Editor’s Note: While the college football bowl season is still a bit away, the season isn’t over yet: we still have Army-Navy. While we know a little bit about Army (who should be ranked), we brought in a guest writer and active duty Marine to get you both educated and hyped for one of the greatest traditions in College Football. Anonymous Sooner, take it away.
Hello everyone. First off, as I have been identified as an active duty Marine, I am legally required to mention that all views and opinions expressed are entirely my own and do not reflect the USMC, Department of the Navy, or Department of Defense. Now that due diligence has been paid to mandatory legal disclosures, let’s begin.
This weekend the only College Football game will be the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA (because not even this sacred game can escape the grasp of corporate America). Army and Navy first met on the gridiron on November 29, 1890, and naturally, the superior team won: Navy 24, Army 0. This pretty much set the tone for the series as a whole, with Navy leading in every meaningful category. The game has been played 118 times, as between 1890 and 1930 they played only 30 times. (That is 30 out of 40 years for you Oklahoma State people out there.) The overall results are skewed towards Navy to the tone of 60-51-7. Army does hold a pair of notable records in the game: the longest losing streak (14 from 2002-2015), and the largest loss (51-0 in ’73).
The game has been played in several locations but is mostly played in Philadelphia, as it is somewhat of a neutral site between the beautiful city of Annapolis, Maryland, and wherever Army is. (Somewhere in upstate NY so might as well be College Station.) Interestingly enough the game was traditionally played on Rivalry Weekend but was moved to Championship Weekend, before shifting to its current weekend in order to draw a larger audience. The DOD cherishes its free three-hour commercial from College Gameday and rampant Walmart patriotism. “Hey kids, if you want an Ivy League level education and loathe the idea of a fun college experience, have we got two schools that fit you!” -DOD (probably).
Saturday, December 8th
Lincoln Financial Field in Philedelphia, PA
2:00 CT on CBS
Line: Army -7
Meet the Teams
Army Black Knights (U.S. Military Academy at West Point)
This years Army team is no joke. Obviously, I don’t need to tell Sooner fans this, but this season is quite the achievement for Army. The Black Knights are 9-2 with hopes of ending their season at 11-2, with their two losses being in Norman in overtime and in their season opener at Duke. This Army team could very easily be undefeated, and a win in Norman would have made them the worthiest undefeated Knights to participate in the College Football Playoff. As this did not occur, they are 9-2 and only made it into the Armed Forces Bowl. This Army team desperately wants to be ranked and receive the respect they feel that they deserve. Motivation will be a real key to Army’s success this weekend, as they are coming in fired up and ready to do some damage.
Army has not shown knowledge of the recent-ish legalization of the forward pass this season, but their triple option is almost perfect. I really respect the, “you know exactly what we are about to do, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” approach. OU fans know all too well one of Army’s greatest abilities: clock management and controlling the time of possession. The Army defense has also shown promise this season allowing an average of 18.7ppg, and 301.3ypg. (could you imagine what people would be saying if the Sooner defense was even close to this?). Army is no joke this year, and I must tip my hat to their success this season, but they are picking up their third loss of the season this Saturday.
RB #33 Daniel Woolfolk (Sr. or “Cadet Firstie” in West Point lingo, lol nerds)
Woolfolk rushed for 71 yds, on 21 attempts against Oklahoma earlier in the season, and has only rushed for over 100 yds once this season. He leads Army in rushing and is a large in your face back, who will deliver hits to get that extra yard. He is the personification of an Army offense: the numbers aren’t flashy, but he grinds out the victory. Old school-football perfected is what you will see from Army this weekend, and expect to hear Woolfolk`s name called frequently. Old-school football, old-school name. What more could you ask for?
Navy Midshipmen (U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD)
This just hasn’t been Navy’s year. While their record is nearly the opposite of Army’s at 3-9, Navy did defeat a solid Memphis team, and the second-best team in Oklahoma (Tulsa). Navy is traditionally the better team in every way, on and off the field. The Midshipmen have struggled on offense this year, averaging only 72.2 passing yards per game, and an unimpressive 26.3ppg. Interestingly enough, these numbers are not too far behind Army. The big difference between Army and Navy is the defense. Navy is allowing 438.3ypg and 34.9ppg, which makes them pretty much equal to OU, but without the most explosive offense, best quarterback, and best offensive coach in college football to bail them out.
