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Navy football 24th in first College Football Playoff ranking of 2019

The Midshipmen seem to have a real path in winning the Group of Five bid to a New Year’s Six Bowl.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Navy Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Navy to a New Year’s Six Bowl? Maybe.

The Midshipmen seem to have a legitimate shot at winning the Group of Five’s bid to the Cotton Bowl, and on Tuesday night they were one of four American Athletic Conference teams to be ranked in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the year.

Navy (7-1; 5-1 AAC) is coming off a dominant 56-10 win over UConn and has the week off before it travels to South Bend, Indiana on Nov. 16 to play rival Notre Dame. The Irish were ranked 15th by the CFP committee, and should both Navy and Notre Dame be ranked heading into their annual meeting, it will be the first time since 1978 that the two teams have met while both were ranked in any Top 25 poll.

Joining Navy in the CFP Top 25 from the American Athletic Conference was No. 20 Cincinnati, No. 21 Memphis and No. 25 SMU.

Navy hosts SMU on Nov. 23 and should the Mids come out victorious of that game, there’s a real chance they could be heading to the Cotton Bowl. If Navy beats SMU and Houston, then beats it’s opponent in the AAC title game, it will be in the conversation for having the best resume of G5 teams. That resume would be bolstered by wins over Notre Dame and Army, obviously.

But to get to the AAC title game, Navy does need Memphis to lose a conference game between now and then. Luckily for the Mids, the Tigers travel to Cincinnati on Nov. 29.

The other Group of Five team Navy has to worry about taking the bid is Boise State. The Broncos are on the path to win another Mountain West title and were ranked 23rd by the CFP committee. They have just one loss on the season, to BYU.

Each game remaining for the Midshipmen is a crucial one now, but with a vastly improved defense and Malcolm Perry at the helm of a dangerous offense, the Mids have a chance to win every game remaining on their schedule.

The Mids are still the only Service Academy team to be ranked by the CFP committee.