I thought I'd try to add an "Around the Horn"-type posting to the blog, summarizing other moves of interest around the league involving Lehigh opponents or the Patriot League in general.
- Something that should be mentioned to all Patriot League fans is the piece on College Sporting News regarding the four-year moratorium and new proposals for FCS membership. From the definitions in the proposal, it seems like the Patriot League is in the clear.. for now. But will that last forever?
- Columbia's Roar Lions, Roar blog mentions something interesting about Fordham this year:
Last week, the Rams revealed they will use a "run and shoot" offense this season with sophomore QB Jeff Skelton at the helm and senior RB Jonte Coven as the main runner. I'm not sure it will work, but it will be interesting to watch. Fordham has two games, on the road at URI and then at home versus Albany before they take the Lions on, also at home.
Talk about a massive upheaval of offensive philosophy. What did they do, put last year's playbook in the trash? (Granted, it was basically "(RB James) Prydatko Left, Prydatko Right, Prydatko up the middle".) Still, it's time to think of the Rams as a pass-happy team as coach Masella remakes the Rams in his own image. But it's hard to imagine that the transfer from the 1930's offense to the 1990's offense will be seamless. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
- Colgate is trying an interesting idea to drum up early-season attendance: give away discount tickets to their game versus Albany. Actually, this is a fantastic idea to drum up support for people to come to Colgate games in September when the weather is great and Andy Kerr stadium can be a family-friendly destination. Actually, in years past I might have seen that Albany game as an easy "W" for Colgate, but with their resurgence last year it looks to be an extremely interesting game - to see how Colgate looks in the early going, and if the Danes will be continuing to torture FCS opponents again in 2007.
- With Bucknell's first intra-squad scrimmage in the books, it looks like there's a real QB battle going there to go with a freshman WR in Josh Lovett that impressed the onlookers. Whether junior QB Andrew Lair, sophomore QB Marcelo Trigg or senior QB Terance Wilson gets the starting job by opening day is anyone's guess.
- Careful not to put anything out there, coach Tavani hasn't really been giving a lot of meat to Lafayette fans on the official website. Quotes like this are par for the course: "Our senior group has really demonstrated great leadership up to this point. They've come together as a team sooner than maybe they thought we did last year and that's been because of the great leadership by (captains) DT Kyle Sprenkle and CB Marcel Quarterman. They have really helped bring the team together." If anything, it shows that the defense seems further along than the offense, which probably was to be expected.
Interestingly, coach Tavani has also been floating the idea of playing two or three QBs on gameday. I somehow think that this "experiment" could end after Lafayette opens against Marist of the non-scholarship MAAC, but nonetheless it's interesting that no front-runner has emerged from senior QB Mike DiPaola, sophomore QB Josh Curley, or sophomore QB Josh Jones - and that none of the freshmen in QB Marc Quilling, QB Patrick Carey, or QB Peter Raymond are cracking the list either. Keep in mind, though, that this same situation played out in 2004 when QB Brad "The Executioner" Maurer and QB Pat "I almost beat App State" Davis shared duties early.
- VMI's spring practices have featured young defensive players that really can hit. “We played base defense and we played good, hard physical defensive football which we need to this year in order to compete. We had excellent third down offense. We had six to eight starters out and the guys really competed.”
- One of the aspects of our 2007 schedule that has gone unreported is that this year's schedule is arguably the most challenging out-of-conference schedule in recent memory. Want evidence? Aside from the game versus Villanova (of the CAA, which is arguably the best conference in FCS), take a look at where the Ivy League Media Day poll picks our 2007 Ivy opponents:
1 Yale (14) 125
3 Harvard (1) 95
4 Princeton 87
Also worthy of mention is that Princeton and Yale finished as co-champs of the Ivy last year, and Harvard was a not-so-distant third. No prizes if you also remembered that Lehigh went a lamentable 0-3 against "H-Y-P" last year.