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carney2

Top 25

Top 25 lists for 2015 are beginning to appear.  All seem to have Harvard in the Top 20, and many include William & Mary and Fordham.  It appears that we have our work cut out for us.
flyfisher

Not unexpected. I think Bucknell may be better than Fordham. W&M should be lower top 25.
Pard4Life

Fordham is not top 25. Patriot is a toss between Rams and Bison... Pards if our OL gets it's act together.
LeopardBall10

Pard4Life wrote:
Fordham is not top 25. Patriot is a toss between Rams and Bison... Pards if our OL gets it's act together.


I love your optimism, but we'll need to do more than just solidify an OLine that has been struggling for years. We need to find another half an offense with Schuerman gone, figure out which QB is going to show up, and get a Dline back that hasn't been healthy all at one time. The class of the Patriot League should be able to make a run at least at the lower top 25, and I don't see that for that Pards quite yet.

A question to everyone else though, how long before we start to see the new scholarship Patriot teams showing up in the Top 25? Do Bucknell and Fordham start off well enough to both make a case this year? Or do we need to start winning playoff games regularly before we get that kind of respect?
flyfisher

LeopardBall10 wrote:
Pard4Life wrote:
Fordham is not top 25. Patriot is a toss between Rams and Bison... Pards if our OL gets it's act together.


I love your optimism, but we'll need to do more than just solidify an OLine that has been struggling for years. We need to find another half an offense with Schuerman gone, figure out which QB is going to show up, and get a Dline back that hasn't been healthy all at one time. The class of the Patriot League should be able to make a run at least at the lower top 25, and I don't see that for that Pards quite yet.

A question to everyone else though, how long before we start to see the new scholarship Patriot teams showing up in the Top 25? Do Bucknell and Fordham start off well enough to both make a case this year? Or do we need to start winning playoff games regularly before we get that kind of respect?


I would say about 3 years. Takes more than scholarships. Plus, we (PL) dont redshirt. Once we start beating more FCS teams as well as Ivies then you will see PL teams get ranked. For recognition we (the PL)  need more wins over a UNH, Delaware, W&M, other Socon and Colonial teams. Personally I am not sure the PL can compete at the top level of FCS due to admissions standards, no redshirting, and lack of transfers.

All o-linemen are either on campus all summer or in the area for workouts. the effort is there from Clayton and the players. Reality is they are young and we have to replace 3 starters. they will need to grow up fast.
carney2

Bucknell should have a gaudy W-L record with their cupcake schedule, but I don't give them quite as much credit as some of you.  They are no longer a pushover and have definitely risen into the upper half of the League, but are they at the top of the heap as some of you suggest?  They need to actually begin beating some good teams before I buy into that.  And they won't be beating many good teams with their schedule.

Fordham is another story.  Joe Moorhead is playing by a different set of rules.  He lost a lot when they handed out diplomas last month, but he uses transfers to reload.  He may not have a round in every chamber, but any championship aspirations will have to go through the Bronx.

The rest of the League, including our Pards, is a muddled mess.  I throw Bucknell into that category too.  Overall, Patriot League recruiting has not taken that giant leap that we all expected when scholarships were introduced.  Until the League coaches take it up a notch or two, playing with the big boys will remain a dream.

While on this topic, the bigger question may not be "Who's on top?" (that will be Fordham for the foreseeable future), but rather who is feeding on the bottom?  The League's core has fallen on hard times.  Colgate's ship is listing badly and shows no signs of righting itself.  Holy Cross is Jekyll and Hyde, mostly Hyde.  Lafayette seems to have taken permanent residence in the land of mediocrity.  And, Lehigh is the strangest case of all.  Can one assistant coach (Dave Cecchini) make all that much difference?  None of these appear to be moving in the right direction.
carney2

LeopardBall10 wrote:
I love your optimism, but we'll need to do more than just solidify an OLine that has been struggling for years. We need to find another half an offense with Schuerman gone, figure out which QB is going to show up, and get a Dline back that hasn't been healthy all at one time. The class of the Patriot League should be able to make a run at least at the lower top 25, and I don't see that for that Pards quite yet.

A question to everyone else though, how long before we start to see the new scholarship Patriot teams showing up in the Top 25? Do Bucknell and Fordham start off well enough to both make a case this year? Or do we need to start winning playoff games regularly before we get that kind of respect?


Excellent post.  No Maroon colored glasses for you.
LeopardBall10

carney2 wrote:
Excellent post.  No Maroon colored glasses for you.


