LARAMIE -- You might have asked yourself this question: Why on earth is Wyoming playing at Texas, especially with no return trip in the future?

There's a reason. Many, actually.

Yes, money plays a major role.

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The university will reportedly rake in $1.85 million for making this trip to Austin to face the No. 4 Longhorns. It never hurts to cash checks like that.

"There needs to be a pretty significant financial component for the athletic department and, as a head football coach, I recognize bills need to be paid," Craig Bohl said on Monday. "This is part of the nature of college football."

That doesn't mean the Cowboys plan on playing the role of sacrificial lamb for a paycheck.

Non-conference schedules, which are made years in advance, need to meet a certain criteria, Bohl said. He, along with UW Athletics Director Tom Burman, look at a number of factors, first and foremost does Wyoming have a shot to get in the win column.

"If we're playing a game like this, the first thing we need to be able to do is say, OK, do I have the confidence to be able to walk into a pregame meal and say, 'Guys, if we play well we have a chance to win,'" Bohl said. "We cannot take a football team and say, 'OK, we got no chance. We're just going out and playing a game for say, like, a guarantee.'"

The Cowboys are currently a 29-point underdog, according to numerous oddsmakers.



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Bohl said another major component is fitting into the program's recruiting footprint. This current UW roster features 22 players from the Lone Star State, including nine players on the two-deep.

The Cowboys will travel to North Texas in Denton next fall and in 2027. They will also fulfil their home-and-home contract with Texas Tech in 2028 and will head to El Paso to take on UTEP the following year.

"You know, a couple years ago, we were scheduled to play Clemson," Bohl joked. "To me, that made no sense. We ended up playing UConn, which ... OK?"

Linebacker Cole DeMarzo is the only player on the roster from South Carolina. He came to Laramie via the transfer portal after spending two seasons at Michigan State. Ayir Asante, a senior wide receiver, is originally from New Jersey and spent the first four years of his college career at Holy Cross (Mass.). He is the only player on the roster from the New England area.

This game, as lopsided as it might appear on paper, is exactly what Bohl and Co. are looking for in scheduling.

"Texas checked off all the boxes," he said. "They had come to us and we're excited about playing the ball game."

Wyoming and Texas are slated to kickoff at 6 p.m. Saturday night inside Darrell K Royal Stadium. The game will be televised on the Longhorn Network.

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