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Posts Tagged ‘Gregg Brandon’

No. 79: Wyoming

Wyoming’s five losses in 2011 came to teams that combined for 45 wins in the regular season, a group that includes two near-B.C.S. misses in Boise State and T.C.U. and a third B.C.S. bowl contender in Nebraska. The Cowboys’ six wins against F.B.S. competition, on the other hand, came against teams that combined for 26 wins in the regular season. Yes, Wyoming was 8-4: that’s 8-4 with three nothing-to-see-here wins — U.N.L.V., New Mexico and Colorado State — and two wins over F.C.S. competition, Texas State and Weber State. It wasn’t the prettiest eight-win regular season you’ll ever see, nor the most impressive. Up next: beating the bad teams, as all good teams do, but also hanging tight with the good teams, if not winning outright.

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    The Year in Review: Utah (8-5, 4-5)

    Compare Utah with Bowling Green, which had its own brief, two-year encounter with Urban Meyer from 2001-2. The Falcons hired Gregg Brandon, Meyer’s former offensive coordinator, after the latter took over for Ron McBride in Salt Like City. And like Utah, the program was able to maintain some of its Meyer-era success under Brandon: 11-3 in 2003 and 9-3 in 2004, with those 20 wins the second-most over a two-year span in the history of the program. But Bowling Green returned to mid-tier status in the MAC beginning in 2005, and remained there for the final four years of Brandon’s tenure — and has remained there for the first three years under Dave Clawson.

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      No. 86: Wyoming

      The problem with winning right away under adverse circumstances? It builds expectations to a unhealthy level: not only is a second-year coach expected to duplicate his first-year mark, he’s expected to build upon it, putting together an even better team in year two. So the standard was set at seven wins for former Missouri assistant Dave Christensen, even if — and I was guilty of this as well — folks expected far too much from his Cowboys in 2010. In hindsight, perhaps we should have considered the following: Wyoming was 10 minutes of game time away from eight losses in 2009; Christensen won with smoke and mirrors, at least to a degree; and given his offensive preference, it was going to take Christensen time to get his pieces in place. In hindsight, the slide, not a continued upward climb, should been expected.

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        The Countdown

        A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.