CHANGING COURSE, PART 2: THE OPPOSITION

The next two posts will address some of the criticism of Navy’s decision to join the Big East. We’ll start with John Feinstein’s piece in the Washington Post.

(Apologies in advance for the fisking.)

Feinstein’s comments carry a bit of weight, since he’s the go-to national media voice when it comes to the topic of service academy football. He’s completely wrong much of the time, but he cares, and that counts. There’s a lot that he’s right about in his commentary when it comes to the challenge of playing a Big East schedule. It’s no secret that scheduling played a big part in the rebirth of Navy’s football program, with the “4-4-4″ philosophy of 4 stretch games, 4 relatively even matchups, and 4 games where they should be favored. Setting that up is easier said than done, as teams can (and do) get better or worse in the time between contracts are signed and games are played; but for the most part, this is the idea that has governed Navy’s schedules. Once Navy joins the Big East, the schedule becomes more of a 9-2-1 instead. Every team in the new conference is already an even or better matchup for the Mids, and they will only get better when a new TV contract is signed and more money is poured into their programs. When Feinstein says that 4-4 will be a good year for Navy in the Big East, he’s right.

But he doesn’t have to point that out to us. We already know all about it. Coach Niumatalolo himself even expressed that concern during the announcement teleconference, questioning whether Navy might be “biting off more than we can chew” by joining the Big East. USNA leadership made this decision knowing full well what it means on the field. It’s a risk they are willing to take, though, for all the reasons that we pointed out in Part 1. This isn’t a decision being made out of ego or dreams of BCS glory. This is a decision being made for survival. The superintendent feels that the mission of the school is better served with football playing in the new top tier of Division I (whether formal or informal), even if the team has a harder time being competitive. Feinstein has a point, but he misses the big picture. Wins and losses aren’t the top priority.

Other valid points are harder to come by in that column.

Few things drive me up the wall more than when people assume that Army and Navy are interchangeable. Feinstein does this all the time. THEY AREN’T. Both are military schools that have rigorous academics and a service commitment after graduation, and they obviously have some common interests as a result. But that’s it. Beyond that, they are different schools with different cultures in different locations with different coaches and different players and different administrations. That is why Army’s Conference USA experience is wholly irrelevant to anything Navy decides to do. And let’s not pretend that Army was some juggernaut that fell apart once they joined Conference USA, either. Army had all of two winning seasons in Bob Sutton’s seven years at the helm prior to joining Conference USA, while winning only 4 or 5 games 5 times. Sutton was 3-8 in two seasons of Conference USA. Army was no worse as a team after joining the league. The difference was that they weren’t scheduling 3 I-AA games a year anymore. And most of those games were against non-scholarship I-AA teams like Yale, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Colgate, Bucknell, Harvard, and Lafayette. Army wasn’t going to be able to pack their schedules with those teams forever whether they joined a conference or not. It wasn’t joining C-USA that was the problem; it was joining the ’90s after playing schedules built for the ’40s. Army was just as lousy before joining Conference USA as they were afterward.

Of course, Army did themselves no favors by firing Sutton and hiring Todd I-Expect-We’ll-Be-11-0 Berry, which Feinstein is right to acknowledge. But that leads to a pair of questions. One, does he think that Berry would have been any less of a disaster if Army was independent? I can’t imagine that anyone would. I mean, he lost to Holy Cross for crying out loud. Two, Feinstein has always insisted that Army could have hired Paul Johnson instead of Berry. So let’s say that they did. Does anyone believe that Army’s C-USA fortunes wouldn’t have been drastically different? Todd Berry couldn’t have coached the Pittsburgh Steelers to a winning record in Conference USA. Army’s problem wasn’t the conference. It was a train wreck of a coach hired by a train wreck of an athletic director. Navy, to put it mildly, doesn’t have that problem.

