Jim's Blog

ARMY

Army comes to Colorado Springs Saturday to face the Air Force Football team at 130 on 740 KVOR. The largest crowd of the year will gather to watch the Falcons try and end a 2 game losing streak against the Black Knights. Regardless of the outcome the Falcons won’t win the Commander In Chiefs Trophy this year, and for Army, even if they lose Saturday,  they can retain the trophy by beating Navy in early December. However, that does not mean this game has no significance. While the programs respect each other, they do not like each other. I’ve always sensed there’s a bit more hatred in this rivalry than there is against Navy. Army is the oldest of the service academies, Air Force the youngest. But up until the last few years it’s always been the Falcons dominating the Black Knights. That changed when Jeff Monken came on board. To his credit he has made this game more relevant to Army supporters. He is a fiery head coach, and his team plays with aggression and passion, and with that came success. Army has won the last 2 C-I-C trophies. The first of those trophies came in 2017 when Army rolled into Falcon Stadium and shut out Air Force 21-0. Even though that was 2 years ago the Falcons still remember that game as they do last years’ contest at West Point when the Black Knights stopped the Falcons on 4th down to preserve a 17-14 win. Army has to win 4 of 5 to go to a bowl. Air Force will go bowling somewhere this season. So even though the C-I-C trophy fades to the background Saturday, this game still means a lot to both teams. At the end of the day both squads will come together as the respective alma maters play. Air Force is hoping to sing second.

 

Air Force and Army-Saturday November 2nd at 130 on 740 KVOR.

A PLEASANT DILEMMA

“Who’s your Quarterback?” Football coaches hate that question. They hate talking about quarterbacks, they hate even having to think about the topic. But it confronts head coach Troy Calhoun and the Falcons this week as they play Utah State Saturday night at 815 on 740 KVOR. His starter Donald Hammond went down with an upper arm or shoulder injury on the first drive of the game against Hawaii. Backup Isaiah Sanders did not make the trip as he tries to come back from a leg injury, so Mike Schmidt, who had just a handful of snaps in his 3 plus years went in . All he did was light up the Rainbow Warriors with 147 yards and a touchdown pass and 120 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. He was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week. So, if Hammond is healthy, who do you start? I think it’s an easy decision. If Hammond is good to go, it’s Hammond. He has played well and the Falcons have played well behind him. If he’s less than 100% I give the ball to Mike Schmidt. I think Isaiah Sander still probably needs to knock some rust off, so Schmidt would get the call if Hammond can’t go. And yes, it’s a huge game for Air Force. Win, and they are bowl eligible, and also exceed last year’s win total. It also keeps them in the hunt for the division title if Boise State slips. As much as Calhoun (or any head coach) hates talking about quarterback controversies, there’s a comfort in knowing you have guys behind the starter who can get things done. Air Force may need more Michael Schmidt magic Saturday against Utah State, if Hammond can’t go.

Air Force and Utah State, Saturday night at 815 on 740 KVOR.

PARADISE, OR DANGER

Don’t be fooled by the ocean, the warm temperatures, bikinis, the beach or anything else in Hawaii. Saturdays AF Football game against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors is fraught with danger. (Love that phrase) It’s never an easy trip to begin with because it’s so far away. You get there and paradise smacks you right in the face and sometimes you forget why you are there. Add to all that, the Rainbow Warriors are a good football team with a tough offense, the run and shoot, to defend. That’s a lot to worry about Saturday at 9pm. The Falcons would love to control Saturday’s game like they did against Fresno State. The Bulldogs had the ball for less than 6 minutes in the second half…6 minutes. And Air Force had the ball for the final 11 minutes 14 seconds of the game. Hawaii’s offense can’t hurt you if they’re not on the field. And the Rainbow Warrior defense has been up and down this year. They’ve given up 38 or more points in 3 games this year, including Boise State hanging 57 on the ‘bows last week. That being said, Hawaii’s offense threw up 54 points at Nevada and 45 points vs Arizona. To complicate matters AF Cornerback Tre Bugg and Safety Jeremy Fedjelem did not play last week because of injuries, and both may not play Saturday. Sure, go to Hawaii they said, it will be fun, its beautiful over there..have some pineapple, and a drink with an umbrella in it. That’s what they want you to think. This is not a vacation, and the Falcons know it. It’s a business trip and Air Force has to play like it Saturday.

