Why Army WILL Be Ranked This Week
Our win may have not have been that pretty, but the Black Knights took care of business and defended Michie. I’m not going to recap the game or hand out superlatives in this article, that will come, but I did want to be the first to call it…Our Black Knights will be ranked this week! I’ve spent way to much time doing research on this, but I am sure glad that I did. You are about to witness something that hasn’t happened since 1996.
— Robert Wright (@RobertCharlesW) November 11, 2018
Now look, I may be wrong this week because nothing is 100% certain, except Walking Hours and TEEs. If I am, however one week early, it’s only voter bias and we will be in next week pending a little bit of business with Colgate. If you follow the podcast or have read any of my articles, then you will remember that since the OU loss I have said several times that we would be ranked prior to the Navy game if we won out. Looks like that might actually be one week ahead of schedule thanks to recent Top 25 chaos. Below I am going to walk you through (albeit quickly) how I reached this conclusion.
I will cover each Top 25 Ranking Poll individually. We will start with the most prolific: The College Football Playoff Rankings. Yes…these are the numbers that show beside your team when they play. Prior to Week 8 (when the CFP Rankings begin) the AP Poll is used. Now the CFP committee is the least predicable of all the polls since they select the “best” teams. They tend to focus less on the W-L record and more on the team’s strength of schedule (and the “eyeball test”). The good news is that there are only 29 teams in College Football whose opponents have more wins than ours. The bad news is that I have a sneaking suspicion that the committee relies too heavily on S&P+ and FPI rankings (since ESPN force feeds them nationally every week) as their key metrics. I will talk more on those metrics in the off season, but in short it rewards teams for explosive long yardage plays and penalizes them for short plays. This is all on the premise that long drives are hard to complete…sound like a familiar game plan? Those formulas also heavily factor in recruiting (which doesn’t matter NEARLY as much when you run our scheme). So basically those metrics screw triple options teams. Service Academies almost always significantly outplay their rankings. With that being said, let’s get into it!
Here’s the full #CFBPlayoff Top 2️⃣5️⃣ rankings for games played through November 3.
Is your team in? 👀 pic.twitter.com/xWS6h2DT5I
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 7, 2018
Out: #14 NC State (Terrible loss of Wake Forest), #18 Michigan State (4th loss of the season to Ohio State), #21 Iowa (3rd loss in a row), #23 Fresno State (Get in and get out…classic Mountain West late season musical chairs), #24 Auburn (4th loss of the season to Georgia).
In: Utah State (Already ranked in AP/Coaches), Cincinnati (3 wins in row since being dropped in Week 7), Utah (Ranked in the Coaches last week/Currently 1st in PAC 12 South), Northwestern (They have 4 losses, but knocked off #21 Iowa and locked up the Big 10 West), and Boise State (8-2 after defeating #23 Fresno State).
On the Border: Army (Since the on the road Friday night opener loss to a 7-3 Duke Team the Cadets have only lost to Oklahoma in OT), Duke (they are surging back with Daniel Jones healthy), UAB (9-1 but they haven’t played anyone), Buffalo (also 9-1), Virginia (7-3), Missouri (6-4 with losses to UGA, AL, UK, and SC), Texas A&M (6-4), Pitt (6-4), and Arizona State (6-4).
This will be the most difficult of the three to get into. Probably won’t happen this week, but we are a worthy candidate to consider for committee. They will legitimately be talking about us this week. If Kentucky falls all the way out of the rankings after getting smacked by the Vols and/or if Mississippi State’s Alabama loss (they played tough and currently sit at #16) knocks the Bulldogs out, then the Army Team has a real shot…
Out: #16 Fresno State, #18 Mississippi State, #22 NC State, #24 Michigan State. Auburn and Iowa were not ranked in the AP Poll last week (Utah State and Cincinnati were)
In: With Utah State and Cincinnati already in the four open spots will go to Utah, Northwestern, Boise, and Army.
On the Border: Same teams as before with special emphasis on UAB and Buffalo. They were right behind us in the “Others Receiving Votes” category.
— Robert Wright (@RobertCharlesW) November 10, 2018
Now the Coaches lean more heavily on the W-L record, making this poll a Group of Five Team’s dream. The Amway Board of Coaches is made up of 65 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. They all fill out a 1-25 ballot each week.
Out: #17 Fresno State and #22 NC State. Michigan State, Auburn, and Iowa were not ranked in the Coaches Poll last week (Utah State, Cincinnati, and Utah were).
In: Northwestern and UAB/Army/Boise. It’s really hard to say here. Boise only had 12 votes last week, but won against #17 Fresno State. UAB hasn’t played anyone, but extended their win streak and had 64 votes last week. The Army Team had 34 votes last week and as you know, defeated FCS foe Lafayette. If I was betting, I’d have to take UAB. They were 30 votes ahead of us last week, but a brand name like Boise at 8-2 with a top 25 win will grab coaches attention. Let’s hope they remember Oklahoma…
On the Border: Same previously mentioned.
We should absolutely see the Brave Ole Army Team ranked in at least one of the major polls this week. The AP and Coaches drop today at 2pm ET. The CFP Poll is revealed on Tuesday. Now please cite your work when you start talking about why we are going to be ranked…kindly point your ill-informed friend to As For Football. I’m a little salty because my video of Andy Davidson (in the tweet above) got over 22,000 views and I got one follower out of it (shoutout to Alex Jensen).
It kind of sucks. Like that time when the Company Activities Officer got burgers that weren’t Bubba Burgers for a BBQ and no one even noticed (poor guy). Anyways please help us spread the word about As For Football and give credit where credit is due. The team and I would greatly appreciate your support.
Final thought: I believe that everyone is about to be caught off guard when the rankings drop. I can only imagine the madness on social media. While everyone is freaking out, I will be sitting back smiling like I just got PMI for the rest of the semester.
Beat Colgate. Rest.