This is the start of many college football previews to come. The Navy Midshipmen have the 25th most wins in history of any college football teams with 673 overall. They have raised their level of play in the last few seasons and they will still be an independent in 2014. So for starters, let's review their results in the 2013 season.
2013 Navy Midshipmen 9-4
September 7th--Win at Indiana Hoosiers, 41-35
September 14th--Win - Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens, 51-7
September 28th--Loss at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 7-19
October 5th--Win - Air Force Falcons, 28-10
October 12th--Loss at Duke Blue Devils, 7-35
October 19th--Loss at Toledo Rockets in 2 OT, 44-45
October 26th--Win - Pittsburgh Panthers, 24-21
November 2nd--Loss at Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 34-38
November 9th--Win - Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, 42-28
November 16th--Win - South Alabama, 42-14
November 22nd--Win at San Jose State in 3 OT, 58-52
December 14th--Win - Army in Philadelphia, 34-7
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Win over Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 24-6
Overall a quality season for the Midshipmen, win the bowl game, win the Commander-in-Chief's trophy, beat Army, and undefeated at home. However, everyone knows that results can change quickly from one season to another.
One of the top returning players for the Midshipmen is Quarterback Keenan Reynolds. He is 5'11", 195 lbs from Antioch, Tennessee. Last season he ran for a total of 1,346 rushing yards and ran for 31 touchdowns, and threw for 1,057 yards and 8 touchdowns while only throwing 2 interceptions. Obviously these statistics are high for a quarterback because Navy still runs the triple option under coach Ken Niumatalolo. Reynolds is still only a Junior this coming season, started all 13 games this past season, and even went 6-2 when starting as a Freshman. In summation, he is 15-6 as a starting quarterback, has been voted team MVP for 2 straight seasons, and was responsible for 39 total touchdowns last year. Reynolds should be a player to look in the upcoming season.
The schedule for the Navy Midshipmen in 2014 is as follows:
August 30th--vs Ohio State Buckeyes at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
September 6th--at Temple Owls
September 13th--at Texas State Bobcats
September 20th--vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights
September 27th--vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
October 4th--at Air Force Falcons
October 11th--vs VMI Keydets
October 25th--vs San Jose State Spartans (Homecoming)
November 1st--vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
November 15th--vs Georgia Southern Eagles
November 28th--at South Alabama Jaguars
December 13th--vs Army Black Knights at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
This is not a particularly difficult schedule, but everyone should expect them to go around 9-3 in the regular season, with losses to Ohio State and Notre Dame. We all know that their game of the year is the finale, their rivalry game against the Army Black Knights. Navy currently holds the edge in the series (58-49-7). This is all because of a recent hot streak by the Midshipmen in the series, having won the last 12 games in a row. Clearly, Navy expects to keep winning that game and others since they have had recent success and to stay in the top 25 in wins for collegiate football teams.
This is the first year of the College Football Playoff, and it will be intriguing to see exactly what happens as far as what teams will get into the playoff and ultimately, who will win the first four team tournament. At this point, the Navy Midshipmen are not playing for national titles. They would definitely have to be considered a title pretender when compared to the other teams that will be fighting for those four spots. That doesn't mean they are a bad team, rather, they are incredibly difficult matchup with their triple option offense and a strong returning quarterback in Keenan Reynolds. This just won't be their year and nobody expects them to be playing for titles anytime soon.