Wyoming to drop Idaho from 2018 football schedule

By Kevin Kelley -

The Wyoming Cowboys will drop the Idaho Vandals from their 2018 football schedule, the Star-Tribune has reported.

“Wyoming will not travel to the University of Idaho,” Idaho athletics director Rob Spear told the Star-Tribune. “So we will not have a home game against Wyoming.”

Wyoming was set to travel to take on Idaho at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow on Sept. 15, 2018. The game is part of a home-and-home series that includes a game in Laramie on Sept. 14, 2019.

According to the Star-Tribune, Spear stated that the 2019 game will “probably” still be played. That would likely come after an adjustment to the contract.

Earlier this year, the Sun Belt Conference announced that it was not renewing the football membership of Idaho and New Mexico State following the 2017 season.

Idaho later announced that they will be dropping down to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in 2018. As a result, their future football schedules will change significantly as they have several contracts with FBS teams.

Wyoming was the only non-conference FBS home game scheduled for Idaho in 2018. The Vandals are also slated to visit Fresno State, Northern Illinois, and Florida.

The Cowboys now have one spot to fill on their 2018 non-conference schedule. Wyoming is set to host Washington State to open the season and later travels to Missouri and hosts Wofford.

Football Schedules

Comments (42)

Karl Benson killed FBS football at Idaho. Should’ve seen this from the start – he’s a Boise State grad.

I’m surprised Idaho and NMSU aren’t suing the Sun Belt to end the relationship one year early. The way they were betrayed by Benson after he came through for them twice in the past (WAC membership in 2005, then Sun Belt FB membership) should be reason alone enough to end the agreement early.

There is precedent for such a move. If West Virginia hadn’t sued the Big East, they would have been forced to stay until 2014. West Virginia’s move inspired Pitt and Syracuse to sue to terminate their relationships early as well.

You’re right, it was a personal vendetta and had nothing to do with the fact that the schools didn’t add anything except exorbitant and unnecessary travel costs and play in extremely small markets well outside of the footprint. WVU, Cuse, and Pitt all sued to get out so they could make more money in a different conference, why would Idaho sue to get out of the FBS guarantee money? Did you put any thought into this post at all?

Karl Benson killed football at Idaho? Sorry, but Idaho’s wounds were almost 100% self-inflicted.

1) Idaho hasn’t done any significant upgrades to it’s football facilities since 1975. The thought that they could be even competitive at the mid-major level in a facility that is overflowing at 17K is laughable at best.

2) They pay their coaches on par with the bottom of the barrel of the FBS and the high end of the FCS

3) They have never been pro-active with athletics and this isn’t the first time they have dropped down (they were in the PCC, forerunner to the PAC12) and they didn’t fight for inclusion in the new league. Instead they helped form the Big Sky and had no complaints dropping down to the lower division.

4) They are ranked nationally in academics but precious few outside of the region are aware of it, and they market their brand on a regional scale, and think of their brand on par with the PAC schools and that word of mouth is good enough to market their brand.

5) It’s idiot President, actually claimed Spokane’s media market for U of I (and didn’t even bother to mention U of I’s sizable alum in the treasure valley). Looking at various Spokane media outlets (ie Spokesman review), U of I gets billing after Eastern Washington of the Big Sky.

6) Other than winning the Big West in 1998, Idaho doesn’t have a title in football at the FBS level. They have also never played in a bowl game outside of the state. They have never won the WAC, never won the Sunbelt (which is now essentially a conference of Southeastern FCS Converts).

7) Considering that Idaho was in the WAC for 7 years (during Karl Benson’s tenure), and the fact that in terms of revenue and prestige it added absolutely nothing to any FBS conference your argument doesn’t hold up. Blame all the teams bolting the Big West for putting Idaho in that situation initially but the fact remains that the U of I has such a long history of being lazy in investing in it’s football program at crucial moments, that the wounds are almost completely self-inflicted. Idaho did absolutely nothing to make itself more appealing to perspective conferences.

Are you stupid? Commissioners have zero power in deciding membership. It was the other members who voted unanimously to kick you out. Moron. Drunk window diving is the only sport dUI has been good at for years. Pretty sure even the hillbilly SunBelt doesn’t sponsor that one.

Pete Liske and Elizabeth Sinser killed UI football by moving up to 1-A and leaving the Big Sky in the first place just so they could stay with Butt State (Boise), who didn’t even want them anyway.

Idaho has played in a bowl game twice (one that didn’t even exist when they made the move) in 20 years. Whereas they were almost 1-AA playoff regulars up until the early 90s.

Montana talks occasionally about moving up but it’s logistically impossible for a number of reasons. That’s why that conversation lasts usually less than a minute.

Idaho trying to compete at the 1A level was a disaster from the start…..Wyoming should up their guarantee for hosting Idaho, perhaps by $125K.

Agreed. I wish the NCAA would start enforcing attendance requirements as it would help thin the herds at the FBS level and leave only the programs that truly belong.

JR, agreed. They allow for tickets distributed to count toward ticket sales. dUI for years gave away free tix but never had more than a few thousands actually in the stands. When the attendance requirement is 15,000 and their stadium is 16,000 it should be pretty easy for NCAA to realize that they aren’t meeting the requirement.

