UW Football fans now have a concrete idea of how well the team could do this season.
With spring training almost at an end, the Mountain West Conference has finalized the schedules for its teams. The report that was released on April 12 has the Cowboys playing a pretty favorable schedule.
The full schedule looks like this: the Cowboys play home games against Idaho, Northern Colorado, New Mexico, Colorado State, Fresno State and Hawaii, and they play away to Nebraska, Air Force, Texas State, San Jose State, Boise State and Utah State.
Looking at the away games, the big ones that stick out are obviously at Nebraska and Boise State. Most people would look at just those two games and say that the Cowboys have a rough schedule for the 2013 season. I agree, but I am also a realist. The Cowboys are not going to win either of the games. I never want to rule out an upset, but the gulf in talent between UW and Boise State and Nebraska is obvious. So I don’t even look at those games.
I look at the Texas State game and the Air Force game and maybe even the San Jose State game as winnable road contests. Utah State will be tough; the Aggies have been pretty decent over the last few seasons. But the Pokes could end up with a 3-3, or potentially a 4-2 road record, which would put them in prime position for a bowl game bid.
The away schedule is nothing compared to the home schedule for the Cowboys.
At first glance, the toughest game I see is the Fresno State game. The Bulldogs always seem to have a strong running game and the Pokes were not good against the run last season. Fresno State smashed UW 42-14 last season. Hopefully that will be remedied by the start of next season.
The Cowboys will play two big rivalry games at home in War-Memorial. The first is obviously the Border War against Colorado State, which the Cowboys won 45-31 last season. They will renew a forgotten rivalry this season as well against Hawaii. The two were traditional rivals in the days when both played for the Western Athletic Conference. Playing both games at home is a huge advantage and the other games against teams like Idaho and Northern Colorado will have to be must wins for the Pokes.
Overall I see the Pokes going 3-3 on the road and 4-2 at home to end the season at 7-5. That would be just enough for bowl eligibility and a pretty nice return after a dreadful 4-8 season last year. Nobody will know what to expect until the team takes the field in September, but the schedule has undeniably been kind to UW.
UW 2013 Football Schedule
8/31/13 at Nebraska
9/7/13 vs. Idaho
9/14/13 vs. Northern Colorado
9/21/13 at Air Force *
9/28/13 at Texas State
10/12/13 vs. New Mexico *
10/19/13 vs. Colorado State *
10/26/13 at San Jose State *
11/9/13 vs. Fresno State *
11/9/13 vs. Fresno State *
11/16/13 at Boise State *
11/23/13 vs. Hawai’i *
11/30/13 at Utah State *