Skip to main content

My AGS Poll Picks

The first poll is out of the 2006 season. It's the highly-predictive Any Given Saturday poll, voted on by active folks in the I-AA community (including myself). This year held some major surprises - and some majorly overrated teams.

Here's the Top 25, and my commentary below.

Any Given Saturday Poll Preseason Top 25
(First place votes in parenthesis)
1. Appalachian State (45)
2. New Hampshire (31)
3. Northern Iowa (7)
4. Montana (2)
5. Furman (2)
6. Cal Poly
7. Youngstown State
8. James Madison (2)
9. Illinois State
10. Delaware
11. McNeese State
12. North Dakota State (1)
13. Georgia Southern
14. Massachusetts
15. Eastern Illinois
16. Hampton
17. Southern Illinois
18. Coastal Carolina
19. Montana State
20. UC Davis
21. Texas State
22. Nicholls State
23. Eastern Washington
24. Eastern Kentucky
25. Richmond
Biggest Surprise: Shockingly, no Patriot League teams made the Top 25. Lafayette, Lehigh, and Colgate all got just about an equal amount of votes, but just under Richmond, the #25 team. The fact that no Ivy teams made the Top 25 was a smaller surprise, but less so since there is no clear frontrunner and it seems like every team in the upper echelon of the Ivy - Harvard, Yale, Penn and Brown - have major holes to fill.

Slightly overrated: Eastern Illinois, the best team of the OVC (a weaker conference than the Patriot League), is a pretty good team with lots of returning starters, but they're not #15 good. I had them at #20.

Slightly underrated: I'd watch out for #14 UMass, who are returning a lot of starters but also have to be a hungry team after barely losing a playoff bid at the end of last year. I had them at #7.

Massively underrated: You may not know of Missouri State now (of the Gateway conference), but my prediction is you will, with all 11 starters returning on a smothering young defense and an improving offense.

Massively overrated: Georgia Southern is a program with a new head coach and the hardest schedule in I-AA, who is rumored to be dismantling the triple-option attack they've used for the past countless years. No question in my mind they have #13 in this countdown on reputation alone.

They Should Be There: Aside from our beloved Patriot League teams and sleeper Missouri State, Northwestern State sould not be ignored with a hugely talented team that just last year was ranked #1 and beat a I-A in Louisiana-Monroe - and also has the bulk of their team returning this year. I also think Grambling and South Carolina State, two HBCU's from the SWAC and MEAC respectively, deserve consideration over some of the more borderline teams as well.

They Shouldn't Be There: There's always a few preseason Top 25 teams that are "running on empty" because they are are decimated by graduation, and this year features a bunch of them. Eastern Washigton tops this list (Walter Payton-winning QB Erik Meyer and WR Eric Kimble are gone), Texas State (QB Barrick Nealy), Nicholls State (12 starters gone) and Montana State (QB Travis Lulay). In addition, I like UC Davis too, but you've got to be concerned about their slide to end the year last year, and also in adding a third Great West team to the Top 25 over a Patriot school.

My picks are below.

1. New Hampshire
2. Appalachian St
3. Northern Iowa
4. Cal Poly
5. Montana
6. Illinois St
7. Massachusetts
8. Furman
9. James Madison
10. North Dakota St
11. McNeese St
12. Hampton
13. Youngstown St
14. Delaware
15. Colgate
16. Idaho St
17. Missouri St
18. Northwestern St
19. Richmond
20. Eastern Illinois
21. Coastal Carolina
22. Southern Illinois
23. Grambling
24. South Carolina St
25. Lehigh
BIGGEST FALLING TEAM FROM 2005: Georgia Southern


Anonymous said…
Lehigh finishes top 10, they just don't know!!
Go Lehigh TU owl said…
I find it suprising how everyone is predicting Lehigh to fall behind Colgate and Lafayette while they return the most starters in the league, LU-13, LC 11, CU 10. If Lembo returned as coach they probably would be the preseason favorite as it is they're picked to fall back. Anythin worse then 8-3 would be a huge dissapointment in my opinion. I'm really suprised how much of a negative effect the coaching changed has had on LU's preception. Everyone who follows Lehigh think Coen will be an improvement over Lembo. At worst is should be a wash, 9-2 or 8-3 at worst.
Ngineer said…
PL still doesn't get universal respect despite the decent showing of Lehigh and Lafayette in the playoffs the past two years. Colgate did get blown out by UNH, but then we put '50'on them as well. Lehigh's schedule is great for making the playoffs. Assuming we lose one league game, winning the OOC's would guarantee a bid.
I think you can throw a blanket over Lehigh, Colgate and Lafayette. All have significant returning starters, but also have question marks due to holes left by graduation. We'll know a lot before the league schedule even starts. I think Coen will get a lot more out of this team than Lembo would have. There is 'new energy' that should translate into one or two wins that in prior years would have been close losses.

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

#TheRivalry Flashback: November 21st, 1987: Lehigh 17, Lafayette 10

Since becoming an undergrad at Lehigh back in the late 1980s, I first heard about the historic nature of the football team and "The Rivalry" through the stories that fellow students would share.

I did not attend the final meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Taylor Stadium, which was the final time a football game would be played there.

Those that did attend said that was that it was cold.

"I remember it being one of the coldest games ever," Mark Redmann recollected, "with strong Northwesterly winds and the temperature hovering around 20.  By the end of the game, the stands were half empty because most of the fans just couldn't take the cold.

"Fortunately, several of my fraternity brothers snuck in flasks to help fend off the chill."

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn't unknown before this week - after all, as a freshman and a sop…