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David Ramsey: 11 things you didn't know about Air Force's Troy Calhoun

September 8, 2017 Updated: September 8, 2017 at 9:21 am
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Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, right, celebrates a victory over Utah with his players at Utah Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sept. 8, 2007. Air Force won the game 20-12 giving the Falcons a record of 2-0. Photo by David Bitton

Air Force football coach Troy Calhoun, by the numbers:

Zero – Number of minutes Calhoun spent talking to reporters after a dramatic defeat at Michigan’s Big House in 2012. Calhoun refused to be interviewed following the game, an extreme rarity for a college coach, and also declined to allow his players to be interviewed. The coach and his team return to the Big House Sept. 16. I’m predicting Coach Calhoun speaks to the media after his 2017 visit.

Two – Number of wins Calhoun collected from 2007-2013 against Mountain West teams that finished with a winning conference record. From 2011-2013, he did not beat a MW team that finished with a winning record. During his first seven seasons, Calhoun beat weak MW foes and lost to strong MW foes.

Three – That’s how many times in a row Calhoun has defeated Boise State, the Mountain West program that most closely resembles a national powerhouse.

Fourth – The down when Calhoun made the most daring – and most rewarding – call of his Air Force coaching career. On Sept. 13, 2007, Calhoun and the Falcons faced a 4th and short deep in their own territory against TCU. Calhoun gambled, and Jim Ollis broke loose with the help of  a Chad Hall block for a 71-yard, game-tying  touchdown. Air Force won the game in overtime. TCU had outscored Air Force 86-24 in the teams’ previous two games. The 4th down call, and the victory, shouted to anyone paying attention that we had embarked on The Calhoun Era.

Five – Number of times Air Force won 10 games in a season from 1955-2013. Calhoun has won 10 games twice in the past three seasons (2014-16).

Six – Number of wins Calhoun grabbed from 2014-2016 against Mountain West team that finished with a winning conference record. Over the last three seasons, Calhoun has altered his MW personality. He beats the strong and the weak.

Seven – Number of losses Calhoun’s offense has suffered while battling against Rocky Long’s defense. Long, who is 7-2 against Calhoun, served as New Mexico’s head coach in the 2007 and 2008 seasons before moving to San Diego State, where he worked as defensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010 and as head coach starting in 2011. Calhoun has suffered six straight losses against Long, who arrives Sept. 23 at Falcon Stadium with his SDSU Aztecs .

7.7 – Calhoun’s average number of victories during his first 10 seasons.  Remember, he finished 2-10 in 2013. Fisher DeBerry, who earned a place in the College Football Hall of Fame, averaged 7.34 wins in his 23 seasons as head coach.

13 – Number of wins by the Falcons in the three seasons (2004-2006) before Calhoun’s arrival. He nearly doubled that total by winning 25 games in his first three seasons (2007-2009).

104 – Number of losses collected by the teams Calhoun defeated in 2011 and 2012, when the Falcons finished 13-13. The 2013 Falcons seemed to suddenly collapse, winning only two of 12 games, but the collapse was gradual, not sudden. Calhoun did not defeat a team that finished with a winning record in 2011 or 2012. The teams he defeated finished with 46 wins and 104 losses.

713 – An unofficial count of the times Calhoun has reminded all of us that graduating from the Air Force Academy is more important than playing football at the Air Force Academy.

 

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