The last decade of college football was defined by conference realignment. The ACC lured Miami and Virginia Tech away from the Big East in 2004 in the first moves that would eventually change the face of college athletics as we knew it. BCS conferences added schools that they hoped would drive up the value of television contracts coming up for renegotiation. Conferences had to attract more viewers if they wanted to generate more money from bidding networks.
For some, that meant expanding into areas beyond their traditional regions. For others, it meant adding whoever they could just to survive. The result in both cases has been a lot of seemingly bizarre partnerships. Rutgers shares the same conference home as Nebraska. West Virginia vs. Texas Tech is now an annual contest. The Catholics are going in halvsies with the Convicts. It’s a lot to get used to.
Fortunately, that’s not the case for the Naval Academy. While some American Athletic Conference members will be making their first appearances on a Navy schedule, others have been playing the Mids for years. Among FBS conferences, only ACC and Big Ten members have played more games against Navy than the schools in the American. The Mids have faced their new conference-mates 62 times, beginning in 1930 with SMU’s trip to Baltimore. That’s a wide spectrum of Navy history, and it includes some significant moments. Here’s a look back at the 10 that I think are the most noteworthy.