A Bunch of Stuff

Friday, April 2, 2010

In this one Coach Ellerson as well as Sal Interdonato's hope springs eternal...

Sal projects 6 wins before November and as strange as it sounds to say it... I can't completely disagree.

Sept. 4: at Eastern Michigan 1-0

Sept. 11: vs. Hawaii 2-0

Sept. 18: vs. North Texas 3-0

Sept. 25: at Duke 4-0

Oct. 2: vs. Temple 4-1

Oct. 9: at Tulane 5-1

Oct. 16: at Rutgers* 5-2

Oct. 30: vs. VMI 6-2

Nov. 6: vs. Air Force 6-3

Nov. 13: at Kent State 7-3

Nov. 20: vs. Notre Dame# 7-4

Dec. 11: vs. Navy^ 7-5

* - at new Meadowlands Stadium; # - at Yankee Stadium; ^ - at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

Sal has the team starting 4-1 which I think could even be 5-0 if they get to the Temple game unbeaten. I don't like to predict games or records, because predictions never end up being accurate - and I certainly won't attempt any predictions before I can study Phil Steele's magazine. Luckily that site has a counter indicating that his college preview hits the shelves on Tuesday, June 8, 2010... some 66 days away. Awesome.

As usual Sal Interdonato kicks in some pretty good Army personel notes. Corners kicking off, placekicking woes and Steve Anderson keeping his captaincy for 2010 are discussed.
Regarding the kicking issues

Ellerson called Carlton's struggles, "a little bit of a crisis" and "a concern."

When asked if he could put his finger on the problem, Ellerson said, "Yes. I'm not going into that. We can get into some technical stuff. I don't think it's a psychological issue. It's a willingness to embrace some things technically that clearly are the difference between being really, really good and consistent and not. This could be a real opportunity for him to grow."

Some pretty good stuff in that one.

There's news of Kingsley Ehie's move to linebacker.

and Danny Wild straight up brings it with a spotlight piece on Jared Hassin and the Spring Game.

And quotes from Coach E's post spring presser.

It's a must-read which includes details on some of the position competitions and a little bit more on what the coach calls 'the crisis at placekicker'.

Year by Year 1876

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In 1876 college football rode the success of the 1875 Harvard/Yale rugby match and a midseason conference of team representatives attended a meeting at the Massasoit House at Springfield Massachussets to put in place the uniform rugby union code and to make a few other changes to the rules. The scoring was changed making four touchdowns equal to one goal with their rule #7... a step away from the English rugby code...

7. A match shall be decided by a majority of touchdowns; a goal shall be equal to four tou8chdowns; but in the case of a tie a goal kicked from a touchdown shall take precedence over four touchdowns.

The minutes of this meeting - as well as all subsequent Massasoit rules committees were documented in Parke H. Davis' remarkable book Football, the American Game.

This book can be found in its entirety as the first entry under the library tab above. I'm sure I will revisit this appendix in his book as we move through the years of these Massasoit rules committees.

More important than the rule change on scoring was this convention's creation of a new Intercollegiate Football Association, and the agreement to meet yearly to discuss rules changes and the development of the game.

Princeton, Yale and Harvard were all players in this year and it was Yale with its future football
leader Walter Camp finishing undefeated at 3-0 and avenging Yale's loss at Harvard the year before.

In 1876 Harvard themselves finished 3-1 and added in two additional wins against Canadian teams. Princeton finished the year at 3-2, but Yale had the record and deserves mention for the 1876 college football championship.

Steve Anderson Getting Healthy

Steve Anderson is one guy who played incredibly well during 2009. Anderson, then a junior, tore his ACL at the very end of the Air Force game and is now making strides toward his return. Anderson played so big last year I caught myself several times thinking that he was a senior. Varsity 845U has a good article on Anderson's recovery.

Anderson said he's on track to be ready for preseason practice in August. Anderson's rehab is a few weeks ahead of schedule.

"I just started jumping rope, some sled pulls and squats," Anderson said. "It's not swelling up afterwards. It's nice to do a whole workout again, have my balance back and actually feel like an athlete again."

Coach Rich Ellerson is taking a more cautious approach. Ellerson built up depth at middle linebacker during spring practice with freshman Nate Combs and junior Kingsley Ehie, a starting fullback last season, just in case Anderson's return is delayed.

Anderson's quotes came from a Black and Gold postgame interview done by Sal Interdonato which can be seen in video form here.

The Times Herald Record has another short video interview with Steve Erzinger putting up with Sal Interdonato.

It's great to see Anderson on the road back and hopefully he has the opportunity to get back into game shape sooner than later. We know about Anderson's ability, but after an injury like an ACL the player's conditioning is what has the biggest potential to limit his return. It sounds to me like he has the ability and the impetus to come back to form.

News and Notes Post Spring

Monday, March 29, 2010

A few more post spring recaps and Sal Interdonato has his fingerprints all over these ones.

Army is built to run the ball, but has the talent to stretch the field. One last look back at a healthy spring session.

