Orlando Sentinel college insider Matt Murschel has ranked all 125 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the country. The Sentinel staff will take a closer look at a new team daily, counting backward from No. 125 to our projected No. 1 team.

Today at No. 102: Wyoming

Coach: Dave Christensen (22-28, fifth season; 22-28 overall)

2012 record: 4-8 Overall (3-5 in Mountain West, fifth in MWC)

Look back: Wyoming coach Dave Christensen is a fiery coach who has helped the Cowboys earn bowl invitations during two of his four seasons at the school. However, the Cowboys struggled during his two other seasons leading the team, posting losing records. In 2012, Wyoming went 4-7. It didn’t help that starting quarterback Brett Smith was sidelined for two games due to injury. During the season, Christensen got national attention for the way he handled one particular loss.

Wyoming held a 27-21 lead over Air Force. Falcons quarterback Connor Dietz appeared to be injured in the fourth quarter. Air Force scored shortly after the interruption in play and Christensen confronted Calhoun after the game, questioning whether Dietz was really injured or faked the ailment to give his team more time to plan what would be the game-winning touchdown drive.

Calhoun described the meeting with Christensen to the Associated Press as “probably not a conversation that I'd have with my mom.”

Christensen was reprimanded by the Mountain West Conference. He issued a written apology and then apologized during his weekly news conference. “I let my emotions, my passion for our football program and the frustrations of the first half of the season get the best of me, and my actions reflected negatively on our program,” Christensen said in a statement.

Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman said in a statement, “the postgame actions and comments by coach Christensen do not represent Wyoming Cowboy football in the manner we expect, but I respect Dave for issuing his apology.” Burman suspended Christensen one week and fined him $50,000 for his profanity-laced outburst that was caught on camera and viewed heavily on YouTube.

The incident may have inspired Christensen's team to rally around him. Wyoming had just one win before facing Air Force and went 3-3 during the remainder of the season.

Offensive starters returning: 7

Offensive starters lost: 4

Defensive starters returning: 7

Defensive starters lost: 4

Key losses: OL Nick Carlson, WR Chris McNeill, DL Mike Purcell, LB Ghaali Muhammad

Top returnees: QB Brett Smith, WR Robert Herron, CB Blair Burns

Strengths: Wyoming closed the 2012 season with some positive momentum, winning three of its final four games. The team earned a 45-31 win over Colorado State, a 28-23 win at New Mexico and a 28-23 win at UNLV. The Cowboys return a solid starting quarterback in Smith, who led the Mountain West and ranked No. 11 at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in passing efficiency (157.7 passer rating). He played a role in Wyoming scoring 20.2 points per game, ranking No. 5 in the nation. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys will be relying on Burns. He is the team's top returning tackler with 60 stops in 2012.

Weaknesses: While Wyoming's passing attach thrived and pass defense was solid, the Cowboys struggled to run the ball and stop the run. The Cowboys lost key battles in the trenches, ranking No. 99 nationally in rushing offense (125.2 yards per game) and No. 117 in rushing defense (232.3 yards allowed per game). The Cowboys will have to figure out a way to get an upper hand on the line despite losing Carlson and Purcell, who both earned first team All-Mountain West honors in 2012.

Outlook: Christensen has alternated between winning and losing seasons at Wyoming. If the trend continues, his team should be bowl eligible in 2013. The key will be offsetting the loss of senior leaders at key positions.

2013 schedule

Aug. 31 at Nebraska

Sept. 7 Idaho

Sept. 21 at Air Force

Sept. 28 at Texas State

Oct. 12 New Mexico

Oct. 19 Colorado State

Oct. 26 at San Jose State

Nov. 9 Fresno State

Nov. 16 at Boise State

Nov. 23 Hawaii

Nov. 30 at Utah State

ilimon@tribune.com

Orlando Sentinel college insider Matt Murschel has ranked all 125 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the country. The Sentinel staff will take a closer look at a new team daily, counting backward from No. 125 to our projected No. 1 team.

Today at No. 102: Wyoming

Coach: Dave Christensen (22-28, fifth season; 22-28 overall)

2012 record: 4-8 Overall (3-5 in Mountain West, fifth in MWC)

Look back: Wyoming coach Dave Christensen is a fiery coach who has helped the Cowboys earn bowl invitations during two of his four seasons at the school. However, the Cowboys struggled during his two other seasons leading the team, posting losing records. In 2012, Wyoming went 4-7. It didn't help that starting QB Brett Smith was sidelined for two games due to injury. During the season, Christensen got national attention for the way he handled one particular loss.

Wyoming held a 27-21 lead over Air Force. Falcons quarterback Connor Dietz appeared to be injured in the fourth quarter. Air Force scored shortly after the interruption in play and Christensen confronted Calhoun after the game, questioning whether Dietz was really injured or faked the ailment to give his team more time to plan what would be the game-winning touchdown drive.

Christensen was reprimanded by the Mountain West Conference.

Offensive starters returning: 7

Offensive starters lost: 4

Defensive starters returning: 7

Defensive starters

lost: 4

Key losses: OL Nick Carlson, WR Chris McNeill, DL Mike Purcell, LB Ghaali Muhammad

Top returnees: QB Brett Smith, WR Robert Herron, CB Blair Burns

Strengths: Wyoming closed the 2012 season with some positive momentum, winning three of its final four games. The team earned a 45-31 win over Colorado State, a 28-23 win at New Mexico and a 28-23 win at UNLV. The Cowboys return a solid starting quarterback in Smith, who led the Mountain West and ranked No. 11 at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in passing efficiency (157.7 passer rating). He played a role in Wyoming scoring 20.2 points per game, ranking No. 5 in the nation. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys will be relying on Burns. He is the team's top returning tackler with 60 stops in 2012.

Weaknesses: While Wyoming's passing attach thrived and pass defense was solid, the Cowboys struggled to run the ball and stop the run. The Cowboys lost key battles in the trenches, ranking No. 99 nationally in rushing offense (125.2 yards per game) and No. 117 in rushing defense (232.3 yards allowed per game). The Cowboys will have to figure out a way to get an upper hand on the line despite losing Carlson and Purcell, who both earned first team All-Mountain West honors in 2012.

Outlook: Christensen has alternated between winning and losing seasons at Wyoming. If the trend continues, his team should be bowl eligible in 2013. The key will be offsetting the loss of senior leaders at key positions.

ilimon@tribune.com. To other teams already revealed on the countdown, visit OrlandoSentinel.com/