BEHIND THE NUMBERS: Oh, what could have been
LARAMIE -- We currently have plenty of time on our hands -- which, let's face it, sucks.
We should be highlighting the players on the 2020 roster and preparing for the Sept. 5 season opener against Weber State. Craig Bohl should be entering year seven on the sidelines in Laramie and the quarterback battle could've been epic. Xazavian Valladay was primed to have a huge season and the Cowboys return the entire starting five on offense.
Sorry for the depression session.
Let's keep hope alive that this all comes to fruition in the spring.
For now, we are relegated to what ifs and boredom. I have been thinking of some numbers, records and other cool stats that we were set to see this season.
Let's start with the Colorado State rivalry:
2020 was supposed to be the 112th meeting between the two bitter rivals. That game was scheduled for Halloween in Fort Collins. The Rams currently hold a 58-48-5 advantage in the overall series, but the Cowboys are closing in -- fast. Wyoming has won four straight and eight of the past 11. Since 1968, the two teams have played for the Bronze Boot. UW holds a 28-24 advantage.
The Cowboys and Rams have squared off every season since 1946. Only 12 times these two haven't met on a football field since 1899. The first meeting was a 12-0 CSU victory. Last season, Levi Williams saw his first playing time in a 17-7 Wyoming win in frigid Laramie.
Lloyd Eaton won eight of his nine meetings against the guys from Ft. Collins from 1962-70. If you were around in those days, you might recall that lone setback. It came on a "bounce pass" in 1966. CSU won 12-10, handing the Pokes their lone blemish in a 10-1 season. Bob Devaney (1957-61) was a perfect 5-0 against CSU and Dave Christensen (2009-13) took four of five from the Rams. Craig Bohl is 4-2 overall in the Border War. He has won four straight.
That's how many Border Wars Wyoming's new defensive ends coach Marty English has been a part of during his long coaching career on the Front Range. In his six seasons in Fort Collins, English hoisted the Bronze Boot three times. When he coached under Joe Glenn and Dave Christensen in Laramie, English won five times. That's an overall record of 3-3 at CSU and 5-4 at Wyoming. Here's a quote English gave Kevin McKinney about the rivalry earlier this month: "There is one thing you can't help but notice between the two places," he said. "The rivalry is extremely important to us here. I never felt it was the same (at CSU). I really like the perspective Wyoming has for The Boot. There's just not the same pride for the game."
That's the longest Wyoming winning streak in the series. The Cowboys were victorious in every season from 1956-65. CSU came away with a 12-10 win in 1966 (The bounce-pass game) but the Pokes rolled in the next seven meetings, outscoring the Rams, 194-51.
Lloyd Eaton was the longest-tenured head coach in Wyoming history, leading the program from 1962-70. He would arguably be remembered as the greatest coach, too, if it wasn't for the Black 14 incident in '69. Eaton compiled a 57-33-2 record in Laramie. Thirteen of those losses came after Eaton kicked the 14 African-American players off the roster for wanting to protest the racist policies of the Mormon Church. Bohl should be entering year seven. Hard to believe that it will just take three more seasons to become Wyoming's longest-tenured coach, huh?
That's how many victories Craig Bohl has amassed during his time in Laramie. He is 36-40 overall. One would have to believe that Bohl would surpass .500 in 2020. Keep in mind, Bohl lost 18 of those games in his first two seasons. Since, he is 30-22, including a 19-13 in conference play. That also includes a pair of bowl victories.
Wyoming and longtime rival Utah were supposed to meet for the 84th time in history this September in Laramie. The Utes lead the all-time series 51-32-1. These two have not met on the gridiron since 2010. After a 15-0 Wyoming victory in the first meeting in 1900, Utah reeled off 22 straight wins against the Cowboys. Wyoming put a halt to that ugly streak in 1949. The Pokes won 15 of the next 20 in the series. Paul Roach won every game he coached against the Utes from 1987-90.
Speaking of series, Wyoming and Louisiana were supposed to meet this season for just the second time ever. The Cowboys, led by first year head coach Joe Tiller, knocked off the Ragin' Cajuns 28-15 in Laramie in 1991. That was Tiller's first victory at UW. How long ago was that? Louisiana was called Southwestern Louisiana. That changed in 1999. The Cajuns wouldn't have seen Tom Corontzos this time around, but a heavy dose of power-running quarterbacks in Levi Williams and Sean Chambers.
The winner between Wyoming and San Diego State would hit the No. 20. Why is that significant? Well, it would give either the Cowboys or Aztecs a one-game lead in the overall series. These two have played 38 times, each winning 19 times. This has literally been one of the most even series in the WAC/ MW. SDSU won five straight over the Pokes from 1999 to '03. Wyoming won four straight from 1992 to 1995. A guy named Marshall Faulk carried the ball for the Aztecs from 1991-93.
Wyoming has a winning record against five current Mountain West teams: Hawaii (14-10), Nevada (5-3), UNLV (13-11), San Jose State (7-4) and New Mexico (38-34). The SDSU rivalry is tied at 19-19. In the next handful of years, the Cowboys could catch up with Air Force (26-29) and Fresno State (5-7). Utah State has the largest all-time series lead (26-40), followed by Boise State (1-13). CSU has a 10-game lead.
That's how many times Craig Bohl has had a running back eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in his six seasons in Laramie. Brian Hill, the school's all-time leading rusher, did it in 2015 and '16. Nico Evans was the league's leading rusher in 2018 with 1,325 yards, and Xazavian Valladay was also tops in the Mountain West with 1,265 last season. Valladay, along with a host of other backs, including Trey Smith and Titus Swen, were more than capable of giving Bohl another 1,000-yard rusher in 2020.
Craig Bohl likes to joke with the media that he won't be switching to a Mike Leach "air raid" offense anytime soon. The numbers prove that. Wyoming has had just two quarterbacks eclipse the 2,000-yard passing mark in his six seasons. That was Josh Allen (3,203) in 2016 and Colby Kirkegaard (2,660) in 2014. I think we were all looking forward to a more balanced offensive attack in 2020.