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Tag:Air Force
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:32 am
 

Keys to the Game: Notre Dame vs. USC

Posted by Tom Fornelli

NOTRE DAME WILL WIN IF: See if you notice a trend here. In Notre Dame's two losses to start the season, it turned the ball over 10 times. In the four victories since, the Irish have turned the ball over 5 times, including none in the last two games. You think it's a coincidence that the Irish have won those games? I don't. In USC, the Irish will be facing a defense that has forced 10 turnovers on the season and is giving up 23.5 points per game, but gave up 43 points to Arizona State and 41 to Arizona. The Irish offense may be stronger than both of those teams, and as long as Tommy Rees can continue to take care of the football, the Irish should find plenty of success on offense and knock off their hated rivals.

USC WILL WIN IF: The Trojans offense has not been fantastic this season and it's facing a Notre Dame defense that, aside from a couple meaningless fourth quarter touchdowns by Air Force last week, has been very strong over the last month. Much like Notre Dame needs to do, Matt Barkley and the USC offense will have to take care of the ball and use a balanced attack to move the ball down the field and keep Notre Dame's offense off the field. Opposing quarterbacks have completed less than 60% of the passes against the Notre Dame defense, but that unit has also allowed 10 touchdowns through the air and 225 yards per game. So the opportunities will be there for Barkley and Robert Woods, they just need to take advantage of them.

X-FACTOR: Curtis McNeal. While nothing is official yet, after suffering a shoulder injury last weekend, USC's leading rusher Marc Tyler isn't expected to play in this game. Which means McNeal will take over the starting role. He's not as big as Tyler, and while Notre Dame's run defense has been very tough this season, it did give up over 6 yards per carry against Air Force last week. If McNeal can find that kind of room this week and give USC more balance on offense, then the Trojans just might leave South Bend with a victory. 
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Big East will discuss realignment Tuesday

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Big East conference invited media members to join Commissioner John Marinatto on a conference call Tuesday afternoon, the league announced on Monday. The release from the conference office stated the purpose of the call would be to discuss current information on Big East realignment. The call suggests Marinatto has an update regarding their efforts to replace Syracuse and Pittsburgh while pursuing a 12-team model for football.

As previously reported by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, one of the challenges in attracting new members to the Big East has been an apparent lack of commitment by the six remaining football members. One of the highly contested topics reportedly of concern to potential members like Navy, Air Force, or Boise State has been the league's exit fees - currently around $5 million. It is believed that an agreement to increase the exit fees by the current members would display the stability needed to appear attractive to potential members.

On Monday afternoon, The Charleston Gazette reported that West Virginia is expected to vote in favor of raising the exit fees from $5 million to roughly $10 million. If the proposal passes during Monday evening's conference call, Marinatto should have some good news to report to the media on Tuesday. The league needs 11 of the 14 member schools to vote for a hike in fees in order to change the bylaws, and West Virginia's commitment could end up being a crucial piece to keeping the conference together.

The Mountaineers have been mentioned frequently during realignment talks as possible targets for the SEC or Big 12. Louisville, believed to be a candidate for the Big 12 if Missouri departs for the SEC, reportedly may sit out the call. If the Cardinals pull their vote from consideration, West Virginia's vote could end up being decisive in the exit fees proposal.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 14, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 9:25 pm
 

C-USA and MWC to join forces in football

Posted by Tom Fornelli and Bryan Fischer

As CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd reported earlier on Friday, the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA are consolidating into one conference. The reasoning behind it is, as CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported on Friday, the Big East is set to extend invitations to Boise State and Air Force along with Navy and UCF.

Both conferences released a statement about their partnership on Friday night:

The Mountain West Conference and Conference USA have unanimously come to an agreement in principle to consolidate their member football programs into one large association.

Commissioners of the two leagues formulated this creative and innovative plan with the support of the presidents, chancellors and athletics directors. The 12 members of Conference USA and 10 football-playing members of the Mountain West will join forces for this strategic landmark in college football.

“The role of a conference is to provide its members with the best possible environment in which to conduct their intercollegiate athletics programs,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. “Rather than await changes in membership due to realignment, it became clear the best way to serve our institutions was to pursue an original concept. The Mountain West and C-USA share a number of similarities, and the creative merger of our football assets firmly positions our respective members for the future.”

