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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

The Case for Navy to the ACC

Look, nobody knows what is going on with the rumors regarding teams leaving the ACC.  Depending on where you choose to read, the ACC may be extremely strong right now or extremely vulnerable.  The Confidential remains of the opinion that the absence of a grant of rights deal confirms that the Conference is at least somewhat vulnerable.  But, assuming it is not, there is still the issue of Notre Dame’s partial membership.  While the Confidential understands the lure of Connecticut and Cincinnati, and maybe even Temple, the Confidential would also like to make the case for Navy as the 16th school.

First, Navy could be considered in the same exact format as Notre Dame–a partial football schedule, with membership in the remaining sports.  Perhaps Notre Dame and Navy could split one share of the revenue somehow unless/until full football membership was resolved.

Picture this for divisions, with cross-over above/below:

Atlantic: Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, Wake Forest

Coastal: Navy, Florida State, Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson, Duke, NC State

If ND and Navy could commit to the 7 division games, plus an 8th game between the two teams, this should make everyone happy and wealthier.  ND would still have 4 more games to spread among its OOC foes, such as USC and various Big 10 schools.  And the ACC Championship game could include Notre Dame.

Frankly, Navy has not been that bad in football anyway.  Credit Paul Johnson for putting them back on the map.  They are not a pushover.

Or, if ND/Navy are reluctant to go that high in terms of # of games, just keep them in parentheses… playing 5 games, plus the 6th game with each other.

Those divisions still work for hoops too.

Second, Navy is a fine academic institution.  There is no downgrade there.

Third, Navy has a lacrosse team, which would give the ACC its 6th lacrosse-playing school.

Fourth, Navy is located in the very place vacated by Maryland.  While Navy does not have the local following that Maryland does, it certainly has the national following.

Fifth, while its basketball team will always be undermanned, is that the worst thing for the conference?  There is already plenty of competition to get to the Big Dance.  And if Navy ever DID make it… they would have the whole country rooting for them.  Needless to say, Navy has not done well outside of the David Robinson era anyway.  So it’s no loss for the institution.

Finally, this keeps the UConn/Cincinnati debate alive should the ACC suffer additional losses.  It is likely that future expansion will be in pairs.  So adding those two teams together remains possible for backfill purposes.

What do you think?  Why yes or no?

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16 thoughts on “The Case for Navy to the ACC

  1. Vinnie Saltine on said:

    Yes, definitely. I’ve gone on record numerous times on this blog advocating for Navy to join the ACC; if not as full-fledged members then at least in some hybrid status that mirrors Notre Dame. The slippery-slope is if the ND/Navy game counts as one of ND’s 5-committed games.

  2. I can’t believe for a second that a non-football member like Notre Dame will be allowed to take part in a conference championship game and I can’t believe that partial scheduling (only 5 total games instead of 8) will ever work. Not that it wouldn’t be allowed — I doubt a schedule would be possible. And I doubt the NCAA would ever allow it.

    But, I’m more of a believer in Navy-to-ACC thinking now than I ever have been. I can’t believe they’ll be member #15 or #16, but there’s certainly room for Navy for football only more members leave were to leave. Presence in the DC/Baltimore area helps bring in some portion of the viewers there (ok, yeah, here) and they are a national name. And you correctly bring up LAX — something I hadn’t really thought about in this context. They could help on that front assuming the conference can count at least 5 other LAX programs after any current members leave. And there’s no reason that the ACC couldn’t make room for a football-plus-LAX-only member.

    Say, for instance, four members leave. For sake of argument, FSU/Clemson to Big 12 and UVA/UNC to Big Ten. Then, the ACC sits at 10 football members (11 overall) and has a reason to expand to 12. I could see those two members being UConn and Navy.

    If the conference only loses two members, they’d have 12 football members and 13 overall. Additions at all are a little more uncertain but you never know — strength in numbers — especially with more members conceivably leaving in the future.

    Now, having written that, I actually think Navy/ACC is less likely if six members were to leave in a relatively short period of time. Say, FSU/Clemson to the Big 12, UVA/UNC to the Big Ten, and NCState/VT to the SEC. There are some holes in that example — ie Duke — but that’s not the point now. That leaves 9 football members, 10 overall. 9 members in football give you a full 8-game round-robin ending on that last weekend of the year when the power conferences are reduced to a single conference championship game. In basketball, they play a full 18-game home-and-away round robin and have a much more sane 10-member basketball tournament.

