Aug. 16, 2010
Center Valley, Pa. - Colgate and Holy Cross have earned the past two Patriot League titles, and each team will start the 2010 campaign among the elite in the Football Championship Subdivision after earning a spot in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 released on Monday.
The preseason favorite Raiders come in at No. 22, with the defending champion Crusaders at No. 25. Each team previously earned recognition in multiple preseason magazine and website rankings, and now each has a spot in the first of the two official FCS top 25 polls.
Colgate was named the Patriot League preseason favorite at the League's Football Media Day earlier in the month, and is led by Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Greg Sullivan at quarterback and First-Team All-League selection and preseason All-American Nate Eachus at running back. Seven starters are back on offense with five on defense. Colgate's Dick Biddle enters the 2010 campaign with a career mark of 113-51 and a 66-18 record in Patriot League games, and will go in search of his seventh League Championship.
Holy Cross earned its first Patriot League title since 1991 by finishing with a 5-1 mark in League play last season. To defend the crown, the Crusaders will have to replace six starters on each side of the ball, including three-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Dominic Randolph at quarterback. The defense will be led by a pair of preseason all-americans, with Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Mude Ohimor at defensive end and Anthony DiMichele at safety.
The Crusaders finished at No. 14 and the Raiders were No. 21 in the final Sports Network/Fathead.com rankings last season, when they were joined by Lafayette (No. 24) to give the Patriot League three teams in the final poll for the first time since 2005. The Leopards were the eighth team in the "others receiving votes" category in the preseason rankings, while Lehigh also garnered votes.
Defending FCS champion Villanova earned the top spot in the poll, followed in order by Montana, Appalachian State, William & Mary and Southern Illinois in the top five. The full rankings can be viewed here
The FCS Coaches Poll serves as the other official ranking for the subdivision, and will be released on August 23. Biddle and Lehigh Head Coach Andy Coen will serve as the Patriot League's voting representatives in 2010.
Six of the seven Patriot League teams open the season on Sept. 4, with only Lafayette waiting until the second weekend of the season on Sept. 11. The Leopards' opener will also mark the beginning of the Patriot League schedule as they host Georgetown. The Patriot League champion earns the League's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship. Fordham is ineligible to earn the title in 2010, and its games against League members will not count in the standings for either team.