The Reads: GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!

Go Navy! Beat Army! - Barry Cronin

There is only one game on this weekend. But it's perhaps the most important one of the season.

If you read nothing else today, please visit the end of the Reads for an opportunity for goodwill this holiday season.

Over this week, we've been bickering about conference alignments, coaching changes and what needs fixing at Nebraska. While Colorado still doesn't have a coach, I've neglected to mention until now that there is more football this weekend.

Well, one game. Only one. The last of the regular season, actually. It means nothing to the BCS or bowl season.

But you should watch it. Because I think it's pretty darn important to college football. A return to our roots, if you will.

This Saturday, the Black Knights of Army (2-9) and the Navy Midshipmen (7-4) take the field in their 113th meeting on CBS at 2pm CT.

This year's graduating class at Navy stands to be the eighth consecutive class of Midshipmen to go 4-0 against Army as Navy brings a ten-game winning streak into the game. Army hopes to spoil that while becoming the first Army team to beat Navy since 2001.

(That's right - the last time Army won, Frank Solich was leading Nebraska to their highly contested and ultimately disappointing BCS title game berth in the Rose Bowl.)

By virtue of both teams beating Air Force earlier in the season, the winner of this game will also take home the Commander in Chief trophy, awarded to the top service academy following a football round-robin schedule. Air Force has possessed the trophy since 2010.

Looking closer, Army has won two of their last fifteen meetings against Navy. Navy took the lead in the series in 2005 and now leads 56-49-7. Since their last win, Army has been helmed by five coaches since 2001 (currently Rich Ellerson) while Navy has had only two coaches: Paul Johnson and Ken Niumatalolo.

Both teams run offenses which heavily utilize the triple option, necessitated by the obvious talent restrictions resulting from the standards of admission at both schools. (Their players aren't headed to the NFL.)

This is a rivalry built on respect. Respect not only for the game itself but their fellow competitors.

These men (and their fellow cadets and midshipmen) will one day serve around the world in service to our country.

This is Army-Navy and if you're not watching, you don't really like college football.

Just be sure to cheer for the right team.

GO NAVY. BEAT ARMY.

(I kid about picking the right team. They're both right. Navy is just more right than the other one.)

Before that, however, we need Volleyball to beat Washington tonight at 6pm CT. Unfortunately, this will not be broadcast - you'll have to either catch the ESPN3 feed or find a radio feed. (We'll have a game thread anyway.)

WASHINGTON vs. NEBRASKA

Date: Dec. 7 Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Omaha, Neb. Arena: CenturyLink Center

Live Stats: CSTV.com/Gametracker

Live Radio: B107.3 (Lincoln), 93.3 (Omaha), Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com

Web Stream: ESPN3.com

And if you want MORE Nebraska sports, women's basketball takes on #24 Florida State at 2pm CT. If you have HuskersNSide, you can catch the video stream, otherwise you'll have to listen on the radio.

UNL Women's Basketball (Saturday, 2:05pm CT, Radio)

#25/#22 Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-3, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. #24/#24 Florida State Seminoles (7-0, 0-0 ACC)

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2:05 p.m. Bob Devaney Sports Center (Lincoln, Neb.)

Premium Internet Video: HuskersNside (premium subscribers of Huskers.com)

Radio: 25-Station IMG College Husker Sports Network (PBP-Matt Coatney; Analyst-Jeff Griesch) (107.3 FM-KBBK, Lincoln; 93.3 FM-KFFF, Omaha)

Free Internet Audio: Huskers.com

Promotions: Nebraska State Employees Appreciation Day

Hometown Huskers: Honoring Jordan Hooper (Alliance), Emily Cady (Seward), Sadie Murren (Colon), Courtney Aitken (Dannebrog)

Good luck, ladies!

All-Americans (Football)

Congratulations to Rex Burkhead and Sean Fisher on this fantastic achievement! (Screw the AAU. 300 smart athletes and counting, nerds.)

Congratulations, Spencer!

UNL Football

I wonder how much of this Bo Pelini is feeling. It all sounds eerily familiar.

Weird that Pelini didn't mention he was trying to recruit ADs to hire him. (He's not. Sorry for getting those hopes up.)

How can Pelini do all these in-home visits if he's interviewing for other jobs? Skype?

How good of a class does Pelini need to get the dogs off his back? Is this class large enough that we could see some of these players getting some early playing time?

Army-Navy (Saturday at 2pm CT, CBS)

GO NAVY. BEAT ARMY.

