With only about 84 days until the Wyoming Cowboys head to Lincoln, NE to take on the Cornhuskers we at Poke Pride thought it would be a good time to predict the 2013 season. Our predictions are coming out a little later this year than normal but we hope that helps us with our picks. After a disappointing 2012 season The Pokes look to bounce back in 2013, and if history runs true this odd year should see the Cowboys be on the positive side in the win column.
Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen has to be on the hot seat and one would have to think without at least an 8 possibly 9 win season that Christensen will be shown the door.
The Cowboys open the season with what will most likely be their toughest test of the season. They will play the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, NE. The Cowboys have the deepest team that may have ever been fielded in Laramie, WY but the question is; is it deep enough to upset the Cornhuskers? If junior quarterback Brett Smith can stay upright and some of the new speedy receivers can catch a pass or two there is the possibility of an upset, but the probability of an upset is a lot less. Look for The Pokes to score more than 14 points this year but they will open the season 0-1. Nebraska 34 Wyoming 24
The Cowboys got their first win in 2012 against the Idaho Vandals in Moscow, ID. Wyoming won it in overtime 40-37. Idaho has not been a good team for a long time but gave Wyoming all they could handle in 2012. Do not look for the same thing to happen in 2013, look for the Cowboys and head coach Dave Christensen use this game to see what is in the playbook. Christensen is making the calls on the offensive side of the ball and that just may spell trouble for the Vandals, Wyoming runs away with this one. Wyoming 44 Idaho 10
Going into the third game of the season the Cowboys welcome the Northern Colorado Bears to 7220. You could say both teams were bad last season but the Bears were bad against worse opponents in 2012. Northern Colorado is the first of two teams from the north side of Colorado to come over the state line to Laramie (The Border War is in Laramie again in 2013). After coming off a win against Idaho this could be a letdown game for Wyoming, even though this game will be closer than the week two game it will still be a win for The Pokes. Wyoming 39 Northern Colorado 21
The Air Force Falcons are always a thorn in the side of the Wyoming Cowboys. Last season the Cowboys lost to the Falcons 28-27 and Wyoming has only won one game over the past half dozen or more years against Air Force. The run and shoot seems to throw the Wyoming defense into a downward spiral but there is hope in 2013. The Pokes coaching staff did not just focus on the offensive side of the ball in the offseason, they also invested in defense. They have more speed and size and that should slow down the Falcons but the question is will it be enough? For Wyoming to get to a bowl game these toss up games are the ones they have to win. Let’s reverse the score in 2013, Wyoming 28 Air Force 27.
The Cowboys ripped their week five opponent apart in 2011, beating the Texas State Bobcats in Laramie 45-10. This year the travel south to Texas to play the Bobcats and the Bobcats are a better team than they were in 2011. Both Wyoming and Texas State had some common opponents in 2012, the three common opponents were New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho and the good news Wyoming was 2-1 against common foes while Texas State was 1-2, we are just going to use those records for 2013 and give the win to the Cowboys. Wyoming 34 Texas State 13
Heading into the bye week the Cowboys will be feeling good sitting at 4-1 but coming out of the bye week Wyoming welcome the New Mexico Lobos to Laramie. This game will be in early October and there is always a chance of bad weather in October in Laramie. The Lobos are a team on the rise, they won four games in 2012 that is just one less win than they had combined over the four season before Bob Davie took over coaching duties. Playing in the confines of War Memorial Stadium will help lift the Cowboys past the Lobos. Wyoming 31 New Mexico 17
The “Border War” is being played in Laramie for the second straight year, this will be a huge advantage for The Pokes as they look to keep the Bronze Boot in Laramie for the fifth straight year. Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen has figured out how to beat one team and that team just happens to be the Cowboys biggest rival, Colorado State. The Rams are an improved team and if recent history holds true this year’s game will be close. Wyoming in this series under Christensen is like The Cowboys seasons, even years Wyoming beats down Colorado State and in odd years it is a close game, 2013 odd year, close game. Wyoming 41 Colorado State 36
Heading to San Jose to take on Mountain West newcomer San Jose State Spartans the Wyoming Cowboys will be riding a six game win streak. After winning the Bronze Boot for a fifth straight year It will be time for a trap game and this is it. The long trip to California and an unfamiliar opponent will be too much for the Cowboys. Wyoming will be game and try to keep it close but look for a late turnover to be the difference. San Jose State 27 Wyoming 25
Heading into the second bye week of the season the Cowboys will already be bowl eligible sitting at 6-2 on the season. They come out of the bye to face a team that always seems to give Wyoming trouble.
The Fresno State Bulldogs will come to Laramie in early November and will look to beat The Pokes two years in a row. For the Cowboys to win they will have to establish a balanced attack through the air and on the ground. The air attack will not be a problem if Smith is healthy but the ground attack is suspect at best. If the Bulldogs can run the ball and in the past they have not been bad it will be too much for the Wyoming defense. It will be another close game against another California team but it just may not be enough. It will be closer in 2013 than it was in 2012 but close does not win games, Wyoming loses their second straight. Fresno State 34 Wyoming 30
After back-to-back losses for the Cowboys their schedule does not get any easier as they head to Boise, ID to play on the ‘Smurf Turf.’ The back-to-back losses could be good for Wyoming as they will be mad and what better team to take it out on than the team that cannot decide what conference they want to be in the Boise State Broncos. The Broncos are not the team they once were and their quarterback is suspect at best. Look for Wyoming to air it on offense and swarm on defense. Dave Christensen needs that signature win and in his fifth season at the helm he will finally get it on a late Wyoming field goal. Wyoming 36 Boise State 33
Hawaii is coming to 7220 in late November, could Wyoming ask for a better recipe? This game will not be a game it will be a blow out. The only thing more Wyoming could ask for would be a blizzard. Do not look for this game to be close look for Wyoming to get the passing game and running game on track and put up over 600 yards of offense, if it is snowing they may put up 400 on the ground ad for Wyoming that would be unheard of, it is hard to predict a score in what we are predicting to be a blowout but we will try. Wyoming 51 Hawaii 12
The Cowboys will finish on the road taking in a very good Utah State team. This could be another trap game but The Pokes will be looking to save Dave Christensen’s job and 9 wins would certainly do that. If there was ever a game where a team played for their coach this is the game. It will be close so close we will call it a toss-up and no one should be surprised with whatever team wins. On the emotion of the game alone we give it to Wyoming. Wyoming 31 Utah State 29
9-3 will be plenty good to save a job and get a bowl bid, but another bid to the New Mexico Bowl is not what Cowboy fans want to see. With a 9 win season look for fans to be clamoring for San Diego, with only two losses in conference The Pokes will be plenty good to get there.