How to make Army a power again

Army football can lay claim to three National Titles (1944, 1945, 1946), three Heisman Trophy winners (Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, Pete Dawkins), and 37 consensus All-Americans. Few programs in the country can match those accolades, yet Army remains a mostly forgotten program aside from the Army-Navy showdown. That needs to change and here are two simple steps in the right direction.

1) Find a Conference.

This whole Independent thing just isn't working. With the exception of Notre Dame, and you can argue that outside of financial incentives it doesn't work for them either, the lack of conference affiliation just doesn't work. With Navy joining the Big East in 2015 it makes Army look like a lower level program when there is no conference title to play for.

Army should not just jump to any conference however. The Conference USA debacle is still fresh in the memory after all. But with the ebb and flow of the current conference structure it is imperative that the Black Knights find their way into an established league, preferably one with BCS affiliation. With the Big East being as fluid as it is it would seem possible to sell them on the idea of the Army-Navy clash being part of their conference from the middle of this decade onward.

2) Give players a route to the NFL.

I am going to preface this by saying I have no idea how this would work. I know there was previously a program in place that got shot down by the DOD. I also understand that Army students are future military leaders first and football players second, but there needs to be a way to make this work. The prestige of playing for Army still exists; there are athletic and talented recruits who would be more than interested in playing for the Black Knights, but with the current structure in place they will go to other schools.

Obviously there is no easy fix for this, but if Army could raise to that level think of the recruiting and fan base benefits that would occur. The U.S. Military Academy more than any other school in the nation has an inbuilt route into the very soul of the nation's population. Vets and citizens from all over the country would quickly get behind the school as soon as the first signs of true national competitiveness were shown.

Army should be a football power. The players should be the biggest, the fittest, and the strongest in the country. With these two simple changes dominance could be possible once again.

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