Navy Midshipmen head coach Ken Niumatalolo is already starting to act like a snobbish BCS school even though Navy will not be a member of the Big East until the 2015 season as a football-only member. The Commander-In-Chief award has been an important trophy for Navy, the Air Force Falcons and the Army Black Knights and the series has been played since 1972.
"Air Force -- we play them in different sports and they're a major rival for us but if we get to that point, for me, keeping Notre Dame on our schedule is such a huge recruiting tool for us," Niumatalolo said. "When you think of college football, every kid thinks about the lure and mystique of Notre Dame. We can tell kids every other year you're going to South Bend."
"Notre Dame is a big part of keeping our program vital. It allows us to recruit people that otherwise might not look at us. They're a powerful institution. For our program, now that we're in the league, in my mind that becomes our No. 1 goal.
"If we have to give one of them away, it's not the conference championship. I'd say the Commander-in-Chief's trophy wouldn't be as important. I know I'll be getting a ton of email and phone calls on this. But I think it would be in the best interest of our program to keep those two games against Army and Notre Dame."
Niumatalolo acknowledges that dropping Air Force would be a very unpopular decision, but now that they are in a conference it is all about recruiting toward winning a conference title. Having a coach speak his mind is refreshing and I can not blame Niumatalolo for wanting to keep Notre Dame and Army over Air Force, because those two schools have been playing against Navy much longer than Air Force. However, I doubt the administration will allow Navy to stop playing Air Force, also consider that if the Big East has a eight-game schedule then fitting in Air Force would not be too difficult.