AFA By The Numbers
Coach DeBerry
Coach DeBerry
AFAFalcons Staff Writer
Posted Nov 5, 2004


In his twenty-first season as AFA's head coach, Fisher DeBerry's record through 253 games stands at 159-93-1(.630) overall; 74-59-1(.555) on the road or at neutral sites and 85-34(.714) in home games. A greater number of these games have been played on the road or at neutral sites--134 or 52.9%--while 119 or 47.0% have been played as home games.

THE HALLOWEEN EFFECT. From the period beginning on Halloween Night 2003 through the most recently played game on the schedule the Air Force Falcons have played 25 games. The team's record in those games is 12-13(.480). Here's one factor for the team's poor showing in that stretch of games.  

            On Halloween Night in 2003 AFA failed to score a point in the third quarter while playing at home against CSU. That occasion marks the start of a disturbing trend that has seen the Falcons be alarmingly unproductive in the third period of games. In the twenty-five games the team has played since then the falcons have failed to score a point in fourteen different games in the third quarter. AFA's record in those fourteen games is a disastrous 3-11(.214). In the past ten games in which Air Force has failed to score a point during the third quarter the team has lost nine games. That's a trend requiring Fisher DeBerry's immediate attention. 

            Here's a chart of the games in which AFA has failed to score in the third quarter since Halloween Night 2002 to the present. 

Date

Site/Opponent

Final score

10/31/02

AFA--CSU

CSU 31-12

12/31/02

SF Bowl--V. Tech

V. Tech 20-13

9/6/03

@ Northwestern

AFA 23-21

9/20/03

AFA--Wyo

AFA 35-29

10/04/03

@Navy

Navy 28-25

10/16/03

@CSU

CSU 30-20

11/1/03

AFA--Utah

Utah 45-43 (3OT)

11/15/03

@N. Mex.

N. Mex.  24-12

11/22/03

@SDS

SDS  24-3

9/4/04

AFA--Cal

Cal  56-14

9/30/04

AFA--Navy

Navy 24-21

10/9/04

AFA--N. Mex.

AFA  28-23

10/23/04

AFA--BYU

BYU  41-24

10/30/04

@Wyoming

Wyo 43-26

 STUMBLING BLOCKS. This year's senior class has two dubious distinctions. Its overall MWC record is a quite modest 12-14(.461) through and including the Wyoming game. The class has also seen three consecutive seasons end with 2-5 swoons over the course of the final seven games on the schedule.

             In the past three seasons AFA has lost two of three games to both San Diego State and New Mexico. In the same period of time AFA has lost three straight games to CSU, bringing the Falcons' record against these three conference foes to an unacceptable 2-7 (.222).  

            The second half of the schedule this season calls for AFA to play all three of their recent nemeses--N. Mexico, SDS and CSU--at home. The team’s most recent win, posted against the Lobos, raises the record of the class of 2005 to 3-7 versus New Mexico, SDS and CSU.  

AFA AGAINST THE POINTS. From 2001 through this season's Wyoming game here's a look at how the Falcons have fared against the point spread. Bear in mind that Las Vegas does not set a line for a game matching a division 1-A team against a division 1-AA team. In 2001, Air Force went 3-8 against the spread. In 2002, AFA went 9-4 against the point spread. The Falcons were 4-7 against the spread in 2003. AFA is 3-4 against the spread in 2004. The Falcons’ 19-23 (.452) mark against the spread over the past forty-two games might provide AFA fans with a caveat to think twice before laying the points on the Falcons. 

TAKING THE OFFENSIVE. Chuck Petersen, the national assistant coach of the year in 2003, has been the offensive coordinator for the Falcons from the outset of the 2000 season. Since Petersen has assumed the reins to the Air Force attack the Falcons have posted a record of 32-24(.571) in fifty-six games. 

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. 

            Let me also note that there is legislation which has been introduced by an NCAA committee this fall to adopt an exemption for a 12th game among division 1-A teams.



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