38 thoughts on “Thoughts?

  1. EightyFiver

    It’s an important game–for the team, it’s a rivalry game, and they’ve made the CIC a top priority. For the program, it means being top dog among the SA’s–and with all the talk of conference affiliation, this would be a good time to be that top dog.

    For KN, the game is important. The SA games are a professional yardstick for him. But but most important of KN’s career?

    No. His job is not riding on this game…not even close. And a win in this particular game–even a big win–is not likely to lead the AD at some BCS powerhouse to pick up his phone and tell KN to bring that optiony thing with him to, say, the SEC.

  2. newt91

    no. of course, define “most important”.

    Ken’s body of work to this point puts him way ahead, and a loss here wouldn’t change my opinion of him. he’s absolutely the right coach for Navy and the program in my opinion. i mean, he’s 2-1 against air force to this point and 3-0 against army.

    on the other hand – since it’s the next game – of course it’s the most important. but i don’t think that’s what you mean.

  3. tphuey

    This poll makes as much sense as “who is your favorite smurf?” Sorry Mike, but common sense says that there is no way that this is Coach Ken’s most important game.

    And for the record, my favorite smurf is Grouchy Smurf.

  4. Anonymous

    Why would a game to be played be more important in a career than a game that has already been played? If the thinking is that Air Force games are the most important (due to the CIC trophy implications) then I would think his most important game would have been his first one against Air Force.

    Yes, it is important to try and regain the upper hand after Navy lost to Air Force last year, but I still would consider the first Navy-Air Force game to have been his most important in the series.

  5. Obviously nobody’s job is on the line.

    If I had to pick one game up to this point as the “most important” of Niumat’s career, it would be the ’08 Air Force game. Everyone points to the 2003 Air Force game as the moment that Navy started getting the upper hand against Air Force in recruiting. The ’08 game was important to answer the AF recruiting pitch that Navy would fall back now that PJ was gone. I think that this game is similar in that on top of just winning the game, Niumat wants to show that last year was one game and not the start of a trend. Army is obviously a more important game rivalry-wise, but we don’t go up against them for recruits as much.

    I don’t know if I’m completely sold on the idea myself, but I thought it was worth discussing.

  6. Edgar

    Will this go down as Coach Ken’s most important game when his career is said and done? Perhaps, but only if he loses.

    But at this point, it is certainly the most important game of his career as a head coach. He lost to Air Force last year, losing the CIC trophy in the process. Losing to Air Force a second year in a row–at home and on national broadcast television–would be absolutely devastating. It would hand Troy Calhoun the title of ‘best head coach at a service academy.’ It would significantly hurt us on the recruiting trail and in a lot of people’s minds, signify the end of an era of Navy dominance.

    There is a huge difference between beating AF 8 out of 9 seasons and losing to them 2 years in a row.

  7. navyjoe

    I voted yes. Navy lost the CIC trophy in year 3 under KN. Navy needs this win to show there is no downward trend in the program relative to AF.

  8. goat7ed


    I don’t think it is a make or break game, but more a tarnish or polish game. You don’t want that smudge because it stands out, but at the same time maintaining luster is just expected without always giving full thought to the sustained work needed.

    If we win, it would not have been the most important (unless there is some huge understory that will serve as a defining moment). It would pale compared to the ND wins, Army wins, the Missouri win and even the Temple win.

    If we lose, then still no. I would go back a year and point to last year’s loss as being the more important game (with Dobbs) that started the pattern..

  9. USMC53

    I went ahead and said yes, even though I usually think of a “most important game of a coach’s career” being a championship game or a game where his job is on the line.

    I said yes because last year was his first loss to AF, and this one’s at home. Given the motivation and the venue, an objective observer would probably say that we should win. Plus, his team desperately wants to get the CIC Trophy back, so I would imagine that he has put intense pressure on himself to win this game. It’s a huge game for him and the team, and I can’t think of any other game that he has coached that he wanted to win any more than he wants to win this one.

  10. USMC53

    goat7ed, why do you think a win would pale in comparison to the other wins you mentioned? I don’t see it that way, considering the CIC is the #1 goal of every season, and this is KN’s first chance to get it back after losing it. I wonder what guys like Alexander Teich would say if asked to compare a win tomorrow with last year’s ND win. Interesting question.

  11. 81Zoltan

    I voted no.

    The “conventional wisdom” and ding against the triple option is it can be beaten in a bowl game because opposing teams have several weeks to prepare defensive assignments. Thus, the 2009 Texas Bowl victory was BIG.

    1. First time in 44 years Navy defeated Big 12 opponent:
    2009/12/31 Navy 35 – Missouri 13 W
    1965/10/02 Navy 10 – Oklahoma 0 W

    2. The 2009 victory ended a string of three post season Navy losses.

    However, I believe KN will have even bigger victories in the future. Just hope they are with Navy.

  12. I don’t know how you define “bigger,” but in terms of what’s more important for the program and meeting its goals, yes, the Army game is bigger. Beating Army and Air Force for players is what makes wins against Notre Dame possible. Beating them on the field is the best way to beat them for players.

