Congratulations are in order for Coach Ken Niumatalolo and the Navy football team for the impressive 35-13 win over Missouri in the Texas Bowl. The midshipmen played an impressive game from start to finish. I was most impressed with Navy's second fourth quarter drive that effectively won the game. They had just stopped the Tigrers on downs, but had a 15 point, two score lead. Ricky Dobbs piloted the midshipment down the field in a demoralizing, almost 6 minute drive that ended with Dobbs literally pushing the ball over the goal line himself to seal the deal. That's the kind of drive that champions execute. These midshipmen also played well on defense, holding Missouri, a pretty potent offensive force to 13 points and picking off Gabbert twice.
This certainly ranks as one of Navy's best seasons. Seldom do they get to 10 wins, but beating Army, Air Force and Notre Dame, all in one season is especially sweet. I know that coming close doesn't count, but their play against Ohio State was especially admirable. I thought the departure of Paul Johnson to Georgia Tech would end Navy's dominant possession of the Commander in Chief's trophy, but coach Niumatolo has proved a worthy, even better successor.
I root for three different college football teams, because I can and it's fun. USC was my boyhood team, I went to Navy, and I sort of adopted the Cornhuskers during a stint at STRATCOM in the 90's. (Nebraska had great people who really love the game of football.) I never thought I would see the day when Navy arguably had the more successful season of those three teams.
Finally, do you think we can get some love and get a final ranking for Navy in the top 25? I doubt it, even if I think they deserve it; but at least it helps them sneak up on opponents.
UPDATE: This was Navy's first 10 win season since 1905.