There’s an obvious reason why Air Force should avoid residing in a conference with Navy or Army.
Other conference teams will be forced to prepare more diligently and more fully for a run-based option attack. Yes, I know the three service institutions don’t run exactly the same option.
But it’s easy to see how the Falcons will suffer if they join up with Navy and Army. (And, yes, I know Army has all but said it will remain independent, which is the easiest road to take in college football. You could say traveling the indy route is … No, I’m not going to go there.)
If Navy plays, say, Louisville before Air Force plays Louisville, the Midshipmen would probably roll to 300 yards rushing while the Cardinals tried to figure out the option. When Louisville’s defense faced Air Force, the Cardinals would be ready. I’d predict the Falcons’ rushing output would drop by at least 100 yards. Precision is a big part of Air Force’s rushing success, but so is novelty. Defenses can’t stop what they don’t understand.
And this sequence would be true in reverse. Air Force would flourish if it saw a team first, and then Navy would suffer.
Jumping to the Big East is a bad idea for several reasons. Reason No. 1 is it’s not certain the conference will even exist in a couple years, and that might be an optimistic number.
Two, Air Force student/athletes would be forced to take long journeys two time zones away for games. There’s no way these epic trips will aid these student/athletes in their studies or their training as officers. Said it before; will say it again: geography matters.
Three, many devoted fans will feel abandoned by this long journey to the wrong destination. They will face major obstacles in attending games.
Four is a purely football problem. Joining the Big East with the Midshipmen would drain the novelty of Air Force’s option attack.
Will return this evening to offer pregame prediction and thoughts about Air Force-San Diego State game at Falcon Stadium. Hope you’ll join me.
I’m on Twitter. Hope you’ll join me there, too. @davidramz