Good morning – we’re less than a week away from Christmas, so that means we’re just days away from the bowl game! If you can’t go, you can still donate tickets. As of Wednesday night, the Navy Athletics Facebook page reported that we have ticket donations from each of the 50 states and are less than 1,000 away from selling 10,000 total tickets to the game. That’s really something. The fact that Navy’s fan base continues to gobble up tickets to bowl games is a major reason why Chet and company were able to consistently line up bowl games while we were an independent. And it’s a big reason why Navy will always be in the running for the most attractive American bowls in the future.
For the second consecutive year, Keenan Reynolds was named the All-Independent offensive player of the year. He is joined on the all-independent team by Fullback Noah Copeland, a pair of offensive guards in E.K. Binns and Jake Zuzek, defensive end Will Anthony, and safety Parrish Gaines. Honorable mentions went to cornerback Quincy Adams, punter Pablo Beltran, kicker Austin Grebe, and linebacker Jordan Drake.
The American Athletic Conference had a big announcement of twitter yesterday afternoon: the home and away schedules for the next 4 years:
I think this is the best-case scenario we all dreamed of. Navy will get a rotating schedule of the Florida schools so we are guaranteed a trip to the sunshine state every other year. And the Texas schools in division are set to be home and away every year. Also of note: Navy gets to enjoy traveling to Memphis or New Orleans every year with alternating home/away between Memphis and Tulane. That means when you’re missing out on Bourbon Street, you have Beale Street to comfort you in your travels. I’m salivating at the prospect of these home schedules for NMCMS. Next year we’ll host ECU, USF, SMU, Tulane, air force, and Colgate. That’s not a bad lineup at all. The conference smartly went to a 5-3 schedule with no permanent crossover games between the teams. This avoids the travesty that is ACC and SEC scheduling where a player at Florida can go a career not playing Alabama or a player at Virginia Tech could never play FSU.
Speaking of The American, the conference has made some splashes in the coaching carousel. Houston hired Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to be their new head coach. SMU hired Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. And Memphis signed AAC coach of the year Justin Fuente to a contract extension after he lead the school to a share of the conference title. All of those can be seen a coup for the conference (Herman and Morris have long been viewed as hot commodity coordinators and Fuente was talked of as a candidate to step up after the season the Tigers had). And it’s important for the conference strength and stability going forward. While Boise State out of the MWC may have snagged the “Group of 5” bid to the access bowls this year, The American is set up for future success across all the teams in the conference. Compare these hires to UNLV, who brought on a high school coach for a fraction of what these coaches are making. I’m sure the fact that the Rebels have received zero dollars of the TV “bonus money” put them in a place where they can not compete for top coaching talent.
- One of the problems with having Army-Navy later in the season is less time to prepare for bowl games. Bill Wagner writes in the Capital Gazette that the team is plowing through exams and practice while some coaches hit the recruiting trail.
- YouTube is a great resource. Combine it with a Google news alert for Navy Football, and suddenly you’re seeing highlights from Duke vs. Navy in 1960.
- Check out this great CBS video on The Brotherhood and Ryan Williams-Jenkins.
- And here’s a video taken by the parachute teams that jumped into the Army-Navy game.