The final AP Top 25 rankings came out today and the Army Black Knights finished 19th. This is the highest ranking that Army has received since 1985 when they went they peaked at #19 after a 5-0 start.
Army finished 11-2, went undefeated at home for a second straight year, won a second straight Commander-in-Chief Trophy, beat Navy for a third straight year, put up 70 points in their bowl game, and was the only team to hold Oklahoma under 30 points.
Jim Alexander had Army ranked 7th which was the highest anyone had them.
Only four people had Army unranked: Soren Petro, Andy Greder, Sam McKewon, and Matt Baker. I talked to Baker and asked why he had the Black Knights unranked and he said:
As I just told them, advanced metrics view Army as a team outside the top 40. S&P+ has them at 75. That weighed them down a lot. That said, Army would have been 26 or 27 if my ballot had 30 spots.
… I take a lot of things into consideration, including S&P+, Sagarin, etc. Sometimes it helps teams (Mizzou stayed in my rankings because advanced metrics still like them a lot). Sometimes it hurts teams (like Army).
He makes an interesting argument because advanced metrics aren’t too kind to the Black Knights. It’s hard for these metrics to have Army ranked high because they don’t put up a lot of points typically and hold the ball for 35+ minutes per game. It’s why they can take a team like Oklahoma to OT but not blow an FCS opponent out of the water.
More articles about this historic season will come as the offseason progresses.