The new conference, for football only, features 22 schools in 16 different states across five time zones (including Hawaii). Both leagues will continue to function as is for all other sports but they will work jointly on governance of the football side, though no specifics were given by either commissioner. The presidents of the member schools authorized Thompson and Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky to sign a memorandum of understanding earlier Friday as the first step in the process of consolidating the football programs.

"We really realized that college athletics is changing so fast and at such a rapid pace, if we're not quick to adapt we might lose some positioning," Banowsky said. "This is a structure that creates all kinds of fun, competitive opportunities. Nobody's ever put together a structure like this."

There is no name for the new venture, one of several details about the league that are still being worked out. The aim is for the conference to be operational by 2012 but they are focusing on 2013 as a more likely start date. Over the next 90 days a working group will explore how feasible it is to start next season but, given the already fluid realignment situation, nothing is assured. Banowsky said that there would likely be a two division model for the first year before moving to a mutli-divisional model down the road. There would be a football championship game no matter what the structure.

Both leaders said they have not had any conversations with the BCS about becoming an automatic qualifier conference and made it a point to say that nothing was guaranteed in terms of the BCS going forward and how it operates. The current agreement runs through the 2013-14 season with conferences reevaluated based on their membership as of December 2011.

"I don't think anyone can really predict what the future of the BCS will be or what it will look like," Banowsky said. "The idea that the BCS would simply be rebooted, as it has been in the past, I think is a significant question mark. From my perspective, this doesn't hang on that at all.

"I don't think anyone has a clear idea of what will happen in 2014," Banowsky said. "Will there even be a BCS? If there is, who will be in what conferences and what conferences will have access? Will there even be an automatic qualification?

"Our conferences will stand up together and speak with a stong voice. We will expect to have our champion recognized at the highest level."

In addition to the sheer size of the conference being an issue, the respective conference television contracts present a sticky situation. Both currently have separate deals with CBS Sports; while CUSA has partnered with Fox Sports and ESPN and the MWC has contracts with Comcast/NBC Sports. The MWC also owns and operates their own cable channel, The Mtn.

"It's all about inventory and it's all about programming" Thompson said. ""Better is better and more is better in the television industry."

"The schools that we're talking about have made significant investments in their football programs," Banowsky said of the new conference's appeal to television partners. "They're here and they're not going anywhere. The champion out of a group of schools like this is a worthy champion from my perspective."

The football only association has several models they've looked at, including as many as 24 teams participating. Adding to the already complicated setup is the fact that some of the current MWC and CUSA schools could be targets of other leagues, specifically the Big East. UCF, Boise State and Air Force leaders participated in the board of directors call early Friday morning and were part of the unanimous recommendation to proceed forward with the idea. Thompson said that the latter two had been in contact with the Big East but did not elaborate.

"Right now today, Friday afternoon, the intention is we start with 22," he said. "One of the beauties of this structure is the flexibility to accommodate additional members."

"We won't try to hold any one back if that's what they believe they want to do," Banowsky said. "As long as they're fair to the other members and they follow the rules, that's ok."

Posted on: October 9, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Air Force AD: Interest 'high' in Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

Following the news of TCU's plans to accept an invitation to join the Big 12, the presidents of the remaining Big East schools participated in a conference call Friday morning to discuss the league's future. Contrary to some reports no official decisions or announcements came from the meeting, but all signs point to the conference extending invitations to membership in the near future.

One of the schools frequently listed as a target for football is Air Force. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported that the conference was targeting Navy and Air Force before Syracuse and Pittsburgh bolted for the ACC. Even with the league now looking at only six football programs moving forward, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh is still interested in the idea of joining the Big East.

"Our interest is high in the Big East. That's fair to say," Mueh told The Denver Post on Saturday. "This stuff is moving fast."

Mueh pointed out that his ideal scenario involves Air Force, Navy and Army all making the move to participating in the Big East for football, but there were no certainties in the discussions. The Falcons were listed by some as a possible target for Big 12 expansion after Texas and Oklahoma announced their intentions to stay in the league. Mueh confirmed on Saturday the school was approached by the Big 12, to which the AD said "no thanks."

"We were approached by the Big 12, and I told them we're not a good fit for that conference. In the Big 12, geography makes sense, the economics make sense, but the recruiting makes no sense for us. I can't recruit against Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State," Mueh explained.