"When you talk about the Alabama-Auburn rivalry in the Iron Bowl, yeah, that’s a big rivalry, and there’s hatred and a little history to it," French said this week. "But that’s in-state." He added: "When you talk about Army-Navy, you’re talking about guys and gals serving our country around the world. If you watch it, you can see a difference. It’s not based on hatred. The rivalry is based on the love of the game."

There is no rivalry like it.

Seriously, Army's uniforms are awesome. (But still, go Navy.)

For the Army-Navy game today, it's hard to overstate how important the game is to the two schools. I've lived in Alabama and seen the Iron Bowl atmosphere up close. I was raised in Big Ten country, and know all about Ohio State and Michigan. But I've experienced Army-Navy from the inside, and from the bottom of my shoes I am telling you that it is very different. The quality of the football may not be as good as you'll find in other big rivalry games, but the quality of the effort and desire is unmatched, and it extends to every cadet and midshipman at either academy. There is nothing else on the line but this one game -- no rankings, no bowl invitations, no shots at national championships. But I guarantee that everybody at West Point will see the 2012 season as a success if they leave Philadelphia on Saturday with an Army victory. Same for the folks at Annapolis.

If you're not moved by Army-Navy, I'm not sure you have a soul. (And a reminder to Notre Dame, Navy saved your program.)

Nebrasketball

(Tim Miles is still awesome.)

THIS IS KEY. Don't give up!

The good news is that Husker fans have been brought back to earth a bit, with the understanding that this is still a rebuilding year for first-year coach Tim Miles and a Husker basketball squad that has only six scholarship players on the court this season.

Probably the most important thing to take from this game is that this rivalry will heat up once Tim Miles has depth. Nebrasketball's next game is December 15th. (What the heck are we going to talk about for the next week?!)

Big Ten Football

Fantastic job to all of the honorees. And a special tip of the hat to Sean Fisher on maintaining a perfect GPA.

Congratulations to Braxton.

I'll keep my comments on the editor who posted this to myself but you should go tell them to fix the division names.

National News

A lot of assumptions here but hey, if you want to feel better about the Big Ten, maybe this'll help. (Also, I'd watch Notre Dame vs Ohio State.)

I'm sure those young ladies' parents are so, so proud.

Those schools will stay if the ACC can match the money. Otherwise they're out the door to whomever pays them more. A piece of paper isn't binding. Media rights is the only way to go.

That has to sting, just a little. Louisville and Rutgers are breathing sighs of relief.

Um. No idea. Could work but maybe not. Would certainly work well for Nebraska, assuming the other team punts.

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So as I noted above, we have been asked to share with you all an opportunity to spread goodwill this holiday season.* Our friends at the House of Sparky, SB Nation's Arizona State blog, have put together a food drive for their local food bank. Why you ask? I'll let them explain:

The Arizona State football team is heading to San Francisco to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, but Sun Devils everywhere need to help to fight hunger this holiday season.

We're excited to announce the beginning of the Sun Devils Unite Holiday Food Drive, and ask that you help join the cause in showing the world the kinds of great things that Sun Devil Nation can accomplish.

We at House of Sparky have teamed up with the great guys at DieHardDevil.com,DevilsDigest.com and Cactus Sports to help provide holiday meals to St. Mary's Food Bank, starting now and through December 28th.

Our goal is to provide 4,242 meals—a double Tillman—to St. Mary's over the next few weeks.

So I'm sure now you're asking "well, I live in Maine. How do I participate?" This next quote is for you!

Online Donations

Did you know that just $1 results in St. Mary's being able to provide seven meals to those in need? You do now. So yes, that means if you give just $25, you are giving 175 meals. That's doing good work.

Every dollar counts, and you can donate directly to St. Mary's Food Bank through their own secure site here.

Whatever the amount of your donation, we ask that you select "Donor Entered Amount" and end it with 42 cents. For example, $25.42, as this helps us track the success of the food drive (and throws in a 42. Can never have too many 42s).

So if you're looking for a way to spread goodwill this holiday season, why not consider helping out St. Mary's Food Bank and honoring ASU alum Specialist Patrick "Pat" Tillman's memory.

Thanks for giving us this moment in time.

---

That's all for today. Don't forget to consider donating.

And GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

-Salt Creek and Stadium

NOTE: Prior warning, I will not take kindly to any belittling of Army-Navy. It's very important to me as it is to many, many others. Be respectful, please.

* Have a charitable cause you'd like promoted this holiday season? Shoot us an email with the details (including web links) and we'll try and feature it here in the Reads.

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