MW Championship: The Air Force file

Nov 7, 2015; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Air Force Falcons wide receiver Garrett Brown (7) catches a pass during the first half against the Army Black Knights at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The cadets got it done this weekend, pounding Army 20-3. More importantly, the Falcons reached the six-win threshold of bowl eligibility. They are now 6-3 overall.

The bowl question has been answered. And with the win, the Falcons are making Mountain West teams and fans alike ask themselves another question—could Air Force make a run at the Mountain West Championship?

Rather than crashing into the conference championship conversation with the speed of a pregame flyover, the Falcons have instead sneakily inserted themselves. Air Force was trounced by a sub-par Colorado State team 38-23 in mid-October, and sat at 3-3. They have since reeled off three wins in a row, winning by an average margin of 32 through that stretch. They’re currently behind only Boise State in the Mountain Division.

The Falcons have undoubtedly made a case for themselves during this three-game stint. But the next three games are the ones that will count.

The Utah State Aggies will come to Falcon stadium this Saturday, the final home game of the season for Air Force. Then they’ll hit the road to face Boise State, which is on the precipice of the top-25, and New Mexico, which got a signature win over the Aggies this past weekend.

Realistically, Air Force could win all three games. Though Boise State has been solid against the run all year (fourth in rush defense in the nation), they were exploited by Utah State for 177 yards in a 52-26 loss. The Aggies and the Lobos are substantially less sturdy against the run, and the Falcons’ second-ranked rushing attack is sure to give each team fits.

At the same time, the Falcons have had the road blues this season, with all three losses coming in foreign environments. For some reason, the Falcons feel the urge to cough up the football on the road, and did so nine times in their three road losses.

Not one team has been able to force the Falcons to be a one-dimensional team. The next three games should be no different for Air Force from that standpoint. And if the cadets can refrain from making self-inflicted mistakes, a December date with San Diego State is by no means out of the question.


Calvin Jouard is an intern at Mile High Sports and a student at the University of Denver


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