  13. DJ


    I remember walking into NMCS thinking that the 2008 Rutgers game was a big one. It was Coach Ken’s first real home game (Towson doesn’t count) and Navy was coming off two uninspiring road losses to Ball State and Duke. After that game, Navy had ranked Wake on the road, Air Force CIC game on the road, and top 25 ranked Pitt with McCoy and McKillop coming to Annapolis. Rutgers was winless, so Navy had to win that game to avoid a possible 1-6 start. The game was back and forth, but Navy played mistake free football and kicked a late FG to win. The next week they had the win at Air Force with the blocked punts, and then they won at Wake forcing a ton of turnovers.

    That season, Ken’s first which started bad, ended up being successful and helped us understand what we had with Coach Ken. Navy won the CIC trophy, dominated and shut out Army, beat their first ranked opponent in a quarter century, had one of the best come from behind victories in the history of NMCS and Navy football vs. Temple, and went to a bowl game. But most importantly, Coach Ken put his mark on that football team. Turnover margin was great, penalties and mistakes were low, games were shortened with posessions, and the defense even posted a few shutouts.

  14. DJ

    To Zoltan’s question, as a fan, I think the ND win in OT was more memorable than any Army victory. I have been to about 12-15 each of ND and Army (and about 7 AF and 5 bowl) games, and I don’t think I have ever had a Navy football memory that comes close to that game (although the Joey Bullen FG vs. Air Force was pretty cool).

    To the players and institution, Army has to be the biggest game. It means so much to the mids and fleet, has incredible exposure, and it’s become a sort of benchmark for all Navy sports. I have to believe that Coach Ken’s contract has firmer footing after a 7-6 season beating Army than a 9-4 season losing to Army.

  15. kevin

    Its not fair to count wins…. its a game that’s the question, you can’t choose if it’s a win or loss. I said yes, but im not certain. I think this game shows whether last years loss was a trend or hiccup. I don’t think the army game is more important because they are not competitive. If they win a game, then I think the next tme we play them will be very important. Obviously KN’s job is not in jeorpardy and if we win, people won’t place that much weight on it, it’ll just be the continuation of a dominant navy in the service academy realm.

  16. 81Zoltan

    Given: The Army-Navy game is the only college football game played in America attended by the entire student bodies of both institutions. Both student bodies touch the friendly field of strife before the game. It is a game of Honor. It is special.

  17. Anonymous

    CBS is reporting that the loser of the Navy-AF game MUST join the Big East next year, and the winner gets to defer joining for a year (but do so two years hence). Anyone else hear this, or is it just CDB talking out their @ss?

  18. BandL89

    I like the question, Mike and you set it up nicely in your game post – winning helps recruiting. AF seems to rate high with people who rank teams, e.g., pre-snap read, but I think Navy is a tougher, better team and I think they can prove out Craig Candeto’s maxim that it does not have to be close if they play KN/IJ/BG, i.e, Navy! disciplined football.

  19. workinducedcoma

    I voted NO, but if we were to do this again next year after a loss this year, I might change my answer. Looking forward to that not being an issue!

  20. Anonymous

    I think his most important game was the 2008 Rutgers game. We were 1-2 and facing 1-3 with a trip to #16 Wake the following week. We rallied to win that game, went to Wake Forest and upset them and then won at Air Force.

  21. Navy41

    I think his most important game was the 2008 Rutgers game. We were 1-2 and facing 1-3 with a trip to #16 Wake the following week. We rallied to win that game, went to Wake Forest and upset them and then won at Air Force.

  22. Geo79

    Viewing this game as a true neutral, I always thought the CIC trophy was created to provide some significance to the AF-Army and AF-navy games.

    There is only one game during each season that matters and there is only one game on which a head coach’s fate is truly tied: Army-navy.

    navy’s current coach — like Johnson before him — has done a superb job preparing his team year after year, game after game. A viable program can ask for nothing more. Losing to AF this year would be just that. Move on to th next one.

    PPS: kevin, I think you mean jeo-parody!

  23. christianswezey

    I voted no. It doesn’t have the feel that the bowl game against Missouri had. Though the CBS aspect made it tempting to vote yes. So many recruits and alums will be watching.

  24. Anonymous

    184 votes, 32 comments (and counting). Apparently a lot of people disagree with you, old goat.

    Stupid comment. You can do better.

  25. navyrugger

    At first I thought this one was a no brainer – of course not, and I voted accordingly. But after seeing AF really put it to us – let’s face it it was an awesome comeback but we were beaten in all phases – I’ve started to believe that AF has swung the pendulum. I really thought we were better and we would win, handily. I was wrong. I won’t ever be that confident playing a TC coached team again.

  26. Dave69

    It might be interesting to rerun the poll at the end of the season – or perhaps even after next week’s game. If we lay another egg there will be some (not me) who will immediately say this game was the beginning of the end for KN. Perhaps we should ask Notre Dame’s Shawn for an opinion.

  27. gonavy921

    overall the answer is no. From a recruiting perspective it is close. Has the pendulum swung AF’s way, to early to tell, but recruits will look even more closely now. Maybe we look back at this at the end of the season…

  28. tphuey

    Dave69: “Perhaps we should ask Notre Dame’s Shawn for an opinion.”

    LOL! That summed up how I felt perfectly. Now I realize how ridiculous I am being. I don’t want to be like Shawn! Time to get over it and move on.

    Beat Southern Miss!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s