I appreciate the compliment, Carney. High praise for such a curmudgeon (kidding of course). But, I would beg to differ. My glasses are as maroon colored as they come. I have sacrificed more for that school and program than most know. I have just spent too many years watching film, looking at talent, and sitting in Frank's office to be unrealistic.

But boy, do I hope I'm wrong. Its way more fun the other way.
RichH

Top 25 going to be tough for PL. On paper Bucknell best bet with a fairly easy OOC schedule. Rams have a brutal OOC.  Losing 16 starters hard for them to come out of the gate on fire. If they are even somewhat successful OOC,they could be a top 10-15.  Everybody else has more questions than answers. Of that bunch,Pards may have fewer questions.
Pardsfriend

2015 Pards

I'm convinced our defense will be dialed in from the beginning of the season.  There is speed in many places,and that can't be "coached".

To the extent our OL provides a semblance of push up front, we can be balanced between run/pass in our overall scheme.  From my view, and I look closely at recruits, I like the pieces that were brought to college hill for the upcoming season.  Not saying all will play immediately, but we should have contributors.

 Having said this, the games are won up front, without regard to Patriot, CAA, Ivy, or any other FCS conference.
flyfisher

Some good and objective conversation here. Due to admision standards, no redshirting, and the lack of transfers, i see the PL struggling to compete consistantly with bigger FCS programs. By that i mean Colonial and Socon teams in the East and i see us miles away from the Montana's and ND St. programs. I dont have the history you guys do but to me it seems the PL is more in line to compete with the Ivy League than the conferences and teams i mention above.

On offense, I expect the passing game to be improved both at QB and at WR. Obviously there will be some fall off in the running game. More playmakers and more experience. Hopefully we dont get the injuries a bad as last year. I think the defense will be fine though we need some depth on the d-line.
edge29

Re: 2015 Pards

Pardsfriend wrote:
I'm convinced our defense will be dialed in from the beginning of the season.  There is speed in many places,and that can't be "coached".

To the extent our OL provides a semblance of push up front, we can be balanced between run/pass in our overall scheme.  From my view, and I look closely at recruits, I like the pieces that were brought to college hill for the upcoming season.  Not saying all will play immediately, but we should have contributors.

 Having said this, the games are won up front, without regard to Patriot, CAA, Ivy, or any other FCS conference.


YES!! It's about time we start to dicsuss the season.  It'll be here before we know it.  

I'm in total agreement Pfriend!  Our D will be one of best in the PL and should give our O time to find those new playmakers.   We do have the best secondary and DL (when healthy) in the league!  
We do lose a step at RB but hopefully we're pleasantly surprised.  Ross had to be 90% of our offense and it's possible other guys step up.  We certainly have enough of them!!  Brown is very able and Mayfield is just huge!  Plus I think there will be some other guys who will take some of the load (Keller, Mrazek, Vangelas).  I think a few of the frosh could be immediate contributors as well.
If we could solve the OL puzzle, we might have well had a few more championships.
Franks Tanks

flyfisher wrote:
Some good and objective conversation here. Due to admision standards, no redshirting, and the lack of transfers, i see the PL struggling to compete consistantly with bigger FCS programs. By that i mean Colonial and Socon teams in the East and i see us miles away from the Montana's and ND St. programs. I dont have the history you guys do but to me it seems the PL is more in line to compete with the Ivy League than the conferences and teams i mention above.

On offense, I expect the passing game to be improved both at QB and at WR. Obviously there will be some fall off in the running game. More playmakers and more experience. Hopefully we dont get the injuries a bad as last year. I think the defense will be fine though we need some depth on the d-line.


We know we will never be Ohio State or Alabama of the FCS.  A PL school can however be a TCU or Baylor.  We won't beat the big boys every year, but we will compete, and in years when things come together for us we will beat them.  Before scholarships we were a Houston or Tulsa.  Respectable teams, but no real threat.

I am fine with that, and I think we are all fine with that.  We spend enough money, and have enough resources where we can compete just fine at the national level (within the confines of the league rules), but we wont be an FCS juggernaut.  It will make for plenty of exciting football games against quality opponents in the years to come.

