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Air Force Football: Bad Blood with Wyoming

Three years after Dave Christensen’s tirade at Troy Calhoun, the player representatives for Air Force and Wyoming discussed the not-so-friendly rivalry between the two school’s football teams.

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The sins of 2012 still mark the rivalry between the Air Force Falcons and the Wyoming Cowboys.

Feelings of bad blood between the two programs still exist after being three years removed from the 2012 incident when then Cowboy Head Coach Dave Christensen, now an assistant coach for Texas A&M, laid into Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun with a profanity-laced tirade. The tirade revolved around Christensen's feeling that Falcons quarterback Conner Dietz faked an injury to give Air Force more time to set up their game winning play for reserve quarterback Kale Pearson. The tirade, which cost Christensen $50,000 and a one-game suspension, was discussed by both of Air Force's Media Day representatives and Wyoming defensive end Eddie Yarbrough.

Yarbrough, when asked about the Falcons, stated, "Off the field, I have a lot of respect. On the field, I don't got no time for them. I don't like them one bit." Yarbrough is one of a very few players on the field that day for the Cowboys, but was quick to point out that while the bad blood from that incident is gone, it certainly isn't forgotten. "YouTube didn't go nowhere in the last five years. People still know the whole thing. I know that for people in our state it still runs deep. Definitely people still know about it."

The animosity between the programs isn't just in Wyoming according to both players representing the Falcons at Media Day. For Air Force offensive lineman A.J. Ruechel, the feud with Wyoming was brought up on one of his recruiting trips to the Academy. Interestingly, Ruechel's recruiting trip came before the Wyoming game incident. The Air Force lineman said no one knew exactly where the feelings had come from, but that they existed. Air Force defensive lineman Alex Hansen added "We're just mean to each other. It just a mean game."

Air Force will host Wyoming on October 10th in a game that will be televised on one of the ESPN family of networks.