Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Notes: Week 12

IT GETS LATE EARLY OUT HERE

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is just five weeks (35 days) away. The 15th anniversary game will be played Saturday, Dec. 23. The participating teams will arrive in Fort Worth on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Army West Point was the first team in the nation to accept a bowl bid. Army will find out its opponent on Sunday, Dec. 3.

 

WHEN YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT

Army is riding a current six-game winning streak, which is the longest for the Black Knights since 1996. Dating back to last season, Army is 11-2 in its last 13 games. The Black Knights went from losing seven games by seven points or less in 2015 to winning six of their last seven games decided by a touchdown or less since the start of the 2016 season.

 

IT’S LIKE DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

Army will visit North Texas on Saturday night in Denton, Texas. The two teams are meeting for the third time in 14 months after playing in October of 2016 as well as in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl last December. The teams split last year’s games, with the Mean Green winning at Army, and then the Black Knights claiming an overtime win in the bowl game.

 

THE FUTURE AIN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE

For the third time in 2017, the Army Black Knights will face a Conference USA team from the state of Texas when the squad plays North Texas late Saturday afternoon. In addition, Army could face a C-USA squad in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, meaning that four of its 13 games could be versus C-USA teams (and all against Texas schools and/or played in the Lone Star State).

 

IF YOU CAN’T IMITATE HIM, DON’T COPY HIM

Army West Point coach Jeff Monken and UAB coach Bill Clark have been announced as semifinalists for the 2017 George Munger Award by the Maxwell Football Club for national coach of the year. The list includes a field of 16 candidates for the award who have been selected by the MFC National Selection Committee. Monken’s Black Knights are 8-2, while Clark has UAB at 7-3 in the Blazers’ return to football.

 

NOBODY COMES HERE ANYMORE, IT’S TOO CROWDED

After WKU’s overtime win on Friday night, the Conference USA bowl picture is crowded, as half of the 14 teams are bowl eligible. Four teams (Florida Atlantic, Marshall, North Texas and UAB) all stand at 7-3. Teams with six wins include FIU, Southern Miss and WKU. Four more schools--UTSA (5-4), Middle Tennessee (5-6), Louisiana Tech (4-6) and Old Dominion (4-6)--also can reach six victories in the final weeks of 2017.

 

IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER

Each week, the bowl is celebrating its 15th anniversary by taking a trip down memory lane with the “Top 15 Moments” from its previous games. Here’s No. 4 from 2014, which capped Houston’s improbable fourth quarter comeback in a 35-34 victory over Pittsburgh. Watch

 

YOU CAN OBSERVE A LOT BY JUST WATCHING

Tickets for the 15th annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl are on sale at ArmedForcesBowl.com. Options include: $30 (general admission), $75 (lower bowl reserved) and $125 (Champions Club). For $15 each, fans may also sponsor tickets for past and present military members and their families to attend the game through the annual “Host a Hero” program. Read

 

IT’S TOUGH TO MAKE PREDICTIONS, ESPECIALLY ABOUT THE FUTURE

With Army already committed, it’s time to focus the predictions on who will be playing the Black Knights on Dec. 23 in Amon G. Carter Stadium. North Texas (3), Marshall (2) and UTSA (2) all received multiple nods from the experts this week. In addition, Oregon received one vote.

 

ESPN (Kyle Bonagura) - North Texas

College Football News (Pete Fiutak) - North Texas

ESPN (David M. Hale) - North Texas

SB Nation (Jason Kirk) - UTSA

The Score (Brett McMurphy) - Marshall

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm) - Marshall

CNNSI (Eric Single) - Oregon+

USA Today (Erick Smith) - UTSA