Navy Learns its 2015-18 Conference Opponents

Lost somewhat in the week of bowl game preparation and the trip to San Diego for the game was that fact that Navy discovered the bulk of its schedule for the next four years last week. The Mids, remember, will break with the program’s entire football history when the proverbial independent bags are packed up and relocated in the Western Division of the AAC for the foreseeable future.

The Mids will be joined in the West, which makes no sense at all geographically by the way, by Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa. The Mids requested a spot in the West, as opposed to the more logical East, for the perceived benefits it gives them in both exposure and recruiting in the talent rich pool of Texas high school athletics.

As with most twelve team, split division conferences the Mids will find themselves playing eight conference match ups per year. They will play the other five teams in their division on a rotating home and rod basis, with playing three teams from the East each year with one home and one road game, plus one more in either Annapolis or on the road each season. This ensures that the Mids will play every conference opponent at home and on the road during the initial four year cycle.

Personally, I would have liked the conference to adopt a format more like the SEC when one of your cross division games each year is against the same team every season. By doing this you create an additional rivalry game for each of your teams, something that can hopefully build into a hotly anticipated match up each year. Seeing Navy go head to head with a Cincinnati or a Temple every season for example would also help build the conference strength.

In the first year of conference play Navy gets to travel to East Carolina and USF out of the East, while hosting UConn. This will actually be a good opportunity for the Mids to bed into their new conference as they avoid both Cincinnati and UCF, two of the teams who finished the 2014 season with 7-1 conference records.

If the Mids can take the conference by storm then a lucrative conference title game and, potentially, a bid to one of the top bowl games for the first time in over half a century.

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