Opponent Preview: Air Force

The Triple Option in action

Tomorrow Michigan fans, famously polite and definitely not insecure, welcome the Air Force Academy into our beloved Big House. Seeing as Michigan fans tend to be more pot-smoking beatnik drum circle-types than Harriet Jet enthusiasts, we at the WLA thought now would be an appropriate time to Better Know A Military Branch.

The Air Force was founded in 1851 by President Millard “Mitt” Fillmore. Originally conceived as a flock of expertly-trained messenger pigeons sent to carry reports of escaped plantation workers to Southern slave catchers, the Air Force was for many years the least distinguished branch of our military. This remains true today.

In the beginning of the 20th Century, Orville and Wilbur Wright, two Michigan fans from Hoke, Ohio, seeking to expedite the transport of four-star Buckeye State recruits to Ann Arbor, carried out the first successful manned flight in human history. This gave the Air Force a renewed purpose: to provide accurate and detailed weather reports for the ace pilots of the Navy.

Before America entered the second World War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt secretly offered the services of the Air Force to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, engaged in a desperate struggle to defend his island from the vaunted German war machine. Churchill politely declined. During the Cold War, Air Force generals urged President Kennedy to annihilate the planet. Many later suspected the Air Force’s complicity in Kennedy’s assassination, but investigators determined no Air Force man would be capable of such accurate shooting.

In 1994, Air Force began playing football. The Falcons debuted their vaunted triple option attack in the program’s first game, a 5-0 defeat to the North Campus Intramural All-Stars. Eighteen years later, Air Force remains the only BCS program to have never attempted a forward pass.

This brings us to tomorrow’s showdown. Michigan struggled in its preseason exhibition match against Alabama, but this was with most of its starters on the bench for precautionary reasons. Weather could be a factor, which many think favors a team of future meteorologists, but recall that this happened. Still, Michigan will have to rediscover its confidence early. Expect a tie game at opening kickoff before Michigan eventually overwhelms.

Prediction: Michigan 86, Air Force 11

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