When rumors come up that the Big East is interested in Air Force, Navy’s name is almost always mentioned in the same conversation. And according to Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo said, Navy isn’t too thrilled about the idea of jumping into a conference.
“We’d like to stay who we are,” Niumatalolo said. “We like the freedom of being independent. We recruit nationally, so we like to go into homes and say ‘We’ll be playing close to your home.’ We like the independent schedule.”
The problem is, Niumatalolo is concerned the landscape may force Navy to join a conference or be left out. He brought up the rumors of mega-conferences taking over all the real power in college football, including the bowls.
“So No. 65-120, what do we become?” Niumatalolo said. “What’s going to happen for the rest of us?”
Air Force will be wrestling with some of the same issues, whether to stay in a comfortable place in the Mountain West or make a move. The uncertainty has led to some uneasy times.
“If we can stay where we are, I’d love to do it,” Niumatalolo said. “But there’s so much uncertainty, we’re not saying no to anything, and we’re not saying yes to anything. We’re just keeping our eyes open.”