Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Air Force will play Army, Navy this season


The Air Force Falcons will play two football games this season against fellow service academies Army and Navy.

The Falcons’ abbreviated schedule includes hosting Navy on Oct. 3 and a trip to West Point, New York, to face Army on Nov. 7. The military academies compete annually for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, which goes to the academy with the best record in the round-robin competition.

The school announced Monday that only Air Force Academy cadets would be permitted to attend the game at Falcon Stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will social distance and wear masks. The base remains closed to the public.

“It’s certainly going to be a different game. It’s not going to look the same. It’s not going to feel the same,” Air Force director of athletics Nathan Pine said in a video posted on the school’s website. “But we’re going to have an opportunity to play Navy and that’s really important for the young men in our football program and really important for the physical mission at the academy. It’s something that is every bit worth the effort.”

Navy currently has possession of the trophy after beating both schools last season.

Air Force was in a holding pattern after its conference, the Mountain West, decided in August to postpone fall sports due to COVID-19 concerns. The team has been practicing since Aug. 24 in compliance with protocols.

No. 22 Army is off to a 2-0 start after beating Middle Tennessee State and Louisiana-Monroe. The Black Knights have 12 games listed on their schedule, but the contest against BYU has been postponed. The school’s athletic director took to Twitter in an effort to find a replacement.

Navy lost 55-3 to BYU on Sept. 7. The Midshipmen have 11 games listed, including Army on Dec. 12.

Last season, Air Force finished 11-2, which included a loss to Navy and a win over Army. The Falcons beat Washington State in the Cheez-It Bowl as they closed the season with an eight-game winning streak. It was their longest since 1998.

Coach Troy Calhoun returns a strong nucleus that includes inside linebacker Demonte Meeks, along with offensive linemen Parker Ferguson and Nolan Laufenberg. They were all named to the preseason all-Mountain West team.

The team plans to unveil a new uniform for the Navy game. The theme will be based around the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African American unit to fly combat airplanes in World War II.

“The Red Tails and the Tuskegee Airmen are a great piece of Air Force heritage,” Pine said.

Baylor becomes 3rd Big 12 team to postpone opener after La Tech outbreak

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

WACO, Texas — Baylor became the third Big 12 team forced to postpone its scheduled season opener this weekend after Louisiana Tech reported multiple positive COVID-19 tests Tuesday, less than two weeks after a hurricane affected its campus.

Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland said Tuesday night that it wasn’t possible for the Bulldogs to play Saturday at Baylor because of the positive tests and contact tracing that would keep other players out the game.

The school didn’t provide any specific numbers, but said there was a spike in cases in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura on Aug. 27 that impacted the campus in Ruston, Louisiana, which is more than 200 miles inland. McClelland the school had only one positive case in the three weeks before the current outbreak, an indication that protocols in place were working.

“With 95% of our city losing power for days – even up to a week in many areas – our student-athletes were forced to find places to stay and some even had family from south Louisiana that came northward to stay with them,” McClelland said. “So many things that we were able to control for the month of August became out of our control, and I think the numbers prove that it took its toll.”

No makeup date was announced.

The Louisiana Tech-Baylor game is the 10th Division I game that has been postponed because of the novel coronavirus, including Big 12 games SMU at TCU and Tulsa at Oklahoma State. The other postponed games are: North Carolina State at Virginia Tech, Temple at Navy, ULM at Troy, Marshall at East Carolina, and three Rice games – against Houston, Marshall and UAB.

TCU had to put off its scheduled opener Friday night after a virus outbreak last week among a cluster of Horned Frogs players and support staff. Oklahoma State has pushed back its opener against Tulsa a week to Sept. 19 after the Golden Hurricane were limited during preseason camp because of multiple positive tests.

Seven Big 12 teams are still scheduled to play Saturday.

“We are incredibly disappointed to announce the postponement of our upcoming football game against Louisiana Tech,” Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said. “However, in the interest of the health and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, we are confident in this unfortunate but necessary course of action. To the Baylor and Louisiana Tech student-athletes and communities, we share in your disappointment and look ahead to resuming play.”

The game was supposed to be the debut of new Baylor head coach Dave Aranda, the defensive coordinator last season for 15-0 national champion LSU. He replaced Matt Rhule, who was hired by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers after three seasons with the Bears.

Notre Dame heavy favorites against rival Navy

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( — The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will try to salvage their faded College Football Playoff hopes on Saturday when they play host to the Navy Midshipmen as 14.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by

The Irish suffered their first straight up loss of the season last weekend, dropping a heartbreaking 24-22 decision to Clemson following a fourth-quarter comeback effort.

Running back C.J. Prosise turned in another solid performance against the Tigers, tallying 50 rushing yards while connecting with quarterback DeShone Kizer for 100 receiving yards and a last-minute touchdown catch that gave the Irish a chance to tie the game.

However, a missed two-point conversion meant that they had to settle for an against the spread win, their third straight and fifth in their last six games.

Prosise’s numbers this season, which include 650 rushing yards and seven total major scores, keep him in the Heisman conversation, but the senior is a distant 75/1 wager on those betting lines.

Notre Dame now enters Saturday afternoon’s Midshipmen vs. Fighting Irish betting matchup at Notre Dame Stadium pegged at No. 15 in the AP Top 25 rankings, down nine positions from last week, and will have to dominate down the stretch to maintain any chance of reaching the College Football Playoff this season.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen travel to South Bend with a perfect 4-0 record, SU and ATS, following an impressive 33-11 victory over the Air Force Falcons, and sit alongside the Memphis Tigers atop the AAC West standings with a 2-0 conference record.

Navy is a solid 10-1 SU in their past 11 games, 8-3 ATS, and have been simply dominant on defense since late last fall.

The Midshipmen have surrendered more than 21 points just once in their last eight contests, a 42-40 win over South Alabama in Week 13 of last season, and have averaged just 18.1 points against during that stretch according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

They have also proven to be a strong team on the road, going 5-1 SU in their past six, while rewarding bettors with an impressive 6-2 ATS record in their past eight.

However, Navy has struggled against their long-time rivals at Notre Dame, losing their last four SU, but are a solid 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS in their last four road dates with the Fighting Irish.