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Is It a Rivalry? Wyoming vs. Colorado State

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The Border War is in the spotlight!

Colorado State vs Wyoming Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

In this new series, our writers will be looking at various Mountain West matchups and determining whether or not they qualify as rivalries. Our newest edition features Wyoming vs. Colorado State.

Record: Wyoming has 48 victories, Colorado State has 58 and there were 5 ties.

Longest winning streak: Wyoming’s longest winning streak is 10 and Colorado State’s longest winning streak is 5.

Largest margin of victory: Wyoming 44-0 in 2010, Colorado State 61-0 in 1913.

How does each team feel about the opposition and its fanbase?

FatDuckUW: Wyoming fans view Colorado State as their main rival. The schools are only 65 miles apart and have played each other for a long time. Competitively, the Cowboys view themselves as pretty much an equal to Colorado State. As for the CSU fanbase, Wyoming fans often feel that Rams fans are arrogant. Many Rams fans feel that CSU is naturally supposed to be better than Wyoming. Colorado State has other in-state rivals in Air Force and Colorado that draw their attention away from Wyoming. In terms of respect from Rams fans, Wyoming seems to rank last behind Air Force and Colorado.

Would you consider the rivalry competitive?

FatDuckUW: For sure. Some might look at the all-time record and think CSU has edged Wyoming consistently through the years since the Rams have 10 more wins overall. In reality, most of those wins go back to the very start of the rivalry in 1899. From 1899 to 1936, Colorado State was 24-4-3. So from 1937 until today, Wyoming actually has beaten Colorado State 10 more times in the rivalry, but the Cowboys are still fighting to make up for the losses in the early years of the rivalry. Additionally, Wyoming has won the Bronze Boot more since it was instituted into the rivalry in 1968. Wyoming is 28-24 when playing for the Bronze Boot. Of course, the series was tied at 24-24 after 2015, but Wyoming has pulled away in recent years by winning the last 4 meetings from 2016-2019.

Which matchups stick out in your mind?

FatDuckUW: Wyoming 44-0 back in 2010 was a lot of fun. Both teams were bad that year and finished 3-9. It was the last game of the year and played in Laramie. However, it was a satisfying way to end a bad season when you handle your rival like that at home. Otherwise, I think another game would be the 2009 game in Fort Collins. Another game at the end of the season. Wyoming was 5-6 and fighting for a bowl game. It was a close game. Wyoming had to come back twice in the 4th quarter to win by a point, 17 to 16. Wyoming won the Bronze Boot and went on to play in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl (where the Cowboys beat Fresno State in another close game that went into 2 overtimes).

If you asked Wyoming fans what they think about Colorado State what would they say aloud? What would they secretly be thinking?

FatDuckUW: Wyoming fans would say that they love the rivalry of the Border War while also hating Colorado State. They would say that the last 4 seasons have been a blast in beating Colorado State every year. Especially, since some CSU fans thought that CSU had blown past Wyoming after winning three straight games from 2013-2015. Wyoming was largely dismissed, and the turnaround for Wyoming under Bohl seemed to largely catch Colorado State off guard. Wyoming fans might express some disappointment that Mike Bobo was let go since he was 1-4 against the Cowboys. What Wyoming fans might think but not say is that they hope that Addazio does not improve the Rams. While rivalry games are often betten when the 2 teams are both competitive, it has been a nice four years for Wyoming to beat Colorado State and not have to hear any dismissive trash talk that the Rams are just better than the Cowboys.

Final verdict, would you consider these two teams to be rivals?

FatDuckUW: Definitely. Personally, I feel this is the best rivalry in the MWC. As a Wyoming fan, I’m probably biased. The game is known as the longest rivalry in college football that has been continually played west of the Mississippi River. Every year beating Colorado State is the most important game of the year to Wyoming. Colorado State fans often like to dismiss the Wyoming game as less important than the Colorado game. That said, whenever Colorado State loses to Wyoming, it is almost always the most difficult/disappointing loss of the season for the Rams. As Manny Jones, a CSU defensive end, said last year, “That game’s our own little Super Bowl, our own little championship. That’s one that you hate to lose.”