#120CowboyTough, 29 Days to Kickoff: Conference Realignment

Aug. 3, 2013


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Conference Realignment

Much like today's shifting college football landscape, changes were afoot in the late 1970s in the Western Athletic Conference.

The original lineup in 1962 consisted of Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The conference invited UTEP and Colorado State to become members in September 1967 to make eight institutions. But in what may have been a harbinger of things to come in college football, Arizona and Arizona State withdrew from the conference on June 30, 1978, to join the then-Pacific 8 conference. To make up for the loss, the conference added San Diego State (1978), Hawai'i (1979) and Air Force in 1980.

Wyoming enjoyed success in the WAC standings throughout the 60s and 70s, winning three-consecutive conference titles and tallying a mark of 57-54 in conference play. The most notable UW player in the late 1970s, the waning years of the original WAC alignment, was linebacker Ken Fantetti. The hard-hitting Fantetti was the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 1978, and in the same season he was a Football Writers All-America honoree. He also was a two-time First Team All-WAC performer.

Of the eight members in the 1970s, Wyoming now shares affiliation in the Mountain West Conference with five - Air Force, Colorado State, Hawai'i, New Mexico and San Diego State. In addition, each of the 12 institutions in the current MW football alignment was a former WAC member.

About the #120CowboyTough Countdown

The 2013 season will mark the 120th anniversary of Wyoming Cowboy Football. To commemorate that anniversary, we will be counting down some of the great memories and moments from Wyoming football history over the next eight weeks leading up to the Cowboys' season opener at Nebraska on Aug. 31.

The 2013 "Countdown to Kickoff" will take Wyoming fans through Cowboy Football history chronologically. The first week will highlight some of the memorable moments from the period from the first season in 1893 through the 1940s. Then each successive week, the countdown will recall great moments from the 1950s, `60s, 70s, 80, 90s, 2000s and the current decade.

Our countdown will only touch on some of the greatest moments, but we encourage you, the Wyoming fans, to share your favorite memories through the official University of Wyoming Athletics Twitter (@wyoathletics) and Facebook pages (Wyoming Cowboys). Fans are encouraged to use #120CowboyTough when sharing their memories.

Enjoy the countdown, and we look forward to seeing you in War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 for the home opener versus the Idaho Vandals.