Over the past three years, the only intrigue with the Army-Navy Game is figuring out just how dominant Navy would be. The Midshipmen have won eight straight games in this contest, and their last three wins have come by a combined 89-6 margin. Lots of this has to do with Navy's recent success under Ken Niumatalolo.
But this year is different. In the past, Army has been a very bad team, but not in 2010. Army has surprised the football world, going 6-5 on their way to the Armed Forces Bowl. They rank ninth in the nation in rushing and 12th in turnover margin. Sure, none of their wins have been against particularly impressive competition, but this is still a greater challenge for Navy, one that Niumatolo stressed to his team.
"This is a new year, a new team," Niumatalolo said of the Black Knights. "They're bowl eligible. We know they're much better. Their seniors want to go out on top, too, so anytime we play a service academy, you throw out your record, you throw out anything prior to that game and just get ready for the [game]. That's all that's going to matter."
It'll be interesting to see whether Navy's seniors, who are so used to dominating Army, will come out strong again or whether Army's resurgence will surprise them.