Expectations skyrocketed after Army beat Vanderbilt in overtime Oct. 10. While its football program doesn’t equate to the Floridas and the Alabamas, Vanderbilt is still a member of the Southeastern Conference, and following a win over the Commodores, realistic bowl talk popped up in discussions amongst West Pointers for the first time in years.
The Black Knights haven’t played in a bowl game since it lost to Auburn in the 1996 Liberty Bowl. Unfortunately the equation to earn a bowl bid this year got tougher after wasting a golden opportunity this Saturday in Philadelphia against a beatable Temple Owls team.
Army needs six wins to earn an invitation. The team entered Lincoln Financial Field with three wins, which has actually been their win total for the past three seasons. Five games remain and if the Black Knights want to still be playing football this holiday season, they are going to need to find three more W’s before the season ends Dec. 12 against Navy.
Here’s a rundown after the jump of Army’s remaining schedule and where its best hopes to earn those three wins remain.
Granted, Temple was considered one of those games Army could have won. Temple entered the game on a three game win streak, but those wins came against some of the bottom dwellers of Div. 1. (Note: This blog will remain old school and use the Div. 1 and Div. 1AA titles for each division that we’ve all grown up with.)
Oct. 23 Rutgers – The Friday night game against a Big East opponent in Michie Stadium was expected to be a loss earlier this season, but after the win against Vanderbilt, some think the Black Knights could surprise a Rutgers team that hasn’t been all that impressive this year.
Nov. 7 @ Air Force – Looks to be the toughest game remaining on the schedule. Army last beat the Zoomies in 2005 up in Colorado Springs, Col., which was also their last win the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy series. Air Force has already played Navy and the No. 10 TCU Horned Frogs tough.
Nov. 14 Virginia Military Institute – A must win for the Black Knights. They can’t afford to lose to the Div-1AA team who lost last week to Stony Brook.
Nov. 21 @ North Texas – Another must win. If the Black Knights have any hope of earning a bowl bid, they must beat VMI and North Texas.
Dec. 12 vs. Navy – A bowl bid won’t be on the minds of the Black Knights for this game. The team would gladly trade away a bowl bid for a victory over a Midshipmen team who has beaten them seven straight years. In fact, this season would be considered a resounding success if they lose the rest of their games, but win this one. However, a bowl bid to go with a Navy victory would be the perfect cherry on top of the sundae.