Keeping Up Speed

Saturday, August 13, 2011

First thing's first...  that Rice home game in 2014?.. is the front end of a home and home series. Rice announced that the Owls will face Army at Rice Stadium in 2015. It's nice to find a place to play in Texas.

I couldn't wait (...but had to wait) to post this Q&A with Army's co-DC Chris Smeland.

This one is about as must-read as it gets. Smeland talks about some defensive newcomers, prepping for 2011 opponents' offenses and he touches a little bit on why the early spring practice.

"We lost quite a few seniors off last year's team.  We just felt that with the young guys we are going to play, the sooner we could get them going the more they would retain.  Also it gave them more time for physical conditioning from the end of spring ball before they come back this time of year."

Here is a pretty good article on Rich Ellerson and the direction of the program.

Definitely worth a look.

Also there are a couple of photo albums possibly worth noting.

West Point Public Affairs Dept. has a photo album of the team's first practice.

This fellow Chet Gordon's photo album has shots of Army's first practice.

Gordon is a photographer and his blog has some great shots of Army early in the season. I'll be sure to keep an eye on the happenings over there.

Speaking of photographers Danny Wild retooled his site, go ahead and check in on his work as well.


Yearbook: Wisconsin Badger

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

As promised, here's a yearbook for a BCS conference team.

The University of Wisconsin yearbook is digitized and available online. This yearbook began as the Trochos and was renamed the Badger in 1888  The UMW collection includes yearbooks from 1885 and from 1888 through 2009. It's a great yearbook collection produced by the University of Wisconsin's stellar Digital Collections department.

In addition to yearbooks the Univ. of Wisconsin digital collections have Wisconsin athletics media guides, a rather austere class photo collection,  and some nonsense about their badger mascot. One of the more complete university-led digitization projects, Wisconsin has really raised the bar with their work on these items, they even have football team photos all the way back to 1890!

This latest installment of my yearbooks project is a top shelf effort by a top notch digital services department. Even if you don't like Wisconsin football you must respect their efforts in getting so much of their history available online.


It is the mission of The Unbalanced Line Online Library to present important and interesting historical texts to college football fans. Items will be added regularly as blog postings and can be easily indexed in the Yearbooks button on the site bar.

Copyrighted material is used expressly under the fair use guidelines of U.S. Code 17 #107 through #118 stating that the criticism, comment, news reporting, educational use or research of copyrighted material is not held in violation of copyright laws.

___________________ © 2011 The Unbalanced Line ___________________


Army Future Schedules

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

West Point released Army's future schedules to the press. Included are home and home series against Stanford, Wake Forest, and Temple, games against an assortment of MAC teams plus Army continues their Magical Football History Tour with a Yale Bowl centennial matchup in New Haven.

Speaking of stadiums Bleacher Report lists the most memorable touchdowns in each stadium. I'm not even going to take issue with Randy Moss's play being named the most memorable play at Michie. I will however note that Navy only played one game at Michie Stadium (1943), so you would have to have a pretty good memory to list Navy/Army among Michie Stadium's most memorable games.

Sadly, the future schedules show that Army will take a break from playing Tulane, instead playing games in the state of California in two of the next four seasons.

I love the addition of the Yale game, Army and Yale have played 45 times, the Bulldogs hold a 21-16-8 series lead. There may be a cost, to that game though.

Army was interested in coming to New Haven as a signature game during the historic 2014 season, but there was concern whether the game would count towards making the Cadets bowl eligible since Yale plays at the Football Championship Subdivision level.

Yale director of athletics Tom Beckett said no waiver has been signed, but Army is planning to honor the contract regardless of whether or not the game counts towards being bowl eligible.

Beckett said the NCAA doesn’t normally review waiver requests until 1½ years before the game is played, which means that would not happen until the winter of 2012.

“We’re hoping we are viewed as a countable opponent and will go through the waiver process,” Beckett said. “They have agreed to come and we are honored they are coming to New Haven.”

I like that Army scheduled Fordham again - and that they scheduled them later down the line. I really think Fordham has its football program headed in the right direction and I think they can be competitive at Michie Stadium in 2014. I reject the idea that Fordham is rudderless, and suggest that the Patriot League is without direction.
Its all added to the murky situation in the Patriot League, as Fordham continues to build its scholarship count from 14 to 32 this season – a number which will eventually reach 60 – and the League presidents continue to push back a final decision.
 Fordham is an associate member of the league for football – its other sports compete in the Atlantic-10 – so the question becomes, is it even worth it for the Rams to stay when the current agreement ends in 2012?

While the Rams haven’t given an ultimatum about jumping ship, it is a possibility that concerns Femovich.
“We don’t want to lose Fordham and that’s why we’ve structured this current agreement,” Femovich said. “We definitely want them to continue with the league and I think that’s a mutual interest.”
 Well Fordham is going to advance in stature with or without the league (my guess is without). Maybe it is in Fordham's best interest to try to make waves in the CAA. Competitive or not Fordham would give the CAA a foothold in New York City and that move would raise the profiles of both the Rams and the CAA.

Anyway, my weird conference alignment wishes aside here's the future schedules as released by the US Military Academy


Sept. 3 at Northern Illinois 7 p.m.

Sept. 10 SAN DIEGO STATE 12 p.m.

Sept. 17 NORTHWESTERN 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 at Ball State 2 p.m.

Oct. 1 TULANE 12 p.m.

Oct. 8 at Miami (Ohio) 1 p.m.

Oct. 22 at Vanderbilt TBA

Oct. 29 FORDHAM 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 5 at Air Force 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 12 RUTGERS (Yankee Stadium) 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 19 at Temple 1 p.m.

Dec. 10 vs. Navy (FedEx Field) 2:30 p.m.


Sept. 8 at San Diego State


Sept. 22 at Wake Forest


Oct. 6 at Boston College


Oct. 20 at Eastern Michigan


Nov. 3 AIR FORCE (Yankee Stadium)

Nov. 10 at Rutgers

Nov. 17 TEMPLE

Dec. 8 vs. Navy (Lincoln Financial Field)



Sept. 7 at Ball State



Sept. 28 at Louisiana Tech



Oct. 19 at Temple

Nov. 2 at Air Force


Nov. 30 at Hawai’i

Dec. 14 vs. Navy (Lincoln Financial Field)



Sept. 13 at Stanford

Sept. 20 at Wake Forest

Sept. 27 at Yale


Oct. 11 RICE

Oct. 18 at Kent State


Nov. 8 BOSTON COLLEGE (Yankee Stadium)

Nov. 15 at Western Kentucky


Dec. 13 vs. Navy (M&T Bank Stadium)



Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe in Bloglines

Subscribe in a reader