My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Week 1: Prognosticating the Patriot

After months of waiting, debating and anticipating, the Patriot League 2005 football season starts this Saturday! Week one looks to be the unofficial "Mid-Major Weekend" as three NEC teams take to the road in hopes of an upset and one MAAC team plays host. In addition, we've got an always closely watched Patriot League/A-10 matchup and one league game to pay close attention to. It is also interesting to note that there are two night games: Georgetown @ Bucknell and Lafayette @ Marist.

So, here we go for this weekend's predictions:

Fordham @ Rhode Island

Year Three in the "Battle of the Rams" puts an exciting Fordham offense back on the field in a chance to win the rubber match. Last year the Rams (Fordham Rams that is) came within one point of knocking off the A-10 visitor. This year Fordham looks to bring back much more than URI, which was picked to finish last in the A-10 North Division. They're on the road and have to prove they've got some defense, but I like Fordham to redeem last year's setback and get started off on the right foot.

Predicted Outcome: Fordham 42 URI 32

Central Connecticut State University @ Colgate

The first ever meeting between Colgate and an NEC team brings former Colgate coach Ed Argast to town. CCSU had their best season since 1973 last year, finishing 8-2. Colgate, coming off a 7-4 season, looks to break in some new faces on offense and avoid the opening game jinx that has cursed the Biddle years. Historically, an opening game win means great things for the Raiders. It's only happened twice under Biddle believe it or not, but both times have led to 10 win or better seasons. It may stay close for longer than Raider fans like, but barring a complete flop by Colgate, the home game winning streak should stay in tact for now.

Predicted Outcome: Colgate 28 CCSU 10

Sacred Heart @ Holy Cross

Another NEC team, the Pioneers of Sacred Heart, try their stab at taking down a Patriot League team. Sacred Heart has had some decent mid-major teams for since the start of the millennium, however, truth be told, they haven't played anyone - ever. This is a fairly new program and this game marks the first time Sacred Heart has played a team from a playoff conference. Holy Cross and their senior crew should take control of this game early and give the Crusader fans something to smile about.

Predicted Outcome: Holy Cross 38 Sacred Heart 6

Monmouth @ Lehigh

The Hawks from the Jersey shore try and make roost in Mountain Hawk territory and based on internet chatter, think they have a shot at it. After two ten win seasons in a row, this mid-major is starting to think big and ask about playoff inclusion. They've beaten Georgetown twice and Lafayette once in the past few years. Unfortunately for Monmouth, it will be a rude awakening meeting the preseason favorite team from the Lehigh Valley. With Borda firmly at the controls this year, the offensive machine at Lehigh should get off to a better start than last year's showing against Stony Brook. The Mountain Hawks should have to call of the hounds early and give the two deep some work.

Predicted Outcome: Lehigh 45 Monmouth 12

Georgetown @ Bucknell

The only league game this week, it should be one worth watching. Both teams have substantial offensive questions to answer. Bucknell's defense should be able to handle the Hoyas unless they have found that missing ingredient to make their offense move. I wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility for a Hoya upset. Georgetown has played some better opening games recently and they could catch the Bison still getting some kinks out. How the Hoyas are going to score against Bucknell remains to be seen, but the ball bounces funny ways. I'm not ready to give the Hoyas the nod (and I won't until they beat someone, thanks to last year's loss to Monmouth) but this has the potential to be a low scoring game and the bounces could go the Hoyas way.

Predicted Outcome: Bucknell 14 Georgetown 9

Lafayette @ Marist

The Leopards begin their title defense with a return trip to Poughkeepsie and the Marist Red Foxes. Lafayette handled Marist last year to the tune of a 48-7 blowout and a 49-0 blowout the year before that. There is really no reason to think that trend won't continue. I will be interested to see how the Lafayette tailbacks perform, as word is Jonathan Hurt will not get the start but rather senior Alfred Belton. Hurt looked promising, so if Belton beat him out, I want to see what he's got. Either way, this one should be all Lafayette.

Predicted Outcome: Lafayette 49 Marist 0

There you have it. Current record is 0-0. Good luck to all the teams that are playing this weekend. Let's go 5-0 out of conference!


  • Agree with all. Fordham has GOT to win its game--the lowest ranked team in A-10. A loss to URI will not go over well with those of us hoping for PL's boat to rise. I Hope you're right on the Monmouth score, but I tend to think it could be a little tighter-like 31-14.--

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 PM  

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