On December 9, 1996, the Copper Bowl named the Utah Utes as the WAC's representative for the stated reason that Wyoming's fan base is too small to make inviting Wyoming a viable possibility. While there was no doubt that Wyoming was much better than their #20 ranking in the college polls when seen against #7 ranked BYU on December 7th, in the inagural WAS championship game, there just weren't enough Cowboy fans, and therefore, Wyoming is staying home, the only 10-2 team in the the country so dishonored.
This, after a season of being all-but-ignored by the national media. AND after a game in which BYU fans were continually on-camera, but Wyoming fans were flagrantly ignored by ABC -- as the commentators merely talked about us as being "a speed bump" on BYU's road to whatever.
In a nation of drug store cowboys, real ones are an active embarassment, evidently.
Well, I'm certainly happy to know that what's important in football is pushing around the little guy, no matter how justified his case. The only way that Wyoming could overcome this stigma of only having less than 500,000 people in the entire state would be for every able-bodied man and woman in the state to vigorously pursue a certain line of physicial endeavor I am reluctant to name herein.
But, should they do so, the Copper Bowl's selection committee has certainly shown us how it's done.
They owe the Wyoming football team a cigarette and a shower, at least, don't you think?