Army/VMI Availability

Saturday, October 30, 2010

No word on an internet stream for today's game.

Army is wearing camouflage uniforms for the game -


Week 9 BlogPoll Ballot/Results

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I was sure I was going to land another superlative with my voting this week.

I figured my placement of Wisconsin at #16 (Blogpoll #8) and Florida State at #10 (Blogpoll #16) would make me a candidate for mention. The more I look at my ballot the more I like it, which I guess makes sense since I made the selections.

Anyway, here's my ballot along with the Blogpoll Top 25.

The Unbalanced Line Week 9 Official Blogpoll Ballot

Blogpoll top 25:

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 9

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Oregon Ducks (69) 24.97 3.31 --
2 Auburn Tigers (27) 24.20 3.15 Arrow_up 2
3 Boise St. Broncos (9) 22.85 2.38 Arrow_down -1
4 TCU Horned Frogs 22.13 2.58 Arrow_up 1
5 Michigan St. Spartans 20.95 2.23 Arrow_up 1
6 Missouri Tigers (1) 20.24 1.03 Arrow_up 8
7 Alabama Crimson Tide 19.02 1.64 Arrow_up 1
8 Wisconsin Badgers 17.41 1.20 Arrow_up 2
9 Utah Utes 17.28 3.00 --
10 Oklahoma Sooners 15.37 0.59 Arrow_down -7
11 Ohio St. Buckeyes 14.86 0.47 Arrow_up 1
12 Stanford Cardinal 14.44 1.96 Arrow_down -1
13 LSU Tigers 13.72 2.51 Arrow_down -6
14 Nebraska Cornhuskers 12.83 1.52 Arrow_up 2
15 Arizona Wildcats 11.88 1.46 Arrow_up 3
16 Florida St. Seminoles 11.13 2.09 Arrow_up 1
17 South Carolina Gamecocks 7.69 1.94 Arrow_up 2
18 Iowa Hawkeyes 7.29 2.62 Arrow_down -5
19 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 7.00 2.62 Arrow_down -4
20 Arkansas Razorbacks 6.50 2.76 Arrow_up 1
21 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 4.02 2.76 Arrow_up 2
22 Miami Hurricanes 3.96 2.27 Arrow_up 3
23 Virginia Tech Hokies 3.54 2.53 Arrow_up 1
24 USC Trojans 2.30 2.51 Arrow_up 3
25 Baylor Bears 1.88 1.68 Arrow_up 17
Others Receiving Votes: Nevada Wolf Pack | Michigan Wolverines | Hawaii Warriors | San Diego St. Aztecs | Utah State Aggies | Oregon St. Beavers | Navy Midshipmen | East Carolina Pirates | Florida Gators | Syracuse Orange | Northern Illinois Huskies | West Virginia Mountaineers | Louisiana Ragin Cajuns | N.C. State Wolfpack | Temple Owls | Iowa St. Cyclones | Illinois Fighting Illini | Northwestern Wildcats | Georgia Bulldogs | California Golden Bears | Kansas St. Wildcats | Clemson Tigers
Updated: Oct 27, 2010 10:51 AM EDT
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »

Crawling Ahead to VMI

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It feels like this week is going by slowly - with the bye week last Sat. and not much press for the VMI game.It is hard to believe that we are 8 weeks into the season. Soon enough, winter will be here and the bowl season will be all that's left of the 2010 season.

A couple of additional notes moving ahead toward VMI.

Astute reader David notes the uniform selection for Saturday's game.

"VMI’s game notes for their game at Army say that Army will be wearing “alternate” jerseys on Saturday (VMI will be wearing red jerseys).
When Army’s new unis were revealed ( ), it was announced that they’d wear the “Dress Grey” uni against Air Force. Will we see them a week early? Or will we see some other (previously unrevealed) combination?"
 Great catch by David and a hat tip to him for the content in what is looking like a slow news week.

Here's a week-old article regarding Army's stretch run.

We know how Navy did against Notre Dame and how Air Force fared against TCU... the most important message gleaned from this writeup is that the Black Knights have been competitive in every game this year.