And now for the fisking:

Teams want to play Navy

This was true back when Navy was 2-10. It isn’t true anymore. Sure, Navy sells tickets. But you know what else does? Winning. Everyone is under pressure to succeed– even supposed cupcakes– and they don’t want to make their own path to a bowl game any harder than it has to be. The better Navy has become, the more those schools have stopped answering the phone when the caller ID says “Annapolis, MD.” A lot of them, like Tulane, Vanderbilt, and Eastern Michigan, are playing Army instead. Some teams still want to play Navy. Teams like South Carolina, Ohio State, and Penn State do, because they’re pretty sure they’re going to win. I don’t think filling up the schedule with those guys is any more palatable than joining the Big East, though.

Besides, whether teams want to play Navy or not is beside the point. The problem is that they can’t, or won’t be able to in the future. TV interests are driving conferences to move to 9-game schedules. On top of that, conferences are making scheduling agreements with each other, and not just the BCS conferences. As a result, non-conference scheduling opportunities for these schools are being reduced, particularly late in the season when conference play becomes the focus. Navy might be able to find a few teams to play in September, but November would be a bye month.

Plus, second-tier bowls love Navy. The Mids have bowl commitments already in hand for the next four years.

This is true. But what about after the next four years? The larger conferences become, the more tie-ins with bowl games they are going to seek. And if the 7-win bowl requirement comes to pass, some of those second-tier bowls are going to disappear. Again, the way things are now doesn’t matter. What matters is how they’ll be 10 years from now. Securing a bowl berth as an independent in the future is not a given. Far from it.

Most important, though, is the fact that joining the Big East could harm Army-Navy, which is the game that makes the two schools important and relevant more than anything else. What if Navy does make it to a Big East championship game and has a chance to go to a BCS bowl?

Yes, God forbid THAT happens. We don’t want Navy playing in more than one important game, you know. Come on, John. Is this a serious question?

Ratings for the Army-Navy Game are consistently better when the teams playing in it are better. I’m pretty sure that a Navy team good enough to be in BCS contention would be the best thing to ever happen to Army-Navy.

What if — and this is entirely possible — the Big East insists on folding Army-Navy into its TV package once the current TV contract is up in 2017. What if ESPN decides Army-Navy would be great for ratings on Thanksgiving night? Think that sort of thing is impossible?

Army-Navy probably will be part of the Big East’s TV package once the existing contract with CBS expires, at least when Navy is the home team. And? I don’t see the problem here. As long as the game is on TV, who cares? Army-Navy was played on Thanksgiving weekend for generations, and has been moved around for TV before. Playing on Thanksgiving Day would sort of stink, I guess, but that whole idea is just a canard. I can’t imagine that it would be more valuable programming on that day than on the weekend it’s played now. That was the whole point of the move to begin with.

Feinstein is off the mark here, but at least his heart is in the right place. Part 3 will break down a whole different ball of wax.

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58 Responses

  1. Spot on, old boy!

  2. Nice reply Mike. John’s a good guy, regardless of maybe a too passionate and not always fully thought out initial impulse (reminds me of someone) but he does seem short-sighted here. I like how you mention how many teams don’t want to play Navy. UConn, Syracuse, Bowling Green, anyone? Think of how often the schedule has changed over the past 5-6 yeas.

    • I think that’s a key part to the whole thing in that teams aren’t going to want to schedule Navy when they have a 9 game conference schedule and one or two mandated interconference games. Why would they want to play a competitive team that plays a difficult to prepare for offense in that one “free” game on their schedule?

  3. Love reading your stuff, Mike. Please keep it coming!

  4. Mike
    great reading. I do disagree on the point about winning. If Navy has a losing record year after year it will hurt the school’s reputation. I think if the only way to stay on TV is to move into a conference and be terrible then it is better to move down and win. It would look better if they win the national championship in a lower division than go 2-8 each year. Also at a lower division you don’t have to compromise on admission standards. I think Army and Navy would both have to agree to do this so the big game would be even. I still think it would get great ratings. All the other games would not, but the team could cut expenses to meet the new revenues. You wouldn’t need a million dollar coach to play at a lower division.

    • It’s a lot more complicated than that, which I will get to in Part 4.

