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Of the many traditions that make college football special, perhaps none are better than the annual Army-Navy Game. It’s a game so special and unique that it gets a standalone spot on the schedule, serving as the final matchup of college football’s regular season. This Saturday, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, two service academies will clash for the 123rd time.
The first meeting occurred in West Point, New York, on Nov. 29, 1890. The academies met 30 times until 1927, and then again in 1930 after a two-year hiatus. The rivalry hasn’t been interrupted since. While Army dominated the rivalry for most of that time, Navy has had the edge since and leads the overall series 62-53-7. Navy won 14 straight meetings from 2002-15 before Army won the 2016 game 21-17, and the Black Knights have has won four of six since. However, Navy pulled out the victory last season, beating the Knights 17-13.
LIVE: Follow along with Saturday’s Army-Navy Game
Date: Saturday, Dec. 10 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field — Philadelphia
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy is not on the line: The trophy is given to the winner of the round-robin competition between Army, Navy, and Air Force every season, but this game will have no impact on the winner. Air Force beat Navy 13-10 and Army 13-7, clinching the trophy for the first time since 2016. Army had won or retained the trophy four times in the previous five seasons, with Navy taking it in 2019.
A win will not send Army to a bowl game: If Army pulls off the win against Navy, not only will it take down its rival, but it will finish the regular season with three straight wins to reach 6-6. However, that’s not enough to earn bowl eligibility for the Knights, as two of their wins came against FCS opponents, and only one is counted toward the six wins needed for bowl eligibility. So, no matter what happens Saturday, this is the last game of the season for both teams.
Navy has improved over the season: The start of Navy’s season was dreadful, with the Midshipmen losing their opener to Delaware 14-7 and following it up with a blowout 37-13 loss to Memphis. Navy would start 2-5 before turning a corner. A 27-20 overtime win vs. Temple was followed by a close, competitive loss to Cincinnati on the road. A week later, the Mids nearly knocked off Notre Dame, falling 35-32. Then they did pull off the upset they were seeking by taking down UCF 17-14 in Orlando. Don’t let the 4-7 record fool you.
There’s an incredible trend in games between service academies that is impossible to ignore. Since the 2005 season, the under has gone 43-9-1 in games between Army, Navy and Air Force. That includes a run of 16 straight unders heading into this game. Will that streak end one day? Yes. Might it be Saturday? Sure. Are we going to be on it? God, no. The under is an auto-fire in any game between academies. Prediction: Under 32.5
Which side covers more than 70% of the time in the Army-Navy Game? Visit SportsLine now to find out, all from the computer model that’s nailed its college football picks.
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