Army took a step back last year, failing to follow up a triumphant 11-2 run in 2018 by posting a 5-8 mark. Jeff Monken, once one of the hottest names on the coaching carousel rumor mill, has seen his Q score drop off slightly. This may ultimately be a good thing for the Black Knights as they've prospered under his tutelage and erased what was a wide, insufferable gulf between the competency of football played down in Annapolis and the brand played on the Western bank of the Hudson.
With no conference to make the decision about the safety and viability of conducting business this fall, Army took it upon themselves to cobble together an independent schedule at the Eleventh Hour. And it is truly amazing. Feast yourself upon what lies ahead for the option-attack enthusiasts.
Your eyes do not deceive you. That's eight home games to just two road affairs. Then the season-ender against the Midshipmen to be played a neutral field (Wichita?) to be named at a later date. They all appear quite winnable. One simply does not clear security protocol, survey the gorgeous fall foliage surrounding Michie Stadium and push the cadets around. No sir. Not anymore.
If Army can get by BYU and Air Force — again, both at home — it could set up a scenario where they go into rivalry week undefeated. This is certainly a thing that could happen. Now, considering how weak of a schedule this is on balance, there's no reason to think the Knights will even be mentioned in any type of playoff contention but still. It'd be cool.
The entirety of the year feels like someone said that, if they wanted to, the troops could get together and recreate a situation that felt ripped out of the record books. Perhaps this is all an homage to the 1916 campaign that saw Army go 9-0 under coach Charles Daly. For those of us who forgot the stories grandpa used to tell us, here's how it all went down.
The time is now to prepare in all three stages of the game — the mental, physical, and emotional — for a blemish-free Army team coming down the stretch of college football's oddest year since, well, 2007. It could happen and those who don't plan ahead for the possibility will be jarred and scarred.