My Favorite Game of the Year!

This is my favorite college football game of the year.  The Army/Navy game.  This game is about more than a simple college football game it is about watching young men that have signed up to put their life on the line for our country.  The pageantry and the pomp and circumstance of the game is awesome.  The stadium is lined with all of the cadets and the midshipman is an awesome sight to see.  Before the game, all of the cadets and midshipman are on the field for the playing of the Army and the Navy songs and the National Anthem, until they go to their seats.  The game is not about records or championships, save the commander-in-chief trophy, it is about pride and guys that will be side by side battling on the gridiron before they have to go to battle for the USA.  This is a chance for these young men to get recognized nationally on the gridiron as the game is nationally televised on CBS for all of the nation to see.  This game has featured many great players from Doc Blanchard and Glen Davis from Army to Roger Staubauch and Keenen Reynolds from Navy.  The Army/Navy Game is unlike any other college football game there is between the pageantry and traditions, it is a rivalry as fierce as any other but the respect between the two squads is unmatched.

I am looking forward to this game, as I do every year because as a veteran of the United States Army and with a brother and a cousin in the Navy and Grandfathers that served in the Navy in WW2, I have bought a lot of cases of beer over the years.  The Midshipman beat The Black Knights fourteen years in a row, but we got them last year.  The Black Knights have changed coaches more than a few times over that fourteen-year losing streak to Navy.  We have a great coach now, Jeff Monken, he is a great fit and at a military school fit is of the utmost importance with all of the rigors of the schedule that their athletes have to keep.  By contrast, the Midshipman have had two coaches, Paul Johnson and Ken Niumatalolo, two great coaches as Paul Johnson has moved up to the ACC with Georgia Tech, have led the Midshipman to be the imminent power of the military academies. This game is ultra special to me since I have had two Grandfathers serve in the Navy in the Asian Theater in WW2, one cousin serve in the Navy and in  Afghanistan, another brother who was in submarines in the Navy, another brother in the Army that was in tanks, and I was deployed to Iraq in the United States Army.  So, of course, we have a standing bet of a case of beer on the game which I paid for fourteen years before last year.  So at the end of the day, I will tell you this it is the Knights year to not only beat Navy for the second year in a row but also win the commander-in-chief’s trophy.

This week’s winners are:

  1. Army +3 Maybe betting with my heart here but Go Army! Beat Navy!

This week is also the Heisman Trophy announcement and I think everyone is in agreement that the winner is going to be Oklahoma Quarterback Baker Mayfield.  The Heisman trophy has become less about the best player in the country and more about who can pad their stats against lesser competition and as long as the Big Twelve plays defense as they have the last couple of years the Heisman winner will more than likely come from the Big 12.  In the last ten years, Quarterbacks have won the Heisman Trophy eight times the only times they haven’t were two running backs from Alabama.  In the era of the spread offense, which is a QB driven offense, we will see this trend continue.

Tennessee finally hires a coach the former Defensive Coordinator at Alabama, Jeremy Pruitt.  I think this is an outstanding hire, young guy, elite recruiter, learned from two of the games best coaches Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher.  He has a blueprint for success but can he implement it like Kirby Smart has at Georgia and turn it into sustained success at Tennessee?

Rating coaching moves: (Updated)

A+ Grade:

Dan Mullen to Florida

Jimbo Fisher to Texas A&M

Scott Frost to Nebraska

Chip Kelly to UCLA

Willie Taggert Florida State even ole PK couldn’t keep him at Oregon, homerun for FSU incredible Florida recruiter that program will be back in business next year.

Scott Frost Nebraska another home run hire a stud young coach turned UCF from no wins two years ago to Undefeated and Big Ten West is not loaded, save Wisconsin, year in and year out.

All top names that can burn up recruiting trail. Proven winners and program builders.

A Grade:

Jeremy Pruitt Tennessee Unproven but comes from a lot of success with three National Championships

Chad Morris Arkansas He won at SMU hard to do but that is nothing like what he will face in the SEC West

B Grade:

Josh Heupel UCF Former OC at Missouri good recruiter in a fertile recruiting ground

Herman Edwards to Arizona State

Joe Moorhead to Mississippi State

Mike Bloomgren Rice Great OC at Standford hopefully can bring some of that mentality to Rice

Dana Dimel UTEP OC from Kansas State bring some stability and a great culture to a program that needs it

Good coaches see if these moves will pan out. Moorhead first time HC at big-time program interesting to see how his staff shapes up and how he recruits in South. Herman Edwards loved him on TV, he couldn’t wait to be back on sideline see how he translates to college kids.

C Grade:

Chad Lunsford Georgia Southern

Matt Luke Ole Miss

Jonathan Smith Oregon State

Steve Campbell South Alabama

All unproven guys and Luke feels like a lazy hire by promoting him from Interim.

I will make the prediction again now that Ben McAdoo has been fired from the New York look for Brian Kelly from Notre Dame to be a name to surface there.  He has connections there and he wants to go to the pros, but to a blue blood franchise and the Giants fit that bill.

Saturday, I am building a loft and a workbench in the back of my tandem garage.  Any of you reading this know I’m not the handiest of fellas, so I am employing the help of my neighbors for this project.  I will supply the unskilled labor and the beers to get us through this.  I will post pictures from during and after construction.

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