Patriot Football 2020 Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

Patriot League
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
The Patriot League has fallen behind most, if not all, of the other FCS automatic qualifying conferences in terms of strength and stature. They do still get that automatic bid to the playoffs for their champion, so all it takes is one. Sadly, one is about the limit they’ve seen as far as competent national scale competition. Will 2020 be different? That’s why they play the games. And everything else this year has been crazy, don’t take anything for granted. The Patriot isn’t playing any lower division opponents in 2020, so they’re trying to boost their play with stronger competition. Maybe it’s a product of other conferences trying to get games with them to ensure D-I victories. Whatever the case, opportunities are there to be had.
Bucknell: @ Army (FBS), vs. Villanova, @ Penn, @ Princeton, vs. Cornell.
  • Tough way to open the season, you figure a military school to be incredibly focused amid the strange times we’re living in. Health-willing, Villanova will be very strong also. The three Ivy League opponents could go any way as they all seem in a state of change.
Colgate: @ Western Michigan (FBS), @ William & Mary, @ Syracuse (FBS), vs. New Hampshire, vs. Cornell.
  • Colgate’s not ducking anyone this pre-conference schedule. Two FBS and two Colonial opponents in their first four games. They’ll play a couple Patriot games before they finish this part of the schedule at home with Cornell.
Fordham: vs. Stony Brook, vs. Bryant, @ Hawai’i (FBS), @ Monmouth, @ Wagner.
  • The Stony Brook home game will be played in Week 0, one of only two FCS-only games that weekend. This was probably granted so the Rams could have the week following the road trip to FBS Hawai’i. Surely, people will feel bad for Fordham having to travel all that way. They will still have two non-conference roadies to finish up with after returning to the mainland.
Georgetown: @ Marist, vs. Dayton, @ Harvard, vs. Columbia, @ San Diego.
  • The Patriot League’s lone non-scholarship program is playing a non-scholarship non-conference schedule again in 2020. The first four are all from the northeast. For the final games of the season, the Hoyas will travel cross country to play San Diego. That’s a nice place to play to finish in November.
Holy Cross: @ Merrimack (trans), vs. Yale, @ Harvard, vs. Brown, @ Boston College (FBS).
  • The Crusaders will open 2020 on the road with Merrimack before doing a home-away-home Ivy League trio. It won’t be until Halloween when Holy Cross finally plays at FBS Boston College. It’s a good localized schedule with almost no travel.
Lafayette: @ Sacred Heart, @ Navy (FBS), vs. William & Mary, @ Penn, vs. Harvard.
  • Lafayette continues to schedule to where they compete as a program. The hope would likely be they can get a 2-2 record out of this schedule, not counting the FBS Navy game. It’s nice to see they realize where they are and not scrambling to play lower division opponents to artificially bump their record. This is the way to build a program back up.
Lehigh: @ Villanova, vs. Columbia, vs. Long Island, @ Yale, @ St. Francis.
  • Lehigh’s schedule here is really not that dissimilar from their rival, Lafayette. Villanova is probably a lesser version of Navy, but the purpose of this schedule should hold the same truths and aspirations.
Patriot Numbers
1 vs. Big South
6 vs. CAA
13 vs. Ivy
6 vs. NEC
3 vs. Pioneer
6 vs. FBS
0 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)