Looking at Army's 2009 schedule

The so-called whiz kid, Todd Berry, couldn't turn Army into a winner. Neither could the coaching sage, Bobby Ross, or his understudy, Stan Brock. That made for a lot of losing on the banks of the Hudson River. But Black Knight Nation is optimistic about new coach Rich Ellerson turning the program around.

It's time to take an in-depth look at the schedule that Ellerson faces this fall and evaluate his chances.

Sept. 5 at Eastern Michigan This makes for a perfect debut. It's a winnable game for Army, even on the road. Army beat Eastern Michigan 17-13 at home last season. The Eagles went 3-9 last year.

Winnability: High

Sept. 12 Duke Army could open the year 2-0 with the Dukies coming to West Point. However, keep in mind, the Blue Devils are quickly shedding their label as an ACC doormat. Coach David Cutcliffe helped the team start the year 4-3, but Duke lost its last five games of the season.

Winnability: Good chance

Sept. 19 Ball State The good news is that Ball State star quarterback Nate Davis is leaving for the NFL. Still, Ball State, which went 12-2 last year, will be a handful. Winnability: Unlikely

Sept. 26 at Iowa State Gene Chizik did nothing for the Cyclones and still got a job at Auburn. Can't Stan Brock get a job somewhere. Expect Iowa State to be better that last season when the Cyclones went 2-10, 0-8 Big 12.

Winnability: It's there for the taking.

Oct. 3 Tulane Army throttled the Green Wave 44-13 last season in one of its best showings in a long time. It marked the second straight year the Black Knights beat Tulane.

Winnability: A win on the Bayou is possible.

. Oct. 10 Vanderbilt A small SEC school making nice strides. The Commodores went 7-6 last fall and beat Boston College 16-14 in the Music City Bowl. Winnability: Vandy wins.

Oct. 17 at Temple Everyone figured Army would beat Temple last year. Instead, the Owls embarrassed the Black Knights 35-7 in the season-opener at West Point. Temple finished 5-7 last year, but lost five games by a combined 18 points.

Winnability: As Army fans learned the hard way, Temple is no pushover.

Oct. 24 Rutgers Rutgers got hot after a slow start, winning its last seven games to finish 8-3. Included in the run was a 30-3 win over Army in a game that might have signaled the beginning of the end for Brock.

Winnability: Low.

Nov. 7 at Air Force Air Force owns Army, although the Black Knights played the Falcons tough last year, losing 16-7. Playing in Colorado Springs makes it an even tougher proposition for Army.

Winnability: Maybe in 2010.

Nov. 14 VMI Is an improving I-AA team. The Keydets went 4-8 last season, a year after going 2-9.

Winnability: No problem.

Nov. 21 at North Texas North Texas went 1-11 last season and doesn't play much defense. Good luck stopping the option.

Winnability: High

Dec. 5 Navy It's become like a broken record. Navy has beaten Army four years in a row, five, six and, now, seven. Something has to be done about this.

Winnability: We'll take Navy in Ellerson vs. the Midshipmen, Round 1.

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