Army make or break games for 2008

The season starts off with a win over Temple at Michie Stadium and Army follows that up with home wins against Division I-AA New Hampshire and Akron. Do the math, that would put the Black Knights at 3-0, imagine that! A start like that would put Army on its way to its first bowl game since 1996. That's one of the main reasons the first three games of next season are so important.

The Black Knights have an opportunity to take control of a very important year in Stan Brock's tenure at home and never look back.

On paper, a 3-0 start seems possible. If the Black Knights beat those three teams, it's worth noting that they can beat just about any other team on the docket, save Texas A&M and Rutgers. But who knows?

Those three wins would give Army so much confidence. Maybe they follow up those three wins with a victory in Week 4 at Texas A&M. Then they win at Tulane. That leaves the Black Knights with lowly Eastern Michigan coming into Michie.

Make it 6-0, punch that ticket to a bowl game. This may be overly optimistic, but you never know. Plus, you can't ever underestimate the power of a confident football team.

Still, et's be honest, there is a flip side to the equation. Temple is an improving football team, the Owls will provide a hard-fought game for the Black Knights. By no means is a win guaranteed.

If Army and its offense, full of more questions than answers, loses to Temple, than Division I-A killer New Hampshire becomes much tougher. A loss to New Hampshire and Akron makes it 0-3 with a two-game road trip to follow

Army Nation would be praying it's not 2003 Part Deux when the Black Knights went 0-13. It should be noted that Army opened that season with four straight home games. But they came against much tougher teams: Connecticut, a struggling Rutgers, Tulane and South Florida.

Army went 0-4 and the year unraveled from there. Even if Army opened 0-3, it's unlikely the Black Knights would go winless. But this program, searching desperately to turn things around, needs a win against Temple. It could very well set the tone for the season.

Beat Temple and 3-0 is a distinct possibility. Even 2-1 wouldn't look so bad. With this year's schedule, even 2-1 could set an interesting stage for the rest of the fall. Temple may be more than seven months away, but it's not too soon to start daydreaming about a season-opening win.

Go Army! Beat Temple! Run the table at Michie this September.

Extra points: Exeter High School (New Hampshire) tight end/defensive end Brad Kelly (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) has committed to Army. He also considered Brown, Harvard and Cornell...............Aaron Retter, a 6-foot-4, 247-pound offensive/defensive lineman, from Greensburg Central Catholic (Pa.) has signed with Army. There is one interesting note about Retter. His brother, Jason, is attending Navy. Retter is expected to attend United States Military Academy Prep School in Fort Monmouth, N.J. this fall.


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