Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Navy's Inherent Advantage or "economic moat"

Does the Naval Academy's football team have an inherent advantage?  I think so.

In 2000 they became an independent and have since had a serious strategic advantage over their opponents. 

Conference wins and losses are much more important than out-of-conference losses.  A team can have several out-of-conference losses and still win their conference, but more than one or two conference losses all but dooms a team from achieving their goals and any recognition outside the conference.

Navy runs an unusual offense in the form of the triple option, a running based attack and they rarely throw more than 5 or 6 passes a game.  It requires more practice and game-planning to teach linebackers and corners the new assignments and how to "stay-at-home" in a zone rather than just pursuing the ball as they usually do.  

But a loss to Navy is not nearly as bad for the opponents because they are out-of-conference.  Hence, less game planning, less emphasis in practice, and less year-to-year focus because they are less likely to repeat against opponents more than two or three games.  

Why would a coach spend more than a few practices preparing against Navy when he is more important offenses and intra-conference opponents coming up?

Well, I don't think he would.  And that's why I think Navy has an inherent advantage in college football by being an independent.

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