Good morning – we’re less than a week away from Christmas, so that means we’re just days away from the bowl game! If you can’t go, you can still donate tickets. As of Wednesday night, the Navy Athletics Facebook page reported that we have ticket donations from each of the 50 states and are less than 1,000 away from selling 10,000 total tickets to the game. That’s really something. The fact that Navy’s fan base continues to gobble up tickets to bowl games is a major reason why Chet and company were able to consistently line up bowl games while we were an independent. And it’s a big reason why Navy will always be in the running for the most attractive American bowls in the future.
Sir, there are 362 days until Navy beats Army to make it 14 in ’15, Sir!
Good morning! I hope everyone has recovered from watching the Army-Navy game this weekend. It was a fantastic outing in Baltimore – one that I can not wait to repeat in 2016. Don’t get me wrong, the Linc is a fantastic venue for the game. But I do love the ease of getting in to Baltimore and home in one relatively short day. Having College Gameday there made it all that much better. FYI, if you were at the game and forgot to record Gameday, you can still catch it archived on watchESPN. Also, if you were at the game, you may have missed the tease that lead in to the broadcast on CBS. Go watch it now – it was great as always.
Football commentary from national outlets, for the most part, sucks. Whether in print or over-the-air, discussion of the game consists primarily of clichés and conventional wisdom regurgitation being passed off as insight. There’s a reason for this. It’s hard enough to be knowledgeable and detailed when discussing one program. When there’s over 100 in the entire FBS, there’s no way anyone can speak with authority on all of them. The talking heads can’t tell their audience that, of course, so instead they give us talking points. It doesn’t matter how true they are; they just have to make you sound smart. Repeat them enough, and they’ll be accepted as fact.
When you’re a fan of an option football team, you’re quite familiar with the talking points. Tell me if you’ve heard this before:
“Defending this offense is all about assignment football. You need one man on the dive, one man on the quarterback, and one man on the pitch. And you need to hit the quarterback on every play. If you do that, you can get them off schedule, and this offense isn’t built for 3rd & long. It’s not a quick-strike offense, so if you get an early lead you can force them to throw the ball, which isn’t their strength. It’s not an offense designed to come from behind.”
Yeah, we might’ve heard that once or twice or every day.
This time next year, we’ll be talking about the American Athletic Conference championship game.
This year, though, the American joins the Big 12 in adding to the slate of non-championship games this weekend. Memphis clinched a share of the championship last week, and UCF joined them at 9-3 (7-1) Thursday night with a Hail Mary win over East Carolina. Cincinnati can match those records, hosting Houston. The conference will declare co-champions, and allow the College Football Playoff Committee to choose one if there is a shot at the Cotton/Peach/Fiesta access bowl. Memphis is presently ranked ahead of the others, and in the only game between the three beat Cincinnati in October, so they probably look the best to the committee. However, that is an increasingly small chance: Boise State should clinch that bid with a win today, and Northern Illinois made its own strong case dominating the MAC conference championship game for the Huskies’ 11th win. Marshall could still look better than one of our tri-champions as well with a similarly strong performance in the CUSA championship.
Farther down the food chain in the American, Temple is trying to improve to 6-6 and get bowl eligible at Tulane. (Is this where I mention that SMU is looking for the Mustangs’ first win, visiting 2-9 UConn? Okay, done.)
The Owls would be the sixth bowl-eligible team in the conference. Without an access bowl bid, the American has five bowl tie-ins, and Temple might not be able to secure a bowl spot left open by another conference. The American’s bowl line up looks pretty good this year: BYU, two matchups with the ACC, one with the SEC, and supposedly a Big 12 backup to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl (depending on how Playoff and New Year’s Day slots go out, Big 12 may not meet all their primary tie-ins though, much less secondary ones.) Next year’s lineup for the expanded American expands to seven games, but only one each against the SEC and ACC, while covering the waterfront against the other Group of FIve teams.