Wyoming Football Waits to See on Bowl Possibility [COMMENTARY]
The Wyoming Cowboy football team is bowl eligible. What’s not known is if, and that’s a big “IF,” the Pokes will receive an invitation to a bowl game.
Wyoming’s playing the waiting game until Sunday, Dec. 2 when bowl match-ups will be revealed.
Yes, the Cowboys have won four straight, and yes, they are bowl eligible, but there are a couple of major factors to consider.
Seven Mountain West teams are bowl eligible. The league has only five bowl game tie-ins. The conference champion goes to the Las Vegas Bowl. The next selections are made by the Hawai’i Bowl, the Potato Bowl, and the New Mexico Bowl. The MW also has a relationship with the Arizona Bowl. The conference also has relationships with the Frisco Bowl, the Cheez-It Bowl (formerly the Cactus Bowl), and the Redbox Bowl.
Here’s the situation in college football. There are presently 82 teams for 78 bowl game slots. This means four teams will get left out. One piece that might hurt UW is the Mountain West Bowl Eligibility Guidelines. Teams like Hawai’i, Nevada, and San Diego State have better regular season records and/or better conference records. The common opponent part is also tricky.
Television value is huge today. Since ESPN controls quite a few of these bowl games, if you don’t add value to draw in an audience, it may not play well. This can even trump attendance. Good news is the Cowboys have been seen nationally the last few seasons. The bad news is they struggled in some prominent national TV games this season. How much of a role will that play? Television value might be the key factor in any discussion UW is a part of.
Another element to throw out there is how Wyoming fans travel. Poke Nation has shown it will travel, and you can bet school officials are trying to play that up. Of course, opponent and location will play a significant role in that, but it might come down to that.
At this time some things probably have to swing Wyoming’s way for the Pokes to go bowling in 2018, but that’s not stopping some wooing.
Then again, could there be a bowl that would like to see Cowboy fans travel southwest?
For now, there are many bowl projections out there. Quite a few have UW missing out, while a few have them in. Here are two examples, one in and one out. For now, it’s just waiting until Sunday to see “IF” it happens.