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Neal Clayton
11-07-2009, 9:16 PM
maybe they should put a high school team in that spot next year, since navy has become the dominant team in that rivalry, lol.

on a similar note, it turns out that when you put two teams with incompetent offensive schemes against each other, one has to win. such was the case with LSU and alabama.

if i'm texas i'm feeling pretty good about my chances right now, and that coming from someone born and raised on SEC football. even i can't have much faith in these teams, after florida lost to arkansas everywhere but the scoreboard.

i think this will be the year for whatever team from our conference to lose the national title game, for a change.

Jesse Espe
11-09-2009, 10:15 AM
Neil,

I would hesitate to call Navy "dominant" in the rivalry (though it has a nice ring to it :) ). Despite winning 2 years in a row, how many years did ND kick the snot out of Navy in the 2nd half of every other game? It seems to me that ever since I started following the rivalvy (1992), Navy would play to the level of ND for a while, and then, right on cue, the wheels would fall off the bus.

That being said, I'm tickled pink. Having watched four years of crappy Navy football first hand, it's always exciting when they get a win. These past few years have helped in the healing process, but the scars of going 1-10 still run a bit deep.

Lee Schierer
11-09-2009, 12:40 PM
Neil,

I would hesitate to call Navy "dominant" in the rivalry (though it has a nice ring to it :) ). Despite winning 2 years in a row, how many years did ND kick the snot out of Navy in the 2nd half of every other game? It seems to me that ever since I started following the rivalvy (1992), Navy would play to the level of ND for a while, and then, right on cue, the wheels would fall off the bus.

That being said, I'm tickled pink. Having watched four years of crappy Navy football first hand, it's always exciting when they get a win. These past few years have helped in the healing process, but the scars of going 1-10 still run a bit deep.

Navy has strict height and weight restrictions to be admitted and to graduate (also Air Force and Army). They can't recruit 300 pound linemen. Therefore, they often encounter problems against schools with the bigger men in the second half because their smaller line gets tired of resisting the bigger teams. They also have a total student body of less than 4,000 students. And with a very few exceptions, there is not football career after college for Navy. Most of the schools they play have more male students than that by a factor of two or more, offer lucrative scholarships and other incentives. To be a division one football team year after year and display the record they do is a remarkable achievement. You'll also frequently hear that the military academy teams are the least penalized teams in any of the NCAA divisions. When is the last time you heard that comment regarding your favorite NCAA team?


Go Navy

Lee USNA Class of '71

Kent A Bathurst
11-09-2009, 12:59 PM
Neal -

Remain calm. All is well. Nick Saban has the integrity and loyalty of a $20 hooker with a crack habit, and there is no buyout penalty in his $4mm/year contract with Alabama. When they locate a backhoe big enough to bury Charlie W, Saint Nick will arrive in South Bend and grabs a BCS Bowl game for the Irish in 2011 at the latest. Dammit.

I was AT the 1966 10-10 tie in Spartan Stadium (as a 2 yr old, of course). I'm not a real big Saban fan, as you might have noticed. But he is one rung above Ara "Tie One For The Gipper" Parseghian in my book.

You gotta admire a man that can carry a grudge for 43 years, huh? :D

Neal Clayton
11-09-2009, 2:27 PM
Navy has strict height and weight restrictions to be admitted and to graduate (also Air Force and Army). They can't recruit 300 pound linemen. Therefore, they often encounter problems against schools with the bigger men in the second half because their smaller line gets tired of resisting the bigger teams. They also have a total student body of less than 4,000 students. And with a very few exceptions, there is not football career after college for Navy. Most of the schools they play have more male students than that by a factor of two or more, offer lucrative scholarships and other incentives. To be a division one football team year after year and display the record they do is a remarkable achievement. You'll also frequently hear that the military academy teams are the least penalized teams in any of the NCAA divisions. When is the last time you heard that comment regarding your favorite NCAA team?