  3. See those sharks at the bottom of this webpage? If the ACC ever invites Navy, that’ll be the day they jump those sharks! I say stay at 14.5 members and wait for the Big XII to die, then grab WVU + Cincinnati. Let Notre Dame remain partial. (Or, if they really do want in, make it ND + Cincy). JMO.

    • Look, Big 10 fans said the same thing about Rutgers. I think Navy has accomplished more on the football field than Rutgers ever has or will. Heck, Navy has accomplished more on the basketball court than Rutgers. Not sure there is any distinction with lacrosse.

      But the big thing is that this bridges the gap to Notre Dame being a full-fledged member. Notre Dame MUST play Navy. Other than USC, it is a game that will always be on their schedule.

      If Navy can be Rutgers 2nd toughest opponent every year, no reason why Navy cannot throw its weight around against a division with Duke and Wake Forest in it. An upset over NC State or Virginia or NC…. and next thing you know Navy is looking at a decent bowl game. Plus, the ACC could pick up the bowl tie-in that Navy has… the name escapes me.

      Also, the concession for the Southern schools would be that they would be together. FSU, Clemson, Ga Tech, etc. Forcing Ga Tech north has never been pleasing to anyone.

      If you just look at these four teams… UConn, Cincy, Temple, and Navy… which one matters the most to the average fan across the country. In their respective home town markets–not Navy. But across the country, it is Navy. Maybe UConn has some fair-weather fans elsewhere. Cincy did for a while with Huggins. Temple only has Bill Cosby and the movie Unbreakable going for it.

      Finally… I like the idea of having another quasi-member tracking with ND. And I really like the idea of Navy in the ACC from the perspective of ensuring the ACC’s future. Congress looks out for Navy.

  4. Seminole Chip on said:

    There will be no more defections from the acc for at least a few years and here is the reason. The grant of rights. Not the acc’s grant of rights but the big 12’s. UNC and UVA are the first choices for the Big 10 and the SEC which is not a bad position to be in. The only teams that I could see taking Unc and uva’s spot in the Big would be Texas and Kansas and if you believe the dude of West Virginia they are untouchable for at least a decade. The SEC won’t settle for nc state and va tech which could push Unc and Uva to the Big. There is simply no reason for Unc and Uva to rush into anything as they are similar to Notre Dame in that they have a spot waiting for them in almost any conference they chose. If they are as smart as they claim they are they will wait and see what happens in the new Acc and see how Maryland and Rutgers adjust to the Big. And how West Virginia likes playing in two different time zones. Also I have to believe that Fall Baseball which the Big is proposing will be a hard sell to both Unc and Uva.

  5. Per Wikipedia:

    Navy NCAA Tourney appearances: 1947, 1953, 1954, 1959, 1960, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1997, 1998

    Rutgers NCAA Tourney appearances: 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1989, 1991

    Rutgers’ bowl games:

    December 16, 1978 Garden State Bowl Arizona State Loss 34–18
    December 27, 2005 Insight Bowl Arizona State Loss 45–40
    December 28, 2006 Texas Bowl Kansas State Win 37–10
    January 5, 2008 International Bowl Ball State Win 52–30
    December 29, 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl North Carolina State Win 29–23
    December 19, 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl Central Florida Win 45–24
    December 30, 2011 New Era Pinstripe Bowl Iowa State Win 27–13
    December 28, 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl Virginia Tech Loss 13–10

    Navy bowl games:

    1924 Rose Bowl Washington T 14–14
    1955 Sugar Bowl Mississippi W 21–0 “Team Named Desire”[5]
    1957 Cotton Bowl Rice W 20–7
    1960 Orange Bowl Missouri L 14–24 Heisman Trophy winner, RB Joe Bellino
    1963 Cotton Bowl Texas L 6–28 Texas ranked #1, Navy #2
    1978 Holiday Bowl BYU W 23–16 Inaugural Holiday Bowl, Navy ranked #17 in final UPI Poll
    1980 Garden State Bowl Houston L 0–35
    1981 Liberty Bowl Ohio State L 28–31
    1996 Aloha Bowl California W 43–38
    2003 Houston Bowl Texas Tech L 14–38
    2004 Emerald Bowl New Mexico W 34–19 Navy ranked #24 in final poll (AP and Coaches’)
    2005 Poinsettia Bowl Colorado State W 51–30 Inaugural Poinsettia Bowl
    2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl Boston College L 24–25
    2007 Poinsettia Bowl Utah L 32–35
    2008 EagleBank Bowl Wake Forest L 19–29 Inaugural EagleBank Bowl
    2009 Texas Bowl Missouri W 35–13
    2010 Poinsettia Bowl San Diego State L 14–35
    2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Arizona State L 28–62

    • How exactly is Navy so subpar?

