The Army Black Knights cracked the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll Top 25 for the first time last week in 22 years.
The Black Knights, led by head coach Jeff Monken, are 9-2 on the season. They lead the country in multiple areas, which has played a large role in their success. Army leads the country in third down completion percentages (0.571) and fourth down completion percentages (0.909). Furthermore, they lead the country in passing yards per attempt, as well, with an average of 20.34 yards per attempt. Army comes in at a close second in rushing yards per game. And lastly, the Black Knights are first in the country in time of possession with 39 minutes per game.
Their two losses comes from fairly understandable matchups. The first game of the year was played against the Duke Blue Devils. The opening game of the season is one of the most difficult games of the year, for any team, regardless of talent level. Duke came away with the win, 34-14. The game was played in Durham, and the Black Knights uncharacteristically turned the ball over twice. Army is number two is country in turnovers with a total of only seven throughout the season. Additionally, Duke started off the season hot, with four consecutive wins. Many believed they had a chance to be one of the best teams in the ACC. Considering all of this, the Army loss is relatively understandable.
The Black Knights’ only other loss comes from another road game against the Oklahoma Sooners. After tonight’s College Football Playoff rankings, the Sooners ended up ranked at number five. The Army Black Knights took Oklahoma to overtime and lost, 28-21.
Somehow, this two-loss Army team, who nearly beat the fifth best team in the country, was left out of the College Football Playoff rankings at the end of the college football regular season. However, Army’s season is not over.
In two weeks, the Army Black Knights will take on the Navy Midshipmen in the 2018 Army-Navy game. Army has a chance to earn their 10th win on the season against Navy. Should they win, it would be Army’s first time in school history to earn 10 wins in back-to-back years. If the Black Knights are invited to a bowl game, they will have the potential for an unprecedented 11 wins.
With the Army Black Knights being ranked two weeks in a row in the Top 25, and still tons of opportunity to improve, the school’s football program is starting to gain more recognition as a legit contender. Coach Monken and his squad have proven to the college football world that they are going to be a tough out for any team.