Monday, December 16, 2013
I saw it on ESPN.com first.
Well I can't say I am surprised, after coming in with such promising early campaigns, leading Army to its first bowl game since 1996 hope was high for Army under Rich Ellerson.
I like the guy, I loved his schemes and I really thought he could win at West Point. Unfortunately for everyone who cares about Army football, he didn't win, at least not often enough. I have been a huge fan of Ellerson's style and what he brought to the academy, but mid way through the year the losing started to eat away at me. You look at the bad, bad, losses, you see through some bad near-losses and even with beating Air Force last year the streak is just too much to take. In all honesty, Ellerson should have been the guy to break through and beat Navy. Realistically he should have owned more than one win against Air Force as well.
As a fan, you look at some of the reasons why you would keep Ellerson through the end of his contract and aside from him being a nice guy there is only one way his work would continue to help Army football - stability; to keep the schemes in tact and keep continuity with the players and prospects.
As it turned out there just wasn't enough on the field success to justify calling the RE regime "stable". So if the results aren't any good, what good is stability?
Sal took one last interview with Rich Ellerson.
I can't say enough how much I respect the guy. I wish it could have played out a little different, but it's not an easy job and Ellerson gave Army football a chance to win.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Couple of personnel things courtesy Sal. Larry Dixon is practicing... albeit on defense. The Navy/Army game is a special event for these players and for a guy like Dixon to contribute and experience the game as a senior is important.
It's been closed practices which points to some other question marks in terms of personnel. Angel Santiago wants to cut it loose in the season finale.
Sal has some other interesting personnel news, so be sure to click on over.
Mike over at The Bird Dog cuts to the bone with his assessment of Army football's struggles.
The reason for this difference is simple: money. Because NAAA is a 501(c)(3) corporation and not funded by the government, it isn’t subject to the same government regulations when it comes to fundraising. Army and Air Force are organized differently. While their coaches are not paid with taxpayer money, they are paid with government money through the Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities set up to support their athletic departments (both Army and Air Force coaches are technically government contractors). NAFI fundraising is more restrictive than what Navy is able to do. Navy simply has more money to pay ADs and coaches, so on average, they hire better ones.
Is it money that keeps Navy's fire lit? Certainly there is something to the disparity in coaches pay between the academies.
Ken Niumatalolo Navy $1,650,000
Troy Calhoun Air Force $900,000
Rich Ellerson Army $600,000
...and that is just the head coaches' salaries. I don't have salary figures for the assistant coaches, but if you are pleased with Army's position coaches at this point of the Ellerson regime please make your presence known in the comments.
Is the difference recruiting? Is it athletic administration and a disparity of competence? Is the real problem a question of stability in that head coaching spot? All of these factors mix together and no matter how you slice it, Navy has done a better job in each of these realms and the net effect is an 11 year win streak for Navy with things not looking particularly good to break the streak.
Get over to the Bird Dog and read what Mike says, it's pretty much a must-read. You will have a tough time refuting his ideas on Army's struggles.
Posted by Chris at 12/10/2013 12:02:00 AM
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The first drops of blood have hit the water and the
Army/Navy Navy/Army game though still 2 weeks away is getting nibbles from the media.
Navy has won eleven in a row against Army, but narrowly escaped with a 17-13 victory last season. Black Knights Coach Rich Ellerson is hoping his team will end Navy’s recent dominance, but also has great respect for the game and it’s players.
“It’s a moment in the world of college football where everybody can reflect on who these young men and women are,” Ellerson said. “There’s that fundamental respect the institutions have for one another. While we’re fierce rivals, we also share some commonalities. One of those is a passion for the game.”
Hold on a minute.... WHAT streak?
The Black Knights (3-8) also have been practicing amid published reports regarding Ellerson’s job security. Ellerson has a 20-40 record in five years at West Point, with three seasons of three victories or less, and Army Athletic Director Boo Corrigan has said Ellerson’s status will be evaluated after the Army-Navy game.
Rich Ellerson needs this win badly; you have to think if that 11 game losing streak to Navy turns into 12 Ellerson will be gone by the New Year.
I'm pretty sure there will be more spotlight pieces on the rivalry, the game, and its participants. Until then
Navy/Army game notes are up (.pdf)
Posted by Chris at 12/04/2013 11:37:00 PM
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Another game that Army really could have won. Winless Hawaii seemed to move the ball effortlessly and scored early and often to play an early advantage into a good win for the Warriors.
Army got out to a slow start giving up the ball and then a quick score. Down 14-0 the first play that kept reeling Army in the game was a Chris Carnegie interception into the end zone.
We finally got to see why the coaches played quarterback roulette all season.... we've seen both QB's play hot and play cold. Saturday night was AJ Schurr's turn to play hot and he rallied the team to tie the score at 28 with 6:17 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Army battled back again and again, tying the score in the 3rd and pulling within 7 twice in the 4th, but in the end time ran out on Army's escape act, the clock struck zero and Army lost to a previously winless Hawaii team.
Watching the game I couldn't help but dwell on the fact that Hawaii hadn't won a game yet. They handled Army very well blowing up plays for the entire first half. Hawaii outrushed Army 285-254 and the game's leading rusher was Joey Iosefa carrying for 154 yards and a TD on 28 touches.
I hate to bring it up because Army is starving for stability.... but you have to question the coaching staff at this point of the season. There is one game to save it all... must win game in 2 weeks for Coach E.
Here's your story and stats.
Posted by Chris at 12/01/2013 09:45:00 AM