Navy first in 2012 to lock bowl bid

Navy officially became the first FBS team to stamp their ticket to a bowl game last weekend after a tougher than expected win over Florida Atlantic. The mere mention that this Navy squad would be able to reach bowl eligibility, let alone before anyone else in the country, would have caused laughter after the first few games.

Navy officially became the first FBS team to stamp their ticket to a bowl game last weekend after a tougher than expected win over Florida Atlantic. The mere mention that this Navy squad would be able to reach bowl eligibility, let alone before anyone else in the country, would have caused laughter after the first few games. Ken Niumatalolo's group, however, has responded in a way which must make the coach proud, and it is not out of the question that Navy could put together a double digit win season before 2012 is in the books.

With three very winnable games left, including an Army-Navy showdown which is the most important in over a decade, Navy could be traveling to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl as a 9-3 team on an eight game win streak. The Mids are disciplined, they are tough, and they have proven in the last two weeks that they can win in shootouts and in games where one possession is vital. Either one of these traits could be important as we know that Navy will be traveling into enemy territory to take on a Pac 12 squad in San Francisco.

Who the Midshipmen will play is still a mystery at this point, though taking a look at the Pac 12 gives a few clues as to which team will be awaiting the academy. The difficulty in exactly placing the opponent lies with Oregon and its shot to get into the non affiliated National Title game, but it is a good bet that the Mids will be playing Washington, Utah, or one of the Arizona teams.

The good news is that none of these squads should frighten Navy one bit. The Pac 12 is decidedly top heavy in 2012, and the mid to lower tier of the conference ranges from unpredictable to downright awful (Colorado might be the worst team in the FBS). Washington is the team that seems projected by most to take on Navy and they appear to have two types of game in their profile. The Huskies will either play you close and win (Stanford, Oregon State) or they will forget to show up and get blown out (Oregon, Arizona). You have to believe that the way Navy plays defense will keep the Mids right in the game, so any blowout would be in favor of the academy.

Obviously there is a lot of water to pass under the bridge before the bowl matchups are set, and with that being said Navy is sitting pretty. Just hours after the win over the Owls the Navy marketing department was working on selling ticket packages and promoting the bowl game to fans and students alike. Now all we have to do is sit and wait for an opponent to appear.

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