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The Patriot League Composite Schedule, 2011

Over at College Sporting News, one of my (many) side projects has been to compile the entire schedule for the 2011 football season.  As a part of this, of course, is the Patriot League football schedule.

While every Patriot League schedule is unannounced so far by the league office and the member schools, I've been able to piece together the schedule at the CSN web site.

The picture it paints is nothing short of fascinating - and it might even offer an insight as to the visions the football schools of the Patriot League has for themselves. (more)

I'd encourage you to go to the CSN site to see the nice web page I created on the subject, of course, but it's worth analyzing it in a different way, too, to see what each schedule says about the particular schools. Let's simply go school-by-school, and look at the home and away schedules.

(The Patriot League does an excellent job in providing future Patriot League schedules as well, it's worthy of mention.  They already have a tentative 2012 and 2013 Patriot League schedule posted.)

(Note: Holy Cross is the only school without a complete schedule at this point, with two open dates on 9/24 and 10/1. If I had to guess I would think that the Crusaders will probably host Sacred Heart on one of those two dates, but that is unconfirmed at this point and I won't include it in my analysis.)

Bucknell
Non-Conference Away: @Cornell, @Princeton, @Harvard
Non-Conference Home: Duquesne, Marist
Number of Home Games: 5
Their Schedule in a Slogan: "The Ivy League's Favorite Homecoming Opponent!"
LFN's Take: With a touch of local (home) flavor, Bucknell's schedule is Ivy-heavy but misses any true 63 scholarship schools. (Except Harvard, of course.) Overall, an Ivy-heavy, somewhat regional-based offering, with non-scholarship Marist thrown on there as well.

Colgate
Non-Conference Away: @Dartmouth, @Towson, @Monmouth
Non-Conference Home: Albany, Cornell
Number of Home Games: 5
Their Schedule in a Sentence: "The Island of Misfit Toys"
LFN's Take: Really, does Colgate go out of their way to schedule out-of-conference schools that have a hard time fitting into the CAA, NEC and Ivy? While you can't luck into a Syracuse game every year, the schedule is a bit underwhelming since none of their out-of-conference games come against a team that has ever been in the FCS playoffs. But it does have a good balance between Ivy League and "FCS playoff conference" games.

Fordham
Non-Conference Away: @UConn, @Army, @Rhode Island, @Penn
Non-Conference Home: Columbia
Number of Home Games: 4
Their Schedule in a Sentence: "Road Warriors 3: Two Home Games in Ten Weeks"
LFN's Take: Quite simply, the most difficult Patriot League schedule ever assembled, with a game against last year's Big East Champions, another bowl team, a CAA team, and - for good measure - a game against last year's Ivy League Champions, too, all on the road. We'll soon discover if the Fordham fan base travels well, because in order to be a Ram fan, you'll probably need a Zipcar.

It will be a brutally tough go this year, but it's clear their vision for football includes much, much tougher schedules, maintaining some big Ivy League games, and maybe an Atlantic 10 foe thrown in for good measure.

Georgetown
Non-Conference Away: @Yale, @Marist, @Wagner, @Howard
Non-Conference Home: Davidson
Number of Home Games: 4
Their Schedule in a Sentence: "The Non-Scholarship Shuffle"
LFN's Take: In a sense, it's just like Fordham's schedule. Just remove the FBS teams, Rhode Island and Penn replace them with non-scholarship teams, Wagner and Yale, and.. voila!

While it's good to see cross-town rival Howard back on the schedule, it must be extremely frustrating for the Hoyas to not be able to get another Ivy game on there at least, let alone FBS games. But even so, it's clear that Georgetown's vision for their football program is "non-scholarship. And more Ivies, please."  Their schedule couldn't be more different than Fordham's.

Holy Cross
Non-Conference Away: @Brown (likely one more)
Non-Conference Home: UMass, Harvard, Dartmouth (possibly one more)
Number of Home Games: 5 or 6
Their Schedule in a Sentence: "We'll play anyone, anywhere, anytime - as long as it's in New England!"
LFN's Take: It's a nice feature to be able to play all your football in a 2 hour radius from campus until October 15th, including three home games. They will pose a challenge for the Crusaders, too: a game against an upper-echelon CAA opponent and two perennial Ivy League title contenders.

They don't seem wedded to non-scholarship ball, as they don't (yet) have any true non-scholarship teams on the schedule (as I've mentioned before, I don't consider the Ivy League non-scholarship.) Still, their ultra-regional focus is a bit striking - and very much in contrast to the rest of the league.

Lafayette
Non-Conference Away: @North Dakota State, @Penn, @Stony Brook
Non-Conference Home: Yale, Harvard
Number of Home Games: 5
Their Schedule in a Sentence: "Pray for Indian Summer!"
LFN's Take: Regional games? What are they? Four away games - including one in the Fargodome against a playoff team from last year - are followed by Lafayette's five home games on the year, and two road contests. Oh yeah, Penn and Harvard are two of the teams, two Ivy League title contenders, too. Leopard fans not willing to fly to Fargo will be hoping for fair weather at or around October 1st - when they have their home opener.

