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Army Football Ranked in AP and Coaches Polls For First Time Since 1996

It’s been 22 years, but Army enters the polls again, adding to their historic run this season

NCAA Football: Colgate at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

In what seems to be a weekly reoccurring trend at this point, Army does something it hasn’t done in quite some time as the Black Knights enter the AP Poll for the first time since 1996.

Army is ranked 24th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 23rd in this week’s Associated Press poll ranking, following a 28-14 victory on Saturday against the 6th ranked Colgate Raiders of the FCS.

Darnell Woolfolk continued to pile up touchdowns as he added three more to his season total, giving him 14 on the year. That matches his TD production from last year, and he still has two games to go as he looks to eclipse that in 2018. Woolfolk now has 37 rushing touchdowns for his career, good for 4th all time at West Point.

The Black Knights continued to do what they do best, keeping the ball for 35 minutes during the game, even though Colgate came in with the 2nd best time of possession in the FCS ranks. Army also continued their 3rd and 4th down conversion assault, going 8-12 on third down and 1-1 on fourth during the game. Army continues to lead the FBS in both categories, a telling sign of just how good this team has been all year.

Now they enter the AP and Coaches polls for the first time in two decades.

That 1996 team started the year 9-0, joining the AP ranks at 22 before losing at Syracuse. They would beat Navy and take on Auburn in the Independence Bowl, barely falling to the Tigers 32-29 and finishing the year 25th in the country with a 10-2 record.

Sitting at #23, Army could still fall from the poll simply because they are idle for two straight weekends before they take on rival Navy. Really, it comes down to rivalry week next Saturday as the conference championship weekend should have less of an impact on the bottom of the top 25 rankings. Will the pollsters give the Black Knights a pass and keep them ranked heading into their showdown at Lincoln Financial Field in December?

This year’s Army squad already had nine wins and has a chance to win 11 for the first time in school history if they can beat Navy and win a bowl game. With their ninth victory on the season yesterday, the Black Knights have reached the nine win plateau in consecutive seasons for the first time since the Red Blaik era when the 1944-1946 teams did it three times in a row. Those teams consisted of some of the best ever to take the field, with Bill Connelly calling the 1945 team the greatest of all time.

Now, Army will set its sights on winning 10 in a year in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever when they take on Navy in America’s Game on December 8th in Philadelphia. Lee, Kirk, Des, Rece and the gang will be there again for College Gameday. Navy will be looking to put a mark on an otherwise underperforming season by knocking Army out of the rankings and keeping them at least temporarily from another 10 win year.

Let’s take some time to enjoy what Army is doing this year as they continue their ascent and get our minds right for what promises to be another epic showdown when we take over the college football world in a couple weeks!