Air Force is going bowlin' deep in the heart of Texas. The Falcons accepted a bid to play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on New Year's Eve and now we know Cal is going to be their opponent.
At one time, the Cal Bears were the number two ranked team in the country, but have since fallen on hard times. Most recently they to the Stanford Cardinal.
An ironic twist to the game is that Shaun Carney played his first game as a freshman against Cal, and will now end his career against them.
The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, an ESPN Regional Television (ERT) owned-and-operated event, will be aired at 1030 a.m. (CST) on ESPN, live from Amon G. Carter Stadium.
The 9-3 record is Air Force’s first winning season since posting a 7-5 mark in 2003. The Falcons’ six wins in Mountain West Conference play is their most-ever and best league record since finishing the 1998 season with a 7-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference.
Troy Calhoun also becomes the third first-season coach at the Air Force to lead the Falcons to a post-season bowl game following in the footsteps of Ben Martin (1958) and Fisher DeBerry (1984). A 1989 graduate of the Academy, Calhoun replaced DeBerry last December as only the sixth coach in the 52-season history of Air Force football.
Appearing in its first post-season game since 2002, the Air Force will be competing in their 18th bowl since the start of their intercollegiate football program in 1956. The Falcons first-ever bowl appearance was following the 1958 season when Air Force and TCU played to a 0-0 tie in the 1959 Cotton Bowl.
Ticket prices for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are $40 for sideline seats and $15 for end zone tickets. Military veterans receive half off any $40 seat and active duty personnel get in free via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. A portion of local ticket sales will go to designated military charities. Tickets for this year’s game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at 817/810-0012, or by going to the website for more information at www.ArmedForcesBowl.com.