Before you hit the couch for an evening of carrier-based hoops entertainment, check out the latest edition of “A Game of Honor” from CBS, then get briefed on Saturday’s academy football action (all times Eastern):[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MxlJORZSII[/youtube]
Wyoming (5-3, 2-1 Mountain West Conference) at Air Force (5-4, 1-3 MWC), 2 p.m.
TV: The mtn. (Todd Harris, Todd Christensen; DIRECTV channel 616, check here to find out whether your cable system carries it.)
Not a misprint: Yes, perennial mountain-time-zone doormat Wyoming is above .500 in the MWC. In fact, with TCU on its way to the Big XII and Boise State rumored to be on a geography-bending bullet train to the Big East, the Cowboys are the best team in the conference that actually wants to be in the conference. Much of the credit goes to true freshman quarterback Brett Smith, who ranks second in the conference and 25th in the nation in total offense with more than 270 yards per game.
Defensive test: Air Force shut out its last two opponents, New Mexico and Army, in seven of eight quarters. But Wyoming’s shown offensive fire, racking up 41 and 30 points, respectively, in wins over UNLV and San Diego State last month.
Honoring a legend: A halftime celebration will mark Fisher DeBerry’s entrance into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Army (3-6) vs. Rutgers (6-3, 3-2 Big East) at Yankee Stadium, 3:30 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports (Gary Thorne, Randy Cross)
A nod to history: Here’s a very quick primer on what Yankee Stadium means to the Black Knights football program. Army and Rutgers have never faced off in the Bronx, but the Scarlet Knights did manage a 23-20 neutral-site win last year — an overtime victory at New Meadowlands Stadium.
Another new QB?: NJ.com is reporting that freshman Angel Santiago will start for the Black Knights in place of Max Jenkins, who took every snap in last week’s loss to Air Force. Jenkins replaced Trent Steelman, who is still nursing an ankle injury.
A remarkable recovery: In last year’s game in New Jersey, Rutgers junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Confined to a wheelchair, LeGrand’s rehab has been the subject of many print and TV reports; here’s one that also details his involvement in Saturday’s showdown. For more on LeGrand and a fund set up to support him and his family, go here.
Navy (3-6) at Southern Methodist (6-3,4-2 Conference USA), 3:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Net (Ron Thulin, JC Pearson; check here to see where the game will air in your area)
Sgt. Stripes panic watch: The Military Bowl’s wide-eyed mascot needs Navy to win its last three games for the Midshipmen to be eligible for late-December postseason action at RFK Stadium. SMU is favored to put that plan out of its misery.
Future conference matchup?: Both Navy and SMU have been rumored additions to the new-look Big East, which could include Boise State, Air Force, San Diego State and other traditional East Coast powerhouses.
Scouting report: Navy’s third-ranked rushing offense will be tested by SMU’s 18th-ranked rush defense. And Navy’s defense won’t have it much easier, dealing with a 1,000-yard rusher (Zach Line) and a 2,500-yard passer (J.J. McDermott). And you don’t see offensive linemen on the stat sheet very often, but Navy Guard John Dowd’s 3.91 GPA deserves at least a mention.