Two holes opened up unexpectedly on the Army long-range schedule yesterday as North Texas canceled two games in its series with the Black Knights.
The Mean Green were supposed to visit West Point in 2018, then host the Black Knights in 2019, but now neither of those games will occur. Instead, North Texas will be playing a home-and-home series with Liberty.
This is all part of a strategy laid out by new UNT athletic director Wren Baker who had the following to say about the Black Knights.
"The Army series is difficult on your team," Baker said. "Every defensive coach in the country would tell you preparing for the triple-option gets you out of your regular plan. Then you have to adjust the next week and go back to what you regularly do. You also tend to rack up some injuries. We like playing Army, but we felt we could get more out of playing other teams."
This is a double-edged sword for Army. Losing the series – a series against a team they can beat on a yearly basis – is annoying. On the flip side, it gives the Black Knights a chance to maybe pick up a home-and-home with a team that averages a final ranking 10 or 20 spots better than North Texas. With the way Army has been recruiting and developing talent, then this is still a contest the Black Knights would be confident of winning.
It also shows the difficulty Army has in scheduling teams for long series. Teams will pick up one or two game sets with the Black Knights, but when they see and feel the difficulty of stopping the triple-option attack, then they want no part of the Black Knights for an extended period of time.