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Navy can advance by moving past tradition

Navy football

What means more – tradition or progress?

That was the debate Navy Athletics officials made when they decided they would move their football team to the American Athletic Conference, ending a 134-year run as a football independent.

Navy’s tradition as an independent football team allowed them the freedom to play what ever team they wanted. It allowed for regularly scheduled games against rivals Notre Dame and Army with no issue. But there was little hope for true advancement of the team.

Navy is not Notre Dame. They do not have the long history of greatness that gives the Fighting Irish extra perks when it comes to being rewarded with a Bowl game. When the Orange Bowl has to pick their teams, it is the No. 1 ACC school against the SEC No. 2, Big Ten No. 2 or Notre Dame. It is not ‘or an independent school’ that would also allow opportunities to Navy, Army and BYU. Only Notre Dame got that perk.

Moving to the AAC gives Navy a shot at getting in a major bowl game. The AAC is part of the “Group of Five” – also including Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt. The highest-ranked champion from those conferences is guaranteed a spot in either the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl or Peach Bowl. Last year 20th-ranked Boise State played Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl.

Should Navy not be selected to play in one of those Bowl games, they have chances at nine other Bowl games. Previously, Navy’s only tie in was the Poinsettia Bowl or be an at-large selection to one of the selected Bowl Games. They could play in other games, but nothing was ever guaranteed.

This opportunity offers Navy a lot more money. They can get money from the American Athletic Conference as part of the conference revenue sharing and more money from bowl games. The Poinsettia Bowl payed out $612,500 per team, the Armed Forced Bowl paid out $600,000 per team. They got $750,000 in 2012 from the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Over 75-percent of the Bowl games have announced payouts give more than $1 million.

East Carolina was the AAC representative in the BBVA Compass Bowl, now the Birmingham Bowl, and earned a $1.95 million payout.

The tradition of being an Independent was great but football money runs the NCAA now and Navy can make a lot of it by moving their football team to the AAC.

Their other sports will still remain in the Patriot League.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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