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2011 Air Force Football Preview
Schedule and Predictions
Air Force had a nice season in 2010 in coach Troy Calhoun's 4th year. The went 9-4 and earned a trip to the Independence Bowl where they beat Georgia Tech 14-7. As you would expect, their option offense was 2nd in the Nation in rushing and 40th overall in scoring. What you might not expect, is that their pass defense was #2 in the land. They needed to be that good against the pass as they were toward the bottom of the pack against the run, but overall, they kept opponents out of the end zone allowing just 21 points per game which placed them in the top 3rd of all college football teams.
When we do these previews, we're looking for teams that may present us with some nice wagering opportunities for the coming year. We're looking for teams that were average to very good, that return key players at key positions. Or, teams that may be overrated as a result of having had a great season last year but perhaps are losing a ton of key players at key positions this year.
We're also looking at how teams lost last season. If a team went 8-5 but their 5 losses weren't even close, that may suggest the team is still a ways off. If, on the other hand, a teams losses were all by a nose, and the team is largely intact from a year ago, that suggests they may very well turn those close losses into wins in the coming year.
Air Force lost just 4 games last season, barely. They lost by just a field goal at Oklahoma in September, 27-24 in a game they could have won. They lost to a very good San Diego State team by just 2 and they lost to a solid Utah squad 28-23. The only game they were outclassed in was against TCU. No shame there as TCU was undefeated and knocked of Wisconsin in the Grand Daddy of all bowls, the Rose Bowl.
Air Force returns just about all of their key defensive starters this year, 7 in all, so expect another solid defensive year. Offensively they return 5 and have some holes to fill. specifically at fullback, but they do return QB Tim Jefferson, a 4th year starter and a QB that can throw the ball well, not always a give in for an option oriented team.
Circle September 10th on your calendar. That's when Air Force hosts TCU and has a chance to avenge their worst defeat from a year ago, a 38-7 pounding. You can be sure that all practices leading up to the start of the 2011 season will be with TCU in mind, not their first opponent, South Dakota. Revenge is sweet in college ball and TCU is losing just about their entire offense. The game is early in the season so the line will likely be influenced by how the teams did LAST season. Air Force may be the better team.
The other chance for revenge this year comes October 13th when they host San Diego State, who beat them by 2 last year. We mentioned that revenge is sweet in college football, it's double sweet when that chance for revenge comes at home. Both revenge games for Air Force are at home this year.
Anything less than 9 wins for Air Force would be a major disappointment. The only game on their dance card that looks out of reach is when they travel to take on Boise State, who joins the Mountain West this year. Boise is loaded once again. Too much firepower. But games against Notre Dame, Navy and the two revenge games are all winnable to go along with the remaining soft teams on the card.
No question Air Force will go bowling this year. The only question to be answered is, will that Bowl game take place in mid December, or closer to the New Year? Everything is in place for a nice run. We'll predict a 10-2 year for the Falcons.
9-3-11 SOUTH DAKOTA
9-24-11 TENNESSEE STATE
10-1-11 at Navy
10-8-11 at Notre Dame
10-15-11 SAN DIEGO STATE
10-22-11 at Boise State
10-29-11 at New Mexico
11-26-11 at Colorado State
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