Troy Calhoun called this year’s Air Force schedule “the strongest a service academy has played in decades.” With Oklahoma and the Mountain West’s big three, there are definitely some strong teams on there. But the strongest schedule in decades? I don’t think so. I’m not even sure it’s the toughest Air Force schedule in decades, let alone the toughest among all 3 service academies. I doubt Calhoun looked them up before making that comment, anyway. But just to kill time, we will. So which of these was the toughest service academy schedule of the last 3 decades?

1980 Air Force: at Colorado State, at Washington, San Diego State, at Illinois, at Yale, Navy, at Tulane, Boston College, at Army, at Notre Dame, at Hawaii

1982 Air Force: at Tulsa, San Diego State, at Texas Tech, at BYU, New Mexico, Navy, Colorado State, at UTEP, Wyoming, at Army, Notre Dame, at Hawaii

2006 Air Force: at Tennessee, at Wyoming, New Mexico, Navy, Colorado State, at San Diego State, BYU, at Army, Notre Dame, Utah, at UNLV, at TCU

1998 Army: Miami (OH), Cincinnati, at Rutgers, at East Carolina, at Houston, Southern Miss, at Notre Dame, Air Force, Tulane, at Louisville, Navy

2005 Army: at Boston College, Baylor, Iowa State, UConn, Central Michigan, at TCU, at Akron, at Air Force, UMass, Arkansas State, Navy

2007 Army: Akron, Rhode Island, at Wake Forest, at Boston College, Temple, Tulane, at Central Michigan, at Georgia Tech, at Air Force, Rutgers, Tulsa, Navy

1982 Navy: Virginia, at Arkansas, Boston College, at Duke, at Air Force, William & Mary, The Citadel, Notre Dame, at Syracuse, at South Carolina, Army

1984 Navy: at UNC, Virginia, at Arkansas, at Air Force, Lehigh, Princeton, at Pitt, Notre Dame, at Syracuse, South Carolina, Army

2000 Navy: Temple, at Georgia Tech, at Boston College, TCU, at Air Force, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Toledo, at Tulane, Wake Forest, Army


12 Responses

  1. I think 2009 Navy ranks right up there at the top

  2. just a little FWIW off of the sagarin rankings going back to 98:

    Navy’s toughest SOS was in 2000 @ #66
    AF’s toughest SOS was in 2004 @ #49 (’06 was #50)
    Army’s toughest SOS was in 1998 @ #62

    AF’s SOS in ’04 got a boost from opening against a Cal team that 10-2 and finished in the top 10 (and beat AF 56-14).

  3. 2009 was navy’s 4th highest SOS according to sagarin (behind 2000, 1998, 2008)

  4. GL – am I correct to assume that the SOS numbers you give are calculated at the end of season. Is there a site that calculates them on a week to week basis? (I don’t have that many speciality sports sites on my favorites list.) It would be interesting to compare SOS at year end to Top 25 ranking. It would also be interesting to compare SOS pre season with SOS at year end. So based upon the toughest schedule list, which SA team had the best year?

  5. you’re basically describing what computer rankings attempt to do.

  6. Good point. Hadn’t thought of it that way but it makes sense. Who needs a playoff when you have a computer?

  7. Dave, USAToday always has the Sagarin rankings on their site and I don’t believe they archive them but if you are so inclined it would be easy enough to save the page every week. Here is the 2009 College Football by team (they also do it by conference):

  8. Witt – thanks – learn something new every day.

  9. What does having the toughest schedule in decades do for you?
    Nothing…that is just stupid scheduling

  10. Navy 2009 and Navy 1996 should be on the list

  11. Somewhat OT, but am I the only one that, upon noticing that the Wake Forest tilt is the only game that’s not televised this year (per the navysports site), found himself wondering how much WF payed to make it that way?

    • lol

      I bet it gets picked up by someone.

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