Saw through a heads up from Militarytimes.com (and the Gazette’s Angie DiSalvo) that the New York Times ranked Air Force at No. 48 on its blog, The Quad – although that preview was done by Pre-Snap Read, who also had Air Force at the same spot. Still, if the New York Times puts its stamp on it, we’ll go with it. And prepare to shake your head at this one: The Orlando Sentinel has Army 44th overall, and MilitaryTimes.com says that’s higher than Tennessee, Michigan, Clemson and Notre Dame. The Black Knights return a lot of starters, but that still seems high.
Just picked up Phil Steele’s annual work of art, his 328-page college football preview (if you’ve never read it, you’re missing out. Only Blue Ribbon does more extensive work … and lucky for you, Blue Ribbon’s Air Force preview is free on ESPN.com). Steele watches an insane amount of games and has great statistical models, which make his work compelling and authentic. He has Air Force as the 47th best team in the nation (Navy is 48th … Army not in the top 52, although Steele rights they have a great shot at a bowl). Steele’s top four in the Mountain West conference are TCU, Utah, BYU and Air Force. Cornerback Anthony Wright is the only Falcon on his All-MWC first team, with fullback Jared Tew (ranked 7th nationally by Steele among all fullbacks in the nation), defensive lineman Rick Ricketts, cornerback Reggie Rembert and kicker Erik Soderberg on the second team.
Can’t wait for the Mountain West to release its preseason poll and preseason All-MWC teams this week at the media days. As a reminder, Jake and I will be filling up the blog on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I’ll be tweeting live (Twitter @GazetteAirForce) any bit of information from Troy Calhoun, the conference’s other coaches and the players there. Should be plenty to talk about.