Sal touches on one of the artifacts of the regime change - the tricky dynamic between a new coaching staff and established personnel. It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head every time and ask "wow what happened to _____?" or "why isn't _____ seeing the football?"
You'll waste your breath at this point to worry about who's getting carries. When programs change coaches and change schemes it's simply going to take time to acclimate to the change in culture.
One is inclined to say oh, this guy should be hitting runs for career high numbers, but the first year is about teaching. Every once in a while a coach takes over and a team and maybe they return some stars and maybe the coaching change refreshes leadership within the team.
We've all seen both sides of the coin and it's particularly vexing when you guess the coaching change won't affect your team's upperclassmen in either leadership or performance, but it does for one reason or another.
Here's the thing, and I'm happy to get out in front of this today before the Fordham game, Army by many reasonable speculations should have gone to the Poinsettia Bowl this year. Phil Steele had them bowl bound, I thought they should have gained at least 6 wins just judging by what I saw as a soft schedule. Then the setback at Yale, who is having a fine year of it themselves. 100 years of Yale Bowl? I wish the Elis could go to a bowl because they deserve the honor. They play Harvard in their finale for the Ivy League title and win or lose they'll be home for the holidays just like Army. Yale has been a buzz saw this year - incidentally so has Harvard, and 'The Game' has some high stakes this year.
Yale and Harvard have met 58 times since the Ivy League started handing out a championship trophy. This year's meeting at Boston is just the seventh time (since 1956) that the Bulldogs and Crimson each have Ivy title potential heading into the season finale. On a Saturday at Harvard Stadium when ESPN's College GameDay is on site for all the pomp and circumstance and NBC Sports Network airs live coverage, Yale (8-1, 5-1 Ivy) kicks off with No. 17 Harvard (9-0, 6-0) at 12:30.
So Yale is playing ball, but their head coach Tony Reno is only in his 3rd year. How did that team fare in Reno's first season as HC? 2-8, 1-6 Ivy finishing last place in their league. Two years later they're 8-1 playing for a league title. -Just something that distracted me while looking the season's story.
Upcoming is another one-loss team, another team that was probably overlooked as a win before the season started, and now ,well, you have to tune in to see who is the steward of New York football. Incidentally forget the throwback Thursday you've seen this week. 1962 Army/Syracuse in the last college football game in the Polo Grounds is flat-out as good as it gets for a classic video clip.
Fordham has revamped their program and completely restored their standing as a football power. The Rams simply finished 12-2 in the FCS last year and were a playoff team and a top 10 team at that level.
This year, Fordham is just as nasty. Their only loss is to a ranked Villanova team at Philly in the second week, they are already Patriot league champions and have qualified for the FCS playoffs.
Army's facing a tough team Saturday, if they show up and play like they own the place - play sound ball possession football, take care of the ball and take the game physically to Fordham they will be playing for a chance to win. If it's more of the same falling asleep at the wheel in the second half Fordham will have its fans thinking about a step up to FBS.
Oh, here's the Army WKU story, stats and highlights.