Athlon picks Navy 57th

The preseason ranking and prediction fest is in full swing and today we have another of the big hitters in the college football world putting their rankings out for the world to see. Athlon Sports is Media Company based in Nashville, Tennessee who has been publishing these preseason, single issue sports annuals since their founding in 1967.

With 15 titles under their umbrella, many focusing on college football on either the national or regional level, it is easy to see why the unveiling of the Athlon Sports rankings is eagerly anticipated by many college football fans.

At the start of the 2014 football season Athlon Sports has the Mids ranked 57th out of the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. It doesn’t take a math genius to work out that that means the Mids are projected by the magazine to be just slightly above average by the end of the year. One of the problems that the Mids are going to have to deal with all year is the strength of schedule that they will be playing.

In the Athlon rankings the Mids only play two teams who are ranked higher than their own mark of 57th, Ohio State (3rd) and Notre Dame (13th). Navy, in fact, only plays three more teams ranked in the top 100 (Rutgers, South Alabama, and Western Kentucky), while over half the schedule is against either teams ranked over 100 (6 games) or members of the FCS (1 game).

Though this is likely to be good for the Mids win loss record it is not good for rankings, especially in the preseason where people are going strictly by numbers. What Navy really needs is some of the lower ranked teams who have potential, perhaps a San Jose State (103rd) or a South Alabama, to really start the season with a bang and greatly over play what is expected of them.

Athlon Sports also has a Bowl Projection as part of the magazine and they predict that the Mids will end up playing Fresno State in the Poinsettia Bowl. The location should be no shock as it is the only bowl tie in that Navy has as an independent and playing the 62nd ranked Bulldogs would be an excellent test for the Mids against a Mountain West team which has more name recognition than most in that conference.

It is certainly worth keeping a list of these predictions, if only to look back on them at the end of the season and see who was the closest to being on the money. Here are the major rankings so far for the 2014 Navy Midshipmen.

43rd – Phil Steele
57th – Athlon Sports Top Stories