Wyoming Trivia

 – Colorado v. Wyoming. The Buffs have a 23-2-1 record against the Cowboys, the best winning percentage against any opponent (90.4%) the Buffs have played at least 15 times (CU is 12-1 against Arizona, a 92.3 winning percentage). The teams have only played five times, however, since 1947, with the Buffs holding a 4-1 advantage in those games. The last game between the two schools was a 20-19 win for CU in 1997 (Ben Kelly!). The last Wyoming win (in fact the only win other for the Cowboys other than a 6-0 win in 1935), was a 24-10 win in Boulder in 1982.

– The Wyoming passing game in 2008 made the Buffs look like Texas Tech. The Cowboys struggled to put up 117.7 yards/game, ranked 114th out of 119 teams (and four of the five teams behind Wyoming were the three service academies and Georgia Tech, where Paul Johnson moved his rush-oriented offense from Navy).

– The rushing game for the Cowboys, though, was ranked 34th in the nation in 2008. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the rushing game graduated. Both Devin Moore (1st all-time in rushing yardage) and Wynel Seldon (3rd all-time) are gone.

– Toledo, Part two. The new head coach at Wyoming is Dave Christiansen, who spent the last eight seasons as the offensive coordinator at Missouri. Christiansen’s ties to Toledo? Before following Gary Pinkel to Missouri, Christiansen was an assistant coach under Pinkel at Toledo (1992-2000), the last four as offensive coordinator.

– While Wyoming may not challenge Miami (Ohio) as the “cradle of coaches”, Laramie has been the launching pad for a number of coaches who have had success at other programs. Bob Devaney, the legendary coach at Nebraska (1962-72) was first head coach at Wyoming (1957-61). Pat Dye and Dennis Erickson both won national championships (Dye at Auburn; Erickson at Miami) after cutting their teeth at Wyoming. More recently, Joe Tiller, who just finished a successful career at Purdue, was the Pokes head coach from 1991-96.

– On football Saturdays, War Memorial Stadium (capacity 33,500) becomes the third-largest city in the state of Wyoming. At 7,200 feet, the Cowboys’ home field is the highest in altitude of any Division 1-A football field.

The biggest rival for Wyoming has to be Colorado State. The rivalry, one of the oldest west of the Mississippi, has been waged since 1899 (the first CU/CSU game was played in 1893, but the CSU/Wyoming game has been played every year since the end of World War II). The winner of the Wyoming/CSU game earns possession of the Bronze Boot, a military boot originally worn by a CSU graduate in Vietnam.

 – The Cowboy mascot is “Cowboy Joe”. In 1950, the Farthing family and the Cheyenne Quarterback Club donated a brown-and-white Shetland pony to serve as the Cowboy mascot. Wyoming is currently cheering for Cowboy Joe IV.

– Wyoming head coach Lloyd Eaton (1962-70) may be the best coach in Cowboy history (57-33-2, including ten win seasons in 1966 and 1967), but he is also remembered as the coach during the “Black 14” controversy. In 1969, fourteen members of the team approached Eaton about wearing black armbands during the home game against BYU. The players wanted to protest discrimination by the Mormon Church. Following school rules prohibiting demonstrations, Eaton kicked the 14 players off the team. At the time, the Cowboys were undefeated and ranked 14th in the nation. Wyoming would go on to defeat BYU, 40-7, and won the following weekend against San Jose State before losing the final four games of the season. Wyoming went on to finish 1-9 in 1970, and Eaton, 1-13 in his last fourteen games as head coach, was gone.

 – Wyoming’s Cowboy logo dates back to 1920, when equipment manager Deane Hunton, traced a photo of rodeo cowboy Guy Holt and his ride, Steamboat, the winner of the Worst Horse award at Frontier Park in Cheyenne in 1909. The brown-and-gold coloring on the uniforms is borrowed from the indigenous brown-eyed Susans, used to decorate the first alumni banquet in 1895.

Famous alumni – football. Conrad Dobler (St. Louis, New Orleans, Buffalo; 1972-81); Jay Novacek (St. Louis, Phoenix, Dallas; 1985-95); Marcus Harris (4,518 career receiving yards, almost 2,000 more than the Buffs’ all-time leader, Michael Westbrook – 2,548 yards)

 Famous alumni – other. Vice-President Dick Cheney; Curt Gowdy; Dr. Jerry Buss (owner of the Lakers); Gary Spence (attorney).

One Reply to “Trivia – Wyoming”

  1. Nice info, although for famous WYO football grads, you left out at least three: Jerry Hill (FB, ’60s Baltimore Colts), Jim Kiick (FB,’70s Miami Dolphins) and Aaron Kyle (CB,’70s Dallas Cowboys.

    Also, must respectfully disagree with (and am rather surprised by) your throwing Dan Hawkins on the scrap heap like all the other meatheaded CU football fans on various forums (most of whom, I must conclude, are not CU graduates at all-for any decent CU alumnus knows that CU Boulder should be an academic university, first and foremost, with integrity–which Dan Hawkins inarguably brings– being inextricably linked with that). Like you, I also traveled far and attended/suffered through the Toledo game but drew a different conclusion. It is not Hawkins that should go but Collins(passive defensive has been lacking or non-existent since he arrived)…if Hawkins has one weakness–that is also a strength in another sense– it is that he has too much loyalty/faith in people (I suppose most, particularly those in the legal trade, have lost this possible achilles’h long ago)

    An organizational head trying to (apologies for current clunkheaded cliche) “change the culture” or create traditions anew will take a while to get the right pieces- particularly with assistant coaches (specifically: it may take a more misses for him to find someone of Peterson’s talent but it will eventually happen) — in place.

    Perhaps I am incorrect here but, for a coach at a university with a supposed academics 1st perspective like CU/Vanderbilt the subtexturally understood goal (for both coach/alums) should not be recruiting talent first but rather intelligence. Thus, a proven coaching talent (with that all too rare integrity element) must be given all the time he needs to get assorted pieces in order….Basically, we have a head coach right now who is better on the field (with more integrity) than MacCartney ever was (not giving back the 5th down only won us a tainted/shared national championship but lost CU a certain intangible that we’ve never regained in the nation’s estimation).

    Bottom line: for all the BUFFALO UPs out there herding together to send us all over thundering over another cliff with their insane enthusiasm an understanding of what seperates our (or at least did at one time–pre ’60s) institution from the other schools is in order. I say with live with the Hawk or die with the Hawk–he’ll get it all flowing eventually and when he does people won’t talk as much about McCartney or Paterno, Bryant, McKay, Royal, Broyles,Rockne, Meyer, Edwards, Parseghian,Wilkenson, (fill in coach you esteem here) either.

    That said, if Hawkins doesn’t realize that a change to a less ordinary offensive system (less reliant on tattooed,drudge-cranial physical prowess and more dependent on synaptic quickness)–see: innovative variation on the military academy multi-option/rungun model here—we are proverbally screw’d

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