Lafayette was actually ranked in the top 25 several times between 04 and 09.  I do not recall our highest ranking during that stretch, but our highest end od season ranking was 19th in 2004.  In 09 we finished the season ranked 24th (both are sports network rankings).
flyfisher

Frank, maybe I wasn't clear. I am not referring to Alabama and Ohio State. They are FBS. I was referring to FCS schools. PL, Socon, Colnial. I don't expect us to compete with those FBS schools, though we did decades ago. Sorry if I was not clear.
Franks Tanks

flyfisher wrote:
Frank, maybe I wasn't clear. I am not referring to Alabama and Ohio State. They are FBS. I was referring to FCS schools. PL, Socon, Colnial. I don't expect us to compete with those FBS schools, though we did decades ago. Sorry if I was not clear.


Just making a comparison.  We wont be a dominant FCS program, and any team in the PL will probably have trouble becoming a an every year power team in the FCS given our self imposed restrictions.  However, we should be a very competitive team and league overall in FCS, and every so often a team from the PL will come together and do real damage.  Fordham was one of those teams recently, but perhaps didn't advance as far in the playoffs as they could as they had some tough draws the past 2 years in the 2nd round.
flyfisher

Franks Tanks wrote:
flyfisher wrote:
Frank, maybe I wasn't clear. I am not referring to Alabama and Ohio State. They are FBS. I was referring to FCS schools. PL, Socon, Colnial. I don't expect us to compete with those FBS schools, though we did decades ago. Sorry if I was not clear.


Just making a comparison.  We wont be a dominant FCS program, and any team in the PL will probably have trouble becoming a an every year power team in the FCS given our self imposed restrictions.  However, we should be a very competitive team and league overall in FCS, and every so often a team from the PL will come together and do real damage.  Fordham was one of those teams recently, but perhaps didn't advance as far in the playoffs as they could as they had some tough draws the past 2 years in the 2nd round.


Undertsand.

I remember a survey posted here recently that showed the PL about 7th out of the 9-10 FCS conferences, and just one spot above the Ivy League. The survey looked pretty fair. Looking at the quality of play above us it will be tough to advance up that ladder.

On a slightly different matter, I personally like where the PL is positioned. It's an academic conference and hopefully competitive athletics. I dont think we want to sacrifice who we are to get down there with the bigger conferences. In some ways we (the PL) have a nice niche where we are. Plus, LC is not going to change this trend by themselves. I think all the PL schools like where the league is positioned.

Most of you know my oldest played at a strong academic school in the Colonial league. But even that school made several academic exceptions, especially in the big revenue sports of basketball and football. They find a way to get those kids in and keep them eligible. I have explained this before but most schools have a 3 level system to get kids in. At this university they could get 6 exceptions or "C" profile students admitted each year. These are kids that do not qualify through normal admissions in any form. Frankly LC has a couple of marginal kids each year that the school will work to keep eligible. You can only take so many art, drama, and psychology classes. Opinion only but i suspect other PL schools do the same but not at the level of the bigger FCS conferences. Some of these kids that get in weaker Colonial and Socon schools have a hard time walking and chewing gum. A couple of Socon schools used to recruit that Ga. Military Inst. school hard and they got some doozies from that school.

Point being, if the Pl schools can use scholarships to improve their overall level of competitiveness with other FCS conferences while keeping a high academic standard then i dont think you change from that plan. I think we all agree on that. Once all the member schools get that message out to the high schools across the country that you can go get a high end degree and play fun, competitive football, then you will see the level of play continue to improve.
carney2

Lots of great commentary in this thread.  We seem to have settled into a discussion of whether the Patriot League in general and Lafayette in particular can be competitive with the FCS big kids.  I doubt it, and I'm not sure that it concerns me all that much.  In my opinion we should have two broad goals:

1.  Be "competitive" with people our own size.  Now, "competitive" means different things to different people and you'll have to make your own decisions about that (see below).

2.  Don't get embarrassed when you step up in class.

As for goal number 1 above, I offer our results for the past 5 years against programs I consider to be "our size:"

Bucknell 3-2
Colgate 2-3
Fordham 3-2
Georgetown 3-2
Holy Cross 2-3
Lehigh 2-3
Ivy League 4-9

Is this "competitive," or is it, as I believe, mediocre?
BillS

carney2 wrote:
Lots of great commentary in this thread.  We seem to have settled into a discussion of whether the Patriot League in general and Lafayette in particular can be competitive with the FCS big kids.  I doubt it, and I'm not sure that it concerns me all that much.  In my opinion we should have two broad goals:

1.  Be "competitive" with people our own size.  Now, "competitive" means different things to different people and you'll have to make your own decisions about that (see below).

