Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Want to Believe

I want to believe that the Army Team can make it to a bowl game this year. There are a million bowls--literally more bowls than there are six-win Division I teams to play in them--so if the team can eke out the right record, somebody ought to take them.

Saturday's game is against Temple (0-6), away. It looks like a winnable game, but for whatever reason, Temple is favored by 2.5 points. Is it morally wrong to bet on the Army Team?  I don't know. My inner sports bookie says that Army (3-4, +2.5) is a decent bet. 

A win this weekend would put the team at 4-4 with four games left to play, and frankly, if this crazy notion of an Army bowl game has even half a chance of working, Army must win Saturday. 

After that, the schedule looks like this:
--at Air Force (1-6)
--vs. Western Kentucky (4-3)
--at Hawaii (0-6)
--vs. Navy (3-2; neutral site)

So. Air Force has traditionally handed the Army its ass in football, but lately, I dare say that the Navy's been eating from their potential crop of recruits. And more to the point, this looks like a down year. Still, Air Force is in the Mountain West, and they play a much harder schedule than the one Army has. So there are no guarantees here, although the game certainly looks winnable. 

Next game is against Western Kentucky, who already beat Navy 19-7. But that game is Army's last home game, and everyone knows that Army plays much, much better at home. Sadly, unless Army somehow wins both of the preceding games, they probably have to have this one.  For what it's worth, I'd like to go to this game, although I'm not sure that'll be possible. But still, if they manage to win one or both of the others, this game could well be decisive. 

Next game on the schedule is at Hawaii (0-6), and I'd feel good about it if it weren't so damn far away. Hawaii is another Mountain West school, but they haven't actually won a game yet. Their schedule is much tougher than Army's, but it's tough to say that they've got a better program at 0-6. 

That said, let's hope we don't need this game. That's a lot of travel for kids who also have to take Physics and Calculus. 

And that brings us to Navy (3-2). It's at a neutral site, and at some point, the Football Gods must bring the universe back into alignment and give Army a win here, but frankly, it's been tough sledding as far as recruiting is concerned at Army the last decade or more, and I don't know that enough time has passed to even the odds just yet. Granted, Navy guys can choose to join the Marines, but it's certainly not compulsory or anything, and that extra bit of choice has been telling in America's greatest football rivalry these last few years. 

My buddy in the office says that Army's bowl chances have a good shot of coming down to whether or not the team can get a win against Navy, and I don't doubt it's true. That would be fitting, of course, but it'll sure as Hell make the game even more of a nail-biter for fans of Army Football than it's already been the past few years. 

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