    • Cutting costs doesn’t have anything to do with maintaining revenues. Revenues come from ticket sales and TV deals and big money away and neutral site games (i.e. ND, OSU, SC), all of which would suffer or disappear with a move to a lower division regardless of how many games we won there. Decreased football revenues would probably mean no more money for sports like women’s lax, crew, gymnastics, rifle, and sprint football.

      Plus it would be harder than you think for us to be competitive as an FCS team. It’s not like FCS competitors’ admissions standards are any more stringent than FBS…if anything, they’re lower. Other schools could still take kids who couldn’t make it at USNA. And I’d venture a guess that a majority of our recruits come to Navy because it was their only FBS offer and because it gives them a chance to play against big name teams on TV and in bowl games on a regular basis. They want to prove a point to all the FBS teams that overlooked them. Dropping to FCS would mean we’d no longer get those kids–they’d go to Delaware or Appalachian State or Georgia Southern instead.

  5. Moving down the football ladder is not the issue. The possibility (likelihood?) of a large group of other teams moving up seems to be the driving force in all this conference activity.

    • Why couldn’t Army & Navy, as independents, make scheduling agreements with the MAC, C-USA & Sunbelt conferences ?.
      Did Chet not once mention the possibility of such an agreement with the MAC ?
      Why not Army & Navy both to the MAC East for football only ?
      Because not as much revenue ? This looks like a grab for found money. Trading on Navy’s recent success for a short term payout.
      Navy played these types of killer schedules as an independent.
      Why did that not attract a quantity of top recruits, drawn to top level competition, sufficient to stay competetive at that level then ?
      How did USNA manage to attract a sufficient quantity of top applicants before Navy football burst back into the national spotlight in 2003 ? Yes, Army & Navy are different. How will Army football & athletics, survive as independents ? How will USMA attract sufficient quality applicants ?

  6. Eric-You are 100 percent correct.

    Anon-What would joining the MAC East do for Navy? That’s what they are trying to avoid.

    • That would help guarantee the 8 opponents needed, beyond ND, Army, AF & FCS(tbd). We’re told that a guarantee is necessary to ensure a full FBS schedule. What’s wrong with the MAC, other than less TV$$ ? Would you rather watch W’s over MAC, Sunbelt & C-USA opponents, or L’s to the same BE teams every year.
      What helps recruiting & your appeal to applicants more, a winning or a losing program ?

  7. part 4?!? i’m giddy…

    and Anon, were you around for 2000-2002?

    • newt – were you around for 1982 – 2002

  8. Mike,

    Well done, as usual.

    Feinstein’s insistence on comparing Navy/Big East to Army/Conference USA is so shallow and lazy it’s embarrassing.

    He followed up on his own blog, referring to “various apologists/paid bloggers” rationalizing the move. So in Feinstein’s mind, anybody who disagrees with him is either paid off or blinded to reality for some other reason.

    There are plenty of substantive reasons to be wary of the move, but Feinstein doesn’t offer them.

    Looking forward to your next installment.

    • I guess I’m in the “apologist” camp, because I’m sure as hell not paid.

  9. Anon, which 10 sports do you want to drop if we are in the MAC East playing in front of 10,000 fans on the Home Shopping Network?

    • Navy41 – compared to espn3, HSN shows better on my Big Screen & is easier to DVR. As a fan, I don’t care what channel it’s on, just so I can get it somehow. Look at some of the games on CSN & the FSN’s. Navy now draws many more fans than 10k playing MAC teams at NMCMS.
      If the primary objective is to make money, & make Navy football mandatory fun again, just admit it. Spare us the eyewash. How did NAAA fund other sports before 2003 ?

    • Anon, why do you bring up 2003? Who said this had anything to do with winning?

    • 2003 is when Navy football’s fortunes turned around,
      Attendance increased. TV apppearences increased.
      The CBSCS coverage of home games followed. Lots of Navy games vs MAC, C-USA & Sunbelt teams became available nationwide. Now we’re told that Navy FB will be relegated to HSN if it doesn’t go to the Big East. Did CBSCS tell Navy to go BCS or go dark ? .

    • No, you were told that Navy would be relegated to HSN if they joined the MAC as you suggested.

