was all but eliminated from the Mountain West title race. With just one year remaining on his contract, surely Bohl would not enter 2024 a lame duck. Either an extension or a retirement announcement must be on the horizon. Now, we know. Read that column right HERE.
6. Wyoming's Jeff Linder releases statement about recent exodus
What a difference a year makes, huh? After sneaking into the NCAA Tournament in 2021-22, just 12 months later, Wyoming lost nearly its entire roster to the NCAA Transfer Portal, including leading scorer Graham Ike, after a 9-22 campaign. Head coach Jeff Linder released a statement, pleading with fans to embrace change. Read that again, if you dare, right HERE.
5. Portal Tracker: Let's check in on former Wyoming football players
Remember when Wyoming football faced an exodus of its own? After the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2021, starters -- lots and lots of starters -- started announcing their decision to leave the program on social media. A year later, we checked in on those guys and how they were performing at their new schools. Though most crowed about not caring, the page views say otherwise. Read that HERE.
4. Social media reacts to Craig Bohl's retirement at Wyoming
Fans, friends and former players all shared their thoughts on Bohl's retirement announcement on the world wide web. There were some great tributes to the three-time national champion, who then became the longest-tenured head coach in Wyoming football history. Check those out right HERE.
3. Rants and Raves: Texas Tech Edition
What did I tell you, people love to rant ... and even rave sometimes. There was plenty of love flowing after the Cowpokes pulled off the 35-33 upset in double-overtime. What a night that was. Read about it HERE.
2. BREAKING: DQ James dismissed from Wyoming football program
Fans certainly love the drama of the game, don't they? Whether its the portal or a dismissal, it definitely becomes the news of the day. That was apparent when running back DQ James was let go after the Cowboys' miracle win over Appalachian State. The speedy back from Texas is currently in the NCAA Transfer Portal and has yet to find a new home. Read about that right HERE.
1. Turning point, unsung hero and what's next for UW football
If I'm being honest, this is probably my favorite weekly feature to write during football season. What play or moment shifted all the momentum? Who did something important and received little to know credit? What are the best quotes to come out of the postgame press conference. This is a fun one. The most read story of 2023 came after that improbable win over the Red Raiders on opening day. More than 200,000 people spent an average of 2:34 reading that piece. That was fun to re-read. I hope you check it out, too. You can do that right HERE.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players