Some hanging chads to deal with before we get into the meat of the game:
Ratings. Army-Navy was pushed back a week to give it a Saturday of its own, in the hopes that being the only game in town would increase ratings and justify the large amount that CBS is paying for the broadcast rights. It appears that the move had its desired effect, as overnight ratings for the game were up 75% from last year, drawing a 4.2/10 share. That’s the highest rating since 1999. It’s good, but is it what CBS was hoping for? My guess is yes. By comparison, the ACC Championship game drew only a 1.6, while Michigan-Ohio State drew a 4.2. In case you’re wondering, the SEC title game drew an 11.1.
Uniforms. Listening to some people, you’d think that ratings for the game would have been 2-3 points higher if the sight of Navy’s uniforms didn’t turn viewers into pillars of salt. I get that not everyone liked them, but some of you act as if they were an affront to God Himself. I know I’m in the minority, but I liked them. Not that I’d want the team to wear them in every game, but as a one-off for Army-Navy, I thought they were pretty sweet. For those of you complaining about tradition, uniform gimmicks are the Army-Navy tradition. Over the years we’ve seen everything from orange helmets, to blue helmets with script “Navy,” to Chinese characters, to throwbacks, to “Beat Army” and “Drive for Five” sewn onto jerseys. If Nike rolls out jerseys with a splash of red as a nod to the Marine Corps for the Mids to wear for their most visible game, then I’m all for it.
By all accounts, the players like new unis, as did recruits. No, recruits probably won’t pick a school based on how their uniform looks. However, the fact that Nike likes to use Navy to roll out special edition uniforms reinforces the idea that Navy is big-time football. And that is something that resonates with recruits. I know most you didn’t like the look, but go easy on the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It wasn’t the end of the world, and probably won’t be the last time you see those uniforms.
TV coverage. Ugh.