College Football Live Spotlight

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ESPN2's College Football Live did a Veteran's Day show today which featured spotlight pieces on the service academies, a college football Q&A with some active duty soldiers, and showed the USMA marching band during cuts to commercial.

Rich Ellerson also did an interview for the show and afterward Trevor Matich did a silly breakdown of Army's option offense as compared to some principles from Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War.
I really don't like comparisons that equate football and war - allegory like Matich's "Sun Tzu divide and conquer" premise occurs once in a while, but the logic of the comparison never fits and the idea always comes off as half-cooked.

Anyway, the show will probably run again tonight on ESPN2 before the Toledo/Central Michigan game.

One of the questions posed by the deployed troops was whether Rich Ellerson was the right man for the job of turning around Army's fortunes. You've got to like the move to the option, and Trent Steelman is looking like he'll be a stud for the next 3 years, but after just 1 year you can't tell much else from Ellerson's performance other than he deserves at least 3 - maybe 4 years to make the program his own. That is not to say I expect grand success from Army by 4 years, but I do expect significant improvement considering the teams on the future schedule...

I may as well clarify that with this simple exercise:

What is significant improvement?

Significant improvement:
- >6 wins, bowl bid or
- <6 wins beat Navy or
- >8 wins, beat Air Force

Grand Success:
- >6 wins for four straight seasons or
- Beat Navy 3+ times in a row or
- Supplant Navy as the most respected service academy football team or
- Beat Air Force every year.

This just goes to show that the success of this team can be defined in both the short term and longer term goals. Beating Navy is important, but it doesn't define the state of the program. The schedule is very light and some success is to be expected; when that success will arrive is the mission dollar question.

Finally, ESPN's Ivan Maisel writes a nice article on the importance of memorial stadiums to college football.



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