They are an overtime victory away from being the “surprise” story of the 2018 college football season. And even without that working out in their favor–it was a 28-21 overtime loss at No. 6 Oklahoma on Sept 22– Army football is again an unqualified success.
Which leads us to the architect of the program, Cadet coach Jeff Monken.
Army’s latest triumph was last Saturday when the Cadets held on for a 17-14 victory over Air Force, which put them halfway to winning their second consecutive Commander in Chief’s Trophy which is awarded each year to either Army, Air Force or Navy.
But that is just the tip of the story.
Army is now 7-2 for the season, which combined with last season’s 10-3 mark, is an impressive 17-5 over most of the past two seasons. This is light years away from the Army team which was losing to lower tier Ivy League schools a few years ago.
Monken, who was hired by Army athletic director Boo Corrigan five years ago, came to West Point from Georgia Southern, an FCS school. It took two seasons for Monken to get the Cadets turned in the right direction. After a 4-8 season in 2014 and a 2-10 wipe out in 2015, Army football has been on the march, going from 8-5 in 2016 to 10-3 last season.
Army’s only other stumble was an opening game loss at Duke, which was the Cadets worst game (34-14) of the year. The loss to Oklahoma more of an “escape” for the Sooners, than a victory.
Army has not looked back since.
The Cadets have won five straight since the Oklahoma game. With games against FCS opponents Lafayette and Colgate the next two weeks, the winning streak should continue into the Navy game. Army has won its last two meetings with the Middies and this year’s Navy team is a woeful 2-7, which means the conditions appear favorable–although it is foolish to speculate on the outcome of any Army-Navy game–for the Cadets to continue their longest winning streak against Navy since they won five straight times from 1992-96.
After that, Army will be in its third straight bowl game–something that has never happened at Army.
All of that is mainly because Monken came to West Point with a plan which has worked. It could also be one of the reasons why his name should be on the short list for some of the FBS openings that will occur in the next several weeks.
For all of that, Jeff Monken is TMG’s Newsmaker of the Week.