Wyoming Coach Paul Roach is bullish on bowls. So bullish, in fact, that he's confident a bowl bid will be extended regardless of the Cowboys' performance against Brigham Young on Saturday.
Of course, the No. 25 Cowboys would guarantee themselves a bowl game by beating No. 8 Brigham Young and then Hawaii next weekend, since they would then capture the Western Athletic Conference title and its automatic bid to the Holiday Bowl played in San Diego on Dec. 30.During his conference call with writers Thursday, the Wyoming coach wouldn't admit to having a bowl invitation in his pocket, but he came as close to making such an admission as he can with bids not to be tendered before Nov. 17.
"I don't think winning or losing this game is going to have an effect on us going to a bowl game," Roach said.
When asked if he thought a bowl bid would be forthcoming regardless of how Wyoming (9-1 overall, 5-1 in the WAC) fares against No. 8 Brigham Young (7-1, 5-0), the coach replied, "Yep, I think so."
Scouts from the Copper and Freedom bowls have been watching Wyoming for several weeks, and there was a report last week that Copper Bowl officials would invite the Cowboys to their Dec. 31 football game in Tucson, Ariz., if they didn't win the WAC title and its automatic bid to the Holiday Bowl.
While Arizona voters on Tuesday rejected two ballot measures that called for Martin Luther King Jr. to be honored, Roach said his team would not reject a bid from the Copper Bowl because of that vote.
"We're very sorry about the vote and don't agree with it," said the coach. "But if we were invited to the Copper Bowl, it would be very difficult for me to deny my players, who have worked so hard all year to achieve a goal, the opportunity to play in a post-season bowl game."
Wyoming last played in a bowl in 1988, when the Cowboys went 11-1 during the record season and won the WAC championship and its bid to the Holiday Bowl, which is played in San Diego.