2006 Navy Football Predictions

Three straight Commander-in-Chief's Trophy wins. Two consecutive bowl game victories. And guess what? Navy could be even better this fall. Loyal Midshipmen fans and the media have already begun to ask the question: Could the 2006 edition be coach Paul Johnson's best team at Navy yet? Could be. So what will be Navy's record in 2006? Funny you should ask. The GoMids.com staff has broken down the schedule complete with game-by-game predictions.

The way we see it, it's going to be another good year in Annapolis. Check it out:

The date: Sept. 2
The opponent: at East Carolina
The skinny: First-year coach Skip Holtz led East Carolina to a 5-6 record last season. He inherited a team that had three wins in its last 25 games. East Carolina may very well become bowl-eligible in 2006, but Navy still has too much for the Pirates.
The prediction: Navy 28, East Carolina 17
The date: Sept. 9
The opponent: Massachusetts
The skinny: Massachusetts is a Division I-AA power that opened last season 6-1, finishing 7-4, but the Minutemen lose three key players: safety Shannon James, running back R.J. Cobbs and defensive end Keron Williams. All three have signed NFL free agent contracts.
The prediction: Navy 38, UMass 10
The date: Sept. 16
The opponent: at Stanford
The skinny: Stanford edged Navy 41-38 in Annapolis last year. Expect Stanford to be improved this fall. The Midshipmen will be yet to be clicking on all cylinders at this point of this season.
The prediction: Stanford 28, Navy 24
The date: Sept. 23
The opponent: Tulsa
The skinny: Tulsa may be one of the best kept secrets in college football. The Conference USA school went 9-4 last year and beat Fresno State 31-24 in the Liberty Bowl. Tulsa returns 17 starters from last season. A great test for the Midshipmen early. Expect a dogfight.
The prediction: Navy 27, Tulsa 21
The date: Sept. 30
The opponent: at Connecticut
The skinny: UConn could come into this game a confident 3-0, after wins over Rhode Island, Indiana and Wake Forest. Navy overcomes a 17-14 halftime deficit to pull out the win.
The prediction:  Navy 27, UConn 24
The date: Oct. 7
The opponent: at Air Force
The skinny: Two words: Joey Bullen. Make it a fourth consecutive three-point victory for Navy over Air Force. Bullen wins it on a 36-yard field goal in the final minute.
The prediction: Navy 24, Air Force 21
The date: Oct. 14
The opponent: Rutgers
The skinny: Navy is a better team than Rutgers. Navy was a better team than Rutgers last year when the Midshipmen lost to the Scarlet Knights 31-21. But, oh, the letdown after the big Air Force win.
The prediction: Rutgers 23, Navy 21
The date: Oct. 28
The opponent: Notre Dame (in Baltimore)
The skinny: Notre Dame beat Navy 42-21 last year to extend its NCAA-record winning streak over the Midshipmen to 42. The Fighting Irish could make a run at the national championship in 2006 and return quarterback Brady Quinn, a Heisman Trophy candidate.
The prediction: Notre Dame 35, Navy 21
The date: Nov. 4
The opponent: at Duke
The skinny: Navy begins clicking on all cylinders and coming together. Duke won a game last year and will be at the bottom of the ACC again this fall.
The prediction: Navy 30, Duke 13
The date: Nov. 11
The opponent: at Eastern Michigan
The skinny: Navy continues easily through the softest part of the schedule and begins to look ahead - just a bit - at Army.
The prediction: Navy 30 Eastern Michigan 10
The date: Nov. 18
The opponent: Temple
The skinny: Temple has a new coach (Al Golden) and a new attitude. But this is still Temple, a team Navy struggled to beat last year. The Owls have won three games in three years.
The prediction: Navy 27, Temple 7
The date: Dec. 2
The opponent: Army
The skinny: Another year, another blowout. That's been the storyline the last four years during the Army-Navy Classic. Navy has outscored its service academy rival 176-54 over the past four years. There may not be a blowout in Philadelphia this year, but Navy will win and take home another Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.
The prediction: Navy 27, Army 17
Final record: 9-3 (stay tuned for bowl prediction)

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