Early UW-Texas Q&A

We’re three months away from Wyoming’s season-opener at Texas, but it’s never too early to talk college football.

Carter Strickland from ESPN asked me this week to answer five questions about Wyoming, so I asked him to answer five questions for me about Texas. So here it is. We start with my questions and his answers, followed by my answers to his questions. Be sure to follow Strickland on Twitter: @espnstrickland

Hope you enjoy it, and hope to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Texas returns one of the better defenses in the country. What are those strengths and are there some possible weaknesses Wyoming could exploit?Texas was the 11th in the country in overall defense last year and for a five-game stretch late in the season the only two defenses that were more productive were LSU and Alabama. The issue for Wyoming is that Texas is faster on defense this year and has much more depth across the line. The Longhorns added junior college transfer Brandon Moore as well as the top defensive tackle in the country Malcom Brown to the roster.  They will go 10-deep across the line with both defensive ends, Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat, being for sure NFL players in 2013.
The spot where Wyoming might be able to exploit Texas is at linebacker. Texas has two first time starters in Steve Edmond and Demarco Cobbs. While both have very good upside, they are not used to all the schemes called by defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. This could cause them to get out of their lanes every once in a while and if that happens, Wyoming needs to exploit it.
The secondary is very tough and returns three of four starters, including two corners, Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs, who are considered two of the best in the Big 12.

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MW athletics budgets

Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune wrote a good and interesting article today about the athletics budgets for Mountain West schools, including San Jose State and Utah State that join in 2013-14.

Here’s the link: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/54089679-77/state-budget-conference-million.html.csp

As you can see, Wyoming isn’t at the bottom anymore like it was in the past. Still, UW must find ways to increase that budget in the coming years. This isn’t something AD Tom Burman and his staff don’t already know.

Any thoughts or opinions on this? I found it interesting the two top schools — UNLV and New Mexico — are horrible in football at this point and time. Wonder what that all means down the road. You know a lot of those schools’ resources are going to basketball. … among other things. Will this change?

Let me know what you think.

More college football coach rankings

Yesterday I posted how The Sporting News ranked the Mountain West’s football coaches.

Here’s the link to how it ranked all 124 FBS coaches entering this season.

http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2012-05-09/college-football-coach-rankings-nick-saban-chris-petersen-urban-meyer-les-miles

Wyoming’s Dave Christensen was about in the middle at No. 58.

Let me know what you think about this or any of the rankings. Pretty high praise for Boise State’s Chris Petersen.

College Football News ranks UW No. 93

CollegeFootballNews.com came out with its rankings of the nation’s 124 Football Bowl Subdivsion teams in 2012.

Surprisingly, it had Wyoming No. 93. Here’s what it said about the Cowboys:

93. Wyoming  (2011 Record: 8-5, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7) 

Wyoming always seems to regress to the mean following a stunning, out-of-the-blue season. Quarterback Brett Smith is coming off a breakout season, but he can’t play defense. The Cowboy line couldn’t stop anyone’s running game, and it’s not going to be any closer to becoming a rock this year. That’ll be a big, big problem with Texas, Nevada, Air Force, Fresno State, and Boise State all on the schedule before November. Things ease up a bit late, but the midsection could be just rough enough to keep the program from getting back to a bowl game.

Thoughts, opinions on this? I thought the ranking was low, but I see the point it makes with the defense. I thought the unit made improvements in the spring, but it has to show it on the field.

For rankings of all 124 teams, go to

MW adds San Jose State, Utah State

Just got off a conference call where the Mountain West announced the additions of San Jose State and Utah State to the Mountain West.

Speculation of this has gone on for months so it was no surprise. But other than two more teams in the MW, there really were not a whole lot of answers to the future of the league or its merger with Conference USA, which announced the addition of five new teams Friday.

Some thoughts on what MW commissioner Craig Thompson said today:

–He said the MW/CUSA merger is still on, but no further details have been hammered out. When the two announced its merger a few months ago there is an end-of-June deadline to either cancel it, extend the talks or re-write what it originally wanted to do. One of those things is to have a championship football game. But you need at least 12 teams to do that. The MW has 10. Will it bring over some CUSA teams to its side? Will it add more teams (Thompson didn’t seem too high on that idea). Or, will it join forces under one name and one league? Stay tuned.

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UW spring scrimmage No. 2 thoughts

Here were the my five things to watch I posted prior to Wednesday’s second spring scrimmage for the Wyoming football team. Below are my responses to those.

The finals score was 64-63 for the defense using UW’s unique scoring system.

1. Improved offensive play: There were six turnovers by the offense last week. That was cut in half Wednesday — all interceptions. The offense struggled to go on any long, sustained drives. But after a slow start the offense came together near the end, albeit a shorter field. Most of the success came inside the defense’s territory

2. Continued solid defensive play: The three interceptions were by redshirt freshman Zack Berg, sophomore cornerback Blair Burns and junior safety Andrew Meredith. Five sacs and 13 tackles for loss. On the last play of the scrimmage the defense stopped sophomore running back Kody Sutton on the 1-yard line. Overall, the defense had a pretty good day.

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