2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Air Force football has one of easiest 2012 schedules, based on last year’s records

    Fri, March 30, 2012 by admin with 13 comments

    Phil Steele, one of the best college football information men out there, put out a chart of the easiest schedules based on opponents’ 2011 records. The method isn’t all that precise – a 11-2 team last year might be facing huge personnel losses and has little chance to repeat that mark, for example – and Steele acknowledges the method isn’t his own, but one the NCAA uses in determining strength of schedule.

    Still, the numbers are interesting for Air Force. According to Steele’s chart, Air Force has the 121st toughest schedule out of 124 teams on the list (Navy comes in last, for what it’s worth). The Falcons play four bowl teams from last year, and the opponents had a combined record of 60-89. That’s no guarantee of success, of course, but it probably isn’t the worst thing for Air Force to have what could be a lighter schedule, considering how many players the Falcons lose from last year’s team.

  • Injured Air Force pitcher helps woman out of car after scary accident

    Thu, March 29, 2012 by admin with 2 comments

    Had Sean Carley’s right elbow not given out about a month ago, he probably wouldn’t have been home in Florida on Sunday to help a woman out of her car after a scary accident.

    Carley, who was Air Force’s ace pitcher before he tore his right ulnar collateral ligament before the season and underwent Tommy John surgery March 6, was on his way to church Sunday morning when a car swerved in front of him trying to get on the entry ramp to U.S. Highway 1. The roads were wet, Carley said the car started to skid, the driver over-corrected and then the vehicle rolled over, flipping three times as it went down the embankment.

    “It was something you only see in the movies, you don’t see in the real world,” said Carley, who is not enrolled at the academy this semester because he is on administrative turnback as he recovers from surgery. “It was a surreal moment.”

    Carley pulled over and immediately rushed to the car, where he found an 18-year-old woman. He said as the accident happened he could see her getting tossed around in the car, so he feared she had major injuries. The car landed on the passenger side, so Carley said he got on top of the car, opened the driver’s side door, and the 6-4, 230-pound pitcher got the woman out of the car.

    Carley said he thinks she had a concussion but doesn’t believe she broke any bones or had major injuries. He stayed with her until the police arrived, made sure she was OK, gave the police his report and headed off to church.

    Carley said he thinks things he learned at the academy, such as not hesitating to rush to the accident and talking the woman through the ordeal to keep her calm, helped in that situation.

    “He said, ‘My Air Force training took over,’” Air Force baseball coach Mike Kazlausky said.

    Carley said he left his name and number with the woman, but never got her name. He said he was happy he was the one there to help out.

    “It was scary, but I was glad I was there and could help, even with my bum arm,” said Carley, who is wearing a full range-of-motion brace on his right arm. “Then I was on my way to church. I think God will forgive me for being five minutes late.”

  • Reports: MW-CUSA could merge, won’t dissolve

    Mon, March 26, 2012 by admin with 11 comments

    Because of various reasons – the conference forfeiting NCAA Tournament money to schools, only being granted one automatic qualifier berth to NCAA Championships, exit fees – the Mountain West and Conference USA won’t be dissolving and forming one league, according to CBSSports.com and the San Jose Mercury-News. The two leagues could merge, or remain separate and work together in an alliance, the stories said.

    The leagues announced plans to dissolve and form one league in mid-February. The new league would have had 15 members in all sports and 16 in football (Hawaii joined the Mountain West for football only).

  • Backup quarterback race in August will be interesting

    Fri, March 23, 2012 by admin with 3 comments

    This much isn’t surprising: Connor Dietz is the clear favorite to start at quarterback for Air Force in the fall. Barring injury, if the senior isn’t the clear starter on opening day, it would be a shock.

    After Dietz, who knows what will happen.

    There will be as many as five viable candidates for the backup job. The jostling is important because someone among that group, unless there is a very unlikely darkhorse, will start for Air Force in 2013.

    Kale Pearson, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla. has made the biggest move this offseason. He finished spring running the second-team offense, although fellow sophomore Mitch Griebel doesn’t seem to be far behind. Pearson is a good dual-threat athlete, and Griebel’s strength is as a passer. Tucker Tipton, who ran the offense well all last year in practice behind Tim Jefferson and Dietz, also will compete.