"That's why I turned down the Big 12. I can't do that to my kids, because they'll get beat up. I'd love the extra $12 million or whatever it would be per year from the TV money. And I know how I'd spend the money. I'd build a new soccer stadium, and I'd build a new baseball facility, all in one year. But I can't do that."

Interesting take from the Air Force AD. He also said the Big East "absolutely" wants Army. But there are strong sentiments within the Army community that making the move to Big East conference play may be detrimental to the program in similar ways the Falcons were concerned about the Big East.

Action is expected from the league in the coming weeks regarding football expansion. In addition to the service academies, East Carolina, Central Florida, and Temple have been listed as candidates. The key for the league will be to find a program that fits with the other schools, while still maintaining the football success necessary to retain their automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 8, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 7:30 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Notre Dame 59 Air Force 33

Posted by Tom Fornelli

NOTRE DAME WON. For the first time since a 57-7 victory over Stanford in 2003, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame eclipsed 50 points in a game as the Golden Domers had a rather easy time with Air Force on Saturday afternoon. The Notre Dame offense scored 6 touchdowns on its 6 possessions in the first half, with six different players scoring the touchdowns. Tommy Rees finished the day with 261 yards and 4 touchdowns, and the Notre Dame offense played it's second consecutive game without committing a turnover.

WHY NOTRE DAME WON. Let's all just be happy that the Air Force has jets at its disposal when it's defending the country, because if it were solely up to the Falcons football defense, we'd be pretty vulnerable right now. Yes, Notre Dame's offense looked extremely efficient in this game, totalling 560 yards, but the Air Force defense didn't exactly do much to stop it either.

WHEN NOTRE DAME WON. When Cierre Wood's 8-yard touchdown run gave the Irish 5 touchdowns in its first five drives and expanded the Notre Dame lead to 35-9 it was pretty evident that Air Force wasn't going to be able to get back into this one.

WHAT NOTRE DAME WON. A lot of confidence on offense heading into the annual showdown with rival USC. The Notre Dame offense had been able to put yards on the board all year, but over the last two weeks, not only has Notre Dame picked up yards but it's also scored 97 points and hasn't turned the ball over a single time.

WHAT AIR FORCE LOST. A chance to be one of the many teams that has come into South Bend and upset the Irish the last few seasons. It's not a conference game, so this loss doesn't hurt Air Force in the Mountain West, but this still would have been a nice win for the Falcons.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Notre Dame rushed for 266 yards against Air Force on Saturday, but it's leading rusher was backup quarterback Andrew Hendrix. Yes, the sophomore saw his first action in a Notre Dame uniform on a few plays in the first three quarters, and he took over for Tommy Rees late. He ended the game with 111 yards rushing on 6 carries, including a 78-yard gain that set up Notre Dame's final touchdown of the day.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 4:30 pm
 

PODCAST: College Football Week 5 Review

Posted by Adam Jacobi

After whipping Nebraska Saturday is Wisconsin better than Oklahoma? Does Stanford have enough talent to win a championship? Is Illinois legit? Michigan? Texas? We give our thoughts on the Week Five action. Navy and Air Force played an epic game, Steve Spurrier screwed up, the Big Ten Legends Division is wide open, Washington got a sneaky win this week and Trent Richardson may win the Heisman.

To listen in a pop-out player, click here. Otherwise, hit play below.

Personally, I'd love to see Wisconsin and Oklahoma have it out on the field -- as would I with the Badgers and Boise State, Alabama, LSU, Stanford, you name it. The fact is that Nebraska has not been a very good team at any point this season, and Wisconsin is sufficiently good that it needs a legitimate Top 5 opponent to play before we can accurately figure out where the Badgers stand in the pecking order. They're likely to go undefeated, but then so is whoever wins between Alabama and LSU on November 5, and it wouldn't surprise me if at least two teams out of the trio of Boise State, Oklahoma, and Stanford did too.

Now would be as good a time as any to remind fans that college football has always aggressively opposed the type of playoff system that could help more accurately solve this dilemma, because that's not really what the powers that be have ever been interested in. 

If you enjoyed this podcast -- and let's be honest, you did -- be sure to subscribe to the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast on iTunes. 