How did I miss this guy? Unreal site. DannyWild.com has an amazing recap of the spring game. Old boy writes better than I do and he snaps his own pictures... plenty of content over there, and that earned his site a slot in the BIG East blog list to the left. <--- I don't know how much time he puts into Army coverage, but after reading just one post I am seriously impressed. It's always nice to see Army get some attention in addition to the usual sources, here's an early 2010 Army preview by BCS Evolution. I guess if you're on the prowl for content after such an early spring practice season it helps to be projected 112th. Hmmph

It is what it is and all things considered it's a fair preview. Their poll asks whether Army will go bowling, and their preview notes the lightness of Army's schedule.

Elsewhere Kevin Gleason has a piece dealing mostly detailing the low points of Army football's past 14 years. Gleason takes the reader back through a very dark cave of past events which -I've got to say- is tough to take in all at once.

His laundry list of Army football events include:

You watch a good season become a great season, then a special season. It is 1996, a wonderful time to be an Army football fan.

4-7 record in 1997
Army joining Conference USA in 1998.
3-8 record in 1998
3-8 record in 1999

Bob Sutton fired

2000, fans given priority parking according to donations to the Army 'A' Club

Todd Berry going 5-35 in his first 40 games.

Todd Berry fired midway through the 2003 season.

2004 Army pays $400,000 exit fee and leaves Conference USA

and then the article adds in

You receive the smashing news that Rich Ellerson will be your next coach. He has experience, vision, a sharp football mind. He has led Cal Poly, a Football Championship Subdivision school, to a 56-34 record in eight seasons, with seven winning seasons.

You watch Ellerson field a competitive team that goes 5-7 in his first season this past fall.
You are refreshed and rejuvenated as an Army football fan.

That feeling didn't come by leaving things the way they were, it came by hiring a coach with the right schemes and the right attitude for the academy. The team played probably the softest schedule in D1-A, and even bringing in a new coach with academy friendly schemes Army still had just a 5-7 record. It's understood that it takes a couple of years for a program to change schemes in such a drastic fashion, so it stands to reason that 5-7 wasn't a bad result at all.

So Army has a new coach and decent results in his first year, coming within a game of a bowl for the first time since we entered this dark cave in 1997. The program is searching for success and moving toward that success with new coaches and new ideas. Clearly the program is moving forward in light of these changes. My question is... then why not the fans?

I don't think it's that big of a deal to move the student section behind the opponents bench. At the very least it will add to the production value since CBS cameras won't have to break the 180 degree rule to get shots of the cadets. At its best it will transform the an intimidating visiting sideline. Put it this way, do I want to see 400 guaranteed Army supporters sitting behind the opponent's sideline or 4000 cadets standing and voicing their support on that sideline. Sorry ticketholders, I'm going with the cadets. I just don't see how this is that big of a deal to some people. The common thread in arguments for staying in the previous seats has been, "We supported the team even when they were 0-13." That's commendable but the cadets were also there for every game, plus there were 4000 of them. If in those 10 or 20 years season ticket sales on that side of the field grew by 1000% I would look at the situation differently - but right now I think it is to the football team's advantage to put the cadets behind the opposing team's bench. Besides, the team hasn't had a winning season for 13 long years. Wouldn't you want to switch it up at some point?

I really don't want to dwell on it, because ultimately I am on the same side as the ticket holders, but considering that you can select your new seats I just don't see how this is any sort of indignity. This team needs every advantage it can get at this point and I really think this is a simple concession to give up for the team. I'd love to hear from some season ticket holders on this, and if you feel I'm off base with this take, please comment below.

Spring Game Recaps

Sunday, March 28, 2010

No need to excerpt because these are all definite must-reads.

Rivals has a recap of the spring game - lots of notables there.

Scout also has a recap up, but it seemed to me like they just didn't do their homework on Army prior to the spring.

Even without defensive stalwarts linebacker Steven Anderson (knee reconstruction) and defensive end Josh McNary (too good and not in need of practice?), Army's first-string defense looked like it can once again be counted on to carry the team if necessary.
I have no idea what that's all about. I mean they could have at least cribbed the notes from ESPN prior to the spring. Oh well.

GoArmySports.com has their own recap of the spring game.

Army Pointer View has a recap of the game posted.. a rare football post for them, nice to see.

Before Sal got to his spring game recap he noted some new possibilities with Army's defense.

Army isn’t tossing away the principles of its double-eagle flex defense.

But it may have a little different look in 2010. Army could have just three down defensive linemen and two standing linebackers real close to the line. I’m probably sure I’ve seen look with just two defensive lineman this spring.

Over at Varsity 845U there are a couple of post spring quotes and notes, because Sal Interdonato is a stud.

As pissed off as I am that CBS College Sports insists on playing the same college basketball show over and over with no consideration of a Black/Gold highlight or interview show. CBSCS did pledge to air all 5 of Army's home games live so the news isn't all bad. Sal notes that all five home games will be noontime starts, so schedule those dates in for the fall, I don't think I need to remind anyone that 2010 tickets are on sale.


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