2.  Don't get embarrassed when you step up in class.

As for goal number 1 above, I offer our results for the past 5 years against programs I consider to be "our size:"

Bucknell 3-2
Colgate 2-3
Fordham 3-2
Georgetown 3-2
Holy Cross 2-3
Lehigh 2-3
Ivy League 4-9

Is this "competitive," or is it, as I believe, mediocre?
I'm very optimistic about the future of Lafayette football ! I notice a significant upgrade in our national recruiting efforts.
Andy

I swear, we're the only board going out of their way to post negative stuff about their program during recruiting season.  

Who cares what happened 5 years ago?  Everyone knows our 5-year  record was influenced by 2 poor budget cut affected classes.  The recruiting class of only 18 were seniors in 2012. Since then 8-4 in the league (easily could have been 10-2 with a FG kicker) and a championship. Why not go back 11 years and cite 4 league titles?  Do you think the BU guys are whining about what happened 5 years ago?  

I'm with you, Bill, feeling very positive about LC football - where we're at and where we're headed. Can feel the energy from the staff on the recruiting trail.  Go Pards!
Bogus Megapardus

Andy wrote:
I swear, we're the only board going out of their way to post negative stuff about their program during recruiting season.


I agree that the negativity is not at all deserved when it comes to football.  Lafayette has a terrific program that is better supported than most of its peers.  Players who come here uniformly rave about the program and the college.  Fans can be persnickety during the season about certain games and play calls and individual effort but the college and the football program don't deserve a negative rap overall.  Lafayette is what it is.  Maybe we should redouble our efforts to disparage Lehigh instead . . .  Cool

Nevertheless, I am responsible for a great deal of harsh negativity about the lacrosse program over the last season.  I was really harsh, and I stand by my remarks and observations.  But when improvement in lacrosse became apparent, it did so quickly.  It was like somebody flipped the switch, and I was not shy about underscoring and highlighting the details of that improvement as I saw it.

The football program ended last season on the highest of high notes with the thrashing of Lehigh at Yankee Stadium.  That was a monumental achievement that ought to carry a lot of good will into September.  No one has to be sycophantic but it wouldn't hurt for fans to ride that wave as well.
carney2

Andy wrote:
I swear, we're the only board going out of their way to post negative stuff about their program during recruiting season.


Love ya, Andy, but we'll agree to disagree on this one.  My appointment as a member of the "Lafayette Nothing But Good News Football Recruiting Team" must be lost in the mail.  Until it arrives I feel compelled to tell it as it is - or at least as I see it.

As for the here and now, I agree with RichH.  Lafayette has a lot of questions going into 2015, but probably fewer than most of our Patriot League compatriots.
flyfisher

Personally i would rate us competitive in the PL. Not sure why we have not performed better against the Ivy League. Over the past 5 years we are about .500 in the PL with a championship. We all want and expect better but when you look at the self imposed recruiting issues from a few years back, that performance doesnt look so bad. To Andy's point, looking back over 10 years we look even better.

Looking long term i dont know how you can not feel optimistic. We have been competing with limited scholarship/aid. Now the coaches have more to work with. You can truly recruit nationally instead of primarily regional. And you can recruit some kids before that were not an option due to finances. From a business viewpoint I see that our options have increased. Building your brand doesn't happen quickly but i really like where the PL has positioned itself in football for the next decade or so.
Zeus

Lafayette football has always been one of the best teams in the league(over the past 10 or so years) when people decide not to put their hands on things they shouldn't. They always play a tough non-league schedule to prepare for the league, and it's worked out. There are other teams in the league that play cupcakes and then whine about things later on in the year.
Not sure why it's remotely relevant to bring up the five year thing when again, the program was subjected to sabotage/jealousy,( insert words here) years ago. What's the league record since scholarships? Have they won a championship? OK then.
NE Leopard

NUC Sports Top 25 FCS

NUC Sports has Fordham at 21 and W&M at 24, Harvard "just outside" the Top 25.

http://nucsports.com/nucsportsmag...lege-2015-nuc-fcs-preseason-poll/
Andy

Re: NUC Sports Top 25 FCS

NE Leopard wrote:
NUC Sports has Fordham at 21 and W&M at 24, Harvard "just outside" the Top 25.

http://nucsports.com/nucsportsmag...lege-2015-nuc-fcs-preseason-poll/


Somewhat surprised at Fordham's ranking, they lose a lot and will have a new QB (transfer). Awesome RB(s) of course.  Sacred Heart coach deserves a raise. A nice place, but come-on. Shows what you can do with lesser academic requirements.

That Army opener vs FU on a Fri night could be a must attend.

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