Posted on: October 1, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 4:40 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Air Force 35, Navy 34 (OT)


Posted by Chip Patterson

AIR FORCE WON. Eight of the last ten Air Force-Navy games have been decided by a one-score margin. So when Air Force jumped out to a 28-10 lead in the fourth quarter, it seemed as though this annually decisive showdown in the battle for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy might be different. However, Navy scored 18 points in the final 9:34 - including recovering an on sides kick and converting a 2-point attempt - to tie the game and send it to overtime. Navy's failure to convert on the extra point following overtime's first touchdown eventually decided the outcome and Air Force defended the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy with a 35-34 win.

HOW AIR FORCE WON: Falcons' quarterback Tim Jefferson orchestrated three methodical scoring drives in the first half, and the defense held strong against the bruising Navy offensive attack. The Midshipmen dominated the stats, with 466 total yards of offense and more than 40 minutes time of possession, but Air Force came up with enough big plays thanks to Ty MacCurther and Asher Clark.

WHEN AIR FORCE WON: It appeared the Falcons had this game won at several different points, but due to Navy's resilience it wasn't over until the final whistle blew. Jefferson punched in the touchdown for Air Force after Navy missed the extra point on the opening drive of overtime.

WHAT AIR FORCE WON: A great road victory against a very good Navy team.  Blowing that fourth quarter lead would have been a terrible way to head into a big-time matchup next Saturday against Notre Dame in South Bend.  The win also makes the Falcons 32-3 under head coach Troy Calhoun when leading at the start of the fourth quarter.  

WHAT NAVY LOST: Likely a chance to reclaim the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. The Midshipmen held on to the heralded hardware from 2003-2009 before falling to the 14-6 to the Falcons in Colorado Springs a year ago. Terrific comeback though, and memorable game for the series.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Everything? Everything.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 4:41 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 5

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom. 

I respect you all too much to lie to you, so I'll be upfront about the fact that outside of our dinner menu this week, we're a little light on the calories this weekend. Yes, having a matchup between two ranked non-conference opponents to kick things off in the morning is a wonderful way to start you day, but after that, it's kinda thin.

Of course, none of this means you shouldn't eat lunch. Many times the simplest meals turn out to be the best ones of the day. So keep an open eye while perusing this week's Meal Plan.

BREAKFAST

#18 Arkansas vs. #14 Texas A&M (in Dallas) - ESPN 12pm ET

The final meeting between these two schools as non-conference foes, and both teams are coming into the game with a bit of a limp. Texas A&M blew a halftime lead at home against Oklahoma State last weekend, and Arkansas did not enjoy its trip to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama. What better way to move on from a defeat than by beating one of your oldest rivals? It's not often that we're given a matchup like this so early in the morning, so take advantage of it while you can. - Tom Fornelli

#24 Illinois vs. Northwestern - ESPN2 12pm ET

You want points? You're going to get points. Northwestern finally welcomes 2010 dynamo Dan Persa back from his Achilles injury, and the Illinois pass/option attack led by Nathan Scheelhaase has led the Illini to over 32 points a game -- and a 4-0 record. Both teams are looking to make a darkhorse run at their respective Big Ten division crowns, and each would welcome a hard-fought win to begin the conference slate. I know it's an early kickoff, but don't sleep on this game. - Adam Jacobi

Navy vs. Air Force - CBS 12pm ET

Restaurants of all kinds tend to offer "alternative" meals for customers, so think of this matchup of two of our nation's military branches to be our vegan offering of the week. Just replace animal products with passing game, and that's exactly what this is. When these two teams meet it's like looking through a window back in time as both teams employ option attacks. - TF

LUNCH

#10 South Carolina vs. Auburn - CBS 3:30pm ET

Neither team enters this game feeling particularly good about itself, not after the Tigers wheezed their way past an awful FAU team 30-16 and Carolina watched Stephen Garcia throw four hideous interceptions against Vanderbilt. But given Auburn's persistent tackling issues, even Garcia shouldn't be able to keep Marcus Lattimore from racking up another Heisman-type day on the ground. - Jerry Hinnen

Kansas State vs. #15 Baylor - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

I don't think many people saw this game on the schedule at the beginning of the year and envisioned a battle of unbeatens in Manhattan, but that's exactly what we're getting. Even if that weren't the case, this one would still be worthy of your attention for the prospect of seeing Robert Griffin play football for three hours on its own. It's the first time Griffin and Baylor have had to venture outside of Waco this season, so it'll be interesting to see how he performs in hostile territory. - TF

