A look ahead to 2008

In 2007, Army isn't going to heaven, as in the promised land (which for the Black Knights would be a bowl game). At least, it doesn't seem that way. Army has opened the season 3-5. We haven't given up on the Black Knights, in fact, we're hoping for a revolution on the banks of the Hudson River. Let's do it, guys!

But while we wait on 2007 to be salvaged, we can also hope that 2008 is great. Here is a look at Army's tentative 2008 schedule, complete with a team-by-team breakdown and the Black Knights' chances.

Sept. 6, New Hampshire
2007 record: 4-2 (ranked 11th in the nation, Division I-AA)
The skinny: New Hampshire is a Division I-AA national power. New Hampshire finished 9-4 last season, losing to Massachusetts 24-17 in the quarterfinals of Division I-AA playoffs. The Wildcats opened the year with a 34-17 win over Division I-A Northwestern.
The verdict: This team is a lot better than Division I-AA's Rhode Island, which almost beat Army this year. Just what we need: A season-opening loss to a I-AA team.

Sept. 20, Akron
2007 record: 3-4, including a 22-14 win over Army.
The skinny: Akron's latest loss came to Temple (24-20) last week.
The verdict: Army should have beat Akron this year, but the Black Knights were basically playing without an offense. The Black Knights will beat Akron next year.

Sept. 27, at Texas A&M
2007 record:
6-2
The skinny: Texas A&M was in the top 25 before the Aggies lost to Miami (Fla.) 34-17 on Sept. 20.
The verdict: Remember that near miss against A&M last year in San Antonio? That was something. Whatever happened to that Army team? Anyway, A&M wins this game by two touchdowns.

Oct. 11, Georgia Tech
2007 record: 4-3
The skinny: Tech is having a bad year and still beat Army 34-10 last weekend without top running back Tashard Choice.
The verdict: Army did play tough with the ACC school for a half, in Atlanta, no less. But Michie Stadium doesn't provide Army with a big enough home-field advantage to take down Georgia Tech.

Nov. 1, Air Force
2007 record:
6-2
The skinny: Some "experts" had Air Force winning three games this year. What a joke: Air Force is headed to a bowl under first-year coach Troy Calhoun.
The verdict: Air Force will enter as a slight favorite, but anything goes in a CIC game. Don't count Army out.

Nov. 8, at Rice
2007 record: 1-6
The skinny: Rice has given up an average of 42.5 points per game this season.
The verdict: Two words for Army: Must win!

Dec. 6, Navy (Philadelphia)
2007 record: 4-3
The skinny: As always, Navy is tearing it up on the ground, with quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada leading the way. But Navy's defense has struggled, allowing 35 points. But can Army's bumbling offense take an advantage of any soft defense? Guess we will find out in a few weeks in Baltimore.
The verdict: If Army can't beat Navy this year, it won't next. Navy will only get better on both sides of the ball.

at Temple, TBA
2007 record:
3-5
The skinny: Break up the Owls. Temple has won three games in a row, beating Northern Illinois, Akron and Miami (Oh.)
The verdict: This is another must-have win for Army. It's clear: Temple won't give the Black Knights the game like last year.

at Rutgers, TBA
2007 record:
5-2
The skinny: Rutgers is playing its best ball of the season, coming off a win over the so-called second-ranked team in the country, South Florida.
The verdict: Take Rutgers this year and next.

at Tulsa, TBA
2007 record: 4-3
The skinny: Tulsa is battling this year and could enter Michie Stadium later this year with six wins.
The verdict: We like the fact that Army hosts Tulsa in mid-November, the weather should help the Black Knights. As for on the road next year, Edge: Tulsa.

Ball State (rumor is in Chicago, Ill.)
2007 record:
4-3
The skinny: Falls into the category of another team that was terrible when Army scheduled it, but is on the rise. Ball State won just five games last year, but should surpass that total in '07. Sophomore quarterback Nate Davis is a stud, throwing for 2,284 yards and 20 touchdowns this year.
The verdict: This ain't Akron. Ball State is for real and watch out for Davis.


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