Conference Realignment and Army Football

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For the most part, I've left the conference realignment subject alone. As football independents, Notre Dame, Army and Navy are frequent mentions as add-ons for D1-A conferences. Recently, Army AD Kevin Anderson had a word on Army moving to a conference and that word is: nope.

"Right now, if you look at Notre Dame, Navy and Army, I think it does work well for each institution...

Not too long ago, Texas said it would look at being an independent. I think schools like Texas and Notre Dame and particularly Army and Navy, it's attractive to be able to travel around the country and play in front of America, period."

AD Anderson is content with Army as an Independent, and it's not a bad place for the Black Knights. Outside of participating in the Big 12 how can Army guarantee an away game in Texas every year? Football independence. Outside of revisiting the Conference USA mistake how can Army schedule competitively and play a national schedule? Football independence.

Army football is content with where they are. The Black Knights can schedule competitively, they can play nationally and they can get their Texas game in... in short they can control the things that make up Army football.

Army is long gone from the days of competing with the top teams in college football - what Army is able to do as an independent is to be realistic with the program, with the fans, with the athletes and with the recruits. West Point isn't bullshitting anybody. The program hasn't traditionally played for bowl bids, but today's bowls are no longer such a prestigious postseason exhibition. As it is, even with the soft schedule bowls will invite Army. Army isn't going to play in the Sugar Bowl, but again, West Point isn't bullshitting anyone. Football independence lets Army control all of those things above and it allows for legit tangible goals.

A football conference may some day be the right move for Army, but right now Army football has a hard enough time holding down 12 games as an independent. For all these reasons I avoid conference speculation and projection issues on this site - but that doesn't mean that such idiotic speculation must be held back by others.

Bleacher Report put together a 15 cents slideshow highlighting 12 teams that "should be in BCS conferences". Army somehow placed

ARMY can fight, bleed, die for this nation, but is not apparently BCS worthy. Someone tell me that in a world where Duke, Baylor, Vanderbilt and Iowa State have theoretical shots at the National Title there is no room for the young men and women who are willing to wear a different helmet that probably won't deflect hot lead to the head.

These young brave people should be included if for nothing more than because of who they are and what they are willing to sacrifice for this nation every day after graduation. Army was a tremendous power in the 40's and fell off in football in the last 4 decades. But the Navy and Air Force models have proven that you can build a strong competitive program in this modern era at an academy. The U.S. Army took Germany in 1945, I think given the opportunity and staff, it can compete with Connecticut, Pitt and Syracuse in a conference that welcomes them.

I think liberal university administrators and trustees are uncomfortable with the prospect of rubbing shoulders with military types. It is so NOT liberal.

Alluding to Army in the Big East?.. Nonsense. That would burden Army with 8 conference games, 4 home and 4 away and Army would be an underdog in every single matchup. A Tulane game, a Texas game a Michigan game... suddenly West Point no longer has the same control over the direction of its football program.

"But, but... it would be great for the NY/NJ Big East teams."

There's a little difference between setting up a payday for the conference and picking on over-matched teams. This proposal does both.

The advantage of Army is the opportunity it provides Rutgers, Syracuse, and UConn fans to attend away games at West Point, a beautiful venue for college football. By placing Army and Navy in the same division, their annual match-up becomes a Big East regular season game.

I'm sure the Big East would love to get their brand on the Army/Navy game, but considering BCS bids would have to be given out before the mid-December Army/Navy game the Big East had better be prepared to give up its BCS status along with inviting the service academies.
That factor coupled with the mention of a 12-team-BigEast championship game and already the scheduling is a mess. So thanks, but no thanks.

Really, I appreciate the interest, but Army football is fine on its own. I meet any suggestion of Army to a BCS conference the same way Pittsburgh fans would accept leaving the Big East to become an independent: in not only creates unnecessary complications for the program - it would be a huge step backward in either situation.
That is my basic reasoning on Army joining a conference... BCS or otherwise.

Syracuse, Rutgers... if you want a piece of New York City football? I mean do you really want to represent NYC? Well, you have to go through Army to get it. Schedule Army for a Yankee Stadium game, but when the dust settles and Army wins don't bother asking the Black Knights to buy in to your conference.



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