Army's toughest 2008 opponents

Army's 2008 schedule is filled with winnable games. Now, the Black Knights just have to go out and win them. Here is a look at, in order, Army's most winnable games.

1. Eastern Michigan, Oct. 11

This is a must-win for the Black Knights. Hopefully, by the time Eastern Michigan comes to Michie Stadium, Army is clicking. Here's to a Black Knight blowout victory.

Eastern Michigan went 4-8 last year and is 16-42 over the last five seasons. That includes a 1-11 mark in 2006.

2. at Rice, Nov. 8

Rice laid down one of the worst whippings on Army in a long time, flogging the Black Knights 48-14 in 2006.

It would be nice to exact a little revenge and turn Rice into Rice patties. Rice certainly isn't the team that beat up on the Black Knights. The Owls went 3-8 last year.

3. Buffalo, Oct. 18

Too bad this game wasn't on the schedule a few years ago. Back then, Buffalo was one the worst team in college football.

Now, Buffalo is making strides, but this is a game Army has to win. Buffalo was one win away from becoming bowl-eligible last year, finishing 5-7.

4. New Hampshire, Sept. 6

Yes, New Hampshire is a Division I-AA team, but it isn't a stiff. That's why Army removed New Hampshire from the schedule a few years back. New Hampshire beat Division I-A Northwestern 34-17 to open up 2006 and is 42-21 over the last five years. Good news for Army though, New Hampshire graduates stud quarterback Ricky Santos, who threw for 13,212 yards and 123 touchdowns in his career.

5. at Tulane, Oct. 4

Last year, Michie Stadium beat Tulane with the Michie Stadium Miracle. Reserve quarterback Kevin Dunn led the Black Knights to a comeback win. Tulane is rebuilding under former UCLA coach Bob Toledo, going 4-8 last season.

6. Temple, Aug. 30

Temple head coach Al Golden has to be something right. He was a candidate for the open UCLA head coaching job, before he removed his name from consideration.

Golden said he wants to stay around and lead Temple to success. He's actually making some progress. Before Golden arrived two years ago, the Owls were the deadest program in college football. Temple went 4-8 last year, but started the season 0-5.

The Black Knights beat Temple 37-21 last Sept. 29 at Michie Stadium.

7. Louisiana Tech, Oct. 25

Army defensive coordinator John Mumford might want to already start devising a plan for Louisiana Tech.

La. Tech is a high-flying WAC team that likes to put points on the board. Let's hope for a chilly, rainy day for this game. That could help slow this warm-weather team down.

8. Akron, Sept. 30

Army opened last season with a 22-14 loss to Akron, a game the Black Knights could have one. Maybe the season would have ended up different. This season, the Black Knights close out a three-game homestand to open the season with Akron. The Zips went 4-8 last year, but are expected to be improved. Akron is deep at running back.

9. Navy, Dec. 6 (Philadelphia)

Six straight losses to Navy, including a miserable 38-3 loss last season. That really hurts.

But Army does have this going for it: The Black Knights are due to sink the Midshipmen. The departure of Paul Johnson hurt Navy, but Ken Niumataolo is certainly no slouch.

More importantly, Navy still runs the option. Tough game.

10. at Texas A&M, Sept. 27

The Aggies opened the year 5-1, before being swallowed up by controversy, ending the season 7-6.

But there's a new sheriff in College Station, former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman. Expect the Aggies to play a lot more like the team that opened 5-1 and ranked in the Top 25. Sherman could eventually turn Texas A&M back into a Big 12 player.

11. Air Force, Nov. 1

The Falcons might just keeping getting better under coach Troy Calhoun. He tweaked Fisher DeBerry's triple option offense, making it more modern. The result was a 9-4 year and a 30-10 win over Army. Air Force lost to California, at one time a Top 5 school last year, 42-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

12. at Rutgers, Nov. 22

Rutgers loses star running back Ray Rice, but the Scarlet Knights aren't going away.

Head coach Greg Schiano blew off Michigan to stay in Jersey. So he must have complete confidence in Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights went 8-5 last year and beat Ball State 52-30 in the International Bowl.

Another eight-win season, or better, is definitely possible for Rutgers.


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