AFA by the Numbers

Coach Fisher DeBerry

In his twenty-first season as AFA's head coach, Fisher DeBerry's record through 248 games stands at 158-89-1(.639) overall; 74-57-1(.564) on the road or at neutral sites and 84-32(.724) in home games. A greater number of these games have been played on the road or at neutral sites--132 or 53.2%--while 116 or 46.7% have been played as home games.

Chris Field, AFAFalcons

 

      FISHER'S IMPACT. AFA's all-time record now stands at 296-244-13(.547) in 553 games. Fisher's tenure as head coach spans 44.8% of the total number of games the Falcons have played in their history, yet has produced 53.3% of the academy's victories. Another mark of Fisher's success is that his teams have registered only 36.4% of the academy's all-time losses while having played 44.8% of the total number of games in AFA's football history. DeBerry has already won 20 more games than all other head football coaches in AFA's history combined. The Falcons need four more victories to post their 300th win.

 

CHARTING CARNEY'S CAREER. On the premise it's never too soon to start keeping track of a good thing here's a look at QB Shaun Carney on a game by game basis as he leads AFA's offense from the QB position.   

 

Game

Rushing

Passing

Total yards

Game result

California

18-75
0TD

9-15-89
1TD

164

Cal  56 - 14

East. Washington

13-62
1TD

10-15-139
2td

201

AFA  42 - 20

@UNLV

21-64
0TD

12-14-139
2td

203

AFA  27 - 10

Totals

52-201-1TD 3.865yd/att.

31-44-367
5td

70.45%cmp.

568 yards

189.3 yd/gm.

AFA 2-1

 

             In three starts for the Falcons in his freshman year, Carney has been directly involved in a play 96 times either running or passing the ball. Those 96 plays have netted the team 568 yards or a healthy 5.91 yards each time Carney has touched the ball. Perhaps most impressive of all is his 70% completion rate when throwing the ball. The balance Carney has helped provide the offense was most evident in the UNLV game. The Rebels defense was off-balance during the evening because it had to respect AFA's ability to throw the ball effectively. This balance enabled the Falcons to sustain drives, score points, keep its own defense well-rested and open the conference season with an impressive17 point road win. 

 

SCHEDULING SNAFU. Current NCAA guidelines allow division 1-A teams to schedule 12 regular season games in a year depending on the number of weekends which fall between Labor Day and the first week of December. The next four years in which AFA would be eligible to play 12 games are: 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2019.

 

            Texas Christian University will become a full fledged member of the MWC beginning with the 2005 football season. This means that the conference will be comprised of nine teams and each school in the league will play every other member annually. That gives AFA eight games a year. Throw in the yearly CIC battles against Army and Navy and the Falcons have ten games seemingly in place stretching into the far reaches of their football future.

 

                At present AFA is under contract for the 2006 season to play at Northwestern and at home against Notre Dame. However, 2006 is a year in which teams are eligible to play only eleven regular season games. 

            The scenario is nearly the same for the 2007 season with AFA hosting Northwestern and traveling to South Bend to face the Fighting Irish. It's a season in which current NCAA guidelines allow for only eleven regular season games.
           

            The same situation arises in 2009 when AFA is scheduled to host Texas A & M and meet North Texas in Denton. It's a year in which only 11 games are permitted.
 

            The dilemma for the Falcons is a tough one. The AFA has played Notre Dame and Northwestern with some frequency during Fisher DeBerry's tenure. A home game against the Fighting Irish is a cash cow for the Falcons and putting future games against the Irish in jeopardy would be courting severe financial impact. On the other side of the coin, Northwestern represents a school of similar academic integrity to that of the AFA as well as being a member of the BCS. Under current NCAA guidelines, one of the games in the 2006, 2007 and 2009  seasons will need to be dropped by AFA.

 

            There are at least two ways in which to regard this potential scheduling gridlock. For the season ticket buying public, it means AFA's schedule will have a highly repetitive nature since there will only be one slot available for a non-MWC, non-military academy rival each year. On the other hand, the current NCAA restriction allowing just eleven games in most seasons may finally end AFA's longstanding practice of scheduling games against division 1-AA opponents which have produced no drama and farcical mismatches while forcing the public to pay premium prices for an inferior product.

