My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Saturday, October 08, 2005

What a day in I-AA!

First and foremost, great win by the Raiders today down in New Jersey. I was not at the game, but it sounded like a solid effort in pretty bad weather. Jordan Scott puts up another 100 yard game, Erik Burke makes some more big plays, the defense shuts down the Tiger running game and Geoff Bean gets the whole party started with a big return. Who could ask for more?

Still, we've got to take each week as it comes, so after the celebrating tonight, this crew better get their heads on straight to host a Fordham team that would love nothing more than to turn their season around starting against us. I'm quietly optimistic that we've got something special brewing, but we're facing the most important games of the year ahead of us. If any of you fans out there are contemplating the trip up to Andy Kerr, the team would surely love a loud and supportive crowd for the Patriot League opener. Long range forecasts predict mid 60's and a 30% chance of rain, so if that holds it could be a nice drive to see some fall foliage and your favorite college team play!

Colgate's win was hardly the big story of the day though. Big congratulations are in order for the Crusaders as they gut one out against League front runner Lehigh in monsoon conditions. The season is long, but the Saders might be able to look back at this win as the key point to their season. Confidence is high and they've got two of their toughest remaining games at home, Colgate and Lafayette. That said, I think the Patriot League is still wide open. Holy Cross, Lafayette, Colgate and Lehigh all have a chance to still claim the autobid by seasons end. There will be more upsets along the way as well, so don't count out Bucknell, Fordham or Georgetown from having something to say about who gets to go to the playoffs. All in all, it's a very exciting year.
Looking at how everyone else in the Patriot League did, I was happy to see Georgetown come through and beat Duquense in overtime. Those are the kinds of games the Hoyas should win. Lafayette helps improve the Patriot League/Ivy League win loss record as well by besting Columbia, but unfortunately Bucknell and Fordham fell to their Ivy foes pretty hard. No upset bid by Dante Ross and the Bison was in the cards. Oh well, I knew I smelt an upset, I was just off by 70 miles to the south.

Looking at the greater I-AA scoreboard, the Top 25 is littered with more upsets. This year is really outstanding in the way that top teams are getting shot down left and right. Parity reigns in I-AA land. Take a look at some of these shockers:

#1 UNH falls hard to #18 William and Mary 42-10
#4 Northern Iowa loses to unranked Missouri St. 24-21
#8 Cal Poly is smacking down #9 North Dakota St. 30-0 in the 3rd quarter as I write this
#10 Lehigh lost to Holy Cross 13-10
#15 Delaware lost to Hofstra 10-6
#19 Harvard lost to Cornell 27-13
#20 UC-Davis lost to South Dakota St. 16-14

Add to it that #2 Western Kentucky squeaks by Illinois State and there are no safe bets in I-AA this year my friends. That is exactly why 0-5 Fordham coming to town next Saturday should in no way be overlooked by the matchup at Fitton Field that follows. The Raiders need to build on the Princeton win and continue that winning formula of great defense, outstanding special teams, mistake free offense and opportunistic play making. That formula can take us a long way this year.
Now, time to figure out my AGS Top 25 ballot. Definitely one to sleep on.


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