Friday, August 10, 2007

Anonymity, Woes, and New members

Who the heck are these guys? Well, the short answer is that they're members of the Wofford Terriers out of the Southern Conference, and a more complete answer is that Wofford could be the best team you've never heard of right now. On College Sporting News I mention three of these member on my All-Anonymous team, which includes the son of Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani (senior SS Dan Tavani). The idea was to point out some players that didn't make the pre-season all-American teams but could very well be names you hear about by the end of 2007.

You may recognize some Patriot League names on this team as well: senior T Jesse Padilla from the Leopards, and senior FB Josh DeStefano from Bucknell. Oh yeah, there's also a kid you may recognize whose last name rhymes with... Treat? Feat?

Also appearing on College Sporting News is a quick post on this year's Summer of Woe. It attempts to deal with many of the problems that have faced FCS schools this past offseason and put it into perspective. Mercifully, no Patriot League schools have been caught up in scandals like these - but that's no reason to become complacent, since these types of incidents can happen to anybody, anywhere, and anytime.

Finally, there's an interesting piece of NCAA news involving a four-year moratorium on members switching divisions or subdivisions. In other words, if you were holding out hope that Johns Hopkins was going to join the Patriot League in all sports, well, you're just going to have to wait at least four years before revisiting that possibility.

Of the schools that are currently moving to Division I (and are thus exempt from this moratorium), only Bryant College out of Rhode Island could potentially eventually fit into the Patriot League. After that, the only candidates for short term expansion could realistically be:

* private MAAC schools willing to play up to scholarship ball with AI restrictions
* private NEC schools willing to play up to scholarship ball with AI restrictions
* private CAA schools which want to leave the conference (in the low likelihood this would happen, they would most likely be associate members) and are willing to live with AI restrictions
* a current Division I school that doesn't have football and could be convinced to restart it (e.g., Boston University)

You could also throw into this mix private schools like Davidson (Pioneer associate in football) or VMI (Big South) into this discussion as well, but the fact remains that the number of potential schools for expansion just went down substantially. Patriot League expansion never seemed so far away.

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