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Monday, September 15, 2014

Kyle Flood: Changing landscape won't deter Rutgers from scheduling Army, Navy

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — Despite a shrinking number of nonconference games and a growing demand for scheduling power-conference opponents, Kyle Flood said it isn't difficult to keep scheduling service academies like Navy.

"I don't think anybody looks at playing the Naval Academy as a game against a non-power-five school," Flood said Monday. "Although they're an independent and they're not technically in the power five conferences, I think everybody around the country, including the people that will ultimately make the decision on the playoff, understand the challenges that go into it."

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After Rutgers visits Navy on Saturday, it takes on Army at Yankee Stadium next season, its last scheduled meeting against a service academy.

Since Greg Schiano arrived in 2001, Rutgers has played Army and Navy a combined 17 times, including three seasons in which it scheduled both.

"We're willing to play anybody out of conference as long as they're willing to play us home and home," Flood said. "Whether it's the Naval Academy or Army in the past, they've always been willing to do that. If that's the case going forward, I think that's a good game for college football."

In 2016, the Big Ten schedule moves to nine games, meaning only come three out of conference. With the College Football Playoff, selection committees will favor strength of schedule in determining the top four teams.

That means nearly an entire schedule of schools from power conferences.

"I want to challenge our football team with our schedule," Flood said. "We're always going to be challenged in conference."

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