The Mountain West conference released the 2015 football schedule today. The hometown favorite Wyoming Cowboys also learned the opponents they will be facing this upcoming season. The Cowboys will open the season with two home games, first against FCS North Dakota, then vs MAC opponent Eastern Michigan. After that the Pokes head on the road to Pullman, WA to take on Mike Leach on the Washington State Cougars. They’ll return home to face New Mexico then on the road for two more. The Pokes will travel cross-country to Boone, NC to take on FBS newcomer Appalachian State, then come back to the Rockies to take on Air Force. After a home game with Nevada the schedule becomes pretty brutal.

The final five game stretch features back to back road games vs Boise State and Utah State, who is returning Chuckie Keeton for his senior season. After that it’s Border War time vs Colorado State. After the Bronze Boot game there’s an away game at San Diego State, then finally a bye week. Eleven weeks of straight football without a bye is a pretty brutal stretch for the Pokes, especially for a team that might be a little thin on depth. The home finale comes against UNLV, a team with a new head coach.

Judging by this schedule the Pokes could possibly get off to a pretty fast start, maybe a 5-1 start (stop it, I’m being an optimist). The final five game stretch will be where we find out if the Pokes are contenders, or enjoying a nice Christmas with their families. A road game at PAC12 Washington State will be a test. Wazzu hasn’t been a great team, but Leach’s teams will find a way to throw for 500 yards whether they’re good or not.. will the Pokes secondary be up for taking down a PAC12 team on the road? Appalachian State could be an interesting test. The Mountaineers are new to FBS as of last season, and enjoyed some success, and the Mountaineers play pretty well at Kidd Brewer Stadium. You would think that having Nevada and Eastern Michigan at home would be easy pickings for the Pokes. Air Force on the road will be tough as always, as the Pokes and Falcons never seem to disappoint on the football field. Boise State and Utah State on the road look like ooooooof. Can the Pokes get the boot back from the Sheep after taking a beating last year? How will UNLV be with a new coach who came from the high school ranks, Las Vegas’s own Bishop Gorman HS.

This schedule is MUCH easier than last year’s schedule, this should set the Pokes up for some amount of success if they can figure out their quarterback situation and replace some senior receivers who left due to graduation.

Sept 5: North Dakota
Sept 12: Eastern Michigan
Sept 19: at Washington StateSept 26: New Mexico
Oct 3: at Appalachian State
Oct 10: at Air Force
Oct 17: Nevada
Oct 24: at Boise State
Oct 31: at Utah State
Nov 7: Colorado State
Nov 14: at San Diego State
Nov 21: Bye
Nov 28: UNLV

Game dates are subject to change depending if ESPN or CBS Sports picks up games to televise.

For a complete listing of all Mountain West games this coming season, check this: