It may not create quite the buzz nationally as the Army-Navy game each year, but the Navy-Air Force game should not be overlooked. Particularly not this year, as the first leg of the race for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy features two very solid football teams.
Navy and Air Force meet for the 46th time on Saturday in Annapolis, with Navy looking to start a new streak against the Falcons after having their 15 game winning streak snapped last October. Air Force's win last season propelled them to their first Commander-in-Chief trophy since 2002, and snapped the Midshipmen's streak of seven consecutive years that they'd brought home the hardware.
Navy enters the contest at 2-1, with their lone loss coming two weekends ago at South Carolina. Head coach Ken Niumatalolo had his team ready to play against Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks, and the Midshipmen probably have been stewing this past two weeks considering they had South Carolina on the ropes before losing 24-21.
Air Force meanwhile enters Week 5 of the college football season at 2-1 as well after trouncing Tennessee State at home last Saturday by the score of 63-24. Neither team is ranked entering the contest.
Considering that Navy is coming off their bye week fully rested, I was a bit surprised to see the opening line only at 2 1/2 points in Navy's favor. It has since moved to 3 1/2 points at 5 Dimes and Bodog, an indication that heavy money was coming in on Navy's side early in the week. That sounds more like it considering Navy is the home team for this year's game. Still, even at three and a half points, Navy might still be a good play if you were as impressed as I was by their Week 3 showing in Columbia, South Carolina.
Enjoy the weekend of pigskin everybody.