      Keep in mind that C-USA and the MWC are merging, so they will be saddled with all the same scheduling limitations as the BCS conferences.

      I think you’re underestimating the effect on college football as a whole if the big-money conferences continue to segregate themselves from the rest of the field.

    • In trying to understand the changing landscape, I ask –:

      — Was any consideration given to joining AF, for football only, in the surviving C-USA/MWC, after the BCS wannabes jump to the BE ? Although less revenue, that would seem to be a better competetive fit. Army could probably compete there now too, given the teams that are departing.

      — Did CBS/CBSCS given Navy any ultimatiums regarding their status, or indicate something would have to change, to renew the current arrangement, when it expires ? (2018?) Any estimate how much BE tv might bring vs what CBS would pay for the status quo ?

  10. Newt–I enjoy the tone of the reply!

    Morally, Mentally and Physically. Without Football making a substantive amount of revenue (and BE football will provide it as the landscape looks right now…the elephant in the room is change) there are 32 other sports that will wither away. Unfortunately, I look at other, bigger, BCS schools that field half as many sports. Why doesn’t Big 12, Ten, or SEC money give them another 15 sports? Historically, Varsity Athletes perform very well in the fleet,

    SA sports in general, and USNA in particular, exemplify the “10 bazillion NCAA athletes that will be going pro in somehting other than sports.” commercial.

    In the end, it’s in the best interest of the Academy and the Navy to maintain a robust athletic program, and if we need to guarantee our revenue stream with a more dificult football schedule, then maybe that’s where we need to go.

    Womens crew doesn’t pay for itself, you know.

  11. Anon-The problem is those teams don’t want to play us anymore. It is getting harder and harder to find people that want to play. Ohio State wants to play, South Carolina wants to play, but a lot of the MAC’s and Sun Belt’s won’t play anymore and with all the conference changes people can’t play in October and November because there schedule is filled with conference games. We can’t play eight games in September.

  12. @Mike-I think he was referring to Socci’s stuff on navysports.com, not you.

    • lol I know

  13. Anon – I understand where you are coming from but I think you are off. In the Mega-Conference era, the amount of teams willing to come to Annapolis shrinks. Right now, top 10% of FBS would pay Navy for home games, and the bottom 10% will take a non-return game in Annapolis. The middle wants a home & home. When conferences go to 9 game schedules, the “have-nots” in the middle will have a choice: schedule guaranteed victories at home or take $$$ to hit the road. Unfortunately Navy does not fit into that category.

    I walk around the yard today and see the facility upgrades over the past decade, from Wesley Brown FH to the baseball field to the posh upper level at Ricketts, and I can’t help to think back to the improvements versus the decade before. Maybe the $$$ gets there without the football’s team success, but the success definitely didn’t hurt.

    • DJ — I understand your points, as well. I’m just not yet sold on the full Doomsday sceneario. There’s still going to be a lot of teams,& some nonBCS conference oppotunities remaining after the BCS & MegaConf shakeout.
      If AF & Army were with us in joining the BE, I’d be more inclined to buy in. Yes, AF will still have a full sched, thanks to remaining in the MWC(w/C-USA) survivor, but they won’t (theoretically) get BE level tv $$$. Poor Army will have neither.

      Having all 3 SA’s in a C-USA/MWC survivors conf, looks better to me than being a BE basement dweller (a la Duke or Vandy).
      Yes, the tv revenues would be less, but what effect will a losing program have on other revenue streams, like attendance & alumni donations ?

      What monetary value do you place on the morale factor on the Yard, of a winning vs losing football program ?

  14. Not joining because Army and Air Force wouldn’t join is the absolute wrong thing to do. We are about to see a major change in college football.

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2012-02-08/big-east-memphis-realignment-bcs-louisville-to-big-12-title-game

  15. Oh, OK — we will be well compensated losers.

    Navy41 — I cited AF & Army as reasons why I don’t buy the Doomsday scenario. Do we have a monopoly on wisdom ? How will they survive ? If BE membership was obviously the only path to survival, they would have accepted the BE invite alongside us.

