The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Series 2021 Pt. 4: Hell's Half Acre

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Missouri Tigers (6-6) vs. Army Black Knights (8-4)
December 22, 7 p.m.
Fort Worth, Texas

Contractual arrangements for The Armed Forces Bowl nearly guarantee at least one service academy makes an appearance in Fort Worth. Contractual tie-ins with the American Athletic Conference (Navy), the Mountain West Conference (Air Force) and Army (independent) open a slot for at least one of those schools unless each falls short of bowl eligibility. The bowl uses the Amon G. Carter Stadium, home field of TCU and fondly referred to by Horned Frogs fans as "Hell's Half Acre." The nickname speaks to TCU's home-field advantage. It's a thing. There are tapestries.

Sitting on the campus of Texas Christian University makes Hell's Half Acre an awkward nickname. In the 19th Century, as Fort Worth boomed from a frontier cowtown to a rowdy metropolis. The lower end of town became known as a den of "gunmen, highway robbers, card sharks, con men, and shady ladies." The rapscallions of the Half Acre preyed on cowpokes stopping for a rest from the trails across Texas and Kansas, fleecing the noobs at the tables and in the brothels. If plain vanilla robbery didn't cut it, gunfights and murders sufficed. The 20th Century brought Prohibition and crackdowns on good times but the name persists in local lore.

Our pick: The Black Knights return to this den of iniquity again after wrecking Houston 70-14 in 2018. While the Tigers limp into Fort Worth with a middling .500 record, Army only lost the games you'd expect. Apart from a hiccup against Ball State and the toss-out-the-records loss in the Army-Navy game, the Cadets posted a solid record and rightly merit the -6.5 edge. Mizzou's uphill slog against Army's stout defense (ranked 13th nationally) won't be any easier now that starting 'backer and SEC-leading rusher Tyler Badie is out. Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz made the tough call to sit Badie for the game, citing his concern for protecting the future of his players. In another questionable roster move, redshirt freshman quarterback will get the nod for his first career start. Vegas took note, to say the least. After opening with Army as a four-point favorite, the line has skyrocketed and even so looks a little soft.

Army Black Knights in a rout (-6.5)

Google searches for today's game included, among others:

Correction: The signature call of the Road Runner is "Beep-Beep!" not "Meep Meep!" as previously reported. We regret the error.


Mike Luce is the world's greatest college football writer. He welcomes your comments.

More from Beachwood Sports »

Agony & Ivy

Reclaim the Cubs!

Continue reading "Agony & Ivy" »

Posted on Jun 15, 2022

TrackNotes: Back To The Future

Will Bob Baffert ever go away? Churchill Downs Inc.: It's just what they do. Dickie D. dead. Cliches can shape your biorhythms. Double-teaming justice. You look just like. We asked one person, me.

Continue reading "TrackNotes: Back To The Future" »

Posted on Jan 28, 2022

The White Sox Report

Minnie Miñoso Was Very, Very Good To Us

Electric, indefatigable and, finally, undenied.

Continue reading "Minnie Miñoso Was Very, Very Good To Us" »

Posted on Dec 9, 2021