The first AP Poll of the college football season is out, and the Navy Midshipmen's first opponent of the year, the Ohio State Buckeyes, were ranked sixth overall by voters.
Coming in at 46th? The Midshipmen, who received two votes in the first AP poll of the season.
Voters for the poll likely took into account Navy's strong finish to a 9-4 season in 2013 where they ended the season on a five game winning streak including wins over Hawaii, San Jose State and a bowl win over Middle Tennessee State. The Mids also blew out Army last season in the annual Army-Navy game, 34-7.
The Mids started last season ranked at 60th overall and finished at 43rd after a successful season.
Coming into this season though, the Mids also have something that few schools do; a Heisman trophy candidate in junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds.
Last season, Reynolds rushed for 31 touchdowns - the most by a quarterback in a season in FBS history - and enters this season on numerous pre-season watch lists for the Maxwell, O'Brien and Manning awards and it's not as crazy as one may think to consider him a "darkhorse" for college football's most prestigious award.
Navy faces off against Ohio State on August 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland and will face the other ranked opponent on their schedule, No. 17 Notre Dame, on November 1 at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland.
It's been some time since the Mids finished a season inside of the Top 25 and with a handful of pre-season votes on their side and a candidate for multiple trophies, one would think that if Navy finishes with double digit wins, a bowl win and the Commander-In-Chief trophy, that they should end the season being ranked.
But not so fast, there's one problem; other than Notre Dame and Ohio State, the Mids' schedule is softer than a box of cupcakes.
Still, there might be a chance. If Navy can win both of those tough "home away from home" games against ranked opponents, and beat everyone else along the way (including Air Force, Rutgers and Texas State) then there is no reason to think that the Mids can't be ranked inside of the Top 25 heading into their week 10 match-up with Georgia Southern. From there, the Mids still need to capture the C.I.C. Trophy and win their bowl game to finish inside the Top 25.
A rank inside the Top 25 this season would be Navy's first since 2005, when they finished at 24th. A trophy for Reynolds would mark Navy's first since 1963, when Roger Staubach took home the Heisman and Maxwell.
But, accomplishing all of that, is much more easier said than done.