    And, if things work out as planned for the Falcons, touted prep school quarterbacks Jaleel Awini and Dano Graves will arrive at the academy in fall. Both players are talented and can’t be discounted – after all, Jefferson became a starter during his freshman year, after his season at the prep school.

  • Troy Calhoun talks about Peyton Manning, says he could be “incredible” for Broncos

    Thu, March 22, 2012 by David Ramsey with 3 comments

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  • Any post-spring Air Force questions?

    Wed, March 21, 2012 by admin with 16 comments

    Air Force spring football practices on Tuesday (here’s the link to my wrapup, and yes, I’m aware that “spring” football is a misnomer at Air Force), and since I got a couple questions in comments on my last two links, I thought I’d open the floor for everyone.

    Any questions as the Falcons go into the last few months before training camp starts? Post them as a comment on this post, and I’ll answer however many you’ve got.

  • Jon Lee may be most interesting Air Force player in training camp this summer

    Wed, March 21, 2012 by admin with 4 comments

    I heard about tailback Jon Lee’s exploits at the prep school well before he practiced with Air Force (anyone around the program had heard about him; he had a great year there), and then he backed up that hype when he got to the academy. He was impressive in his first training camp. He has a great burst and nice big-play ability. It was understandable he didn’t play much last year – he was a freshman, and for the most part no other tailback played behind durable and productive Asher Clark.

    With Clark gone, I figured Lee would get his shot. He was getting a lot of reps early on in spring because of injuries, but when I asked coach Troy Calhoun about him, the first thing he mentioned was a fumble he had in practice and how much work Lee has to do. On the final day of spring practice, Lee broke a run that was electrifying, making a first defender miss and then getting deep into the secondary. Later on he made outside linebacker Alex Means – possibly the Falcons’ best defensive player – miss on the goal line and plunged into the end zone. That didn’t change Calhoun’s tone either.

    “He’s got a ways to go,” Calhoun said, in a nearly despondent tone.

    I understand coaches don’t want younger players feeling like anything is being handed to them. That’s a core philosophy at Air Force. And I’m sure Lee has a ton to work on with the finer points of the game. But it’ll be interesting to see what happens with him in training camp, when things get serious.

    The Falcons moved Wes Cobb to tailback, which makes sense given the absolute lack of experience and depth at the position. Cobb is a good, reliable runner and will do fine in that role. During August we should get a little better idea whether Cobb will be a Clark-type workhorse, or if the talented Lee – who scored a 49-yard touchdown run on his first career carry – will be given a shot at significant carries when the season begins.

  • Moving Cobb to tailback makes good sense for Air Force

    Tue, March 20, 2012 by admin with 6 comments

    Wes Cobb came to Air Force as a tailback, and was considered a bit small to play fullback but had to move there out of necessity last year. He had a good season at fullback last year, but the logical move for the Falcons was to move him back to tailback.

    Cobb finished spring practice as the team’s top tailback, and that could be the case throughout training camp. Although sophomore Jon Lee is a superb talent, the coaching staff seems determined to bring him along slowly. There is very little depth at tailback, especially after Asher Clark graduated, so Cobb made the switch. The Falcons will be fine at fullback, because Mike DeWitt had a good season backing up Cobb (playing about half the snaps) and Broam Hart and Tyrone Sauls can be capable backups.

    Cobb brings a little more size to the position than other candidates, and Calhoun has always been a fan of Cobb’s reliability.

    “I thought Wes Cobb did a really good job for us at tailback,” Calhoun said.

  • Serratore won’t lie; he’s glad Jaden Schwartz left Colorado College

    Tue, March 20, 2012 by David Ramsey with no comments

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  • Air Force defeats RIT, 4-0, to earn 5th trip to NCAA Tournament in 6 seasons

    Sat, March 17, 2012 by David Ramsey with 9 comments

    Air Force dominated RIT in the Atlantic Hockey Association finals to earn a trip to NCAA Tournament.