Wyoming’s Un-Sweet 16: No. 7 Sonny Lubick vs. No. 10 Sark Arslanian
LARAMIE -- There's a few things that can land you on a list like this one.
Beating Wyoming with regularity certainly makes you a thorn in the side. Making stupid decisions will also draw the ire of fans. Being an all-round jerk will do it, too.
This is our version of the Un-Sweet 16, pitting the biggest villains in Wyoming Cowboys football history against one another and eventually crowning the worst of the worst. This won't be our opinion, it's yours. You can vote for who will advance to the next round by clicking on the box at the bottom of this page.
We did our best to round up the ultimate enemy of the Cowboy State. We reached out to people in the know, from different decades of UW football. Don't be surprised to see plenty of rivals on this list.
Here's today's matchup:
No. 7 Sonny Lubick vs. No. 10 Sark Arslanian
Let's get something out of the way right off the bat: Sonny Lubick, the man, is not a villain. His reputation proves that ... and then some.
However, CSU's all-time winningest coach belongs on this list for a couple of reasons.
The first: He returned the Rams to glory. And more times than not, that came at the Cowboys' expense. Lubick tallied an overall Border War record of 11-4 from 1993-07. Lubick won, or at least shared, six titles during that time frame, including three outright championships.
Prior to Lubick's arrival in Fort Collins, that program had appeared in just two bowl games. By the time he rode off into a Rocky Mountain sunset, CSU added nine postseason berths, including a victory over Missouri in the 1997 Holiday Bowl.
The second reason Lubick lands on this list: Jealousy. The guy just wouldn't leave.
During Lubick's 15 seasons on the sidelines, Wyoming went through four different head coaches -- Joe Tiller, Dana Dimel, Vic Koenning and Joe Glenn.
While Lubick's Rams were busy putting up four double-digit win seasons, frequenting the Top 25 and playing in bowl games, the Cowboys always seemed to be starting from scratch.
Because of that success, Lubick became a hot coaching candidate. Not to mention as the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami from 1989-92, he helped lead the Hurricanes to a pair of National Championships.
It was always widely reported that Lubick received, and ultimately turned down, numerous job offers. According to a 2007 article on 5280.com titled "CSU's shameful misfire," he said no to Power-5 programs like Kentucky, Oregon State and Minnesota. It was also speculated that his former school wanted him to return to South Beach.
Despite all of that, Lubick stayed put.
Unfortunately for UW fans, he stayed put.
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS:
Let's stay in Fort Collins and throw another CSU head coach into the mix. The No. 10 seed in our tournament belongs to Sark Arslanian, who led the Rams from 1973-81.
Now, Arslanian didn't have half the success Lubick did, but he did bring toughness, high-level recruits and swagger back to a program that had lost 19 of its last 21 games against the Cowboys.
Re-read that record again. And most of those meetings weren't particularly close.
That included a 10-game skid from 1956-65 and a seven-loss streak from 1967-73. Only a hotly-contested "bounce pass" kept that from being an 18-0 Wyoming run. CSU pulled off a controversial 12-10 victory in 1966.
While the Pokes enjoyed national success -- and their near annual Border War victory -- CSU toiled in mediocrity for the majority of the 1950's and 60's.
When Arslanian wrapped up his career down south, he featured a record of just 45-47-4. But, he did beat the Cowboys five times in nine games.
If you have followed this storied rivalry throughout the decades, you probably have a real good idea of why Arslanian lands on this list.
In 1978, with both teams struggling in the standings, CSU's head man had a fresh idea to fire up the troops. Instead of walking through the tunnel at Hughes Stadium before the game, buses dropped the Rams off at the main gate -- the fan entrance.
The home team was nowhere to be found during warmups. But with just a few minutes remaining before kickoff, CSU players finally made their grand entrance -- through the stands.
The stunt fired up the crowd, but it also sparked a pregame brawl that will not soon be forgotten in Border War history.
Bill Lewis' Wyoming team went on to win that game, 13-3.
So, who do you consider more of a villain? Vote here:
* No. 1 LaVell Edwards vs. No. 16 Donnel Pumphrey (Edwards 98% of the vote)
* No. 2 Kyle Whittingham vs. No. 15 Morgan Bros. (Whittingham 90% of the vote)
* No. 3 Bradlee Van Pelt vs. No. 14 Philip Dubois (Van Pelt 63% of the vote)
* No. 4 BYU Quarterbacks vs. No. 13 Troy Calhoun (Calhoun 62% of the vote)
* No. 5 Local Turncoats vs. No. 12 Urban Meyer (Turncoats 61% of the vote)
* No. 6 CSU tailbacks vs. No. 11 Rocky Long (Long 53% of the vote)
PRESS PASS: Roaming The War
-LOOK: Pokes vs. Bobcats