    That SN piece you linked is aimed at schools whose goal is competing for the BCS mythical championaship. Is that what we now aspire to ? Teams that don’t make the MegaConf cut will still play FB. Fans will still buy tickets, alums will still donate, tv networks will still air the games. They just won’t get as much tv revenue as the MegaConf teams. That does not necessarily mean they will descend to FCS gross revenue & attendance levels.

    I ask again, how will Army & AF generate enough revenue to sustain their athletic programs ?

    • They get government funding.

  16. Trenchant as always, Mike. Thanks.

  17. Anon-There is a good chance they will totally get left out of TV. You also forget that Army is terrible right now so they have no issues with scheduling, people are lined up to play them. That is not true with Navy. Would you really want to be part of the Big Mess that is the MWC/Conference USA leftovers merger? What would that do for the program.

    You need to reread that Sporting News article. There is a major change coming and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of that change.

    • Navy 41 asked — “Would you really want to be part of the Big Mess that is the MWC/Conference USA leftovers merger? What would that do for the program ”

      Anon answers — Yes. Very much so. Especially if Army joined AF & Navy there. That would guarantee a full sched of opponents very similar to what has brought us such success since 2002.
      I’d much rather play Tulane & Rice than USF & UCF, for example.
      What would it do to a program that was just knocked out of going to a bowl by San Jose St ?

    • Are you able to see beyond wins and losses?

  18. Sorry to shift the topic but is there anything out on what happened to our leading scorer and rebounder on the hardwood?

    • Resigned following a violation of Academy rules according to Wags’ article. Not likely to see any more information unless JJ chooses to say something.

  19. Interesting dialog. Kudos to ANON for sticking to his/her guns depsite the heavy weight of opposition. Those who are drinking the Kool-aid now will one day laud ANON’s prescience.

    Per MIKE: “Are you able to see beyond the wins and loses?” What a sad (but realistic?) commentary about the state of college football when winning/losing no longer matters and, instead, what truly matters is revenue sharing and not being left out or relegated to a second — or, worse, to a bottom tier. The pursuit of money truly is the root of all that is evil in college football (Sandusky aside).

    But when push comes to shove will Navy be content with all of that football revenue if the team becomes — as it may — the “Vanderbilt” or the “Duke” of the “Big Least”. How do you recruit stellar student athletes after missing out on even a second-tier bowl game? They do not care about the revenue they are brining in to fund the women’s volleyball team. the ywant to play in a bowl in San Diego, or wherever.

    When the time comes, Navy will realize — as did hapless Army — that maye a conference does not fit into Navy’s culture either. It will take a couple of years. At least Navy enters the Big Least with an excellent, well-paid coaching staff; a program that is not on the wane; and a winning attitude. Army was not so fortunate. Notwithstanding, I predict that within five years in the Big Least, Navy will enjoy its tradition of independent football.

    • The pursuit of money is the root of all evil in college football? Ok, I guess we’ll just pay for our lacrosse and crew and sprint football and rifle teams with sunshine and lollipops.

      Any reason you feel so secure about our chances of getting bowl bids to San Diego once the new football landscape shakes out? Maybe you ignored the pertinent parts of this post and the previous one, but I’m not sure why you think our recent run of bowl bids is guaranteed to continue once things settle over the next few years. And you also ignored the reasons why Army’s failure has zero bearing on our chances to succeed in a conference.

      But yeah, kudos for ANON for sticking to his guns despite being offered about 9 different reasons why he’s wrong. Truly a sign of genius to be unable to admit when your opinions lack any validity. And kudos for him going by ANON too, that’s really brave.

  20. I think it’s time for Part 3 Birddog

    • Excuse me Eric, I thought this was a 7 stages of grieving workshop.
      We seem to have reached the anger and bargaining stage.

    • Excuse me Eric, I thought this was a seven stages of grieving workshop. It seems we’ve reached the anger and bargaining stage.

    • What?

    • Sorry, “41” but my response is directed more to “angry” Eric . . .

      Like you, I have read all of the posts and have kept an open mind about “changing courses” but, unlike you, I do not agree with what seems to be the majority opinion on this issue. This is a blog, the purpose of which is to discuss the issues and not to browbeat or denigrate those in the minority.

