It's always memorable when Army and Navy play in their annual rivalry game, but the game has been particularly competitive in recent years. Eight of the last 11 meetings between the service academies have been decided by a touchdown or less, including Navy's 17-13 upset win over Army last season. The Midshipmen lead the all-time series 62-53-7 as the foes prepare to meet again Saturday on CBS.
The history and pageantry of the game is unmatched, and so is the meaning. Though Air Force already captured this season's Commander-in-Chief Trophy, that won't stop these teams from giving it everything they have on the field Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Navy is a slight favorite, but the Black Knights will be out for revenge after losing a 13-7 lead in the second half of last year's meeting.
Though that one came down to the final minutes, it doesn't quite crack the ranks of the rivalry's most historic games. Considering Army and Navy have been playing since the late 19th century, there have been countless notable moments in their series, some of which stand out among the greatest games in college football history.
As Army and Navy prepare to play to cap the 2022 college football regular season, here is a look back at the most memorable matchups from the storied rivalry.
1. 1926: Army 21, Navy 21
Both teams were undefeated. Seen by 100,000 at Soldier Field. Considered by many to be one of the greatest college games in history.
The spectacle itself makes this game one of the most significant in the series as the teams played in front of more than 100,000 spectators at the dedication of Soldier Field, which was constructed as a memorial to those who died in World War One. But the stakes of the game -- and the outcome -- only add to the lore. Both were undefeated, and the right to claim a national title was at stake as they battled to a 21-21 tie. But since Army had already a tie on its schedule against Notre Dame, Navy ended up claiming a national title.
2. 1963: Navy 21, Army 15
The debut of instant replay in a game postponed a week due to the mourning period after the assassination of President Kennedy.
With the nation in a state of mourning after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the game was pushed back a week. More than 100,000 witnessed a thriller, with Army mounting a late comeback that fell just short as a Navy team led by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Roger Staubach delivered a 21-15 victory. The game secured Navy's place in the Cotton Bowl and served as a welcome distraction for a healing nation. The meeting was also significant because of a technological breakthrough, as CBS television viewers witnessed instant replays in a broadcast for the first time.
3. 2016: Army 21, Navy 17
Army breaks a 14-game Navy winning streak.
Navy carried a 14-game winning streak in the series and a 9-3 season record into the 2016 meeting. But in coach Jeff Monken's third year, the Black Knights were 6-5 and on the rise after five straight losing seasons. Ultimately, Army's defense held Navy to just 201 total yards and secured a monumental 21-17 win. But it came with plenty of drama. Navy erased a 14-point deficit and took the lead before Ahmad Bradshaw's 9-yard touchdown run with six minutes left lifted Army to victory.
4. 1944: Army 42, Navy 13
Army began its greatest period on the gridiron as the military secured some of its greatest victories on the World War Two battlefield. The Knights won three straight national titles while going undefeated from 1944 through 1946. A 23-7 win over Navy in 1944 was particularly significant because it snapped a five-game losing streak to the Midshipmen in which Army had scored just six total points.
5. 1983: Navy 42, Army 13,
The first and only game played west of the Mississippi -- at the Rose Bowl.
The teams combined for just five total wins in 1983, but their game with each other was particularly memorable because of where it took place. For the first and only time in series history, they played west of the Mississippi River at the Rose Bowl, with Navy winning 42-13 in front of 81,347. Funds were raised for the student bodies of both institutions to make the journey, and the week included a night at Disneyland for the cadets, the midshipmen and their families.