Savoring the past season and already thinking about the next. I see Coastal Carolina will be joining the SunBelt in 2017 to make it 130 FBS teams with Alabama-Birmingham rejoining ConferenceUSA that season. It will be a nice time of the year to take a discount flight direct to Myrtle Beach! Maybe St. Laurie will even go…We just can’t say enough about how happy we are for the Navy football program this year. To top it all off, HC Ken Niumatalolo decided to stay after being wooed by Brigham Young University. Statistically, USNA finished on top in seven categories in 2015 after finishing ranked at No. 18. As reported on NavySports.com, the Mids finished number one in the country in fourth down conversions (.923), fewest penalties per game (3.08), fewest penalty yards per game (26.08), fumbles recovered (15), fewest interceptions thrown (two), red zone offense (.948) and total turnovers lost (8). Also team items of note include 45 percent of Navy’s offensive drives gained 50 or more yards, which was the highest percentage in the FBS. Navy was one of only four schools in the country that scored points on 50 percent or more of their offensive possessions (joining Stanford, Western Kentucky and North Carolina). Navy finished second behind Western Kentucky in points per possession. Very impressive. Senior quarterback Keenan Reynolds finished second in the nation in rushing touchdowns (24) and fifth in the nation in scoring (11.1 points per game). And he wasn’t invited to the Heisman Award ceremony. It just seems very un-American to us. We’re thinking about getting tickets for the full Navy home schedule next year, but we’re waiting on their final schedule to come out so we can see what conflicts there may be. Our wish list keeps growing..
Here’s some of the games on our wish list for next season: Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee at Bristol Speedway – we think it’s only right that collegefootballfan.com should be part of the attempt at the record-setting, all-time attendance record at a college football game even if we do risk going blind with all that Tennessee Orange overwhelming our eyeballs…Syracuse vs. Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium in The Meadowlands is already a bus trip planned with our local Boonton Knights of Columbus on October 1 for the annual Big Tailgate. We already got our tickets. Let me know if you’re interested…
We want to try to get Stanford at ND tickets so we can see Stanford’s Heisman candidate Christian McCaffrey go up against the Irish. We haven’t been to South Bend since 2003. It’s time to go back…Ohio State goes back to Penn State on October 22. Let’s see what HC James Franklin will be able to do with a QB (Trace McSorley) that is better suited for his system, whatever that is. He will also have new offensive line coach, Matt Limegrover. Herb Hand who left sure wasn’t brining any improvement to the Lions’ offensive line that’s needed an overhaul and a kick in the ass for a couple of years now…We are fitting FCS Marist on the schedule for the first time and D-3 Kean University once again. Why? LB Jimmy Braun of the Red Foxes and NG Matt Hill of the Cougars enter their senior seasons at the collegiate level. Both played for our local Lenape Valley (NJ) Regional HS. I had the pleasure of coaching 6-2, 310-lb Matt in Little League Baseball and in Rec basketball back in his grade school days…USC at UCLA in the Rose Bowl is on the docket for next November 19. It’s one of those must-see rivalries on the bucket list, and I should have enough FF miles stored up to get out there for nothing, so the time is right!…Two other teams we want to see next season are Clemson and Buffalo. Clemson to see another Heisman candidate, QB DeShaun Watson, play again after we saw him play against Oklahoma in their 37-17 Orange bowl win. We’d like to get to experience a Tiger home game, but we’ll see them on the road if that doesn’t work out. Watson is worth the price of admission… Buffalo because we are excited to see what second-year HC Lance Leipold will do with that program with some more of his recruits on his Bulls’ team. We think the six-time champion D-3 HC at Wisconsin-Whitewater is going to do great things for SUNY Buffalo and some other program after turning things around there.
Houston is already touted on some early pre-season polls in the Top Ten. We will definitely get to Annapolis to see them face the Mids in Navy-Marine Corps for the biggest Navy home game of next year. Of course, Navy season tickets or not, we will get to Army-Navy which is back in Baltimore this year…For bowls, we’re thinking Military, Belk, Music City, and Peach (CFP) if we can’t get to the championship in Florida (possible work conflict)… I am ready to start jumping all over the RU-tude rising at Rutgers again, but I’m going to hold off. Reason: I went to see RU basketball play at the RAC for the first time in a few years this past Monday (Go Seton Hall!) with some friends who are grad school alum who try to show their spirit there once in a while. You might have heard this, and it wasn’t pretty if you’re a Rutgers fan: final score – Purdue 107 RU 57. I criticize Rutgers football all the time, but basketball? It’s really embarrassing. No NCAA bid since 1991. With all the talent that plays HS B-ball here, the state university can’t get just five top guys to go to that school no less 22 to play football. Purdue had more rebounds (63) than RU had points. Purdue could have won the game if they hadn’t scored in the second half as they tallied 61 by halftime. They cleared their bench of third-string players in the first half. We couldn’t believe the anemic defense played by these Knights. Purdue always seemed to have four guys under the basket compared to none for Rutgers. We stayed until the end because we were so amazed how bad this was. I also wanted to see PU get to the 100 point mark because they were making it look too easy. The visitors did whatever they wanted to. The Boilermakers came to the RAC ranked No. 22. Thursday, No. 9 Iowa visits. I’ll wait to unload on the football RU-tude a little longer…Stay tuned.