Navy locked into 2012 Emerald Bowl

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There’s crafty Navy, at work again in securing its football future.

The Midshipmen signed a deal with the Emerald Bowl for 2012, locking up a tie in for the next five years.

In review:

2009: Texas Bowl (Houston)
2010: Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego)
2011: EagleBank Bowl (Washington)
2012: Emerald Bowl (San Francisco)
2013: Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth)

Let’s see … Navy is a known quantity to the Emerald Bowl from its 2004 visit, and the game itself is well-run (my greatest gripe from Maryland’s trip in 2007 was that most of the action took place in left field while I was sitting behind home plate in AT&T Park, but that was on the Maryland offense and Oregon State defense and not the game organizers).

It’s a trip to the West Coast, which will no doubt hold some appeal considering the number of naval bases on the Pacific coast.

And it means athletic director Chet Gladchuk has established a string of long-term stability for a program that’s already reached six straight bowl games.

All of this assumes six wins a year, of course, but at least there’s certainty going forward.

(As an aside, it does make you wonder what this means for the Emerald Bowl’s current relationships with the Pac-10 and the ACC.

It would be, no pun intended, nuts for that game to lose its Pac-10 tie-in. And with the ACC landing a four-year deal with the Sun Bowl, perhaps the Emerald Bowl would be the game that falls out of the conference’s set of contracts – especially since the Sun Bowl will be a Pac-10 vs. ACC matchup).

Anyway, there’s a lot of bowl shuffling that got underway last month, with more sure to come. Navy, though, has struck early to make sure it isn’t left on the outside in the next few years, and there is undeniable wisdom in doing so.

Patrick Stevens

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