By Dave Walsh, Columnist
Here we are finishing up another year. And here we are finishing-up that final week, that somewhat awkward week, that falls between Christmas and the new year.
This is usually a time of reflection and resolutions. This is when we spend more time with those we love, count our blessings and take a positive outlook on the future.
And the sports world supplies us with plenty of welcome distractions to make this time even more enjoyable.
This is always a great week for college football fans. We are in full “bowl flow” right now.
College basketball fans are following their teams as they begin conference play, so the intensity and importance of those games have kicked-up a notch.
The NFL is concluding its regular season with so many games being played with playoff implications these days.
It just seems like there are so many key games being played right now.
For example, there are five college football bowl games on tap today. The Mayo Bowl – North Carolina State vs. Maryland in Charlotte, North Carolina, gets the day started. The Sun Bowl, the Gator Bowl and the Orange Bowl will follow.
And one of the very biggest, one of the most anticipated bowl games in a while, will be played Friday as well.
The Wyoming Cowboys will take on the Ohio Bobcats in Tucson, Arizona, Friday afternoon. It’s the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, and it kickoffs at 2:30 p.m. from Arizona Stadium.
And I’m sure you will be surprised when I say that I like the Cowboys in this one. One of the biggest “homer” broadcasters of all time is choosing the team that he called games for for 38 seasons. Big shocker, huh?
I know the Bobcats bring a good overall record into the game. And I know that Ohio played in its conference championship game. Ohio has had a very good season and is a very worthy opponent.
I know that both teams will come into today’s showdown a bit shorthanded. Both teams will be without key players, many starters, who will miss this one.
I know the Cowboys have been hit particularly hard by the injury bug. And Wyoming’s leading rusher, Titus Swen, was dismissed from the team. There is also that darn “portal” that keeps popping-up to cast doubt on a player or two.
I also know that the Cowboys will be supremely prepared and anxious to play.
Wyoming has had great success in recent bowl appearances. The Pokes have won the last three bowl games they’ve played, with wins in the last two Famous Idaho Potato Bowls and a victory over Georgia State in the 2019 Arizona Bowl.
The Cowboys have done well against Mid-American Conference teams in the postseason, their 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl victory came against Central Michigan.
It will be so interesting to see how the Cowboys respond in this game.
We’ll get to watch as the Pokes make the adjustments to not having all of their-weapons. We’ll see young, untested players making plays for the Cowboys in this game. We’ll hear names we haven’t heard before and see those players perform.
And it will be happening on both sides of the ball.
We’ll see an entirely new crop of running backs. Although there is no such thing as a backup or second-stringer, we will see a few players we have not seen before.
Think about that. There will be a few Cowboys who might not have seen the field this season getting their very first meaningful action of the year in a bowl game.
I just think the way the Cowboys approach this game, the way the Pokes approach every game, will be the difference. It’s the “Bohl-approach” in this bowl game that will prove best.
The Cowboys will run the football effectively no matter who is carrying the football. And the Cowboys will play above-average on defense no matter who is doing the defending. They always do, it seems.
Fearless prediction: Wyoming 20, Ohio 10.
Happy New Year!