The Wyoming football outlook for 2016 season. The coaching staff is too good and the team is too experienced for the Cowboys to continue being so bad.
Craig Bohl was an FCS coaching god, turning North Dakota State into a superpower of superpowers, good enough to win three straight national titles – and putting the mechanics in place for more – while also being a thorn in the side of mid-level FBS programs who thought they were schedule a cupcake.
Bohl did it all with mediocre talents – for the most part – who were shunned by the big schools and had chips on their shoulders. That made the move to Wyoming seem almost perfect, considering the school is in the middle of nowhere and has no recruiting base to work with.
But in his first two seasons, Bowl lost more than half the number of games (18) that he did in 11 seasons with the Bison (32), and that includes some all-time clunkers.
North Dakota State could’ve played last year’s Eastern Michigan team 50 times and have gone 50-0, but Wyoming came up with a historic home gaffe in a 48-29 loss for the Eagles’ only win of the season.
But a funny thing happened in the midst of a brutal 2-10 season – the Cowboys started to find some interesting sparks.
The defense couldn’t stop anyone, but the secondary did a relatively nice job at times. Running back Brian Hill put up a special season that got him in the mix for the Doak Walker, the punting game worked, and the win over UNLV to close things out gave the team something positive to work on.
And now it’s time for the payoff to come.
You don’t do what Bohl did at NDSU without being a tremendous head coach, but even he wasn’t a miracle worker for a Wyoming program that needed to be gutted and rebuilt. Three years in, he has a team with experience, depth, and even a little bit of talent.
With nine starters returning on offense and nine on defense, along with both kickers, this is now a team with Bohl can work with. It’s not like his recruiting classes were off the charts, but at least he was able to start getting his guys, and it showed with a youth movement in some spots.
This might not be a Mountain West title team quite yet, but it should be a whole lot more fun.