Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Army Football Preview: Tulane

Where to begin?  Army scored three points against Air Force in a game in which quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw looked hurt and the coaches looked like they’d rather play for a close score than an actual victory.  Meanwhile, Navy is now ranked #22 in the nation, which means that The Streak has at least one more year of life left in it, and Army fans everywhere are soon to be left crying in their beer.  Again.  Yes, kids, the Mids are excellent this season.  They are now 7-1, having just beaten the previously undefeated Memphis Tigers by the resounding score of 45 - 20.  
This just in: Navy is the best team on Army’s schedule this year.

Speaking personally, I suddenly find myself wondering if there are any actual tigers in the city of Memphis.  What on Earth could have possessed that school’s founders to choose the tiger as their mascot?  “The Rivermen” was already taken, perhaps?  
It’s puzzling.
The Army Black Knights
What’s not puzzling is Army’s football future.  This team is terrible.  They’ve shown signs of life at times, but those signs have been few and far between, and I’m way past tired of hearing about how close they’ve been in all these games.  Who fucking cares?  West Point has a bunch of good teams this year, but for better or worse, the football team is not amongst them.  Army’s Mens’ and Womens’ Swim Teams are both off to 4-0 starts, the Sprint Football team won the College National Championship, and Soccer beat Navy just this past weekend.  A bunch of other teams are doing well, too.  But the Football team is ranked 111th out of 128 teams in the FBS, and if that’s been consistent this season, the team has still severely underperformed against even very modest expectations.

As of this writing, ESPN has Army ranked more than 15 points worse than an average team in the FBS, and that’s pretty bad.  The over/under on wins has fallen all the way to 2.9 - 9.1, and to be honest, this team will be lucky even to get that.  This weekend’s game marks Army’s last reasonable shot at a win in 2015, and although I will be at this game with both of my kids, I can’t quite bring myself to buy in again.  It’s just too damned frustrating.
The Tulane Green Wave
Tulane lost to UConn on Saturday by a score of 7 – 3.  A glance at the stats shows that their offense is not very good.  The QB completes just 53% of his passes, and they don’t have a lot of rushing yards.  Against that, they “only” lost to Navy 31-14, so they’re probably going to stop Army’s version of the triple-option right in its tracks.
Want to know more?  Go look it up yourself.
What to Watch
My daughter Hannah is a singer, and I have this feeling that she’ll really enjoy the pre-game show by the Benny Havens Jazz Band.  So the key to success for me is to get there early, grab a couple of Michie Stadium’s famous Landshark brewskies, and anesthetize myself as best I can in as child-friendly a way as possible.

They're a kind of jazz/rock ensemble.
Playing in West Point's jazz band looks like a good gig.
I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not as bad as all that.  My kids are ten and twelve, and they’re both very responsible.  If I give them the tickets, I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to find our seats without any help from me.
The 3rd ID patch.
“Pain,” to quote Clubber Lang.  “I pity the fool!”
The game starts at noon on CBS Sports.  Army’s players will wear the 3rd Infantry Division patch.  
Rock of the Marne!

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