      George Allen said (albeit in a different context), “The future is now!” No one has a crystal ball and can predict what will happen five years from now let alone next year. So, it truly makes sense to make decisions based on the best information available at the time. The future will take care of itself. But what is the best available information?

      1. As the super conferences (SEC, Big Ten [sic], and PAC 12) consolidate their brands into greater revenue making power and change the face of college football, the second tier BCS conferences (ACC and Big Least) and the non-BCS conferences are struggling to keep up. I have no idea where the Big 12 is these days. Aside from Notre Dame, independents proceed at its own risk.

      2. Why can ND weather the storm? It has its own brand and its own unique football culture. Army and Navy also have their own brands and their own unique cultures, which are certainly at a different level than ND’s but still unique, desirable, and marketable. Air Force does not share their prowess and probably never will. They belong in a conference that gives them some identity. But realize that neither Army nor Navy will ever play for a national championship or in a BCS Bowl. PERIOD.

      True, Army football sucks and has been dominated by all comers for the last decade — the so-called Decade of Dominance. Also true, as the mercurial MIKE points out: Army would have been hurtin’ for certain whether it was a member of the Conf USA or not. AMEN! Todd Berry drove a struggling program into the pit of despair and, ten years later, Army still cannot (except on occasion) compete on a national level except by playing MAC, Conf USA, etc. teams.

      3. No one is suggesting that Navy’s performance in the Big Least will parallel that of Army in Conf USA. Navy should be able to be competitive. What IS being suggested — at least what I read — is that, sometime in the future (not today or tomorrow or midway through the first BL season), when it is all said and done and as more evidence becomes apparent, Navy FOOTBALL will realize that perennial 6-5, 5-6, 4-7, or 3-8 teams just aren’t worth the TV bucks. Vandy and Duke laugh all the way to the bank every year as they share the ridiculous revenue of their bowl-bound conference mates. Because these perennial doormats share equally but do not have to pay to transport team and band to distant venues, they probably come out better than the bowl-bound teams!

      But, I do not see Navy relegating itself to being the Vandy/Duke of the Big Least. That is inconsistent with the mission of the NA and with Navy football in the aggregate. Navy is better than being content with the almighty dollar.

      4. At some point, winning on the gridiron will matter more than revenue and at that point, Navy will do what is best for its FOOTBALL program and leave the Big Least. That is the way I see it. The synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastic teams will have to sell lollipops to make ends meet. But we won’t know that until it happens by which time all of this punditry will have been long forgotten. Sorry, that my opinion differs from yours. But I do not agree. The nines reasons why I am wrong just don’t hold weight to me.

      Q: “Any reason you feel so secure about our chances of getting bowl bids to San Diego once the new football landscape shakes out? Maybe you ignored the pertinent parts of this post and the previous one, but I’m not sure why you think our recent run of bowl bids is guaranteed to continue once things settle over the next few years.”

      5. Bowl games? . . . Bowl games? What mediocre 6-6 team in America DOESN’T go to a bowl game. Let’s be serious here? If you have six (7?) wins in a season, you are probably going to a bowl game. The only recent exception to that was, let me see, o, yes . . . TEMPLE. Hell, if you are UCLA, you can have a losing record but petition to play in a bowl game and then PLAY in a BOWL GAME (against an equally as mediocre Illinois team)! So, even with all of those conference tie-ins, there will be plenty of bowl games and plenty that would be ecstatic to have a SA, e.g., the Military Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl, the Poinsettia Bowl (or whatever it is now) should and have sought SA’s.

      Even hapless Army had a lock on a bowl this last season if they were “bowl eligible”. Yes, Army! So, an argument that joining a conference is the only way to ensure a bowl game simply is not supported of supportable by historical evidence. [ NB: The big (only?) winner in the BL is Boise State, who now has a vehicle by which it will be guaranteed a shot at a BCS Bowl. So, as long as the BK gets an automatic bid . . . cha-ching!]

