Why 7 reasons? What about 5 or 10? Well 7 is a lucky number and the Cowboys are going for win #7 this season. So there you have it.
1. Crowd - Wyoming fans were buying tickets for this game before there was an official announcement. Once the official bid was accepted fans started calling their friends and neighbors and gobbling up tickets. Expect a huge carvan heading down I-25 from Cheyenne down to Albuqurque. The University has only sold about 4,000 but many fans probably got their tickets directly from the Bowl.
It's only 582 miles from Cheyenne to ABQ which is an easy one day drive. Obviously it is longer from Casper but that shouldn't stop the Wyoming faithful from making the trip.
Compare the 918 mile 15 hour trip from Fresno to Albuqurque which is a two day drive and could deter plenty of fans from spending all that extra money on gas and hotels.
Since the University of New Mexico is essentially hosting the game the Mountain West connection should only help the Pokes. Local fans should be pulling for their MWC counterpart to once again knock off their WAC foe.
2. Turnovers - One huge advantage Wyoming has over Fresno is turnover margin. Wyoming improved considerably over last years dreadful turnover numbers and was a big reason they had six victories this season. On the season Wyoming was a +7 in turnover magin compared to -9 for Fresno State. Fresno will give the ball up at some point - the important thing is that the Cowboys score points from those mistakes.
3. Desire - The players, coaches and fans are excited for Wyoming to be in the New Mexico Bowl. For the younger players this is a great way to reward an exciting season. For the Seniors on the team this is the perfect way to end their collegiate career.
Fresno feels they should be playing a better opponent or be in a different bowl. Their motivation is deflated after their season didn't turn out like they'd hoped.
4. Familarity - The Cowboys are no strangers to Albuqurque. They play in University Stadium every other year to face the Lobos. The upperclassmen have all been here before and won't awestruck about traveling to some new and exotic locale.
5. Pokes don't give up - We saw it not once or twice but four times this season - four fourth quarter come backs for the Pokes this year. Without those come from behind victories this team could be 2-10 but instead they finished the season 6-6. The Utah game is the only game where the Cowboys held a lead late in the game and lost. Austyn Carta-Samuels is young but has shown that he doesn't crumble under pressure. 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of the San Diego State victory shows that this team can do some damage under pressure.
6. Coach Christensen - He is a winner. Regular season or post season - he wins. As an assistant Christensen had a 5-2 record in bowl games and this will be his fifth bowl appearence in a row. He has changed the atmosphere in Laramie from Day 1 and has the team believing in the system.
7. History - Fresno is 0-3 in Bowl games versus current Mountain West teams. Last year's 40-35 loss to Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl. A 37-34 loss to Air Force in 2000 Silicon Valley Bowl. In 1999 Utah won 17-16 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Fresnso State thought that they were "too good" to play a 6-6 Colorado State team last year and they were sent home losers. This situation is almost identical and the Bulldogs are still feeling slighted by their bowl situation.