Can the Falcons earn a bowl bid?
Turning things around in 2019
Since taking over for coaching legend Fisher DeBerry, current Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun has quietly put together an impressive resume. One of the hallmarks of a great coach is the ability to deliver results, consistently.
This is no small task for most mid-major programs, much less the Military schools. The Air Force Academy has found themselves spoiled with the overall success achieved since the early 1980’s.
Coach Calhoun finds himself in uncharted waters now though. The Falcons are coming off of back-to-back seasons which they failed to earn Bowl invitations. For perspective, since he took over the head coaching duties in 2007, Troy Calhoun only missed the Bowl season once prior to the past two seasons.
Admittedly, qualifying for a Bowl bid is at best, third in rank of priorities for Air Force. Graduating Officers has been the open and overwhelming priority, and just behind that is winning the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy. But don’t get it twisted, this team wants to be playing come Bowl season. This year. Last year. Every year.
Flight Pattern to Bowl Eligibility
Air Force may have only won five games respectively each of the last two seasons, but it’s how they lost that can shed light to success in 2019. The Falcon teams of past who have been more successful simply won more close games.
In 2018, they lost five games by a single score or less (and none by more than 10 points). These aren’t excuses, this is a warning. This team is returning a lot of players- a lot of very good players. So Mountain West teams be prepared, because this year has all the build of the Falcon’s 2014 campaign.
Getting Bowl eligible this year? It’s pretty simple; win the games you should, and steal the close ones that you use to.
This should not be so much of a declaration of how Air Force can become Bowl eligible in 2019, because this should be an expectation. In fact a Bowl bid paired with seven wins should be this teams floor. Yes, I am optimistic, but it’s because the Falcons have forced my hand.
This biggest question is, how can they secure double digit wins? Troy Calhoun said this is the most difficult schedule that the Academy has ever faced. Whether that holds true remains to be seen, but there is no doubt this seasons schedule has a very difficult stretch.
Between September 14th and November 2nd, the schedule is brutal, even with a match against San Jose State sprinkled in there. And if Air Force is to make that 10 wins or more plateau, they will have had to really earn in.
So in my eyes, and I believe the minds of those on the team, Bowl Eligibility is just a step in the process for this years Air Force team. There are enough ‘should wins’ in there to ensure a Bowl game. It will be a nice reward to enjoy come December, but I think there is more to this years Falcons than just a Bowl bid.