Like Holy Cross, not a single non-scholarship team dots the schedule - but three Ivies do, as well as two teams with 63 scholarships. Based on their schedule, the Leopards do not seem to embrace non-scholarship football. Far from it.

Lehigh
Non-Conference Away: @Monmouth, @Princeton
Non-Conference Home: New Hampshire, Liberty, Yale
Number of Home Games: 6
Their Schedule in a Sentence: "Home Cooking Against Top 25 Teams"
LFN's Take: Currently, Lehigh is the only Patriot League team this year with six home games - and their longest road trip in 2011 will actually be to league-mate Colgate in frigid Hamilton, NY. The non-conference schedule will feature New Hampshire - a perennial Top 25 FCS playoff team - and Liberty, a frequent resident in the Top 25 and a school that will undoubtedly bring a big crowd, including their 100 piece band, to Murray Goodman.

Unlike last year, with three trips to New England and one (eventually two) trips to Iowa, the schedule this year emphasizes "regional", with only two league games more than a couple hours' drive from Bethlehem. "Regional, with Top 25 teams at home" could be Lehigh's theme for the 2011 schedule.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Lafayette's schedule is a horror story. No home game in the first half of the season. Two consecutive open dates. A trip to North Dakota. Only 10 games total.

What was McCandless thinking?
DFW HOYA said…
Qustion--you show Georgetown at Howard on 10/15, but Wagner's schedule has them hosting Georgetown on 10/15.
Sons of Vaval said…
Word is Holy Cross may be playing UNH as their 11th game.
Anonymous said…
word is Holy Cross getting battered in their 11th game bwahahahaha!!!
Anonymous said…
word is Holy Cross getting battered in their 11th game bwahahahaha!!!
Anonymous said…
Who is McCandless?

Anyway Lafayette has 11 games..the full schedule is below.

09/03/11 at North Dakota State Fargo, N.D. TBA
09/10/11 at Georgetown * Washington, D.C. TBA
09/17/11 at Penn Philadelphia, Pa. TBA
09/24/11 at Stony Brook Stony Brook, N.Y. TBA
10/01/11 vs. Harvard Easton, Pa. 6:00 p.m. ET
10/08/11 Open
10/15/11 vs. Yale Easton, Pa. 6:00 p.m. ET
10/22/11 vs. Fordham Easton, Pa. 1:00 p.m. ET
10/29/11 vs. Bucknell * Easton, Pa. 6:00 p.m. ET
11/05/11 vs. Colgate * Easton, Pa. 6:00 p.m. ET
11/12/11 at Holy Cross * Worcester, Mass. TBA
11/19/11 at Lehigh (147th Meeting) * Bethlehem, Pa. TBA


In a perfect world the home/away games would be mixed up a little better, but we do have a 5 game home stand in the middle of the season which is nice. Also NDSU is a top 5 team and we will play in front on 19k fans in Fargo. Great test for a young team. Lehigh will be playing at Monmouth!
Anonymous said…
Tell those parents who are paying $52,000 a year to send their sons to Harvard, and there are a lot of them, that Lafayette isn't playing a single nonscholarship school and you better duck.
indianhoop said…
I would contend that HC's 1986 schedule (1st year of the PL) was more difficult than Fordham's next year. It included a solid bowl team (Boston College), an Army team that was coming off a bowl year and beat Tennessee in 1986 (HC beat Army this btw), a 1-AA playoff team in William&Mary and an 8-3 UMass team (both beaten by HC) amoungst others.

http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_iaa/patriot/holy_cross/yearly_results.php?year=1985
DFW HOYA said…
So what's more troublesome, a Lafayette schedule whose home opener is Oct. 15, or Georgetown for scheduling one home game between Sep. 10 and Nov. 5...and getting no bye week?
Anonymous said…
DFW-- that is not a good situation for either team. The Harvard game has actually been moved to Lafayette in 2011 so the Leopards will have a home game on 10/1/11 vs. the Crimson.

Harvard did Lafayette a favor. We had 7 home games scheduled for 2012 an only 4 for 2011. We were to play Harvard, Penn, Yale and Princeton at home in 2012. Harvard allowed us to switch home games.
Anonymous said…
While Fordham's OOC opponents are impressive and commendable, I agree with indianhoop that HC and Colgate OOC schedules at the dawn of the PL were tougher. I'd say Colgate's 87 schedule was toughter than HC's in 86. The Raiders beat a similar Army team in 87. No we didn't play a very good BC team like HC did, but we played a undefeated Syracuse team that finished the year ranked from #2 to #4 depending on the poll, as well as a good Steve Spurrier coached Duke team. The Ivies we played had a cumulative winning record in 87 compared to the Ivies HC played in 86 who had a cumulative losing record. We also played William and Mary (like HC) and BU instead of UMass.

HC had terrific teams then. It's a shame that they couldn't play for a I-AA national title which they could well have won, but our school presidents thought they knew better and wanted to rid us of any "jock school" connotation.

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