Air Force Football 2022: Predicting the Falcons Win Total
How many Win’s are on the 2022 Schedule?
We are officially within striking distance of the start of the 2022 college football season! While Air Force isn’t participating in the Week 0 festivities, a quarter of future Falcon opponents are on Saturday’s slate. If you want to do some early studying of the competition; Wyoming, Utah State, UNLV and Nevada will all be in action this weekend.
In addition those teams in action this weekend, there are a number of very difficult matchups awaiting Air Force on the schedule. Interestingly enough, Air Force is one of only six teams favored in every game this season. If you missed it, we took a closer look at this phenomena here.
It’s safe to say that word is out; Air Force is good. In fact, the Falcons could be down right special this season. But even a very good team would have to be accompanied by a lot of fortune to navigate such a schedule unblemished. As we mentioned, the reality of an undefeated season is not out of the realm of possibility, but let’s pump the breaks on those expectations for a moment and take a closer look at who awaits Troy Calhoun’s current crop of cadets.
Air Force’s 2022 football schedule released by Mountain West https://t.co/N6FZSKV6W3
— Air Force Football (@AF_Football) February 16, 2022
How’s the Schedule Shape Up?
The grind of an entire college football season is filled with twists and turns. There are always going to be surprise teams, like the Utah State Aggies of last year. Just as there are the conference stalwarts like San Diego State and Boise State. All three of which are on this years Air Force schedule, and all three are going to require masterful performances to win.
Then there are the regular out of conference matchups with Army and Navy which, by the way, are routinely the most physical and emotionally invested games on the calendar. Army in particular has been nothing short of a regularly appointed fist fight. Unfortunately for Air Force, it’s a fight they’ve struggled in of late. We don’t need to recount the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy drought, which has been ongoing since 2016 as evidence of the challenge this round robin poses.
We could go on with hyperbole laden rhetoric about nearly every game on the schedule, but you get the gist of it, this is a difficult slate.
The Floor (8-4), Ceiling (11-1) and Somewhere in Between (9-3)
Outside of games against Northern Iowa, UNLV and New Mexico, there aren’t any other games on this schedule that would be completely shocking if Air Force were to lose. Sitting here today, the Falcons will be favored and should win their matchups with Wyoming, Colorado, Navy, Nevada and Colorado State. But again, those teams will likely be formidable opponents. Of this eight team collective, Air Force should win at least seven.
As suggested earlier, the mettle of Air Force is really going to be tested against Army, Utah State, Boise State and San Diego State. While it’s been literally over a decade since the Falcons have beaten the Aztecs, it feels like it’s been just as long since they’ve bested Army. This 2022 Air Force team should split these four, winning two.
If your doing the math as we truck along here, were talking about an Air Force team that should be expected to win nine games. The regression from that expectation to what this team’s absolute floor for the season is marginal. There is nothing short of a disaster that should keep this roster and staff from winning eight games at minimum.
Now the ceiling. I know they are favored in every game here in the pre-season. The reality is, they COULD beat any team on this schedule. But a more realistic ceiling is going to have them sitting at 11-1. That stretch of opponents between Army, Utah State, Boise State and San Diego State is daunting.
When you are talking about an 11 win ceiling, or an eight win floor, you are talking about a good football team. In this year’s Air Force football team, your talking about a group that could win the Mountain West Conference and legitimately push for that New Years Six Bowl invite if the cards fall just right.
I fully expect this team to deliver another very good season. With the teams on the calendar, the 9-3 regular season record that I believe will result is an accomplishment. That record still leaves both Division and thus Conference Title aspirations alive. But this team could be really special, let’s see if they can be circa 1998 Air Force special.