Hot off the presses is the 2012 Mountain West football schedule. We have known the non-conference schedule for months but now we have conference portion. Times and television channels have not been posted yet. Here is the full slate of Mountain West football for 2012 if you are curious.
Here is the Wyoming schedule for your review.
2012 WYOMING FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sat., Sept. 1 - at Texas
Sat., Sept. 8 - TOLEDO
Sat., Sept. 15 - CAL POLY
Sat., Sept. 22 - at Idaho
Sat., Sept. 29 - OPEN
Sat., Oct. 6 - at Nevada*
Sat., Oct. 13 - AIR FORCE*
Sat., Oct. 20 - at Fresno State*
Sat., Oct. 27 - BOISE STATE*
Sat., Nov. 3 - COLORADO STATE*
Sat., Nov. 10 - at New Mexico*
Sat., Nov. 17 - at UNLV*
Sat., Nov. 24 - SAN DIEGO STATE*
There are certainly a number of interesting aspects of this schedule. Thoughts and reaction are posted are the jump.
The first thing that should strike you here is that the Border War is no longer the last game of the season. The Bronze Boot will now be decided on November 3rd. The season finale will be also be the end of a long rivalry with San Diego State. This change makes me mad while I also think that it works in the Cowboys favor. I always love the Border War ending each season for the Pokes and Rams. Unfortunately it didn't always matter because the Rams have been abysmal the last three years. So there wasn't as much on the line for a team finishing 3-9. Perhaps both teams will be still be in the hunt for a bowl spot in early November.
Anything can happen weather wise on the Front Range but still the conditions are likely to be better in early November compared to later. I went to frozen Hughes Stadium for the last Border War and while I enjoyed the game - a few degrees warmer wouldn't have a been bad thing. With likely better weather and more fan interest this will also likely bring in more fans. Attendance has been poor for the last five Border Wars.
Border War Attendance
- 2011 - 17,207 @ CSU
- 2010 - 17,011 @ WYO
- 2009 - 20,317 @ CSU
- 2008 - 18,569 @ WYO
- 2007 - 18,827 @ CSU
That is pretty awful attendance considering this is such a long standing rivalry and the two schools are so close to each other.
There is no Texas or Nebraska home game this year to guarantee a sellout. And I doubt Boise State will be as big a draw in 2012 as they were in 2010. Therefore Tom Burman knows he needs to but some butts in the seats for the Border War. I certainly want more Wyoming fans to be in attendance to see a fourth straight stomping of the Rams.
Otherwise I think the schedule breaks down fairly easily into three sections.
SECTION 1 - @ Texas, TOLEDO, CAL POLY, @ Idaho
Starting the season off the season in Austin will certainly be no easy task. I just pray that Wyoming doesn't sell out and let the game be broadcast on the Longhorn Network that would give no Cowboy fan a chance of watching. Afterwards I'd expect the Pokes to be favored in their following three games. Then a bye week will give the Pokes time to rejuvenate before starting Mountain West play. Look for Wyoming to start off 3-1 to begin the year.
SECTION 2 - @ Nevada, AIR FORCE, @ Fresno State, BOISE STATE
This is the heart of the schedule and really where I feel the season will be decided. Road trips to Reno and Frenso State will be very tough games and hopefully the Pokes run defense will be improved over 2011. Any game with Air Force will always be a close one. I'm not discounting Boise State even though they lost a huge group of seniors. The Pokes could end up going 0-4 or 4-0 here. I'd say 2-2 is the likely outcome.
SECTION 3 - COLORADO STATE, @ New Mexico, @ UNLV, SAN DIEGO STATE
If the Cowboys can enter November healthy and their minds straight they could finish the month with a perfect 4-0 sweep. The Rams are so thin in the trenches that they are lusting after walk-ons right now. "Hey Tubbs! Get over here!"
There isn't much reason to believe that UNLV or New Mexico will be greatly improved at all in 2012. Facing San Diego State in Laramie will certainly play to the Cowboys favor. The boys from Cali likely won't be very happy about the wind and snow and during that time of year.
Those are my thoughts on the schedule. A 9-3 season is certainly possible but it won't be easy by any means. Feel free to post your opinions and projections in the comments. Less then six months till college football starts!