Army can compete with every team remaining on the schedule. They have competed with every team they have faced so far, and should continue to do so. The offense has been consistently productive, and the defense’s ability to create negative plays has helped them keep opposing offenses in check.

This year is an unusually strong Army team, in terms of depth, leadership and strength along each of the lines. As Army moves closer to bowl eligibility (and bowl season) those same attributes will be looked for in next year's athletes.
Freshman Matt Luetjen was working with the safeties. Luetjen was Army’s fourth quarterback the last few games.  Coaches believe Luetjen’s fastest track to the field may be on defense. Starting quarterback Trent Steelman is only a sophomore. Max Jenkins, his backup, is a junior. Army will graduate its top three safeties – Donovan Travis, Donnie Dixon and Jordan Trimble.
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but a lot of question marks will be raised for the 2011 season. The message? The time is now.

ESPN takes a peek at the bowl situation for this season.

This year's game is scheduled for Dec. 29 at RFK Stadium and is set to feature teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Conference USA, with Army as a possible backup.

Military Bowl in D.C? Nice. I would take a Dec 29th bowl date in the capital. The alternate bowl opportunity comes with the standard late season Army/Navy game stipulation...

Army (4-3), which hosts Division I-AA VMI Saturday, needs to reach six wins to be bowl eligible and must have the sixth win before its game against Navy on Dec. 11 to qualify for both bowls.

A story about Eric Legrand and Army's pledge for continuing support of the Rutgers family.

The Black Knights have felt the hurt as much as anybody. The players have prayed for and written cards to LeGrand, who underwent surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
"There's been a real effort on the team to reach out to Eric and his teammates and to the Rutgers football community and to support now and support for the long term, and a lot of thoughts and prayers," Ellerson said. "We're not strangers here to wounded warriors.
"We have a model for endurance here and an appreciation, culturally and institutionally, where maybe we can weigh in at some point and really make a difference, beyond the emotional support," Ellerson said.

It would be hard not to pledge support for Eric, anyone who watched the game was affected by Eric's injury. It's awful what happened to Legrand- I hate thinking about it; but thinking tragic injuries such as these is a clear reminder of the freedom that many of us take for granted every day, everywhere. Go out, speak your mind, be honest with yourself and with others, explore the world and enhance your self - because we have only one chance to do those things.

VMI Army 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This past weekend was weekend was almost totally devoid of meaningful football games for me. With Army idle, Rutgers/Pitt not televised here (nor streamed) and no stream available for Delaware/W&M, I was sort of up the creek in terms of watching my favorite teams.

Instead, I watched games from all over - Syracuse's big upset, the #1 Ducks continued domination and kind of took a step back from the season a little bit. It's nice to do that, but that makes it hard to get back in the swing of blogging the season, so with no further ado:

On to VMI...

Last year I was wary of VMI's ability to move the football and noted that their problem wasn't with executing their offense (#2 fcs rush) but rather with holding onto the football.

While it is again wise to be cautious regarding the perception of an FCS team, this year is a completely different VMI team.

Gone is the #2 FCS rushing offense, instead they tend to pass a bit more.

That is an indicator to look at VMI's line and as I expected, they are young.

63  Wren, Bo             OL 6-0  275  Sr.      GA.
65  Dodd, Brandon    OL 6-3  305  Fr.      VA.
66  Smith, D'Angelo   OL 6-1  255  Jr.       GA.
67  Snyder, James      OL 6-1  270  RFr.    GA.
68  Collins, Robert     OL 6-2  260  RFr.    VA.
69  Purington, P.        OL 6-5  295   Fr.      VA.
70  Stradford, Dave   OL 5-10 285  RSo.   MD.
71  Pickens, Phillip     OL 6-1  255   So.     GA.
72  Sorenson, Logan  LS 6-3  255   So.      VA.
73  Boatright, James   OL 6-0  290  RJr.     GA.
74  Williamson, Ike    OL 6-2  255   RFr.    VA.
75  Marcotte, Andy   OL 6-8  320   Fr.       VA.
76  Blue, Aaron         OL 6-2  260  RJr.      GA.
77  Hite, Steven         OL 6-5  275  RJr.      GA.
78  Bailey, Rob          OL 6-4  310  Jr.        GA.
79  Sadowski, Nick   OL 6-5  245  RFr.     VA.

