Will Army Make a Bowl Game in 2012?

2011 was a frustrating season for Army fans. After a breakout season in 2010 in which the Black Knights poster a 7-6 record and made a bowl game for the first time since 1996 they came crashing down to earth with just three wins during the campaign. Whether it was a case of high expectations, untimely injuries, or just a heap of bad luck, Army lost its final four games as the season died out.

This is a new year though, and the 2012 version of the Army Black Knights have something concrete to aim for, a trip to Military Bowl at RFK Stadium in the nation's capital. If Army can reach bowl eligibility this fall the school is guaranteed to follow Navy and Air Force in appearing in the Military Bowl where they will take on a team from the ACC. So, where are Army going to find the wins to be eligible? Here is the schedule (with predictions):

9/8 at San Diego State Loss
9/15 vs. Northern Illinois Win
9/22 at Wake Forest Loss
9/29 vs. Stony Brook Win
10/6 vs. Boston College Loss
10/13 vs. Kent State Win
10/20 at Eastern Michigan Win
10/27 vs. Ball State Win
11/3 vs. Air Force Win
11/10 at Rutgers Loss
11/17 vs. Temple Win
12/8 vs. Navy Loss
According to the stat guys at Athlon Sports the best team that Army will face in 2012 (based on preseason rankings) is #46 Rutgers. If you also take Wake Forest and Navy out of the equation everyone else on the Black Knights schedule is ranked in between #73 (Temple) and #103 (EMU). Army, for comparisons sake, is ranked #96.

The huge advantage for Army this year as opposed to last is the sheer number of home games that the team will play. More than any other sport, college football games can be affected by a home crowd, and Army will be hopeful that the fans will be able to pick the players up to take down the likes of Air Force and Temple who are similarly ranked.

We have Army with a record of 7-5 at the end of the season with bowl eligibility secured. There is no one on this schedule that the Black Knights should be afraid of and the sheer quantity of home games will lead to a winning season assuming key players stay healthy. The Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy may be just out of reach, but Army will be able to keep it close with Navy and in football anything can happen on any given Saturday.

InsideArmySports.com Top Stories