Go Navy

Lee USNA Class of '71

the guy who got the game winning sack was 5'9", 195 i think?

and he ran by a 325 pound ND left tackle like he was standing still.

i think they deserve all of the credit in the world. they have no margin for error in those games. their only chance is perfect technique, perfect execution, and capitalizing to the fullest on the other team's mistakes.

on the upside, maybe they'll manage to get charlie weiss fired, which would be doing ND a favor, i think.

kent, i don't have alot of sabin lovers in the family either, considering my dad's entire family is from new orleans and grew up on LSU football. i'm not sure who they're more disgusted with at this point, though, les miles or sabin. if they lose to arkansas again this year, les miles is probably history. at the very least, i would guess the offensive coordinator is done.

maybe the naval academy could give some other schools some pointers on head coach hiring. because the coaches that navy brings in are consistently better than what most other division 1 teams manage to find.

not only are the military academies hampered by physical restrictions, i suspect they don't get 6+ hours of practice a day like other schools do either. some of the players were talking about that actually, how it's nice to play a road game because they don't have to be up for morning formation.

Kent A Bathurst
11-09-2009, 5:08 PM
.

i think they deserve all of the credit in the world. they have no margin for error in those games. their only chance is perfect technique, perfect execution, and capitalizing to the fullest on the other team's mistakes.

maybe the naval academy could give some other schools some pointers on head coach hiring. because the coaches that navy brings in are consistently better than what most other division 1 teams manage to find.

not only are the military academies hampered by physical restrictions, i suspect they don't get 6+ hours of practice a day like other schools do either. some of the players were talking about that actually, how it's nice to play a road game because they don't have to be up for morning formation.

Neal - when you talk about Navy coaches, you mean people like, oh, say, Paul Johnson, who is 4 miles down the street with the Ramblin' Wrecks? 9-1, #7 BCS. People laughed at him when he brought the veer to town, but he KNOWS how to make the most of the talent he has. He doesn't need Tebow. He doesn't need monster linemen. He needs ATHLETES that are motivated and coachable.

Two very impressive things (among others) I have read by John Feinstein. (1) A Civil War: Army v. Navy - A year Inside Collge Football's Purest Rivalry and (2) The Last Amateurs: Playing for Glory and Honor in Division 1 College Basketball (http://www.bestwebbuys.com/The_Last_Amateurs-ISBN_9780316277013.html?isrc=b-search)

Both books set me back on my heels, quite honestly. The second book is about the Patriot League, but the compelling page is when the author is in the locker room with the Blue Devils, at Duke, when Navy is in town. The pre-game speech to his team by Coach Krzyzewski is something you will read, re-read, and remember. It is a terriffic tribute to Navy specifically, and the service academies in general. Of course, he ends it by saying something along the lines of "But, I am ARMY!! And I DO NOT LOSE TO NAVY!!".

Sum it all up: General George C. Marshall during WW II: "I want an officer for a secret and dangerous mission. I want a West Point football player." Would have been Navy if he had been a sailor or marine, but the point is still the same.

Pat Germain
11-09-2009, 6:48 PM
I've heard sports commentators suggest ND is having a tougher time recruiting good players simply because they don't want to go to school in Illinois. Apparently, a lot of the good players would rather be in a sunnier, more party-going location. Hence the strong teams at USC.

What say you guys?

Rick Moyer
11-09-2009, 10:16 PM
I've heard sports commentators suggest ND is having a tougher time recruiting good players simply because they don't want to go to school in Illinois. Apparently, a lot of the good players would rather be in a sunnier, more party-going location. Hence the strong teams at USC.

What say you guys?
Pat, I totally agree, and I think the records bear that out. The only "northern" school that has been consistently pretty good the past ten years has been (it pains me to write this)...Ohio State, and they usually get their $$$'$ kicked by USC or an SEC team in a bowl. I thought I heard recently that ND's record against ranked teams the last decade or so is something like 70% losses. If YOU were 18 and studdly, wouldn't you rather go where the (more) pretty girls were, too. Then there is the accademic standards at some schools like ND. I don't want to start anything but many of the SEC football players major in "football". Look also where a lot of the best football talent comes from; FLA, TX, and CA. Why would they want to go north to the snow and ice to play?
Plus, every major school is now on TV, so they'll get noticed if they're good. They don't have to go to one of the "traditional" power football schools to be seen.
I think the days of Big Ten, ND, etc. schools being dominate year after year is over.