Wyoming injuring Idaho when the Vandals are already suffering is a bogus move. With Wyoming canceling on visiting Idaho, I do have not have any problem with Oregon cancelling visiting Wyoming. I hope that happens.

What is Wyoming’s incentive to play a home game in a remote location in a 17K stadium that won’t be filled? I think they already have an FCS team on their schedule, so a second FCS program doesn’t make sense. I’m no Wyoming fan, but seriously, Idaho shoulders the blame for this one.

JR, exactly. Idaho was still FBS when Wyo scheduled them (obviously for an easy win which the SEC does every year)). They already had an FCS team scheduled at home that same year. Rules state that to be bowl eligible with two FCS opponents you must then win seven not six games. So when dUI was dropped to FCS Wyo had to pick one to drop and they picked the away game. Guaranteed if Idaho was playing Laramie and the Wofford game was in South Carolina the would have dropped Wofford.

Seriously why would Wyoming play an FCS team on the road? I can think of two times that’s happened in about 20 years (Idaho was one oddly enough playing at Texas State in 1997–the other was Army at Yale last year). While Michigan playing a return game against ASU in Boone in 2008 (or LSU at Jacksonville State the next year) would have been hilarious) it’s not only unrealistic but quite frankly a joke, Besides, nothing stopping UI from getting games with Northern Iowa, NDSU, Eastern Illinois or something like that and actually having a home-and-home series instead of a one-off money trip to Tennessee or Nebraska or wherever.

I jumped the gun on my above comment. On second look, Idaho had four 2018 games scheduled against FBS opponents. They can’t play a full Big Sky conference schedule and have 4 OOC games. So something had to give and only on very rare occasions will a FBS program ever travel to a FCS stadium. I suspect the contracts for Idaho’s other previously scheduled OOC games are being renegotiated to much lower payouts. And expect the home games with San Jose St and Nevada to be canceled as well. Idaho knew all this was coming.

Expect Idaho to be playing guarantee games at the Northwest and other Pac12 schools more often. WSU, Utah and Arizona need a FCS opponent in 2020, and most of the Pac12 need FCS opponents in 2021 & 2022. (UCLA, USC, Stanford are not playing FCS programs and Colorado is booked up through 2024).

2018 – @Florida / @Fresno St / @NIU
2019 – @Penn St / @Wyoming / @SJ St
2020 – @LSU / @Temple / SJ St
2021 – @Indiana / Nevada / @SJ St /
2022 – @Indiana / SJ St / @Old Dom

Also Idaho was FBS when Wyo scheduled them and they already had an FCS opponent scheduled at home that year. When Idaho was dropped to FCS Wyo had to drop one and they chose the away game.

They’re allowed FCS schools if they were previously scheduled, I could see them leaving this one but at a lower rate.

Ha ha. Jeremiah doesn’t follow anything besides P5 football. Buffalo was in a bowl game for the 2008 and 2013 seasons. Albeit the now defunct International Bowl and the inFamous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Those 8 win seasons were their only winning seasons since joining FBS in 1999. Outside those years they’ve won 5 games only four times. I stand by my statement.

Oh, and I’m a Boise guy, so yeah I only follow P5 football.

It’s not announced yet, but San Jose State 2019 and 2021 games at Idaho will be cancelled. The home games in San Jose in 2020 and 2022 will remain on the schedule. Like Wyoming these will be converted into cash payment games for Idaho (were “in kind”).

The info is from the Spartan Athletic department. SJSU does not play road games at FCS schools. The games at Spartan stadium will be played, and as with Wyoming converted to cash payouts for Idaho.

You can expect the future homes games against Nevada to be cancelled — they are not even scheduled — and the game in Reno converted to a cash game like with SJSU and Wyoming. Basically Idaho picks up 4 revenue games without lifting a finger.

The B1G scheduling requirements do not allow FCS schools, so the Indiana and Penn State games will be almost certainly be cancelled based on the “changing schedule requirements” clause triggered by Idaho dropping to FCS.

LSU has a walk away clause, but I expect they will simply renegotiate the fee down with the leverage, as Idaho still fills the victim role they want before their rivalry game against A&M (or Arkansas). Florida looks stuck, the language doesn’t give them an out – so a record FCS payout coming for that one (the date works for Florida, the week before FSU rivalry game).

The rest of the games (on the road) will likely stand as scheduled. There is not enough cash involved to bother, just eat it. (Note, NIU is a return game so no cash involved).

I predict the B1G will provide a waiver to allows Penn St to play Idaho in 2018 (of course assuming Penn St and Idaho can successfully renegotiate the payout). Minnesota is playing South Dakota St in 2018.


“JR, exactly. Idaho was still FBS when Wyo scheduled them (obviously for an easy win which the SEC does every year))”

So the SEC is the only conference that schedules Idaho? Please!

Wyoming gets an extra game in 2018 (Hawaii exception) so Idaho@Wyoming would be possible?

Answering my own question: Big Sky programs play eight conference games and three OOC games. So Idaho could not play @Wyoming, and also play the scheduled games @Florida, @Fresno St, and @NIU

Southland and OVC are pushing for full time 12 game FCS schedules, so that may be possible depending on when/if they can get that started.

Just like there are some years when the FBS schools have 2 bye weeks, the FCS schools would have room to play 12 games (with 1 bye week). Cal Poly played 12 games in 2014 and had a bye week. However, 2018 is not one of those years. 2019 and 2020 are though.