The 5280 Football Preview
Our rip-roarin’, QB-battlin’, coach-firin’, trash-talkin’ look at the upcoming season on Colorado’s most-storied gridirons
Tough Battles Ahead
Storyline With three consecutive winning seasons, the Air Force Academy can easily say it boasts the state’s most successful collegiate football program right now. But hanging onto that title this season is going to be a little more difficult.
Last year saw the Falcons (8–5) win their first bowl game in nearly a decade (a 47–20 stunner over a 10–3 University of Houston team), place seven cadets on the first- or second-team all-Mountain West Conference squad (Colorado State University had two), and have such an all-around successful season that third-year head coach Troy Calhoun was mentioned as a candidate for the same job at the University of Tennessee.
The 2010 team, though, begins the season without 13 of its starters from last season, as well as perhaps the most difficult schedule in school history—something Calhoun isn’t shy about mentioning. But leave it to the coach and former cadet to put the upcoming season in perspective: “We’re not ones to rest on what we’ve done in the past,” says Calhoun, a former Air Force quarterback.
Strength of Schedule Half of Air Force’s 12 opponents played in bowl games last season, including assured pre-season top 10 Texas Christian University. Air Force plays last year’s No. 12, BYU, at home before traveling to play the University of Oklahoma as part of a grueling 12-games-in-12-weeks schedule. “This might be the most difficult schedule a service academy has played in 50 years,” Calhoun says.
Weak Side The team lost its entire offensive line to graduation, meaning the run-first Falcons might need to put the “air” back in Air Force if they’re going to battle the big boys.
Players to watch First-team all-Mountain West defensive back Reggie Rembert returns, as does junior cornerback Anthony Wright Jr., who ranked seventh in the nation last season with seven interceptions. —Robert Sanchez
2010 Schedule (all times local)
- Sept. 4: AFA vs. Northwestern State home noon
- Sept. 11: AFA vs. BYU home 2 p.m.
- Sept. 18: AFA vs. Oklahoma away 1: 30 p.m.
- Sept. 25: AFA vs. Wyoming away noon
- Oct. 2: AFA vs. Navy home 12: 30 p.m.
- Oct. 9: AFA vs. Colorado State home noon
- Oct. 16: AFA vs. San Diego State away 6 p.m.
- Oct. 23: AFA vs. TCU away 6 p.m.
- Oct. 30: AFA vs. Utah home 5: 30 p.m.
- Nov. 6: AFA vs. Army away 10 a.m.
- Nov. 13: AFA vs. New Mexico home 4 p.m.
- Nov. 18: AFA vs. UNLV away 8 p.m.