 

Listen to our coverage of Air Force football Saturday. The pregame begins at 7p and the kickoff is at 9pm on 740 KVOR.

TURBULENT AIR AHEAD?

Saturdays Air Force game vs Fresno State is the start of a difficult 4 game stretch (5, if you count last week) of games that could set the tone for the rest of the season. At 3-2 the Falcons are still in the hunt for the division title, although technically 2 games back of Boise State, and with 3 wins they are halfway home to bowl eligibility.  But, starting Saturday with the Bulldogs, it’s a string of games that could all come down to the 4th quarter, or who has the ball last. It’s a tough test for the Falcons, who were demoralized after last weeks loss to Navy. To come back and lead with 3 plus minutes left, only to have the Midshipmen rally (for the second consecutive home game vs the Falcons) and win late, stunned the Falcons.  Now you follow that up with the defending conference champions. And although the Bulldogs are not the same team they were a year ago, they are dynamic on offense, and have plenty of veterans on defense who have seen a lot off success the last 2 years. Then it’s a trip to Hawaii to tackle the Rainbow Warriors, who can be an offensive juggernaut and greatly improved.  Then you’re back home against an excellent Utah State team, and you open November at home against Army. All winnable games, and at the same time all dangerous games. Troy Calhoun knows this and has talked to his team about how difficult this run of games will be. Air Force is also dealing with a number of injuries which could make the next month even tougher. The Falcons need to play smart, and bold. 2-2 over the next month puts you a game away from bowl eligibility.  Anything less and a once promising season has the potential to jump off the rails

 

Listen to Air Force and Fresno State, Saturday at 5 on 740 KVOR.

Navy

A cold and empty display case stands somewhere in Clune Arena and in Annapolis Maryland. For years it housed the Commander In Chiefs Trophy, emblematic of college football supremacy among Air Force, Army and Navy. The Falcons have not had that trophy since 2016, Navy since 2015.  The Falcons have won the trophy 20 times in the annual service academy round robin. Will this be the year they recapture it? Many hardcore Air Force fans say this is the #1 priority the program should have. Others feel more emphasis should be placed on chasing after division titles and conference championships. For Air Force players, it depends on who you talk to. One told me this game, along with Army, and this year, CU, has been circled on the calendar. Heck, one year, after the Falcons beat Navy and went to West Point and knocked off Army to reclaim the title, they re-directed their equipment truck down to Annapolis to grab the trophy and bring it to Colorado Springs. 3 days later Head Coach Troy Calhoun had it placed in a golf cart and drove it on to the practice field, and stopped practice so his players could come over and relish the victory. In an era of rankings and college football playoffs and division crowns, this trophy means something to 3 schools and to its many fans. Some teams will actually bring that empty display case into the locker room so the players will be constantly reminded of the goal.  Now that Army Football has started winning again, the competition for this piece of hardware is as fierce as ever. So when another near record crowd shows up at Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium Saturday (5 of the 7 largest crowds in Annapolis have been for the Air Force Game) you’ll understand, if you don’t already,  that this trophy means something. Neither team has it now, it’s up at West Point. For Saturday’s winner, it’s a chance to bring the hardware home with a win later in the year over Army.  For the loser, there’s still more games to play, and titles to contend for, and maybe a bowl berth at the end of the year. But it also means an empty display case for another year.

 

Air Force and Navy Saturday October 5th. Kickoff at 1:30pm on 740 KVOR.

A PLEASANT DILEMMA

“Who’s your Quarterback?” Football coaches hate that question. They hate talking about quarterbacks, they hate even having to think about the topic. But it confronts head coach Troy Calhoun and the Falcons this week as they play Utah State Saturday night at 815 on 740 KVOR. His starter Donald Hammond went down with an upper…MORE

PARADISE, OR DANGER

Don’t be fooled by the ocean, the warm temperatures, bikinis, the beach or anything else in Hawaii. Saturdays AF Football game against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors is fraught with danger. (Love that phrase) It’s never an easy trip to begin with because it’s so far away. You get there and paradise smacks you right in…MORE

TURBULENT AIR AHEAD?

Saturdays Air Force game vs Fresno State is the start of a difficult 4 game stretch (5, if you count last week) of games that could set the tone for the rest of the season. At 3-2 the Falcons are still in the hunt for the division title, although technically 2 games back of Boise…MORE

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