Air Force is now ranked 23rd in the AP poll, 23rd in the Coaches poll, and also 23rd in the Harris poll this week, after they defeated Colorado State over the weekend. The BCS polls are officially released this Sunday night, but in the mean time the simulated BCS standings have Air Force at 22nd.
Now onto the games that will have a direct impact on whether Air Force moves up in the rankings, and that have a realistic chance of being beat. Also, the Falcons better not over look San Diego State before their huge matchup against TCU.
The rankings below represent the AP poll, and all times are Mountain.
South Florida @ #25 West Virginia (Thursday, ESPN 5:45 p.m.)
West Virginia easily beat UNLV last week with a well balanced game with good grades given to all for their performance, but this week they play South Florida who has a much better defense then UNLV. South Florida will definitely need their defense to slow down West Virginia's Noel Devine and quarterback Geno Smith. The Bulls are giving up only 19 points per game, but have played some bad teams this year. Plus, the Bulls are coming off a pretty embarrassing loss to Syracuse.
Boston College @ #16 Florida State (ESPN 10 a.m.)
While Boston College is having a down year they have beat Florida State each of the past two years. The key problem for Boston College is that they are still uncertain in the quarterback department, and this week Frank Spaziani gets the start this week. Florida State seems to be back (yes, we have heard that before) after their beat down over Miami last week. The reason is because Florida State's defense is much improved. Here is a statistical look between Florida State and Boston College.
#21 Missouri @ Texas A&M (Fox Sports Regional 10 a.m.)
Missouri quarterback Blaine Gillbert will start against the Aggies after suffering a hip injury against Colorado. Texas A&M is dangerous enough to beat a lot of teams, but it all comes down to Jerrod Johnson not making mistakes. He is capable of putting up yards, but also equally prone to turning the ball over. The Aggies will have a tough time scoring against Missouri, who are now the nations third best defense in points allowed.
#15 Iowa @ Michigan (ABC or ESPN 1:30 p.m.)
If Denard Robinson plays then the Wolverines have a chance, and Black Heart Gold Pants ask the perfect question: "How much production can they allow to Denard Robinson." MIchigan is coming off of a loss to their rival Sparty and maybe more inspired to pull off a minor upset against Iowa and hope to avoid last years drastic fall off after a similar start.
#20 Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech (Fox Sports Regional 1:30 p.m.)
This will be the first real test for the Cowboys who have beat up on some pretty bad schools, and not looking all that impressive either. Texas Tech has the offense will just throw and throw even though Tommy Tubberville is trying to make them a more balanced team. Here is a breakdown of the Texas Tech offense against the Oklahoma State defense. The key matchup from that comparison is said to be Tech RB Baron Batch against Oklahoma State MLB Orie Lemon. Is this game becoming a rivalry?
Not a chance I do not include this botched onside kick by Texas Tech from last weeks seven point win over Baylor.
#1 Ohio State @ #18 Wisconsin (ESPN 5 p.m.)
This is a game that will not only could affect Air Forces ranking, but it could change the BCS title picture if Wisconsin pulls the upset. Ohio State has only been challenged when the beat Miami, FL. This will be a big test and here is how Wisconsin and Ohio State matchup. Wisconsin has not beat Ohio State since 2004, and Badger fans are wondering when Bret Bielema will win a big game for Wisconsin.
#23 Air Force @ San Diego State (CBS College Sports 6 p.m.)
San Diego State has been on the bad side of some calls this year. First, there was the officials admitting they made a mistake when the Aztecs played Missouri. The blown call was on the Tigers game winning run, and then this past week when the Mountain West suspended the crew from the San Diego State vs. BYU game for multiple missed calls. Specifically a blown fumble call late in the game that gave the ball back to BYU, plus there were other calls. So, the Aztecs are pretty upset. The matchup to watch will be San Diego State wide receiver's Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson against the vaunted Air Force secondary. Aztec quarterback Ryan Lindley is one of the best passers in the nation and can keep them in any game they play all year with their quick striking offense. Whoever wins that matchup will probably win the game this weekend.
Nevada @ Hawaii (ESPN 3 9:30 p.m.)
We all know what Hawaii can do and that is throw the ball and put up a lot of points. The Warriors are first in passing yards and 11th in the nation in scoring at 39.3 per game. Nevada will have their hands full with their offense, but so will Hawaii as they will try to stop Colin Kaepernick and the pistol offense. One eye popping stat is that Nevada's offensive line has allowed only four sacks all season. That is the reason why Nevada has been so good on offense. Expect this game to be a shootout, so try to stay up late for this matchup.
There you have it all the games that will have an impact on whether Air Force moves up or stays still in the upcoming polls. The first BCS standings come out this Sunday, and while Air Force is not in the discussion for a BCS berth; they do have the schedule with games against TCU and Utah for a chance for them to move up in the rankings to be considered for a BCS bowl. First, the Falcons need to take of business against San Diego State this weekend.