For most who don’t follow Navy football, you would think the title of this article is no more than a pipe dream. If there ever was a chance for Navy to go bowling with the big boys this is the year. In both the AP and USA Today Pre Season Polls Navy is in the Top 40, so there is not a long way to climb for the Midshipmen.
Last season, the Midshipmen won 10 games for only the third time in school history and most were memorable. They scored 63 in a game against Rice, they defeated their rivals Air Force and Army again, for the second time in three years Notre Dame fell to the Mids, and in their bowl game they trounced Missouri 35-13. In fact even in defeat Navy received praise as they took the 6th ranked Ohio State to the brink in a 31-27 loss.
One big reason this could happen is Navy's schedule for 2010. Outside of the Notre Dame game Navy could or maybe should be favored in every other game. They play three ACC teams but by no means is Maryland, Wake Forest and Duke the class of the ACC. Navy's home schedule looks to be easy with opponents like Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, and Central Michigan to name a few. An undefeated season is not an impossibility which is a must for Navy to go bowling with the big boys.
Of course Navy's success hinges on the man in the picture, Ricky Dobbs. Dobbs in most circles is seen as a Heisman dark horse and for good reason. Dobbs runs the option to perfection which is evident after setting the record for rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks with 27; he broke Tim Tebow's record.
Dobbs however can throw the ball just as well throwing for over 1,000 yards last year. That might not sound impressive, but consider the Mids ran for almost 4,000 yards in 2009.
Not only would this be huge for the program but big for college football. Navy is starting to become a huge draw. In all of Navy's bowl games they have sold close to and sometimes over 30,000. If the unexpected happens and they win it would be a bigger story than Boise over Oklahoma. Its hard not to root for a team like Navy, they are generally undersized, and the talent level is far lower on their sideline and most if not all will never play football after college ever again.
The greatest thing about this is that back in 2000 Navy was one of the worst teams in the country. The fact that just 10 years later this can even be discussed shows the amazing turnaround they have had. Seven straight bowl games, two 10 win seasons, two wins over Notre Dame and seven straight Commander in Chief's trophies, they have come a long way since the 2001 0-10 season. Numerous things need to go right for Navy to be in a BCS bowl game, and it all starts on September 6 against Maryland.
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