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Around the Yard: Army Football Gaining in Polls, Attractive to Independence Bowl

Let’s take a look at the latest stories out of West Point this week!

NCAA Football: Air Force at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Army Football Gaining in AP and Coaches Poll:

Army continues to state its case for inclusion in the top 25 as it defeated Air Force last weekend to retain the CIC trophy and move to 7-2 on the season. The Black Knights received 32 points, good for 29th in the AP poll voting and 34 points, good for 33rd in the coaches poll.

It’s great to see the Army football team begin to get the recognition it deserves for the season it is having, but I for one am concerned that the quality of their next two opponents followed by a two week break before facing Navy could leave them forgotten before their biggest game of the year on national television.

Army faces Lafayette and Colgate in the next two weeks, both FCS opponents out of the Patriot League. Though Colgate is up to 8th in the FCS rankings and undefeated at 8-0 on the season, the fact that Army is playing back-to-back FCS opponents does not bode well for them to continue moving up in the polls even with two more victories all but certain. After that, they have to wait two more weeks during the normal end of the regular season games over Thanksgiving and conference championships before they get a crack at Navy. This could mean a month without much movement in the polls and could put them in a real tough spot if they hope to make it in the top 25.

Independence Bowl interested in Black Knights:

It could come down to finishing the year 10-2 and needing a strong victory in a bowl game to get Army over the top 25 hump and finish the season ranked. It just so happens that the Independence Bowl was on hand this past weekend, and according to Army beat writer Sal Interdonato, they are very interested in the Black Knights.

The Independence Bowl expects the ACC to have enough bowl eligible teams in order to select one of them, but the SEC, which has the other tie-in, may not, and the backup conferences in AAC and C-USA may also not be able to provide a team. This is where Army comes into play, and though no one is currently projecting the Black Knights to Shreveport, it appears that if they run out of conference options, Army will be their first phone call.

This would be a big bowl game pick up for Army and a win against a quality ACC opponent would certainly ensure them a top 25 finish if they end up 11-2 on the year.

Army focused solely on Lafayette:

With all the talk surrounding AP voting, bowl games, and Navy looming in a month, Army coach Jeff Monken reiterated that the Black Knights are not overlooking Lafayette and that the Leopards have their full undivided attention right now.

Monken says that Army can’t afford to play down to anyone and you only have to look at recent FCS over FBS wins to know that anything can happen.

Chances are, however, that Army will defeat Lafayette with ease, as the team is just 3-6 on the year.

Even though it will be somewhat coach speak this week, the following game against Colgate will be no joke for Army. The Raiders are undefeated on the season and haven’t allowed A SINGLE POINT in their last three games. In fact, if you take away their opening game against Holy Cross that they won 24-17, the Raiders have outscored opponents 215-6. Yes, they have only given up 6 points in their last seven games. That’s just insane no matter what level of football you are playing.

Army basketball wins opener against Marist in dramatic fashion:

Army got 24 points and six rebounds from junior forward Matthew Wilson, but it was a late three by Tommy Funk that sealed the game in the closing seconds for the Black Knights. After Marist tied the game with 14 seconds left in the contest, Army elected not to take a timeout and didn’t draw anything up, electing to let Funk take the ball up the court, dish it to Josh Caldwell and then get open for a three on the perimeter for the win.

The 73-69 victory saw the Black Knights have three players in double figures with senior guard Jordan Fox joining Funk and Wilson with 14 points. Funk would finish with 15 points and would lead the team with six assists.

It was a solid start to the season for Army who is looking to build off its successful start last year that ultimately ended in sputtering into the Patriot League tournament and losing in the first round.

Check out contributor Austin Lanteigne’s preview of the Black Knights as you read up on all the info you need to follow along this season!

Army men’s soccer headed to Patriot League semis on penalty kick:

For the first time since 2014, Army will be competing in the semifinals of the Patriot League men’s soccer tournament after they knocked off Boston University during penalty kicks to seize the victory.

With the score knotted at 0-0 after regulation and overtime, the Black Knights were able to get the win after goalie Justin Stoll got a save on the fifth Terriers kick and Ibrahim Seye got a strike into the back of the net!