      6. More TV exposure? Are you serious? Really? There is already a glut of college football and meaningful college football on the tube. With the family of ESPNs and other national networks, what meaningful college games are NOT available either on the tube or via ESPN3, etc. BUT, do you ever see Duke or Vandy play much on national TV? Do you see Temple or Rutgers or UConn, or Louisville, etc. demanding prime time coverage? Just because they are in a BCS conference hasn’t increased their national TV exposure, has it? Really? I live in Boston and there MAY be one — count ‘em one (1) — Big Least game shown on any given football weekend and that on some Jefferson Pilot regional channel. There have been more Army games shown locally than temple games! Is that going to change in New England? In any of the three or four time zones within the Big Least? Really?

      7. Recruiting . . . Navy attracts stellar student athlete whose heart and love of the game exceeds their measurable speed, strength, size, etc. How will being in a conference and playing against Division 1 talent be any different than what Navy has been doing for all these years: playing against Division 1 talent? Navy played SMU, San Diego State, and Air Force in 2011. How did playing those teams improve/affect Navy’s recruiting in those markets? Not mush? So, how will that change just because all are now in a “conference”? Not much!

      In closing, an historical analogy: Using the best information and intelligence available [sic] at the time, Admiral Halsey sailed northwards full speed ahead to chase and sink [sic] the few remaining Jap carriers in the IJN, leaving the fleet at Leyte Gulf exposed (Clearly latent anger to get back at the Army for allowing the Japanese to sink all of those battleships in Pearl Harbor!) But where was TF 34?

      So, my question to the BIRD DOG or the cantankerous Eric is “Where is TF 34?”

      PS: ANON was a good enough moniker when he agreed with you so it should be good enough now that he/she disagrees. I am sure he/she is not trying to avoid a cyber-bulling or a cyber-beatdown by remaining the ever quotable ANON. So, open your mind and the truth set you free.

    • Geo79, just about all of that was already addressed in my last two posts. If you’re still asking the same questions, then obviously I’m not capable of explaining it to you.

    • Mike: Never confuse explaining with convincing. I do not find your arguments compelling. We agree to disagree. MOve on wiht Post 3.

    • Well if you say so.

  21. Eric he is commenting on the fact that you seem a little mad because he doesn’t agree with you.

    This isn’t a simple problem – if it was it would have been done long ago. I’m betting even those who made the decision have certain misgivings.

  22. Geo, in case you missed it the NCAA is looking at cutting about 10-12 bowls, most of which Navy had previous tie-ins. Those games probably won’t exist in 2015.

    • I did not know that nor did I know that the NCAA controlled the existence or non-existence of a bowl game. If there is money to be made, though, I am sure there will be bowl games: even if it only pits a 6-7 team against a 6-6 team! Some network will televise it and hope to generate revenue. From what I have read, the bowl makes all of the money. Many of the schools lose money playing in the game.

      Do you know where the list of potential bowls to be cut is?

  23. That’s probably because a certain AD tried to get them cancelled so that he could have another reason to move Navy to the Big Least!

    • ?!?

    • LOL.

  24. That’s probably because a certain AD tried to get them cancelled so that he could have another reason to move Navy to the Big Least!

  25. Is this plagurism or has ANON run up his colors?

  26. Inside joke. Don’t worry about it.

  27. On Oct 29th, Navy was at ND, carried on big boy CBS. To fill their Sat pm slots, CBSCS aired Army – Fordham & Lehigh – Colgate.

    On Oct 15th, the best coverage available for a very attractive Navy – Rutgers contest was espn3. Thank you BE/espn.

    Is a subscription BETN perhaps in the plans, like BTN ?

    IF 7 W’s becomes the criteria for bowl elig (Big IF, btw), will Navy need to have 7 W’s in the 11 games before the late Army game date, to allow BE bowl matchups to be finalized in time.
    Even 7W’s in 12 will be a heavy lift, given the projected BE sched.

    Not all ANON’s are the same person. That’s the point of Anon.
    In addition to keeping the focus on the matter under discussion.
    The grief coping continues.

  28. Obviously I have been misinformed . . .

  29. http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/01/25/number-college-bowl-games-could-shrink-in-2014-report-says/

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