Denny Rice
11-10-2009, 2:05 AM
At least Notre Dame has a quality hockey team..........:)

Neal Clayton
11-10-2009, 2:35 AM
Neal - when you talk about Navy coaches, you mean people like, oh, say, Paul Johnson, who is 4 miles down the street with the Ramblin' Wrecks? 9-1, #7 BCS. People laughed at him when he brought the veer to town, but he KNOWS how to make the most of the talent he has.

speaking of, i don't know if you've seen anything from the houston coach, but this guy is another one, plus he's hilarious to boot.

i was watching them beat texas tech a few weeks ago, and the ESPN interviewer ran up to him after the game with the typical "blah blah blah how did you win this game" type questions and his response was...

"look, this isn't rocket science, we're just playin' football here."

i nearly fell out of my chair laughing. their other interviews with him for him to display his defensive schemes were about the same speed, his general response was..

"well, all of these teams are bigger, stronger, and faster so we're gonna run stunt blitzes from everywhere and see if they're as smart as they are strong and fast. doesn't take a genius to draw up a blitz package."

if you get a chance, watch their games, it's about the same speed, a much better team, talent-wise, wondering why they're losing to houston, because they're being outcoached ;).

Kent A Bathurst
11-10-2009, 8:47 AM
I've heard sports commentators suggest ND is having a tougher time recruiting good players simply because they don't want to go to school in Illinois. What say you guys?

I say people are more p***d at ND than I thought, if they made them move out of Indiana.:D

Lee Schierer
11-12-2009, 8:52 AM
Here's an article from the Washington Post



Navy football retains the power to inspire


By John Feinstein
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
One of the more overused terms in sports these days is "inspirational," which is sometimes used to describe anything from a golfer making a putt to a millionaire athlete playing despite a minor injury. But real inspiration could be found on a football field this past weekend, in South Bend, Ind., where Navy again beat Notre Dame.
Inspiration is a division I-A college football team with a 5-foot-9, 193-pound linebacker and exactly zero future NFL players beating a team that has a quarterback who will go in the top 10 of the 2010 draft, one receiver who is a lock first-round pick and another who won't be far behind.
Inspiration is a team filled with players who weren't offered scholarships or even recruited by any division I-A schools -- kids who are up before dawn most mornings, who spend their summers on ships and who will someday soon be sent overseas to fight and perhaps die for their country -- beating a team that has its very own TV network, more money than any of us can imagine and a coach who thinks Knute Rockne might have qualified to be one of his coordinators.
(Pause here for the required disclaimer: I wrote a book on the Army-Navy rivalry and have done color on the Navy radio network for 13 years.)
Until 2007, Navy had lost to Notre Dame 43 years in a row. John F. Kennedy was president when Roger Staubach and Navy beat Notre Dame early in November 1963. Navy and Notre Dame played every year after that through the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George Bush (1), Bill Clinton and George Bush (2).
Most of the games during that period weren't close. To be honest, Navy-Notre Dame should never be close. The talent gap, the size gap, the speed gap, the money gap, the mystique gap is gaping. Navy has a great fight song. But it can't even win that contest either, can it?
Some of the games were close. In 1997, Navy's Patrick McGrew was tackled on the 2-yard line on the game's final play, allowing Notre Dame to escape with a win. Two years later, a line judge named Perry Hudspeth moved the ball up a full yard after Navy had stopped Notre Dame short on a fourth-down play with a minute left, a four-point lead and the Irish out of timeouts. NBC's Pat Haden declared on the air, "Oh my, the Irish certainly got a very favorable spot right there." No kidding. Notre Dame picked up the first down by an inch and scored a few seconds later to win.
In 2003, Notre Dame made a field goal as time expired to win. In 2006, Navy led in the fourth quarter, and Notre Dame rallied to win.
Then came 2007. On what should have been the last play of the third overtime, a two-point conversion attempt Notre Dame needed to tie the score, the officials called a mysterious penalty to give the Irish another chance. Haden's view of it: "You can't make that call. You just can't throw that flag right there, right now."
Except they did. But Navy got the stop after the penalty and won, 46-44. Even amid the celebration, there were those who said, 'Yeah, but Notre Dame's terrible this year.' Notre Dame finished 3-9. Even so, there was no way it should have lost to Navy.
This Notre Dame team is now 6-3. It's prior losses had been to Michigan and USC -- who aren't having vintage seasons but still have a few future NFL players on their rosters, too. Notre Dame was ranked 19th in the country entering Saturday, and Coach Charlie Weis was all but predicting a BCS bid if Notre Dame won out and finished 10-2.
"Every week we win, other teams lose and we move up," he said prior to the game. "We just have to keep winning."
Well, they didn't. Navy forced three turnovers -- two of them by the aforementioned linebacker, Ram Vela, who wasn't recruited by any college at any level coming out of high school in San Antonio -- and won the game, 23-21, the Irish only getting that close with 24 seconds left in the game.
Notre Dame moved up and down the field all day with quarterback Jimmy Clausen throwing one perfect pass after another to wide receivers Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. But when they got close to the goal line, Navy got stops. Notre Dame did not punt once in the game and lost.
Navy's option offense, with quarterback Ricky Dobbs returning after missing almost all of the last two games because of a knee injury, moved the ball almost all day. Navy's two fullbacks, Vince Murray and Alex Teich, rushed for 210 yards on 19 carries -- that's 11 yards a carry if you're scoring at home. This at the end of a week when Coach Ken Niumatalolo cut practice short Thursday -- "first time I've done that in two years," he said before the game -- because his team was so banged up and beat up from playing nine (now 10) straight weeks with players who are always outweighed at virtually every position on the field.
"The problem isn't so much playing 10 weeks in a row; it's playing 10 weeks in a row when you're smaller than everyone you play," Niumatalolo said. "You know what, though: You can't worry about it. I know the kids aren't worried about it. There's not a kid in our locker room who doesn't think we're going to win."
They were right. They were tougher. They were better coached (on both sides of the ball), and they certainly weren't intimidated by the crowd of almost 81,000 people, by hearing that fight song 47 times or by the specter of Touchdown Jesus looming at the locker room end of the stadium.
They were the better team, the team that deserved to win and if you weren't moved by seeing the players singing their alma mater in front of their fellow Midshipmen after the game ended, then you simply weren't breathing.
Here's a headline for you: Navy Beats Notre Dame.
Now that is inspiring.

