Today's news that Navy football will be making a trip to Penn State in 2012 got me thinking about how the Midshipmen will be making a trip to a Big Ten power for the second time in a handful of seasons.
That, and how rarely Navy actually gets to face the Big Ten. Since Navy and Michigan played six times between 1971 and 1977, the Mids have only played seven games against teams from that particular league:
1979: Navy 13, @Illinois 12
1981: @Michigan 21, Navy 16
1981: Ohio State 31, Navy 28 (Liberty Bowl)
1985: @Indiana 38, Navy 35
1986: @Indiana 52, Navy 29
2002: Northwestern 49, @Navy 40
2009: @Ohio State 31, Navy 27
Needless to say, a trip to Happy Valley joins last year's visit to the Horseshoe as a rare big-time Big Ten encounter for the Mids.
One other interesting tidbit: The Big Ten (in part because of the absence of many games) is the only league that hasn't suffered a loss to Navy since 2004. The rundown of Navy's last win against each conference:
2009: Big 12 (Missouri), ACC (Wake Forest), Conference USA (Southern Methodist), Mountain West (Air Force), Sun Belt (Western Kentucky), Western Athletic (Louisiana Tech)
2008: Mid-American (Northern Illinois), Big East (Rutgers)
2006: Pac-10 (Stanford)
2004: Southeastern (Vanderbilt)
1979: Big Ten (Illinois)