 

THE MWC VERSUS  THE BCS. There's a frequent cry of anguish which arises from camps of followers of MWC teams bemoaning the fact that the league's teams deserve more recognition on a national basis given their individual and collective records against BCS affiliated teams. Frankly, since the inception of the MWC its teams have not fared well when stepping outside conference play when facing BCS teams. During the course of the 2004 regular season MWC teams are scheduled to face members of BCS affiliated conferences in19 games. Here's a look at when and where the match-ups are taking place as well as the outcomes and the MWC's  record in the games played to date.

  

Date

Home team

Visitor

Score

Sept. 2

Utah

Texas A & M

Utah  41-21
(1-0)

Sept. 3

New Mexico

Washington State

WSU  21-17
(1-1)

Sept. 4

BYU

Notre Dame

BYU  20-17
(2-1)

Sept. 4

Air Force

California

Cal  56-14
(2-2)

Sept. 4

Colorado

Colorado State

Colo.  27-24
(2-3)

Sept. 5

Tennessee

UNLV

Tenn.  42-17
(2-4)

Sept. 11

Southern Cal

CSU

USC  49-0
(2-5)

Sept. 11

New Mexico

Texas Tech

UNM  27-24
 (3-5)

Sept. 11

Wisconsin

UNLV

Wisc.
(3-6)

Sept. 11

Arizona

Utah

Utah  23-6
(4-6)

Sept. 11

Texas A&M

Wyoming

A&M  27-24
(4-7)

Sept. 11

Stanford

BYU

Stan. 37-10 
(4-8)

Sep. 18

CSU

Minnesota

Minn. 37-16
(4-10)

Sept. 18

Oregon State

New Mexico

Oregon St 17-7
(4-11)

Sept. 18

Michigan

San Diego State

 Michigan 24-21
(4-12)

Sept. 18

Southern Cal

BYU

 USC 42-10
(4-13)

Sept. 25

Wyoming

Mississippi

 

Oct. 2

UCLA

San Diego State

 

Oct. 16

Utah

North Carolina

 

  

THE "200 WATCH". Having now signed a five year extension on a contract which was set to expire after the 2004 season, Falcons' fans can rest assured that Fisher DeBerry will be stalking the sidelines through the fall of 2009. Never one to speak publicly about coaching standards he might reach as the result of being the most successful coach in service academy football history, I'll mention a long term benchmark at which DeBerry may finally be able to take aim. As the current season began only sixteen coaches in division 1-A history had reached the 200 win plateau. Before retiring as head coach at Fresno State, Jim Sweeney became the man to most recently arrive at 200 career victories. (Falling just short of the 200 mark are: Dana Bible with 198 wins; Dan McGugin with 197 and Fielding Yost  and Howard Jones with 196).
 

            Having posted his 158th win with the team's victory against UNLV, DeBerry stands 42 triumphs short of the vaunted goal with a bit less than six seasons to go on his contract. Let the 200 Watch begin!

 

       DEE-FENSE, DEE-FENSE?  The Fisher DeBerry era, now in its twenty-first season, has demonstrated that a crucial determinant in AFA's ability to win a game is the frequency with which the Falcons hold opponents to twenty-three points or less.  Fisher DeBerry had coached AFA in 248 games and posted an overall record of 158-89-1(.637). In 140 games the Falcons held their opponents to 23 or fewer points and posted a dazzling 120-20 (.857) winning mark. In the 108 games the Falcons allowed their opponents to score 24 or more points they have posted a desultory 38-69-1 (.356) record.

This trend, established from 1984 through 1998, has continued in recent seasons as well. From November 18, 1999  through this year‘s UNLV game, Air Force has played fifty games against division 1-A opponents. In those fifty games Air Force has compiled a 28-22(.560) record. In 32 (64.0%) of those games Air Force allowed 24 or more points to the opposition. In those 32 games when allowing 24 or more points, AFA's record is 12-20 (.375). In the eighteen games in which the Falcons allowed twenty-three points or less AFA posted a mark of 16-2(.888).
 

            The preponderance of evidence over twenty years is clear: when AFA limits the opposition to 23 points or less it wins. When AFA allows twenty-four points or more its chances to win decrease rapidly and the figures support this assessment. Whether you take the long view over Fisher's twenty years as the team's coach or the short view from November 1999 to the present the outcomes are strikingly similar: when AFA holds its opponent to twenty-three or fewer points it wins and when it allows twenty-four or more points it loses.

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