Navy Football has experienced a resurrection over the past decade. The team represents one of the very best institutes of higher learning in our country - the U.S. Naval Academy. Playing its games at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, the Midshipmen have a long and storied tradition of gridiron success.
Each year for the Middies, as they're known, the biggest game is the mid-December tussle with Army. Rivalries against the Air Force Academy and Notre Dame also are huge. In 2007, the Mids defeated Notre Dame for the first time in more than four decades. For good measure, they did it again in 2009.
Navy was among the nation's top college football programs through the early and middle potions of the 20th century. It won the 1926 national championship, and counts 1963 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Roger Staubach among its greatest players. The program fell on hard times in the latter half of the century, until it was resurrected by coach Paul Johnson in the 2000s. Johnson, and his successor, Ken Niumatalolo, have taken Navy to seven straight bowl games, a streak that very well could be extended in 2010.
Last year the Mids finished 10-4 and defeated Missouri in the Texas Bowl.
Navy football essentials
Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo
Stadium: Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Here, autumn Saturdays are more than just football on the field. The corps of midshipmen march into the stadium, navy jets fly over the stadium before the game. It's a spectacle of patriotism, not just a celebration of college football.
Oh, and the tailgating is much more, shall we say, family-friendly in Annapolis than at most other college football stadiums.
2010 Navy football schedule
Home games are in bold.
Sept. 6 - vs Maryland (at M&T Bank Stadium), 4 p.m.
Sept. 11 - vs Georgia Southern, 3:30
Sept. 18 - at Louisiana Tech, 7
Oct. 2 - at Air Force, 2:30
Oct. 9 - at Wake Forest, TBA
Oct. 16 - vs Southern Methodist, 3:30
Oct. 23 - vs Notre Dame (at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.), noon
Oct. 30 - vs Duke, 3:30
Nov. 6 - at East Carolina, TBA
Nov. 13 - vs Central Michigan, 3:30
Nov. 20 - vs Arkansas State, 3:30
Dec. 11 - vs Army (at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia), TBA