2010 record: 9-4, 5-3 (T-3rd, Mountain West)
2010 bowl: 14-7 win over Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl
2010 final AP/coaches’ ranking: unranked/unranked
Coach: Troy Calhoun, sixth year; 34-18 overall, 21-11 conference
Offensive coordinator: Mike Thiessen, fourth year; Clay Hendrix, fifth year; Blane Morgan, fifth year
2010 offensive rankings: 40th, scoring offense (30.9 ppg); 28th, total offense (425.9 ypg); 2nd, rushing offense (306.5 ypg); 118th, passing offense (119.3 ypg)
Defensive coordinator: Matt Wallerstedt, second year; Charlton Warren, fourth year
2010 defensive rankings: 28th, scoring defense (21.1 ppg); 37th, total defense (349.3 ypg); 103rd, rushing defense (201.5 ypg); 2nd, passing defense (147.8 ypg)
Returning offensive starters: 5
Returning defensive starters: 8
Location: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Stadium: Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf; 46,692)
Last league title: 1998
2011 schedule: [view]
2011 roster: [view]
2010 statistics: [view]
Snapshot: Lost to Oklahoma by three in Norman. Lost to San Diego State by two on the road. Lost to Utah by five at home, with the Utes scoring half of their 28 points off five Falcons turnovers. A break here or there in any of those games last season, and Calhoun’s academy squad would’ve been staring a 10-plus-win season square in the face. With plenty of returning starters, particularly on an already-solid defense, and a favorable schedule — they get TCU and SDSU at home, although they did land the Smurf Turf in Boise State’s first year in the MWC as well as a trip to service academy rival Navy — the Falcons could be poised for double-digit wins and a national ranking for the first time since the days of Fisher DeBerry in the late-90s.
Make-or-break game: Sept. 10 vs. TCU
Yes, it’s just the second game of the season, but the game at home against a team that should be ranked could set the tone for the Falcons, and show Troy Calhoun what he does — or doesn’t — have for the remaining 10 games of the regular season. Especially with games against Navy, Notre Dame, SDSU and Boise State looming in consecutive weeks after their bye weekend and a game against a Div. 1-AA (FCS) school.
Heisman hopeful: Nothing to see here folks. Please, move along.
Postseason projection: Poinsettia Bowl