LARAMIE -- There's a few things that can land you on a list like this one.

Beating Wyoming with regularity certainly makes you a thorn in the side. Making stupid decisions will also draw the ire of fans. Being an all-round jerk will do it, too.

This is our version of the Un-Sweet 16, pitting the biggest villains in Wyoming Cowboys football history against one another and eventually crowning the worst of the worst. This won't be our opinion, it's yours. You can vote for who will advance to the next round by clicking on the box at the bottom of this page.

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We did our best to round up the ultimate enemy of the Cowboy State. We reached out to people in the know, from different decades of UW football. Don't be surprised to see plenty of rivals on this list.

Here's today's Championship matchup:

 

No. 1 LaVell Edwards vs. No. 2 Kyle Whittingham

Let's start with the top-seed, the late LaVell Edwards. Why is he ranked so high on this list?

Let us count the ways.

Prior to arriving in Provo as the head coach in 1972, BYU was not what you would call a national brand. Actually, a more accurate description would be the Cougars were a doormat. The program won eight games or more just twice in its first 47 years of existence. Twenty-seven times BYU finished with a record below .500.

That all changed when Edwards took over. Utilizing a rare pass-first attack, by 1984 the Cougars were crowned National Champions. Edwards racked up 257 career wins on the sidelines in Provo.

Nineteen of those victories came against the Cowboys. Edwards finished with a 19-6 record against Wyoming, including ousting the Pokes 28-25 in overtime in the 1996 WAC Championship game in Las Vegas.

Bringing back some bad memories yet?

One of those UW victories came in 1981. After the 33-20 win inside a snowy War Memorial Stadium, Edwards vaulted himself right to the top of this list in just 13 words.

"I'd rather lose and live in Provo than win and live in Laramie," Edwards said.

 

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It took Kyle Whittingham a couple days to admit he made a "bad decision."

With Utah clinging to a 43-0 lead midway through the third quarter of a 2007 meeting with the Cowboys inside Rice-Eccles Stadium, the Utes flat-topped head coach decided it was the perfect time to get a little payback.

Earlier in the week, Joe Glenn, in an attempt to fire up some students, guaranteed a victory over Utah. UW's head coach, known for his fun-natured personality and big smile, didn't appreciate what was about to happen.

Kicker Louie Sakoda attempted an onside kick.

Though the Cowboys recovered, Glenn was caught by television cameras flipping off the Utah bench. After the game, he played dumb. Monday, he stepped up and took the heat.

"I met with my team on Sunday and apologized to them for the
gesture I made toward the Utah bench during the game," Glenn said
in a statement. "I also want to apologize to all fans for that action. Football
is an emotional game, and I let my emotions get the best of me. I felt it was appropriate for me to let my team and all fans know that I am truly sorry for that emotional moment."

Whittingham told reporters he was sorry, too, but only after saying this in his postgame press conference:

What some forgot about this 50-0 blowout, is Whittingham also ran a fake punt late in the first half with his team holding on to a commanding 26-point lead. Of course the Utes converted. Of course they scored on the ensuing handoff.

Wyoming cornerback Julius Stinson gave his postgame thoughts on Whittingham without saying anything at all.

"I mean, if you're a coach that kicks an onside kick, and you're up 40-0, I mean ...," Stinson said, followed with a smirk.

Whittingham changed his tune at his Monday press conference. Well, the best he could, anyway.

"We had worked two weeks on it and wanted to find a spot to use it," he told reporters. "You get caught up emotionally in a football game, you want to be competitive and the juices are flowing, but when I had a chance to digest it, if I had to do it again, I wouldn't."

Whittingham boasts a record of 5-1 against the Pokes. As a college player, at BYU, of all places, Whittingham won three of his four meetings against Wyoming. The one loss, a 33-20 setback in a Laramie snowstorm. That's when his mentor, LaVell Edwards (The No. 1 seed on this list), uttered his infamous slam.

"I'd rather lose and live in Provo than win and live in Laramie," Edwards said.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 wiped out a meeting in Laramie between these two schools in 2020. According to fbschedules.com, that game has been rescheduled for 2025. The Cowboys will travel to Salt Lake City in 2027.

So, who do you consider the biggest Villain in Wyoming football history? Vote here:

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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