IU Insider Blog: Who knew Navy was so good?

When Kevin Wilson said in his Monday press conference that Navy had been to nine bowl games in the last 10 years, it really got me thinking. IU has been to nine bowl games in history.

During Kevin Wilson's press conference Monday, the Indiana football coach threw out a statistic about Navy football that really got me thinking.

He said that Navy had been to a bowl game in nine of the last 10 seasons.

Really? I mean I always thought Navy had a good program but nine out of 10 seasons is better that just good. That's real good. The Midshipmen may not be going to the most elite level bowls but c'mon. Nine out of 10 years, that's pretty darn good.

So Wilson's comment made me want to do a little fact checking. And what I found, frankly made me take a step back and give this a little more thought.

The first thing was the nine bowl games in the last 10 years. Let's compare that to Indiana, a school that has made one bowl trip in that same time period. In fact with the Hoosiers it's more like one bowl trip in the last 20 years but that's not the point.

The point is that Navy has played in nine bowl games since 2003. Indiana, by contrast, has played in nine bowl games in the school's history.

Again, stop for a moment and let that one settle in. That's just crazy stuff if you ask me.

Now let's look at the last 10 years a little bit closer.

In that span, Navy has had one losing season. That came in 2011 when the Midshipmen finished 5-7.

In that same span, Indiana has had one winning season. That came in 2007 when IU finished 7-6.

In the last 10 years, Navy has a record of 83 wins and 38 losses. That means the Middies have averaged 8.3 victories per season over a decade's worth of time.

Indiana, in that span, has gone 38-81. IU's average wins is 3.8. Navy has averaged eight plus wins per year and IU hasn't won more than seven games in any of those years.

Now, if IU was playing Navy's schedule rather than a Big Ten slate, I've got to think Indiana would have a lot more than 38 wins. There's no question about it. Yes, Navy plays Notre Dame every year and Air Force and usually one more really big opponent before closing the year against Army. But the Middies also play a lot of lower Division I and Division I-AA opponents, too.

It would be interesting to see what Navy's record would have been in that span if it had played a Big Ten schedule. Because more often than not when the Midshipmen reached those bowl games they came out on the losing end. Navy is 3-6 in those nine bowl games.

Because of that it is kind of tough to do an apples and apples comparison. In the last 10 years, Navy has only played three games against Big Ten opponents. It is 1-2. The win was last year against Indiana, 31-30. The losses were to Penn State and Ohio State. Prior to beating IU last year, Navy hadn't beaten a Big Ten opponent since 1979 when it beat Illinois on the road. Since '79, Navy is 2-7 against the Big Ten. Two of those losses were to Indiana in 1985 and 1986.

Still, it does make me look at Navy a little different this week as the Midshipmen will head to Bloomington for Saturday's 6 p.m. game at Memorial Stadium.

Before I predict the Hoosiers to win by two touchdowns, like I was kind of thinking before, I'm probably going to want to give this one another look.

One thing we're all very sure of is that Indiana is facing an opponent this week that is going to look a lot different than Indiana State.

And by this time next week, we're truly going to know a lot more about what to expect from the 2013 Indiana football team.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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