Monday, December 11th, 2017

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Published on December 29, 2011 by   ·   1 Comment

armed-forces-bowl-logoThe Armed Forces Bowl was first contested in 2003 and features teams from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA. This bowl game is being played at Gerald J Ford Stadium in University Park, Texas.

Part of the Armed Forces Bowl arrangement is that if either conference cannot supply a bowl-eligible team then Army will be offered a bid.

This year as the MWC did not have enough bowl eligible teams and the Army Black Knights were not bowl eligible. Therefore, the Independent Brigham Young Cougars (9-3) will take on Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-4) from Conference USA.

Kickoff will be on Friday, December 30 at 12:00PM ET. You can watch this game on ESPN or listen to it on ESPN Radio.


BYU has played well this year against a decent schedule of teams. They only played one bad game all year against rival Utah. They played tough at Texas and at home against TCU and beat a couple of big conference teams.

Tulsa played a tough non-conference schedule, losing all three games pretty handily to Oklahoma, OK State and Boise State. With Marshall winning their bowl game, Tulsa has now beaten 2 teams with a record over .500. They had a 7 game winning streak and only 1 of these games were closer than 17 points.

However, Tulsa hasn’t played against a defense like BYU. A lot of the teams that they beat up on were 2 – 5 win Conference USA teams. They were exposed in their last game at home against Houston.

BYU has proven to be a good pick for a bowl winner the past 2 years. They will be looking to win 3 bowl games in a row for the first time in their history.

As far as the sportsbooks are concerned, Tulsa is currently a 1 point favorite. This is another one of those games that I have to guess at. The only thing I can fall back on is that Tulsa has played poorly against good teams.


Because BYU has won a couple bowl games and played well against good competition, I have them winning the Armed Forces bowl with the score 31-20.

2010 Armed Forces Bowl

Previous Bowl Results

Air Force had played in the previous three Armed Forces Bowls and went 1-2. Conference USA is 1-4 overall in the Armed Forces bowl. This will be Army’s first trip to this bowl game.


This is only Army’s 5th bowl game all time and they are 2-2. They last played in a bowl game that Army played in was the 1996 Independence Bowl, where they lost to Auburn 32-29.

SMU won the Hawaii Bowl last year against the Nevada Wolfpack 45-10. This was their first bowl win since they received the death penalty for rules violations and their first bowl appearance period since 1984.

Armed Forces Bowl Breakdown

RecordsSMU: 7-6; Army: 6-6
All Time Bowl RecordSMU: 5-6-1; Army: 2-2
Key WinsSMU: Tulsa 21-18, East Carolina 45-38; Army: Kent State 45-28
Key LossesSMU: Texas Tech 35-27, TCU 41-24, Navy 28-21; Army: Air Force 42-22, Notre Dame 27-3, Navy 31-17

SMU has played more quality teams than Army. They played admirably on the road at Texas Tech and played TCU closer than most other teams did. They also have a quality win on the road at East Carolina and beat a good Tulsa team.

I wanted to be nice to Army so I gave them one key victory this season, but that would be over the 5-7 Kent State Golden Flashes from the MAC. Except for a narrow early season loss against Hawaii, the games played against quality opponents have been decided by 14 points or more.

Points For/GameSMU: 26.6; Army: 27.5
Points Against/GameSMU: 26.4; Army: 25.2
Offensive Yards/GameSMU: 414.5; Army: 338

Army has the lowest statistical passing attack in the country, averaging 82.1 yards of passing per game. They are much more efficient at running the ball being 10th in the nation in that category.

The Mustangs strong point is their passing game, which ranks 22nd in the country at almost 275 yards per game. Both teams are average at scoring offense and defense.

The sports betting websites have Southern Methodist as a 7 point favorite in this game. Part of this is due to their strength of schedule and part of this is due to the game being played in their home state of Texas.


I don’t think that this one will be in any doubt. It’s very nice that Army was able to make a bowl game this year as they usually don’t finish at .500, but SMU showed that they could win a bowl game in dominant fashion last year. Unlike SMU, Army doesn’t have any real quality win.

This game should be decided by at least 10 points. I’m going to bet on SMU to win 31-17.

Bowl Game Review

Look at Army go! Congrats to the Black Knights for winning their first bowl game since 1985 (and third bowl game ever) and finishing their first winning season since 1996.

Turnovers killed SMU in the first half as Army got out to a 16-0 lead. The second half saw a total of 7 possesions as SMU scored TDs on 2 of 3 possessions and almost came back and won. But they missed a 47-yard field goal with a little more than 4 minutes left and did not get the ball back.

2010 Bowl Record – 9-6

Highlights from previous Armed Forces Bowls

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  1. […] Force (7-5) won the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl against Houston (10-3) 47-20. They are 9-10-1 all time in bowl […]

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