Kent A Bathurst
11-12-2009, 7:23 PM
Lee - Something I heard from a close friend (who is the biggest ND fan I ever expect to meet). I'm sure some of my version is wide of the mark, but the point is correct. Maybe someone can confirm-correct:

In the early days - Knute era - ND was a travelling semi-pro team. They had squat for a home stadium - rickety wood bleachers, etc. Played something like all but one of their games on the road. There was no fan base, no support, no funding, and they were close to "going out of business". Navy - who was then one of the premier college football powers - agreed to play ND so the Irish could get a big payday (I forget the connection, or why/who/how). This provided the funding for ND program to struggle through the season and remain afloat. In return, ND has always - and will always - schedule Navy, for as long as Navy wants to.

WHile this seems like a bit of a joke today, in years past it points out that someone, somewhere, understands loyalty and honor.

Now, the only team I like less than the Wolverines is the Irish, but that is a competitive thing, not a values thing. I give the ND program grudging respect, simply because they earned it with this story.

AND - I hope the Irish-Midshipmen contest turns around so the cleat is on the other foot, and it is Navy that is doing ND the favor again. But that is just me and my 43-year-old grudge.

Kill Bubba Kill.

Lee Schierer
11-13-2009, 9:17 AM
I'm not sure about the semi pro thing, but as I understand the story "During World War II, as Notre Dames enrollment dropped to Depression-era size, the Navys decision to establish a Navy College Training Program on the South Bend campus in July 1943 provided much-needed economic relief and a surge of energy." Without this Navy School, Notre Dame would like have closed its doors.

Kent A Bathurst
11-13-2009, 9:52 AM
That must be the story - thanks.

The "semi-pro" was tongue-in-cheek, but pretty accurate by today's standards. Same was true of the other big programs. In spite of my "grudge", about 5 years ago I bought + read the book Shake Down the Thunder: The Creation of Notre Dame Football. Then gave it to said friend. Fascinating story about one of the true USA legends - ND football. Anyone who is a fan of college football would enjoy this read.

One item in the book - Rockne went to the administration to get more money for George Gipp, because Fielding Yost at U of M was outbidding them and Gipp was going to transfer. Of course, he got the money.