Navy may be favored to beat Penn State

Not wishing to make light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and all the turmoil that is surrounding Penn State football but right now one thing has become abundantly clear from a Navy fans perspective. The Midshipmen may be one upset win away from a perfect season.

Whether you think the Penn State sanctions were fair or over the top the fact is that from this fall forward the Nittany Lions are anywhere from eight to ten years away from even being close to relevant again. Penalties include an unprecedented $60 dollar NCAA fine (the Big Ten actually added another $13 million in conference penalties), a four year postseason ban, and heavy scholarship restrictions. Some have even said the two year "death penalty" SMU received in the 1980's would have been an easier on the school (and look where SMU is now).

Of most relevance to the 2012 Navy season however is the fact that any player or recruit with eligibility remaining can choose to transfer to another FBS school and play immediately. This waives the rule that a transfer normally has to sit out one full season before becoming eligible. Though it is early to speculate on what this might mean, it would seem clear that a number of top players will leave the school. The reasons for this will range from a desire to play in Bowl games to just wanting to get out of a program which has fallen from grace unlike any other in history.

With just a few weeks to go before the start of the season these transfers will wreck the plans of first year Penn State Head Coach Bill O'Brien. No matter what, the team which was in O'Brien's plans for the Navy game will surely have a number of key components missing on September 15th when the Midshipmen roll into town. A game in which Navy was set to be a decent sized underdog suddenly looks much more like it will be a pick ‘em line at kick off.

This means that the only game in which Navy is likely to be a heavy underdog on their 2012 schedule is the opener against Notre Dame. Every other game the Mids play they will either be favored, or be nothing more than a touchdown ‘dog.

Yes, there are much bigger implications and social issues to be taken away from the Penn State issue, but from a purely football perspective the fallout could result in a historic season for the Midshipmen. Top Stories