TCU-Wyoming: Can the Cowboys Lasso the Horned Frogs?

Pete MisthaufenAnalyst INovember 20, 2009

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Dave Christensen of the Wyoming Cowboys prepares to lead his team against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 19, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado. The Buffaloes defeated the Cowboys 24-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Wyoming is a huge (31.5) home underdog to TCU on Saturday for a very good reason. 

TCU is the only team in the country in the top 15 in both offense and defense. 

Wyoming, under first-year head coach Dave Christensen, has an underachieving offense and an average defense, as evidenced by BYU's 52-0 thumping of the Cowboys in Laramie two weeks ago.

Wyoming has little outside of history on its side for any chance to upset the world of hurt that is TCU football this season.

Wyoming defeated TCU two years ago in Laramie. 

Last season, the Cowboys, although winless unless in conference play, went to Tennessee and stopped the Vols from reaching bowl eligibility. 

Wyoming defeated a nine-win Virginia squad in 2007. In 2005, Wyoming went to Oxford and defeated the Mississippi Rebels.

Once upon a time, Wyoming was actually a major program. Wyoming went to a Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, three Sun Bowls, and a Gator Bowl, all before Jimmy Carter took the oath of office.

Wyoming has experienced a revival once in a while. 

In 1988, Wyoming reached No. 10 in the AP poll before losing to the high-flying Houston Cougars.

In 1996, Wyoming lost in the WAC championship game to the Cotton Bowl-bound BYU Cougars, only to be left out of a bowl, even with a 10-2 record.

Wyoming last went to a bowl game in 2004, when the Cowboys defeated UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Not much was expected from Wyoming this year under their new head coach. After all, Wyoming had not won a conference game since 2007 and had not won one on the road since 2006. The Cowboys have done both this season.

So, the very fact that Wyoming is 5-5 with a shot at bowl eligibility is shocking to say the least.

Wyoming held Texas in check for a half, letting folks know that something was in the works.

The first real shocker came when Wyoming upset UNLV in Laramie. Most MWC observers had UNLV moving up to the middle of the conference this year.

Wyoming did go on a three-game losing streak while facing three of the conference's top four teams.

But it was last week's amazing comeback at San Diego State that really gives the Cowboys hope for the future. The Aztecs are another program attempting to return to respectability and were fighting for a bowl game. Wyoming, down 27-6 to start the fourth quarter, came back with 24 unanswered points to get the win.

After a near certain loss to TCU, Wyoming looks to reach bowl eligibility with a win over Colorado State in the rivalry known as the Border War. The Rams, after starting the season 3-0, have lost seven in a row, falling back after last year's relatively successful season.

TCU faces a few difficulties on the way to the win over the Cowboys.

The game is played at 7,200 feet, the highest altitude stadium in all of major college football.

The weather looks to be cold and nasty, with a wind chill factor near zero degrees.

The Wyoming fans are well-known in the Mountain West Conference for being the rudest and crudest folks around, not unexpected from a bunch of rough-and-tumble cowboys and roughnecks.

Unlike this other hostile factors, the Wyoming football team will not be able to mount a serious challenge to the Frogs, though.