Monday, May 23, 2005

My I-AA Top 25 for Any Given Saturday

I was going to wait for tomorrow to post this, but I got excited about the 2005 season and decided to print my ballot for the Any Given Saturday Top 25. Here it is:

1. James Madison
2. Eastern Washington
3. Furman
4. Northwestern St
5. Western Kentucky
6. Harvard
7. Delaware
8. Georgia Southern
9. Northern Iowa
10. New Hampshire
11. Lafayette
12. Montana
13. Lehigh
14. William & Mary
15. Southern Illinois
16. Cal Poly
17. Montana St
18. Hampton
19. Penn
20. Eastern Kentucky
21. Sam Houston St
22. Alabama St
23. Appalachian St
24. North Dakota St
25. Bucknell

There you have it - in its 4 A-10, 3 Patriot League, 2 Ivy League-team glory. I tried to be very fair, including ranking Lafayette in front of Lehigh.

OK, I just heard all of Lehigh Football Nation choking in their Monday morning coffee. Look, Lafayette returns basically their entire defense next year, their sophomore QB, and they boast some pretty damn good receivers. And the RB replacing McCourt is also pretty damn good. The Leopards are going to be a force next year.

Another one Lehigh fans should look at very closely is Harvard ranked at #6. Harvard may have lost their QB to graduation (taken in the NFL draft by St. Louis), but make no mistake - this is a veteran team which will by any measure be outstanding. (If only they played in the I-AA playoffs.)

Finally (and this is just a hunch) I think Bucknell will also not be an easy out. They lose QB Darius Wilson but on defense return lots of talent, including possibly the best defensive player in the Patriot League, DL Sean Conover. They may not be ranked in a lot of polls (indeed any) yet, but by the end of the year they may just surprise some people.
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