Breaking Down Navy's Schedule

With just ten Saturdays to go until Navy kicks off the 2012 season against Notre Dame in Dublin it is time to take a look at the schedule and assess how the squad will fare overall. Over the next couple of months we will be breaking down each game opponent by opponent.

We will be looking at where the games will be won and lost in much greater detail, but for today let's take a peek behind the curtain and see what the expectations for the Academy should be this fall.

With a 12 game regular season most coaching staffs look to break down the workload into three blocks of four games and win each block. Navy has kind of a strange schedule in 2012 which sees by far the most difficult pair of games at the very start of the season. The matchups against Notre Dame and Penn State will give an immediate indication of just how good Navy can be in 2012. In truth the coaching staff would be overjoyed with splitting these two games and having a .500 record going into the more winnable games.

 Also there is no bye week in the middle of the season with the only weeks off being one after the first game (to recover from the Ireland experience), and then two weeks of rest before the finale against Army. Add in a couple of games against FCS schools (VMI & Texas State) and it is an up and down slate of games in which Navy will be favored before kick off on the majority of occasions.

Here is how we see it shaking out:

  • ·         Notre Dame (Ireland) Loss
  • ·         @ Penn State Loss
  • ·         VMI Win
  • ·         San Jose State Win
  • ·         @ Air Force Win
  • ·         @ Central Michigan Win
  • ·         Indiana Win
  • ·         @ East Carolina Loss
  • ·         Florida Atlantic Win
  • ·         @ Troy Win
  • ·         Texas State Win
  • ·         Army (Philadelphia) Win

So that would see Navy with a 9-3 record which, on paper at least, looks far more impressive than the 5-7 finish in 2011. With just a little bit of luck it is actually not difficult to study this schedule and see a route for Navy to win ten or even eleven games (assuming they can pick off one of the big boys at the start of the season). The strength of schedule may end up being one of the worst in the nation as teams like Central Michigan, Indiana, FAU, and Troy, are projected to be nothing more than cannon fodder in 2012. This will matter little though if at the end of the year Navy are once again holding the Commander-in-Chief Trophy and preparing to attend a Bowl Game. 


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