It’s now bowl week for the Wyoming Cowboys football team and for Cowboy fans across the nation. The match-up versus Central Michigan in this year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl should be celebrated as it is the first time since 1987 and 1988 that the Pokes have gone bowling in consecutive years. Yet, as the Pokes prepare to take on the Chippewas on the blue turf in Boise, Idaho there is one burning question, or more accurately one hot potato question.
Will Josh Allen play quarterback for the University of Wyoming on Friday?
To determine the answer to this question, one must read the tea leaves accurately. Allen is reportedly participating in practice with the first team offense and throwing mostly pain-free at distances up to 40 yards. Allen and Bohl describe Allen’s right shoulder at somewhere in the 90% range which last I checked was less than 100%. Why is the 100% mark important?
In the initial bowl press conference, Allen said, “If I’m 100 percent, I’m playing in the game.” If 100% is the benchmark for Allen to play, I would say that is almost unattainable at this point of the season (as no player is 100% after 12 games of college football) and that figure was chosen for a reason. Wyoming fans will not want to hear this but millions of dollars are potentially on the line for Josh Allen. The total money difference between being a high and low first round draft pick in the 2017 NFL draft was right around fifteen million dollars. That’s a lot of dough to possibly lose out on if Allen takes a hit to his shoulder and injures himself for all-star bowl game, workout and combine season for what is essentially a meaningless bowl game.
Sure, Allen and Bohl are saying all the right things about being encouraged with the Allen’s physical improvement and Allen wanting to be there for his teammates but they have left themselves an easy out for Wyoming’s star player not to participate in the bowl game. A few days before the game or on game-day its self they can simply announce Allen is not 100% as they hoped he would be and he will not be suited up for the bowl game.
I hope I’m wrong for the sake of the University and all the Cowboy fans out there, but I would expect (and even bet on) Nick Smith to be taking snaps for the Pokes as the starter in a third consecutive game. It’s truly a guessing game at this point and until a starter is announced for the Cowboys, the Potato Bowl should be renamed the Hot Potato Bowl because right now the question who will play QB for Wyoming come Friday is too hot to handle.