The Commander-in-Chief’s trophy winner is almost always determined annually by the Army-Navy game during the ultimate week of the season. But in 2020, it will be Army and Air Force. they’re finishing the regular season with a match to decide the winner of the coveted hardware that goes annually to the round-robin winner between the service academies.
These teams were initially scheduled to satisfy on Nov. 7 before the sport was postponed thanks to “upward trends in our COVID numbers across the campus” at Air Force. Army coach Jeff Monken cast doubt on Air Force’s reasons for the postponement, saying that, “apparently they only didn’t want to play it this weekend and i am unsure it all had to try to to with COVID and people sorts of things.”
At the time, it had been unclear if and when the sport could be rescheduled and what impact the postponement would wear the race for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy. But the sport is on, and it is a winner-take-all affair as Army looks to require the award for the third time in four years while Air Force tries to say it for the primary time since 2016.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 19 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Michie Stadium — West Point, New York
TV: CBS Sports Network
Online Live stream: Click here to watch live in HD.
Air Force: it has been a season of extremes for the Air Force. The Falcons’ two losses came by double digits to Boise State and San Jose State — the 2 teams playing within the Mountain West title game — while their three victories over Navy, New Mexico , and Utah State are by a mean margin of 29.7 points. But the combined record of the three teams Air Force has beaten is simply 6-17. So perhaps with this game against Army, the Falcons are finally meeting an equal adversary. Defending the run has been a strength for Air Force, and if the Falcons are pretty much as good against Army’s option attack as they were against the Navy’s in a very 40-7 get back in October, then they’re going to have an excellent chance to say the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy.
Army: When a service academy coach who runs an option-oriented system is getting buzz for major job openings, you know things are going well. That’s certainly the case for Monken, who has his team sitting at 8-2. The Black Knights even snuck briefly into the AP Top 25 poll after a 2-0 start before much of the country had started playing. Though its status as an independent program made getting a full schedule tough amid the pandemic, Army’s 15-0 convert arch-rival Navy last week solidified that this can be another good team assembled by Monken, who has now led the Black Knights to four winning seasons within the last five years after a protracted period of struggle for the program.
Air Force at Army prediction, picks
Air Force hasn’t played an honest opponent since losing to Boise State on Oct. 31, and now the Falcons must travel cross-country to play an army team that gets a second game in fortnight against a rival opponent. The Black Knights are riding high off a shutout convert Navy and are able to defend an identical Air Force team as underdogs on their home field. Pick: Army (+3)