One senior in the entire corps. That doesn't mean they can't play ball... just that they are a different team from last year.

Rich Ellerson touched on that a bit in the Q&A.

"There are things about what they did on offense last year. You can watch personnel. When you watch their style of play on offense, you are looking at a very different style. They've played a number of different guys at quarterback. They are settling in. They are still in a self-discovery mode, but they've been competitive when they've been efficient with the football and when they've done a good job in the kicking game they've been good enough."

None of that is to damn VMI with faint praise, it's just that by all estimations Army has gotten significantly better this year and VMI has taken a couple of steps back.

I'll be happy to see this one on TV. We can expect the regular video stream for this one.
A win will bring coach Ellerson to .500 in his time at Army. That's great to consider, but this game is essential to anyone who would like to see Ellerson end the season with a winning record as Army HC.

Army/VMI game notes are up (PDF)

Sal writes up the season through 7 games.

Army's 4-3 record doesn't tell the entire story.

Army has held a second-half lead in all seven games. The Black Knights have led in the fourth quarter in six games. Army, which had a bye this week, could be 6-1 with a bounce here or a break there.

So many missed opportunities. It just kind of shows that with as much experience as Army has and as senior-laden as the Black Knights are this year - they are not entitled to anything until 60 minutes has run off the clock.
Looking across the offensive line there will be serious graduation losses this summer. That is my main concern looking ahead to Army's 2011 season.

Sal's Q&A was posed a similar question

 billy:  sal will graduation hurt the two lines next year and the tougher schedule next year
Monday October 25, 2010 7:56 billy

 Sal Interdonato:  definitely more on the defense than the offense I think. Army has a few offensive linemen waiting in the wings like Matt Villanti, Derek Bisgard, Brad Kelly and Mike McDermott. It was be really tough to replace Josh McNary's production and Mike Gann's hard-nosed play in the middle.

That eases my mind a little bit about next year, but what then on defense?


Week 9 Ballot Draft

Monday, October 25, 2010

Here's a look at the Unbalanced Line Blogpoll ballot. I'll chalk up missing last week's poll to Army's bye week and start fresh with week 9.

The only team I have seen every game of is Oregon, but I've watched every team in the top 25 play. I honestly don't think anyone can hang with the Ducks and at this point I can only hope for a really good undefeated team to remain if the Ducks are to go undefeated.

1. I don't see Oregon losing this year.
2. Is TCU the 2nd best undefeated team? I don't know.

3. I am sure that Auburn is a fraud, but they keep winning, and they are beating actual teams, so they are #3.
4. Boise looks like it may have topped out unless they get some help. I'll do what I can to keep the Broncos #2 or #3 if all undefeated teams remain unbeaten.
5. 2-7 are pretty much all interchangeable
6. 1 loss teams come next
7. 2 loss teams next, and I like Temple, and am happy for Baylor.

Voice your opinion on #s 2-25 if you think it should be changed up.

The Unbalanced Line Ballot - Week 9
Rank Team Delta
1 Oregon Ducks --
2 TCU Horned Frogs --
3 Auburn Tigers --
4 Boise St. Broncos --
5 Michigan St. Spartans --
6 Missouri Tigers --
7 Utah Utes --
8 Alabama Crimson Tide --
9 Ohio St. Buckeyes --
10 Florida St. Seminoles --
11 Stanford Cardinal --
12 Nebraska Cornhuskers --
13 Oklahoma Sooners --
14 Arizona Wildcats --
15 LSU Tigers --
16 Wisconsin Badgers --
17 South Carolina Gamecocks --
18 Iowa Hawkeyes --
19 Arkansas Razorbacks --
20 Nevada Wolf Pack --
21 Northern Illinois Huskies --
22 Virginia Tech Hokies --
23 Temple Owls --
24 Mississippi St. Bulldogs --
25 Baylor Bears --


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