Navy`s season has just been disappointing in almost every way. The only thing that the Midshipmen have to look forward to this season is a solid win this weekend. Now, I’ve been making some bold statements about the game this weekend, so later I’ll back up those up with a solid metric.
QB #10 Malcolm Perry (Jr. or Midshipman 2nd Class)
Midn. 2C Perry has been Navy’s most dynamic player for several years. He has bounced between QB and RB several times. He currently has 10 completions for 222 yds all season with two TDs and one interception. Perry is far better on the ground, with 1,035 yds and averaging just over 6 yards per carry. It is of note that he also has 149 yds and a TD as a receiver. He truly is Navy’s offense playing whenever and wherever he is needed. His 37% completion ratio is terrible, but his athleticism makes him a far better QB than scrubs like Taylor “Corndog” Cornelius from Oklahoma State.
Navy’s uniform this year is based on their mascot Bill the Goat. The uniforms feature blue helmets featuring a charging Bill, white jerseys with blue and gold accents and white pants. This is a more conservative uniform choice for Navy, as they are the Blue Blood and don’t need flashy alternates. Also expect Navy’s uniforms to feature an anchor for the Navy, an Eagle, Globe and Anchor for the Marines, and varying unit patches to honor units across the Navy and Marines, as is tradition. Navy’s uniforms are by far the better uniform, hands down.
Included for your viewing pleasure are some past Navy uniforms for the game.
The 2012 uniforms are my all time favorite, the helmets with the matte white top accented by the polished gold, with a gloss blue bottom and facemask. The beautiful, classy jerseys feature a nod to the Midshipmen epaulettes worn on naval dress uniforms and the traditional unit patches from across the Navy and Marines. Perfection.
Honoring the 1st Infantry Division, “the Big Red One”, Army will be wearing an all-black ensemble with red, and gold accents. Army is commemorating the first American battle of WWI 100 years ago, the Battle of Cantigny won by the 28th Infantry Regiment. The 28th Inf. is also honored in the uniform with the team wearing a version of the unit’s traditional collar insignia. Army further honors WWI by wearing a 48-star flag on their helmets, as that was the flag carried to victory in WWI. This look that Army is going with this year is absolutely amazing. Every piece of the uniform holds significance.
Just look at that uniform, Army really brought their A-game. My favorite touch is the collar insignia, on the left is the U.S. 28 for the 28th Infantry Regiment, on the right is the crossed rifles traditionally worn by Army infantry (and SF) officers. Nike really outdid themselves, but unfortunately, Navy won the uniforms this year as usual.
Army has a checkered past when it comes to uniforms, as you will see below.
Why Navy Will Win
Now after much suspense, I introduce you to the ONLY metric needed to pick games on the fly. Welcome to “The Switzer Method of Picking Games”, as created by me earlier this season. This is the way to throw money at something, without actually doing any research. Let me walk you through why Navy is the clear pick.
Pillar One: Results. They are all that matter, it doesn’t matter what scandals your program is going through, just win.
Obviously, Ohio State is this seasons best example of this. When it comes to Army-Navy there are no scandals or notable discipline issues, so let’s call Pillar One a tie.
Pillar Two: Heart. A team who believes in itself will beat a better team that is complacent.
Advantage Navy, this is a huge rivalry game, and everyone says Army will easily win. Navy comes and makes a statement.
Pillar Three: Ability to “hang half a hundred on ‘em”. Can this team win a shootout?
Neither team has a notable offense, but Navy players can go on to become US Marines and Navy SEALS. Marines and SEALs are known worldwide as some of the best fighters. Advantage Navy.
Pillar Four: Never bet against the Blue Blood.
Upsets are upsets because they aren’t supposed to happen, the favorite team wins an overwhelming amount of the time. Army may be the favored team this year, but Navy is the Blue Blood. Advantage Navy.
In summary, Navy holds the advantage of “look good play good” and three out of four pillars of the Switzer Method. Navy outright.