This is shaping up to be a busy and difficult offseason for the Mountain West Conference. Even with five teams likely going to bowl games, and the Utes even heading to the BCS, the conference will look very different next year. Last week, New Mexico head coach Rocky Long, the MWC Dean of Coaches, resigned as coach of the Lobos. Then, San Diego State fired head coach Chuck Long. On Sunday, Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn was let go by the university after six years at the helm.
I attend Colorado State University, and Wyoming is our big rival. It is the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi River, with the two schools meeting for the 100th time this past Saturday. CSU came out on top by a score of 31-20. It was the 41st time that the schools have battled for the "Bronze Boot", the trophy given every year to the winner of the "Border War". CSU now leads the battle for the Bronze Boot 21-20.
I really like Joe Glenn. It's too bad that he couldn't lead Wyoming to prominence in the MWC. Even though I dislike Wyoming, there are certain people that you want to see succeed, no matter where they go, and Joe Glenn is one of those people. It isn't really a surprise though. At the University of Wyoming, he was faced with the impossible challenge - recruiting football players to Laramie, Wyoming. The example that I use to explain it is pretty simple. Most of the kids that Wyoming recruits are the same kids that Colorado State recruits. Given the choice, all things being equal, the vast majority of people would move to Ft. Collins, Colorado, long before Laramie, WY. The weather is much better in Ft. Collins, and there is more for a kid to do. It's just simply impossible to recruit kids to Laramie.
I'm pretty sure that Cowboy Joe will land on his feet somewhere, whether that be in FBS, FCS, or Division II, as he has had tremendous success everywhere that he has gone. He isn't a miracle worker, though. I like the guy, and, as much as I dislike Wyoming, I wish he would have done well there.
Like I said before, the MWC will look vastly different next year. This is a process that started a few years ago when Urban Meyer moved from Utah to Florida. Then the two most tenured coaches were fired out, Fisher DeBerry at Air Force and Sonny Lubick at Colorado State. It's been nearly a complete overhaul of the conference coaches in the past few years, and it may not be done yet. Kyle Whittingham of Utah and Texas Christian's Gary Patterson are sure to receive lucrative offers from other schools. The conference, like it or not, is finding a place among the top college football conferences, and I don't think that it will be too long before it receives an automatic BCS bid. The new blood in the conference has been great thus far, and it's exciting to see where the MWC is in 5 years.