• Will Air Force Go Bowling in 2010?

    Tue, May 18, 2010 by admin with no comments

    ESPN.com’s Graham Watson says “count on it.”

    Here’s Graham’s early look at the Mountain West Conference’s 2010 bowl picture.

  • No Break for The BlogDog

    Wed, December 30, 2009 by admin with 5 comments

    The BlogDog thought he’d get some time off while I was on paternity leave.

    Fat chance.

    I’m disposable. The BlogDog is not.

    So for the last several days he’s been studying stats and reading the Armed Forces Bowl coverage provided by Gazette columnist David Ramsey from Fort Worth.

    Anyway, as he was going over the key matchups in tomorrow’s Air Force-Houston game, I realized The BlogDog has several things in common with Air Force coach Troy Calhoun.

    Like Calhoun, The BlogDog has a close-to photographic memory.

    Like Calhoun, The BlogDog has earned national recognition and accolades for his performance the last three seasons.

    And, like Calhoun, The BlogDog still is searching for his first bowl victory.

    The BlogDog misfired on his predictions for the last two Armed Forces Bowls, taking Air Force to defeat Cal in 2007 and then Houston in 2008. The Falcons lost both games.

    This year, either Calhoun’s or The BlogDog’s streak of futility will end. If The BlogDog’s streak ends, he’ll continue another streak. He nailed six straight picks to end the regular season and salvage a third straight season with at least eight correct predictions.

    Getting back to Norm’s memory, he must still remember what BYU and Max Hall did to the Air Force defense because he’s picking the Cougars to rack up some points on the Falcons.

    Happy New Year to all.

    Norm’s Pick: Houston 37, Air Force 21
    Norm’s 2009 Season Record: 8-4
    Norm’s Overall Record: 25-13

  • Ramsey from Fort Worth

    Mon, December 28, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Just a reminder to check out Gazette columnist David Ramsey’s blog (http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com) for updates from Fort Worth as Air Force prepares to face Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl.

    Ramsey will have posts from bowl practices and other observations. Currently on his blog is an excellent retrospective look at the standout 2007 squad and how much the seniors on that team meant to its success.

    By the way, The BlogDog will be making a pick for the game against Houston. He’s hit six in a row, so he can’t take a break even if I can.

  • Sunday Morning Links

    Sun, December 20, 2009 by admin with no comments

    The Air Force men’s basketball team fell to 5-4 last night with a 60-52 loss to Northern Arizona. My notes, which deal in part with Derek Brooks’ return and the Falcons’ injuries, can be found at this link. My “Rapid Reaction” from last night is in the post below.

    Switching to football, Wyoming staged a comeback to force overtime in yesterday’s New Mexico Bowl and then defeated Fresno State in two overtimes.

    Much has been made of Air Force potentially breaking into the top three in the Mountain West Conference. That should be a goal. But for the Falcons, holding off the teams that have finished below them in coach Troy Calhoun’s first three seasons is going to become a greater and greater challenge. Dave Christensen is going to get it going at Wyoming, I think, and Brady Hoke’s going to do the same at San Diego State. And I don’t see Colorado State finishing in last place again.

  • Friday Morning Links

    Fri, December 18, 2009 by admin with no comments

    Wrote a short hoops story for today’s edition of The Gazette about Air Force senior forward/center Mike McLain.

    McLain has put together two straight solid games after struggling early in the season and making a team-high 20 turnovers in the Falcons’ first six games. He brings energy, effort and defense to the Falcons, but he’d like to hit some more 3s. He’s 4-of-20 from distance but shoots the ball much better in practice.

    McLain shed weight during the summer (going from about 243 to about 216 now) because he expected to play more on the wing with sophomore Sammy Schafer presumably taking over the starting center spot and freshman Taylor Broekhuis backing him up there. But when both went down with injuries, McLain moved back to center. (And he’ll likely stay there for the foreseeable future, as Schafer likely will be sidelined for a while – and perhaps longer).

    Despite his weight loss, McLain didn’t lose much strength. He mostly cut down on body fat, and coach Jeff Reynolds said McLain is the Falcons’ best defensive post player.

    Switching to football, Stewart Mandel of SI.com predicted the results of each bowl game, including the Armed Forces Bowl.

  • Forde Likes Cougars

    Thu, December 17, 2009 by admin with no comments

    ESPN.com columnist (and Air Academy grad) Pat Forde breaks down and picks the winner of all the bowl games. He likes Houston to edge Air Force.