    • BruceMcF on said:

      You can scratch point (3).

      Note that a “need for six Lacrosse schools” is rooted in: (1) Automatic Qualification for the NCAA tournament and (2) rules in some specific conferences requiring six schools for the conference to sponsor the sport.

      But ACC Men’s Lacrosse doesn’t need six members, since it doesn’t need an AQ to sense multiple teams to the tournament, and ACC women’s Lacrosse already has six and after Maryland leaves while Syracuse and ND joins, they’ll have seven.

  6. Dave on said:

    Navy is an upgrade for me over Maryland. When Maryland left the only thing the ACC lost was geography. Navy fills that void. Plus I think ND gives more consideration to being a full member if the Navy game is a division game. ND will never give up its game with Navy because of how Navy saved ND by sending students there. An 8 game conference schedule is much more manageable for ND if Navy is included in the 8 games. Basically they would only have to eliminate 2 games from future schedules since they have agreed to play 5 ACC games per year. ND will always want USC and Stanford for the west coast exposure. That still leaves them 2 national games to schedule. I’m 100% in favor of adding Navy if ND agrees to full membership. The addition of ND (like it or not, it’s the truth) will increase the TV money to an equal level with the other conferences. I’m not in favor of adding Navy without ND’s full membership because Navy will not increase TV revenue enough to make a difference.

    • As I laid it out, ND-Navy would play every year… just like FSU-Miami, Virginia-Va Tech, etc. That’s how you get to 8.

  7. Navy would definitely help on the national scale and might give the conference some gravitational pull toward Notre Dame. Also gives the ACC a dog in the Army-Navy game, though as a former Guardsman I will be even more conflicted about that (also a former Navy brat).
    Not a big fan of any more partial members, though. Hoping ND layed out some conditions for full membership secretly that the league will be able to meet in the near future.

  8. Jon Wren on said:

    The best case would be for the NCAA to remove the requirement for round robin divisions to have a conference title game. That way, 15 becomes the best number without divisions and we wouldn’t have to invite a team that doesn’t add value for #16. Have 3 pods of 5, play every team in your pod plus a permanent rival in each of the other pods annually. The other 2 conference games rotate every year so it takes 4 years to play everyone. Top 2 teams play for title. ND’s pod would have their traditional rivals: bc, Pitt, Miami, and Cuse. GT could be one of ND’s permanent rivals. This makes joining a conference pretty palatable for ND and gives the conference the greatest flexibility in scheduling the most interesting mathups yearly for ratings (since there are no divisions with round robin play required).

    • Makes a great deal of sense….good thinking and a means of getting Notre Dame more tied to conference. Would have to define how the top two teams were selected…best won/loss percentage; highest BCS ranking whatever. Not sure FSU and Clemson would go along with this as the pods would have to be fairly equal is SOS.

      • Jon Wren on said:

        Best conference record would decide the top 2 with tie breakers, much the same as the divisions do right now. I would do the scheduling pods like this:
        ND, BC, Pitt, Syr, Miami
        GT, WF, CU, NCSU, FSU
        UVa, VT, Lou, Duke, UNC

        Set up the permanent rivals for maximum TV ratings and preserve traditional rivalries (e.g. FSU-Miami, ND-GT, NCSU-UNC, Duke-WF, Lou – FSU, CU-VT).

        This is the BEST possible situation for the ACC – the divisions limit the ability to schedule the interesting, highly-rated games. For example, my beloved alma mater, Clemson, plays GT as a cross division every year and only gets to play VT every few years. That is a great matchup between similar schools – there is no reason why they shouldn’t play every year.

        Other big advantage is we don’t have to take an ugly, buck-toothed stepsister to the dance as #16 if ND joins.

  9. Jae In on said:

    I really like this idea.

  10. Pablo on said:

    If Navy convinces ND to go all in for football, then Navy should get consideration. More likely, Navy only moves the needle slightly with ND…maybe one or two more ND football games. A slight change in ND’s commitment is not worth diluting the strength of the ACC that would result from adding Navy in all sports. Other than football, Navy does not have the fan support to justify being in the ACC.

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