My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Week 6: Prognosticating the Patriot

Redemption! The Patriot League had a great run last weekend, with all teams winning their out of conference match ups. This week brings us one league match up as most teams wrap up their out of conference schedule before league play goes into full swing next weekend. We've got more Patriot League and Ivy League contests, so let's all hope for some more Patriot dominance!

Holy Cross at Lehigh

On the surface, this looks to be one of the easier picks to make. Both teams have played Delaware and Harvard, with Holy Cross losing both and Lehigh splitting with an overtime loss to the Hens. Lehigh looks to be the better team and Lehigh is at home. Easy, right?

But if I'm a Mountain Hawk fan (and even if I'm an Engineer fan), I would be quite concerned about a possible let down game. VMI is probably not as good as Holy Cross this year, and they gave Lehigh plenty to fret about following Lehigh's loss to Delaware. Holy Cross is coming along nicely this year and is led by a senior offense that is very hungry to leave a lasting mark on Holy Cross and the Patriot League before they leave.

I'm not willing to go out on a limb and pick the upset here; nor do I think it will actually happen. Lehigh is gelling at the right time and should be more focused on their first league game then they were against VMI. They can put up a lot of points and have a defense that has shown can play with the best. Holy Cross would need a few funny bounces to pull this one out, but I think in the end it will be a good game that shows just how far Holy Cross has come this year.

Predicted outcome: Lehigh 32 Holy Cross 21

Colgate at Princeton

The Raiders and Tigers tend to always have some hard fought battles, and this year's installment should prove no different. Colgate is coming off a very nice win against Central New York rival Cornell where finally an offense appeared to compliment the very nice defensive play of the Raiders. Princeton spent the past weekend pounding Ivy League doormat Columbia, who was on their way to a 2-0 start before running into the Tigers.

Questions abound about both teams. Can Colgate stay consistent? Are the offensive woes behind the Raiders now that Mike Saraceno has gained some confidence at quarterback and freshman tailback Jordan Scott has emerged as the go to guy? Is Princeton a legitimate Ivy contender this year, or will they start out strong only to fade like last year?

The players, year and the venue might have changed, but I think that 2004's contest will be a good model to base this year on. It will be a tight contest, and might involve Colgate taking advantage of defensive opportunities to come from behind to win. In the end though, I think the difference in this game comes down to the decisions of Saraceno and the potent receiver corps of the Raiders. Geoff Bean on returns might have something to say about it as well.

Predicted outcome: Colgate 28 Princeton 21

Fordham at Brown

Fordham had the week off last weekend, and all of the Patriot League hopes that it was time well served. The Rams are staring in the face of their worst start since 1999, and that 0-11 campaign was not one that the folks in the Bronx are looking to remember. They travel to Rhode Island to face a Brown team coming off of a convincing victory against state rival URI; the same URI team that down the Rams 34-20 to start the season.

A week off can do wonders for a team. Some players that were banged up might be back on the field; some new faces might get some reps in hopes of finding a spark. But if Fordham had to pick opponents to face, this Brown team would likely not have been on of them. The Rams will have their hands full on defense trying to stop Payton Candidate Nick Hartigan. I just don't know if they can get it done.

Predicted outcome: Brown 35 Fordham 17

Duquense at Georgetown

Georgetown, a team that has been hot and cold at times this year, maybe found a bit of consistency in following up a win with a close loss to Lafayette. They welcome the Dukes to their new stadium in hopes of bringing the record up to .500 and maybe a better second half to their season.

Duquense has been a bit hot and cold themselves this season. After starting out 2-0, they've dropped a pair of Ivy games, including one to aforementioned Columbia. The Dukes are young and are on the road. Georgetown earned mid-major redemption with a win against Stony Brook two weekends ago. I hope I'm not kicking myself on this one, Hoyas. Don't let me down!

Predicted outcome: Georgetown 17 Duquense 14

Columbia at Lafayette

In this week's Feline Fight, the Lions and the Leopards going to battle in Easton. Columbia was frankly embarrassed last weekend by another feline, the Tigers of Princeton, and suddenly that 2-0 confidence appears to have withered away like the grass in Delaware this summer. Lion fans could be in for another trip around the bottom of I-AA this year.

Lafayette looks to have had some trouble against the Hoyas, and after losing to Princeton the week before, the Pards cannot rest on any laurels come Saturday. They've had some trouble and injuries on offense, so a botched play here and a turnover there could put them teetering on the verge of upset. I think Lafayette is a better team than Columbia, and even if it is close, they should come out ahead. My gut though tells me the Pard O breaks out this weekend and Columbia starts breaking down at the first sign of trouble. The Leopards win this one in the second half.

Predicted outcome: Lafayette 26 Columbia 7

Bucknell at Penn

The Bison were able to breathe a sigh of relief last weekend, as they finally entered the win column with a solid performance against Marist (damn upset prediction!). More importantly, they found themselves another one man show in Dante Ross. Ross had a game for the ages, as the normal starting cornerback played old school style, and took over the reigns at quarterback as well. He proved so adequate at running the offense (if you can call 268 yards rushing and three touchdowns adequate) that the Bucknell coaching staff has to second guessing themselves for not looking at him in the QB spot sooner.

The Quakers find themselves with a team looking much like 2004 so far. One mid-major win, one Dartmouth win, and a darn close loss to Philly foe Villanova. Talk about consistency!

Penn is a solid Ivy team that will be in the hunt for the league title come November. They're at home and they should be the toughest defense and offense the Bison have faced so far. However, looking at the picks so far, a guy's got to smell an upset every now and again. I-AA is full of parity this year. Bucknell found a spark on offense. They supposedly had an outstanding defense that we haven't heard from this year. This has probably been the best week of practice the Bison have had all year. Throw in the fact that Penn could easily be overlooking this game with the Ivy slate starting up next week, and I see a perfect recipe for an upset. Let it never be said that I was afraid to go out on a limb!

Predicted outcome: Bucknell 27 Penn 18

Last week's record: 4-1. Season record 14-13. Now I'm getting warmed up!


  • well i have to post in multiple places when hc has a win such as today's--hopefully hc is truly back to stay a contenda

    By Blogger hchoops, at 7:02 PM  

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