Chasing Win No. 6

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There’s a little piece of business in Annapolis that can be tied up this weekend.

That is, Navy can secure bowl eligibility for the sixth consecutive season with a victory over Temple on Saturday.

It all got me thinking about how often the Midshipmen have taken care of such important things on the first try. And, unsurprisingly, Notre Dame often got in the way of finishing this sort of task quickly.

But how about a broader look at the program – one going back, say, more than 25 years?

Now, Navy’s schedule often featured two of some motley assortment of teams you would classify as members of the former Division I-AA. And given the once-strict rules of not counting victories over those teams for bowl eligibility, there were years Navy needed seven and even eight victories to become bowl eligible.

But a winning season is a winning season, so this rundown will fall in two parts. The first is Navy’s record in games in the post-George Welsh wilderness (1982-2001) during which it could collect a sixth victory.

The second list is the games the Midshipmen played with bowl eligibility on the line since 2002.

Here goes…

GOING FOR WIN No. 6 (3-3):

1982: Navy 24, Army 7

1990: Army 30, Navy 20

1995: Army 14, Navy 13

1996: Notre Dame 54, Navy 27
1996: @Navy 30, Delaware 14

1997: @Navy 62, Kent 29

And now the more relevant data from the Paul Johnson years (5-5):

2003: @Notre Dame 27, @Navy 24
2003: @Navy 63, Central Michigan 34

2004: Notre Dame 27, Navy 9
2004: @Navy 14, Rice 13

2005: @Notre Dame 42, Navy 21
2005: @Navy 38, Temple 17

2006:Rutgers 34, @Navy 0
2006: Notre Dame 38, Navy 14
2006: Navy 38, @Duke 13

2007: Navy 74, @North Texas 62

Those Notre Dame games were a pain, but Navy usually handled matters when it didn’t have to contend with the Fighting Irish.

Charlie Weis‘ boys don’t roll into the area for another two weeks. And when they do, chances are good they’ll be playing a Navy team already set with a Dec. 20 date at RFK Stadium.

Patrick Stevens

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