The Black Knights and Midshipmen will do battle on the gridiron for the 118th time and betting odds for the Army-Navy game opened in favor of Navy by 3-1/2. However, the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com give Army a 2.66-point edge.
The contest, slated for 3:00 p.m. ET on CBS, will mark the 87th time it's been played in Philadelphia.
Give head coach Jeff Monken kudos for the turnaround he has orchestrated at West Point. Under his tutelage, the Black Knights are headed to back-to-back bowls for the first time since the 1984-1985 seasons when they went to the Cherry and Peach bowls. Last year, Army ended a 14-year losing streak to Navy with a 21-17 victory in Baltimore. This year, the Black Knights are looking to take two straight from the Middies for the first time since 1995-1996, and take home the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 1996.
Philadelphia hasn't been kind to Army, which is looking for its first win over Navy in the "city of brotherly love" since 2001. The program is 0-fer at Lincoln Financial Field in 10 tries. But this is the Monken era and the Black Knights are on a journey to erase as many past negatives as possible.
The Monken era means Army can claim it has a better record (8-3) entering this game than Navy (6-5) for the first time since 2001, when Army was 2-8 going into the game and Navy was 0-9. The Black Knights have eight wins heading into the game for the first time since 1996 when Army was 9-1 and came up with a 28-24 victory.
Under head coach Ken Niumatalolo, Navy has it fewest wins in a season since a 5-7 campaign in 2011. The Midshipmen come into the game with losses in five of their last six, thanks to a brutal back-half schedule of six straight games against bowl teams with four of those on the road. The Midshipmen lost by just a touchdown at Notre Dame, and by a field goal at Memphis. The lone win came at home over SMU when the running game cranked out 559 yards. In those other 5 contests, Navy averaged just 238 on the ground.
These are both running teams.
Army has attempted 57 passes all year and went 3-1 in games where not a single pass was completed . The Black Knights blanked Air Force 21-0 without attempting a pass.
Navy has had a whopping 93 throws all year and beat SMU while going 0-for-1 in the passing game.
The stage is set. The greatest pageantry in college football is upon us. The 2017 Army-Navy game.