2008 Navy Football: an early prediction

Expect it to be business as usual for the Navy Midshipmen in 2008. Look into the periscope Navy fans: Do you see another winning season, another bowl game, another Commander-in-Chief's Trophy? Let's hope so. Here is a look at the opponents standing in Navy's way this fall.

Aug. 30, Towson

Chalk it up: 1-0. Navy shouldn't have a problem with Division I-AA Towson. The Tigers went 3-8 last season, losing their last five games of the season.

Running record: 1-0

Sept. 5, at Ball State

What do they say about payback? Ball State stunned Navy last season, beating the Midshipmen 34-31 in overtime. The teams' combined for over 1,000 yards of offense. Another offensive outburst is possible, but the result will be different.

Running record 2-0

Sept. 13 at Duke

Another win for the Midshipmen. Duke is the bottom feeder of the ACC and went 1-11 last season. The Blue Devils are rebuilding under new coach David Cutcliffe, who could eventually get the program off the ground. He's served as a mentor in college to Eli and Peyton Manning. Duke will need the Mannings' to beat Navy.

Running record: 3-0

Sept. 20, Rutgers

OK, so Navy isn't going to run the table. Navy played Rutgers tough last season, losing 41-24 in a game closer than the score indicates. Expect another tight one this year. Rutgers by a touchdown.

Running record: 3-1

Sept. 27, at Wake Forest

The real deal. Wake Forest finished 9-4 last year, after starting the season 0-2. Wake Forest beat Navy 44-24 last season, a month after defeating Army 21-10.

Running record: 3-2

Oct. 4, at Air Force

Trailing 20-17 in the fourth quarter, Navy came back to beat Air Force 31-20 last season. Expect an even closer game this year. The Midshipmen have won 11 straight games against Air Force and Army. Make it 12.

Running record: 4-2

Oct. 18, Pittsburgh

For Dave Wannstedt's sake, let's hope Ken Niumataolo doesn't coach him under the table like Paul Johnson did in Navy's 48-45 double overtime win last year. Joey Bullen's 29-yard field goal proved to be the difference.

Running record: 5-2

Oct. 25, SMU

The middle leg of a productive three-game homestand. SMU gained instant credibility when it nabbed coach June Jones from Hawaii this offseason. Still, the Mustangs aren't in Navy's class.

Running record: 6-2

Nov. 1, Temple

Temple, yes, Temple, could be one of the most improved teams in the nation this fall. The Owls return just about every player on both sides of the ball. Temple plays Army this fall and will beat the Black Knights. But Navy will stuff the Owls.

Running record: 7-2

Nov. 15, Notre Dame, Baltimore

Let's hope Navy doesn't go another 44 years without a win over the Fighting Irish. The Midshipmen beat Notre Dame 46-44 in overtime last season, ending the Fighting Irish's NCAA-record winning streak against Navy at 43 games. Notre Dame will be much improved this year.

Running record: 7-3

Nov. 25, at Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois went 2-10 last year. The Huskies went 41015 over the previous five seasons.

Expect about a. 500 team from Northern Illinois this year. Sub .500 against Navy, of course.

Running record: 8-3

Dec. 6, Army, Philadelphia

Navy beat Army soundly by a score of 38-3 last December, making it six straight wins against the Black Knights. In the process, Navy became the first team to win six straight in the series.

The Midshipmen improved to 52-49-7 against Army, their biggest lead in a series that began in 1890. No team had ever won six in a row before last year, though the Black Knights once registered eight wins around a pair of ties.

Navy makes it seven in a row.

Running record: 9-3

NOTE: Starting next week GoMids.com will begin previewing each Navy position; projecting who will be the starters and which positions will be the strongest and which will be the weakest.  Don't miss out.  Subscribe to GoMids.com today. 

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