When the 2016 schedule was published earlier this month the Black Knights were looking at opening up on Saturday Sept. 3 against Temple. While the opponent will stay the same, Army will now be starting the season a day earlier than scheduled on Friday Sept. 2.
These early season games always seemed to be moved around the Labor Day weekend just a little bit for a variety of reasons. The Black Knights have previously moved games in order to give the Cadets a free holiday weekend before school gets serious, while the lure of TV money and exposure is huge, especially at the start of the season when fans cannot seem to get enough college football action. Thus the likelihood is that this game was moved due to a call from some television executive promising a national broadcast in a primetime slot.
The game will of course be taking place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, so there is always the possibility that a potential venue clash could also have been behind the move. Temple have been playing at the Linc., which is clearly oversized for their program, since 2003 and Army will have to reverse history in order to open the season with a victory. The Black Knights are rolling into Philly with a 13-game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field and have never actually won at the stadium, losing 10 straight times to Navy and three times to Temple. It is also worth noting that the Owls were one of the best teams in the American Athletic Conference last fall, going 10-4 on the season and playing, and losing, in both the AAC Championship Game (Houston) and the Boca Raton Bowl (Toledo).
Army had more bad luck and mystifying losses than any other team in the country during the 2015 season. A win on the road over a team with the current credibility of the Temple Owls would be a huge boost to the program as Jeff Monken looks to make the Black Knights relevant again.