Wyoming's third-year head coach Dave Christensen from Missouri has finished up the regular season 8-4 and is bound for his second bowl game at the helm of a team not accustomed to winning.
Despite finishing 3-9 last season, he has amassed two bowl bids and two winning seasons in three years. Here are five reasons which should erase the doubt of his accomplishments in Laramie.
Dave Christensen has committed to increasing the number of in-state commits while seeking out players nationally and convincing them to play in Wyoming.
Despite the questionable transfer of Austyn Carta-Samuels in January, the talent he has brought in across the board is impressive. Mountain West freshman of the year Brett Smith from Salem, Oregon is among the most explosive and commanding quarterbacks in the conference.
Christensen has also brought in a wealth of offensive receiving talent.
Christensen has asserted multiple times that the Cowboys have the ability to overcome tough opponents and that winning is never out of the question, whereas before Wyoming had an aura of pessimistic expectations.
However, he does not make the false promises that previous coaches have made, giving him a level of respectability.
Christensen is no stranger to effective college football, and he has found ways to battle adversity in every season through dynamic play calling. He knows more often than not when to take the opposition by surprise.
For instance, when Nebraska played in Laramie on September 24th, the Cowboys held on to the ball effectively to only trail 14-7 at halftime. Save a large number of penalties, defensive miscues and dropped passes, Wyoming could have won this game with his strategy.
Christensen is known for being a tough conditioner with high demands. His toughness is paying off as Wyoming's defense, while still having a few kinks to work out, is faster and more physical than in years.
Wyoming's secondary shut out Boise State's Kellen Moore effectively much of the first half of their game this year, and the offense is blocking much better and establishing a more physical run game.
This season alone, Wyoming landed at third place in the MWC, had eight wins, received a bowl bid, ended up in the top five nationally for forced turnovers and was among the most-improved teams in the NCAA.
In addition, he has two bowl bids, a bowl victory, three Border War victories and two winning seasons, all of which would have been an unlikely success story to a Wyoming fan upon his arrival in Laramie.