• Heading to Africa, taking a break from the blog life; will return Aug. 5

    Tue, July 12, 2011 by David Ramsey with 4 comments

    Heading to the southern African country of Zambia for three weeks of working and, I hope, a little relaxing. Will be working with a 220-member medical team that will offer treatment and comfort to 18,000 Zambians. This will be my third trip to Africa to work alongside my friends in the Zambian Medical Mission.

    I’ll be traveling with nine other Springs-area workers. And I’ll be writing about our adventures in upcoming Gazette stories. Will tell you more when I return to this space Aug. 5.

    If you’re a criminal who is reading this and thinking about breaking into my house while I’m gone, please be advised that my college-age sons will be in the basement, playing video games. They are peaceful young men, but will be exceedingly unhappy if you disturb them while they play Madden.

    Talk with you soon.

  • My pick for Air Force’s football sleeper of 2011: Mikel Hunter

    Thu, July 7, 2011 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    Been a lot of talk about Air Force making a vault this season in football.

    Receiver Mikel Hunter could be one of the players to help the Falcons make the leap.

    Hunter gained 172 yards on 12 runs last season and caught five passes for 106 yards. He was a bit player.

    He could become more – much more – this season. He’s one of Air Force’s fastest players, and he could deliver the deep-ball threat Air Force lacked last seaason.

    I’m on Twitter. Hope you’ll join me: @davidramz

  • Can Air Force topple TCU’s Horned Frogs Sept. 10? (Yes)

    Wed, July 6, 2011 by David Ramsey with 5 comments

    Last season, I got in trouble with a few dozen devout Air Force football fans when I said the Falcons had no chance to upset TCU in Fort Worth.

    This was the truth, but that didn’t matter to the AFA faithful, who filled my e-mail box with messages of rage.

    TCU won, 38-7, by the way. Air Force never had a chance.

    But this season could be different. The Horned Frogs travel to Falcon Stadium, and they arrive early. TCU coach Gary Patterson is already complaining about getting his team ready to play Air Force Sept. 10.

    Last season, the Horned Frogs were the best college football team in the land. This season, they won’t be. The powerhouse has been drained by graduation. Quarterback Andy Dalton (who TCU fans believe is a combination/second coming of Roger Staubach and Joe Montana) is gone along with the core of the nation’s best defense.

    TCU will again be mighty, just not as mighty. And it could take time for the Horned Frogs to gain full strength.

    Air Force has a chance – a strong chance – at an upset if the Falcons can put pressure on Casey Pachall, who is expected to succeed Dalton as Horned Frogs quarterback. Pachall will  still be learning Patterson’s complex offense, and he could get rattled. I’d suggest Air Force send Jon Davis on a  blitz on the game’s second or third play.

    A win over the Horned Frogs would serve as the perfect stimulus for a special Air Force season. In 2007, Air Force shocked the Horned Frogs with a 20-17 overtime victory. The Falcons got more than a little lucky that night, but all that matters now is the score.

    The 2007 TCU victory lifted the Falcon program out of the dumps and started one of the most surprising seasons in AFA sports history.

    Is an Air Force upset over TCU probable?

    No.

    But it is highly possible.

    I’m on Twitter. Hope you’ll join me: @davidramz

  • Can Jon Embree revive the Buffs? Hawkins downfall leads to doubts

    Fri, July 1, 2011 by David Ramsey with 1 comment

    Dan Hawkins won 45 of his final 52 games at Boise State. When he arrived at the University of Colorado, he was the ideal choice. CU officials could not have found a more talented, more promising candidate.

    And we all  know how the Hawkins saga turned out.

    Nothing happened to Hawkins as a coach. He didn’t magically turn from a master of his trade to a bumbling idiot. He did travel from a school that has taken the required steps to sustain a football winner to a school that has not taken those required steps.

    Which leads me to this question:

    Is first-year Buffs coach Jon Embree doomed?

    He has an impressive resume. As a player he helped lift the Buffs from the bottom of the college football world to respectability. He’s a powerful, witty communicator. He understands there’s a reason why student comes before athlete.

    But can he pull this off?

    I don’t doubt his skills. I didn’t doubt Hawkins, either. This is not an easy job.

    Why will it be different for Embree? Why does he believe he can win?

    I asked him Wednesday.

    “Because I know me,” he said. “Because I know the coaching staff that I have. Because  I believe in those players. They’ve made unbelievable changes in habits on their own, and that gives them a chance.

    “I’m not guaranteeing anything, but you going to see a team that is going to fight and compete.”

    Let’s hope so. I’m rooting for Embree. I always root for those who battle seemingly insurmountable odds.

    I’m on Twitter. Hope you’ll join me: @davidramz