Patriot Football Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

Patriot League
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
If there was ever an automatic qualifier conference that needed to have a decent showing in non-conference action, it’s the Patriot League. The last two seasons have been overwhelmingly abysmal. And last year would have been even worse if it weren’t for the remarkable season Colgate had. It’s not an overreaction to say that the Northeast Conference has jumped ahead in the FCS pecking order overall. And with many head-to-head match-ups with the NEC, Ivy League and CAA, the pressure is on.
Bucknell: @ Temple (FBS), @Sacred Heart, vs. Villanova, vs. Princeton, @ Towson.
  • A pretty aggressive schedule here. Three roadies and two home dates. Those home games are as tough, if not tougher than the road games.
Colgate: vs. Villanova, @ Air Force (FBS), @ William & Mary, vs. Maine, @ Dartmouth, @ Cornell.
  • Four of six non-cons away from home. The home games are against traditional or recent CAA playoff teams. The Raiders will need to get their mojo together early or at-large playoff ideas could be gone before in-league action begins.               
Fordham: vs. Central Connecticut State, @ Ball State (FBS), @ Bryant, @ Stony Brook, vs. Richmond @ Yale.
  • Another four of six road non-conference schedule. This one is a little easier on the surface, but Fordham hasn’t been as good as Colgate the last couple years. Still, the home games aren’t even gimmes.
Georgetown: @ Davidson, vs. Marist, vs. Catholic (lower), @ Columbia, @ Cornell.
  • Some people might look at the Hoyas’ schedule and say, they’re not playing a scholarship program. But, you have to remember, Georgetown isn’t a scholarship program either, even though they play in a conference where everyone else does give them.
Holy Cross: @ Navy (FBS), vs. New Hampshire, @ Yale, @ Syracuse (FBS), @ Brown, vs. Harvard.
  • The Crusaders aren’t taking it easy on themselves with two FBS games on the docket. Even the three Ivy League games will be tests.
Lafayette: @ William & Mary, vs. Monmouth, vs. Sacred Heart, @ Albany, vs. Penn, @ Princeton.
  • Across the nation, this might be seen as a middle of the road schedule. But this is the exact kind of schedule a program trying to get back on a winning track needs to play. A 3-3 record would be seen as success. Better than that would be gravy.
Lehigh: vs. St. Francis, @ Villanova, @ UC-Davis, vs. Merrimack (trans), @ Sacred Heart.
  • There’s one game that sticks out like a sore thumb here, the road game to California, to play UC-Davis. Other than wins against an FBS program, this is likely the marquee match-up in the Patriot’s non-conference schedule.
Patriot Numbers
1 vs. Big Sky
1 vs. Big South
11 vs. CAA
11 vs. Ivy
7 vs. NEC
2 vs. Pioneer
5 vs. FBS
1 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)