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If there's a bright side to going 2-10 it would be that the only place to go is up and that's the position the Air Force finds themselves in heading into the 2014 college football season. Their only wins a year ago came against Colgate and Army. They came close to Nevada, San Diego State and New Mexico but no closer than 18 points to any other opponent. Again, the good news would be that they can only improve, but the bad news is that large gaps like that, not coming closer than 18 in all of their other losses, are usually hard to close.
The problem for Air Force last year was a defense that ranked 119th in points allowed at 40 points per game. You're not going to win many football games at any level when you rank near dead last in the country in that category. Air Force teams are always going to be able to move the ball offensively but without that defensive support the offense won't matter.
The defensive unit figures to improve this year however, with 9 returning starters. Of course, returning 9 players to a bad defense doesn't guarantee improvement, but it would be almost impossible to be any worse. In fact they stack up well in overall returning starters when compared to the rest of the Mountain West.
Another good thing about going 2-10 is that it sets up plenty of revenge games for the following year. There's no greater motivator in college football than revenge. Of course, the team seeking revenge has to be good enough to achieve it, and that remains a big question mark with Air Force, however, improving upon their win total of 2 in 2013 would seem to be a lock.
The Air Force schedule for 2014 can be seen below. Let's go ahead and give them wins over Nicholls State and Georgia State. That would equal their 2013 win total. Give them a win over Army for 3. Next we'd have to look at their close losses from last year and hope they can gain a little revenge in those games. San Diego State and New Mexico could certainly be wins this year, especially San Diego State who will be losing several key starters from 2013. If they grab those, that's 5 wins.
In order for Air Force to win 6 games and become Bowl eligible though, they are going to have to beat one of the teams that beat them by 18+ a year ago and that's only providing they are able to win the games mentioned above. That's a big IF. So we'll call for Air Force to potentially win 6 games and make a minor Bowl this year, but more than likely, they'll fall short by a game or two.
From a betting standpoint, look to use Air Force in revenge situations against the teams they came closest to a year ago.
2014 Air Force Football Schedule
|Aug. 30||NICHOLLS STATE||USAFA|
|Sept. 6||at Wyoming||Laramie, WY|
|Sept. 13||at Georgia State||Atlanta, GA|
|Sept. 27||BOISE STATE||USAFA|
|Oct. 11||at Utah State||Logan, UT|
|Oct. 18||NEW MEXICO||USAFA|
|Nov. 1||at Army||West Point, NY|
|Nov. 8||at UNLV||Las Vegas, NV|
|Nov. 22||at San Diego State||San Diego, CA|
|Nov. 29||COLORADO STATE||USAFA|
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