(yet) Another 2010 Preview

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This preview comes to us from www.collegesports-fans and it's another optimistic one. The offense can't possibly net fewer yards or points than 2009, returning QB, new fullback, and 4 returning starters on the offensive line. At the very least Army will play their run game, roll the clock and limit opponents' chances. In that light, I'd like to point out this preview's mention of the defense.

Perhaps the biggest reason for Army’s five wins last season was a renewed improvement on defense. The Cadets only allowed 22 points per game in 2009 and were equally effective against the pass and run. While the offense’s increased time of possession was surely a factor, this is a talented defense in its own right. Army returns eight starters from that unit, five of whom are seniors. That means that their top six tacklers, and eight of their top ten, are back in 2010!

To see such positive notes on this edition of Army football is refreshing. The more I think about the coming season, the more pumped up I get.


Summer is officially here and this will be my first full summer doing this blog. I'll admit that part of the reason I even started this website was so I could get more involved with college football during the slow college football summer news cycle.

I knew that college football news would be slow in the summer; I don't cover other Army sports, I can't stand recruiting news, and as it is a lot of this summer's college football topics don't really apply to the Black Knight football.

It's slow fishing right now so when things like 2010 Army previews roll in it's a good day.

Thankfully I don't live off of fishing alone, and I have ideas for cool content©. It's inevitable that I will start back up with the year by year project (1877... I don't know when), and I have some more yearbooks to add, but when it comes down to it - it's summer - get out and enjoy yourselves. Before we know it it will be time for a 2010 Army re-view, so dig the previews, check Sal and Danny Wild once in a while and find some time to go fishing.

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.

Hall of Fame Notes

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Former Army football players Clennie Brundidge, Mike McElrath, Pete Vann and Al Rushatz will be honored with induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame. Induction will take place on Sept. 17, 2010. These honorees will be singled out at halftime of the North Texas game

These former Cadet football players will be joined in the honor by Jon Aaronsohn (gymnastics), Melody Smith (basketball and tennis), Teresa Sobiesk (cross country and track and field), Gen. Joseph Stilwell (basketball player and coach). I love finding news on Army Pointer View, they have earned the link on the left sidebar with their coverage of West Point non-revenue/club sports and they deserve frequent visits from TUL readers. Pointer View has blurbs on the football players mentioned above:

A 1979 graduate, Brundidge started on the football field and on the basketball court and earned a combined eight letters. Thanks to his stellar exploits as a wide receiver, he was selected as a second-team All-America choice by United Press International as a sophomore and junior and named All-East by the Associated Press, UPI and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference during those same seasons. The 1979 winner of the Army Athletic Association Award graduated as Army’s all-time receiving leader with 147 receptions for 2,279 yards—two numbers that now rank second all-time in school history. His eight 100-yard receiving games still stands as an academy career record.

Brundidge established a single-game record with 167 receiving yards against Pittsburgh in 1977, a total that has been surpassed just twice. Brundidge listed nationally in receptions and yards and was invited to the 1978 Hula Bowl. As a forward on the basketball team, he racked up 632 points in 76 games and graduated third with a 51.4 shooting percentage, a number that now ranks 10th. He is 20th on the career rebounding list with 433 and was a member of the 1977-78 squad that played in the National Invitational Tournament, Army’s last postseason appearance.

McElrath, a lieutenant colonel who is now serving as an Associate Athletic Director at West Point, was a four-year starter at free safety for the football team. A member of the Class of 1993, he remains Army’s career leader in tackles with 436 and stands tied for second with 10 career interceptions. He graduated as the career leader in pass deflections with 19, a number that now lists fourth. McElrath posted 157 tackles during his firstie season, a total that stands third all-time on the Army list and won the prestigious Army Athletic Association Award in 1993.

He was a team captain as a senior, a three-time first team All-East selection and a third-team All-America choice by "Football News" as a senior.

A standout in the classroom as well, McElrath was a Dean’s List student in each of his eight semesters, a first team Academic All-America choice as a senior and a second team selection as a junior. He was one of 15 players nationally to receive the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award as a senior and was chosen to speak on behalf of that group at the awards dinner. McElrath received the NCAA Football Scholarship and NACDA/Disney Postgraduate Scholarship and was recognized as a Hitachi/College Football Association Scholar-Athlete.

Rushatz collected the prestigious Army Athletic Association Award in 1962 following a standout career in football and wrestling in which he won three letters in each sport. He led the football team in rushing for two seasons and currently stands 25th on the career rushing ledger with 1,414 yards. He was chosen as an Eastman Kodak All-American by the American Football Coaches Association in 1961.

A 1962 graduate, Rushatz was an All-America wrestler in 1960 when he finished third at 177 pounds after capturing an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championship. He was a three-time EIWA finalist and lost just once in a dual meet during his three-year career before embarking on a military career that included 28 years as a commissioned officer.

Vann was a three-time letterwinner as a quarterback and graduated in 1956 as Army’s all-time passing leader.

He compiled academy records for completions (174), attempts (372), yards (2,937) and touchdowns (24) while guiding the team to an 18-7-2 mark. His 24 career touchdowns stood as an academy record for 23 years, which presently ranks third.

A big hat tip goes to the Pointer View as they provided most of the text for this post.


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