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Navy-Notre Dame rivalry will get some sun in 2016, 2018

The Navy-Notre Dame game usually takes place in South Bend or a close-by alternative for Navy, such as Baltimore. But the next few Navy home games in the series will take place in some very sunny places.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

For years the United States Naval Academy has traveled for their home games against Notre Dame to accommodate the amount of fans who would want to attend.

In prior years, the game has traveled some in the past particularly to Ireland where the game was played in 2012 and 1996. Other times, Navy has made the extended bus trip to East Rutherford, NJ to take on the Fighting Irish.

But the next two times the Midshipmen are set to host the game, they'll be traveling to two huge Navy cities that just happen to be pretty sunny too.

In 2016, the game will be played in Jacksonville on Nov. 5. Then in 2018, the Midshipmen and Fighting Irish to travel to the left coast for their Oct. 27 match-up in San Diego.

Jacksonville has the third largest naval installation in the Naval Air Station and also contains the Naval Aviation Depot. Nearby installations also include Naval Station Mayport, Kings Bay Naval Base, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, and the Marine Corps Blount Island Command.

The last time the game went to Florida, Navy lost 45-14 in Orlando during the 2000 season. Navy hasn't played in Jacksonville since qualifying for the Gator Bowl in 1964 and 1973 both of which ended in defeats to Georgia Tech.

San Diego hosts the fourth largest naval station in the US and is considered the birthplace of Naval aviation. It is largely known as the home to the Pacific fleet.

Navy has played a bit more in San Diego as their tie-in with the Poinseitta Bowl has allowed the Midshipmen to qualify for the game four times. This includes victories in the 2005 inaugural contest against Colorado St. and last year over San Diego St. In their history, the Midshipmen are 3-4 in San Diego.

It'll be interesting to see if the Naval Academy continues to go this route when scheduling home games in the future or if these are one-off or irregular things. The Midshipmen tend to stay around Baltimore or Washington DC when it comes to scheduling their contests against Notre Dame. Could this be a shift in Navy's plans? Or maybe they'll look into other Navy towns or just other cities in general?

One has to wonder what the travel will do to the team however. Now that Navy's in the West division of the American Athletic Conference, they'll travel a little more than they used to including multiple trips to Florida in 2016 and going to Texas, New Orleans, Florida, Cincinnati, and San Diego in 2018.