College football all-time power rankings: The 30 best programs ever

Dabo Swinney and Nick SabanDabo Saban 2
Dabo Swinney and Nick SabanDabo Saban 2 /
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Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

27. Navy Midshipmen

  • Record: 725–577–57 (.554)
  • All-Time Bowl Record: 12-11-1, .521
  • National Championships: 1
  • Conference Championships: 0
  • Consensus All-Americans: 23
  • Heisman Winners: 2

If Red Grange was the first superstar football player in the NFL, Roger Staubach was the first superstar in the modern NFL. Before Staubach starred for “America’s Team,” winning Super Bowls for the Cowboys, “Roger the Dodger” won a Heisman Trophy and was an All-American at the Naval Academy. Staubach joined Joe Bellino as one of two Heisman Trophy winners in Naval Academy history.

Those two Heisman Trophy seasons, 1960 and 1963, were part of one of the best 10-year stretches in school history. From 1954-1963, the Midshipmen finished in the top-25 six times, appeared in four bowl games and had the two Heisman winners. After that period, the Midshipmen fell into mediocrity.

Navy would not become a force again until Paul Johnson was hired from Georgia Southern in 2002. In Johnson’s six seasons in Annapolis, the Midshipmen had a winning record in five consecutive seasons, going to five consecutive bowls. Navy was also 11-1 competing for the Commander in Chief’s Trophy and was undefeated against Army.

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When Johnson was hired away by Georgia Tech, offensive line coach Ken Niumatalolo was promoted to head coach in 2007. During his Navy tenure, the Midshipmen continued their dominance against Army with a  9-2 record against the Black Knights.