Phil Steele recently started his top 30 countdown and the first team up is the Air Force Falcons, and here is what he is saying about the Falcons 2011 season:
Today Air Force comes in at #30 with the Falcons returning 14 starters from last year's 9-4 team. Since Troy Calhoun took over in 2007 Air Force has won at least 8 games every year and this year looks like Calhoun's best team yet and they are capable of reaching DD [double-digit] wins. While they do face ND [Notre Dame] and Boise on the road and TCU at home, they should be favored in the other 9.
Air Force would need to upset one of Notre Dame, TCU and Boise State to get to their first 10-win season since 1998; that year was also the last time the Falcons won a conference title. Air Force will still have tough games against Navy and San Diego State outside of those three.
Those three games against TCU, Notre Dame and Boise State are all winnable for the Falcons. The TCU games is in week two, Notre Dame has had trouble with an experienced triple-option team and has lost the last two to Navy and Boise State is not used played against a triple-option team. It will be difficult but not impossible for Air Force to win those three games.
Here is the PDF of the two magazine pages that are about Air Force filled with Steele's signature move of cramming in a lot of info in the two pages. TCU and Boise State will be higher on the list, but will San Diego State make the list? Currently the countdown has BYU at 29, Michigan State at 28 and 27 is Pittsburgh.
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