We'll get started this morning with a look back at last year, via The Birddog, a Navy sports blog. "What's Wrong with Army?"(thebirddog.wordpress.com):
The article is a good read, but if I'm reading this right, he thinks that the real problem is that Army is a service academy that's wholly committed to running itself like an actual part of the service it feeds:
"Still, I don’t think recruiting is the root of the problem for Army. It’s a symptom, not the disease. Remember, we’re talking abut 40 years here. The factors involved have to be a lot more fundamental than one or two coaches’ recruiting strategies. Obviously, being a service academy already makes winning difficult for all of us, but why is it apparently less difficult for Navy? It’s because [coaching at] Navy is simply a better job.
There are Army fans who will read this, roll their eyes, and immediately dismiss it as typical rivalry rah-rah. So be it. It’s the truth, though, and it doesn’t just apply to Army; Navy is a better job than Air Force, too. If you don’t believe me, just look at the athletic directors. Until very recently, Air Force was still using active-duty officers to lead their athletic departments."
Well. The problem with this thesis is that it could be true, and yet knowing it is no help at all. Because while I don't personally pretend to understand the motivations that move the Navy or Air Force Athletic Departments, I know that Army's Athletic Department isn't going to stop focusing on the soldiers first and foremost. So if the problem is that Army is too, well, Army, that's a problem that's permanent.
Maybe being a Division I Athletic Director really is a job for a specialist and not one for a soon-to-be-retired Army officer, but don't look for Army to go that way any time soon. My experience is that cadets would rather have officers leading them for the obvious reason that Army officers are their role models. And West Point is focused first, last, and always on producing future officers, so those role models are important.
Gold Tops Black, 20-14, In Spring Finale (GoArmySports.Com)
What I've read of the coming season is that the new coach, Jeff Monken, has recruited a good class of young receivers and has been focusing his coaching efforts on rebuilding the team's defense. Here's hoping that works.
While we're talking about this, I have a question for you. Are you following:
You totally need to be. 'Nuff said.
Finally, my new favorite Army Football blog is The Unbalanced Line. They haven't put anything up since last season, but it's still a decent read, and let's face it, there's not tons of Army media coverage out there.