  • Friday Football Odds and Ends

    Fri, December 11, 2009 by admin with 5 comments

    Some football notes for a Friday …

    -Air Force returned to practice today and began installing its game plan for the Armed Forces Bowl.

    The Falcons will face Houston on Dec. 31 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

    Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said his team actually started working a bit on Houston last Saturday in anticipation that the Cougars would be their bowl opponent.

    “We thought it was a little bit of a coin flip,” Calhoun said.

    Calhoun said right now the Falcons have “too much” installed at this point and will “pare it down” once the coaches figure out what schemes they think will work best and which ones the Falcons can best execute.

    -Sophomore quarterback Tim Jefferson practiced and, like last weekend, showed no ill effects of the bruised ribs he suffered in the Falcons’ season finale at BYU on Nov. 21.

    -Sophomore quarterback Connor Dietz, who missed the Falcons’ last four regular season games with a broken bone in his right (throwing) hand, was at practice without a cast on the hand. He didn’t participate in full-speed drills but did some throwing on the side.

    “He’s coming along,” Calhoun said.

    When asked what Dietz had to show him in practice to be considered ready to play in the bowl, Calhoun said: “Just practice consistently. Be firm enough in practice and fast enough and be able to handle the ball consistently enough. If he can get to that point, then, yeah, you’d consider it, but he’s got to be to that point. But he’s still got a little time too.”

    -Freshman outside linebacker Alex Means (foot) will not play in the bowl. “We just want to make sure he can do all of his work in the winter in the weight room and then be able to go through spring ball,” Calhoun said. “He’s a guy that really, really needs spring ball.”

    -Junior slot receiver Kyle Halderman (knee) still is questionable for the bowl game.

    -I mean, I guess the No. 1 pass offense vs. No. 1 pass defense matchup makes the Armed Forces Bowl fairly intriguing. But this intriguing? Pete Fiutak of FoxSports.com ranks the bowls from worst to first. And you won’t believe where he has Air Force-Houston. (Note: He does write that Air Force beat Houston last season in the Armed Forces Bowl).

    -Coming tomorrow: My Heisman ballot.

  • Where Does this Year’s Armed Forces Bowl Rank Among the 34 Bowls?

    Tue, December 8, 2009 by admin with 4 comments

    ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach ranked the college football bowl games from 1 to 34, and SI.com’s Stewart Mandel did the same. They have differing opinions on the Armed Forces Bowl.

  • Tuesday Morning Links

    Tue, December 8, 2009 by admin with 1 comment

    Air Force’s athletic department finished in the red for the second straight year – but not by much, in relative terms. I write about the recently completed fiscal year and the department starting its transition to a nonprofit corporation in this article.

    Also, the Air Force men’s basketball team returns home to Clune Arena tonight to face Prairie View A&M. I’ve got 3 Things to Watch in the game as well as a story on promising freshman guard Michael Lyons.

    Finally, I really enjoyed this column about the BCS in The Washington Post by John Feinstein. He makes a great point about what the BCS did to TCU and Boise State.

  • Jake’s and David’s Arguments: Topic 2, Part 2

    Tue, December 8, 2009 by admin with 3 comments

    (This is Jake’s response to Gazette columnist David Ramsey’s blog about why the BCS actually did TCU a favor by putting it in the Fiesta Bowl rather than the national title game. You can see Ramsey’s entry here).

    You’re right, Ramsey. You’re absolutely right.

    TCU would have had no chance in the national title game against top-ranked Alabama – the team that needed a late touchdown drive to topple mighty Auburn two weeks ago and earlier in the season escaped Tennessee, 12-10, only after blocking a pair of field goals.

    It’s too bad we can’t go back in time and save the New York Giants the embarrassment against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl two years ago. Or keep James Buster Douglas protected from a vicious first-round knockout by Mike Tyson. Or, more recently, relieve last year’s Utah squad of its death sentence against the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.

    The greatest thing about sports is there isn’t any such thing as a sure thing.

    Would Alabama be an overwhelming favorite to beat TCU? Sure. But ‘Bama’s going to be an overwhelming favorite to beat Texas. And what how much more has Texas done to deserve a national title shot than TCU? I look at both teams’ schedules and I can’t tell you.

    TCU deserves the chance to pull an upset – at least as much as Texas. Or Cincinnati. Or Boise State.

    And, sure, there’s a great chance that the Tide would roll. I wouldn’t bet against it. But then at least the Horned Frogs would know where they stood. Instead of always wondering.

    (Thanks for the condolences about the Skins. I knew they’d blow it. Maybe there are some sure things in sports!)