The competition was close for the majority of the year. Navy surged out to a lead in the early fall and winter seasons only to see Army and Air Force charge back into the picture when the calendar turned to 2019.
The inaugural Against All Enemies Ike Award was designed to try and showcase which service academy athletics program had the most success during the entire year in competition against the other two. In looking at how to do this, the only thing that really made sense was to do it based on winning percentage, since Army and Navy play each other so much more than Air Force. We also only counted head-to-head competition unless all three schools were competing against each other in tournaments like the All Academy Championship in wrestling and gymnastics.
In our last update, we were finished with all regular season competition and just had the potential for Patriot League tournament postseason competition between Army and Navy that could swing the balance in Navy’s favor. Army had already been eliminated, sitting nine games under .500 on the year.
We had two sets of events since then. First, Army and Navy met in women’s lacrosse during the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament. In a score that was nearly similar to the previous result, the Midshipmen routed the Black Knights 20-10 before losing to Loyola in the Championship.
Following that, we had Army and Navy baseball competing in a best-of-three series for the Patriot League tournament crown last weekend. After I wrote that Noah Song was the best pitcher in college baseball, he went out and had his worst outing of the season, giving up five runs in the first two innings and taking the loss for the first time all year. Navy would win game two to force a winner take all game three, but the Black Knights prevailed in a nail biter, winning 4-3 to take the crown.
So, two victories for Navy and two for Army moved the final Ike Award standings numbers to look like this:
Air Force: 12-10-3
Since I goofed up on our AAE podcast and showed just how bad I am at math a few weeks ago in understanding winning percentages, I’ll break it down for everyone. We had decided to throw out the ties previously, but even if you count the ties as 1⁄2 a win instead of tossing them, the results for the winner remain the same.
Air Force winning percentage: 54.55%
Army winning percentage: 41.51%
Navy winning percentage: 51%
As you can see, your 2019 Ike Award Champion is the Air Force Falcons!
So, congrats to our fellow service academy brethren out in Colorado. We are still working on generating something for the winner to display or to throw into the trash bin, whatever they prefer. Regardless, it was fun to track the service academy competition beyond just the Star Series this year and be able to showcase more of what makes these three schools so great!