Ohio State vs. Michigan State - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

The Big Ten's night game is going to get all the attention, but this game could prove to be the most ruinous for whoever loses it. Michigan State is reeling after seeing its vaunted offensive attack shut down by Notre Dame's, um, inconsistent defense. Meanwhile, OSU hasn't looked great since Week 2, and if Braxton Miller can't get the Buckeyes moving against the MSU defense, that QB controversy is firing right back up and we haven't seen the last of Joe Bauserman. - AJ

N.C. State vs. #21 Georgia Tech - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

The days of Paul Johnson's offense being defined as "three yards and a cloud of dust" are long gone in Atlanta.  The Rambling Wreck lead the nation in plays of 30 yards or more, and they passed their first conference test putting up 312 rushing yards against North Carolina's touted front seven. N.C. State did not pass their first conference test, allowing 438 yards of total offense against Wake Forest.  The Wolfpack are banged up on defense, and enter the game with only one of their top three running backs (not good for keeping the opposing offense off the field).  But Tom O'Brien's squad had their number a year ago in Atlanta, forcing some turnovers and blocking a punt on the way to a 45-28 win.  Unfortunately for the struggling Wolfpack, the Yellow Jackets remember that game all too well. - Chip Patterson

DINNER

#11 Virginia Tech vs. #13 Clemson - ESPN2 6pm ET

Two undefeated Top 15 ACC foes face off under the lights in Lane Stadium, and both have a lot to prove in this game.  The Hokies haven't been tested by any kind of noteworthy competition, and the development of sophomore quarterback Logan Thomas has taken a bit longer than some expected.  Clemson, on the other hand, is trying to win their third straight game against a ranked opponent - something an ACC member school has never done.  But the Tigers' undefeated record has all come in the comfy confines of Death Valley.  Before anyone anoints Dabo Swinney's squad as contenders, they need to prove themselves on the road.  Chad Morris' offense against Bud Foster's defense.  The young Dabo Swinney against the winningest active coach in the conference.  It's the premiere game in the conference and should live up to the hype.  Make sure you tune in early for a chance to see "Enter Sandman" in action. - CP

Iowa State vs. #17 Texas - FX 7pm ET

Another battle of unbeatens in the Big 12 takes place in Ames on Saturday night. Normally a matchup between Texas and Iowa State wouldn't seem like something you'd want to try, but remember that Iowa State went into Austin last season and beat the Longhorns. So Texas is going to want to return the favor this season, and if either team wants to have any legitimate chance to win the Big 12 this season, then this is one they'll have to win. - TF

#12 Florida vs. #3 Alabama - CBS 8pm ET

Another week, another serious challenge to Alabama's potential national title campaign. And given the environment (as hostile as you'll see in college football this season, most likely), the weaponry on the opponent's defensive line (Ronald Powell, Jaye Howard, Sharrif Floyd, etc.), and the big-play capability represented by Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, the Gators should prove an even more substantial challenge than Arkansas did. But it's going to take the performance of John Brantley's life to keep the Tide from collapsing on Demps and Rainey, and something similar from the Gator back seven to keep Trent Richardson from uncorking another 60-plus-yard game-changing run. Are they up to it? - JH

#7 Wisconsin vs. #8 Nebraska - ABC 8pm ET

Saturday is the day of reckoning for one of the Big Ten's two divisional favorites; Nebraska is ranked eighth, but has not looked like a world-beater in any of its non-conference games, whereas No. 7 Wisconsin has rolled in early play, but against clearly inferior competition. Wisconsin's the only team of the two that's been able to run and pass at will, but with Nebraska's defense at its healthiest all year, it remains to be seen whether the Badgers can move the ball reliably this week. What a great way to finish the first week of Big Ten play. - AJ [Video Preview]

LATE NIGHT SNACK

#6 Stanford vs. UCLA - FSN 10:30pm ET

Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel said earlier in the week that one of the biggest differences between his program and what the Cardinal have been doing is easy: Andrew Luck. No doubt Rick, no doubt. The Heisman front runner should enjoy facing a UCLA defense ranked 98th in the country. This is also Stanford's first game without linebacker Shayne Skov so keep an eye on how they handle UCLA's Pistol offense. - Bryan Fischer [Video Preview]
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com