The college football regular season is just about over and the bowl games have all been set. The only thing left is the greatest football game of the season, the Navy vs. Army game!
I was raised in a Navy family. My father served 20 years. My mom’s brother served 22 years. Both my uncles’ children went into the Navy and I, myself, served for 11 years.
I look forward to this game every year. For me, this is the biggest game of the year. As a Navy veteran, I look forward to seeing Navy beat Army every year. Since I enlisted in the Navy in September 2000, Navy has lost its annual game with Army only once.
The very first Navy/Army game was played in 1890. The two schools have played each other uninterrupted for 82 years since 1930. Navy leads the series 56-49-7.
With all the history, Navy holds some impressive records against Army. The Midshipmen hold the record for the largest margin of victory with a 51-0 win in 1973. Navy also won in the highest combined scoring game between the two teams with a 58-12 win in 2002.
Navy has had a pair of Heisman Trophy winners in their history. Joe Bellino was the first Navy football player to win the award in 1960 and Roger Staubach won the award in 1963.
But this is where Army one ups Navy, literally. While Navy has a pair of Heisman winners, Army has three. Army’s first Heisman winner came in 1945 when Doc Blanchard won the award. In 1946 Glenn Davis gave the Army back-to-back awards. The Black Knights most recent Heisman came in 1958 when Pete Dawkins won the award.
Amongst all of college football, the Navy/Army game is the 11th longest standing rivalry. With 112 games played, todays will be the 113th meeting. In five years time, the Navy/Army rivalry will move up to the eighth longest all time.
The ten longer rivalries in front of Navy/Army are Minnesota/Wisconsin (122), Missouri/Kansas (120), Texas/Texas A&M (118), North Carolina/Virginia (117), Miami (Ohio)/Cincinnati (117), Nebraska/Kansas (117), Auburn/Georgia (116), Oregon/Oregon State (116), Purdue/Indiana (115), and Stanford/California Berkley (115).
Of those, Missouri/Kansas, Texas/Texas A&M did not play this year and Nebraska/Kansas have not played since 2010 as Mizzou left the Big 12 for the SEC. Like Mizzou, Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC and this series has also stopped. When Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big 10 following the 2010 meeting, this rivalry also ceased to be played.
The Midshipmen are currently in the midst of a 10 game winning streak over the Black Knights. The last time Navy lost to Army was in 2001. With a win, Navy will tie Air Force for the longest win (11) streak against one academy team (Air Force beat Navy every year from 1982 through 1992) in the history of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy.
Heading into today’s game, Navy (7-4) has won six of its last seven games. Navy goes into today’s game with Army (2-9) needing a win to secure its 13th Commander-in-Chief Trophy and eighth in 10 years. In addition, with a win today, the Midshipmen will sweep Air Force and Army for the 12th time. The one time Navy did not sweep was 1981 when the Midshipmen beat the Falcons, but finished in a 3-3 tie with the Black Knights. Air Force beat Army that year and Navy won the Commander-in-Chief Trophy for the fifth time.
Navy, Army, and Air Force have played each other every year for the Commander-in-Chief Trophy since 1972.
Navy’s seven straight Commander-in-Chief Trophy wins from 2003 to 2009 is the longest stretch of uninterrupted, non-tie Commander-in-Chief Trophy wins by any of the three service branches.
Four times the Commander-in-Chief Trophy has finished in a tie as each team has come away with one win. When that happens, the team who won the Commander-in-Chief Trophy the year before retains the trophy. Navy has retained the trophy due to tie three times while Air Force has retained the trophy once.
Air Force has won the Commander-in-Chief Trophy 18 times. Army won the inaugural Commander-in-Chief Trophy, but since then, the Black Knights have won the Commander-in-Chief Trophy just six times. The last time the Black Knights won was in 1996 (the year I graduated high school). Army is also the only academy not to win the Commander-in-Chief Trophy in back-to-back years.
Navy versus Army will kickoff at 3 p.m. (Eastern) today at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. This year’s game will be my first since leaving the Navy, but my allegiance has not wavered. Go Navy, Beat Army!